Support WeROC Allies EMUFT!

WeROC friends and supporters — 

First, an important announcement:  We’ve decided it makes sense to cancel the September WeROC Meeting of the Whole.  In the meantime, our Clergy Caucus has been taking the lead in exploring how WeROC might best participate in the November county-wide milllage vote for mental health and public safety funding.  Expect a report soon from meetings with key County Commissioners happening this week, which may be leading to a major public meeting before November.  Please begin thinking about how we all would turn out big numbers from our organizations and networks for such an event.  More to come about the October 5 Meeting of the Whole..

Now here’s the urgent request:  Our good friends — and WeROC co-founders — EMU Federation of Teachers needs our help at an especially frustrating point in their many months of bargaining.  At the very time when WeROC is ramping up our narrative about moving toward greater equity across Washtenaw County, EMU’s administration is suddenly digging in on a position that would be another blow not just to employees of the University, but more broadly to the the economy of our County, especially in the eastern part that EMU calls home.
Please read below about the administration’s misplaced priorities and their short-sighted effort to “balance the budget on the backs of the lowest paid teachers.”  Then take 5 minutes to call the offices of the President and the Provost as soon as you can.  Say you’re a taxpayer, and you expect your tax dollars to go toward boosting, not draining, the economy of the communities around EMU — which clearly includes a fair contract for part-time lecturers.
We can all be proud of the work we’ve done to build WeROC to this point.  Now let’s show the EMU administration what community solidarity looks like!
Tad Wysor, Volunteer WeROC Organizer
[From David Hecker, President of AFT of Michigan]
 Support EMU Part-Time Lecturers, Call EMU President and Provost
After six months and more than 120 hours of negotiations, EMU administration’s proposals continue to slash job security for Part Time Lecturers, who teach 45% of the courses, and give clear financial incentives to hire new lecturers over existing PTLs.  Lecturers are represented by the Eastern Michigan Federation of Teachers.
EMU’s lead negotiator insisted that monetarily the proposals are “literally everything we have.” and that they need to “establish an entry level tier that [they] can balance the budget on”.
–      This “entry level tier” is a pay cut of $450 per course taught.
–      This “entry level tier” is below the first bargained rate by EMUFT in 2011.
–      Since 2011, tuition at EMU has increased 37%
–      Only 7% of the tuition revenue generated by a typical class goes towards PTL pay.
President Smith’s bio begins: “President Smith has led an active initial year at Eastern, undertaking many positive strategic initiatives.”
–      Are gutting job security and cutting pay for the lowest paid teachers both positive and strategic initiatives on campus? Call the President at 734-487-2211 and insist that a fair contract for Part Time Lecturers is a positive and strategic initiative on campus! 
Provost Longworth said upon her appointment, “Our committed faculty, staff and leadership team serve and inspire students day in, day out with their dedication and commitment.”
–      Does this explain why we should accept devastating cuts for the lowest paid teachers on campus? Call the Provost at 734-487-3200 and demand her dedication and commitment to Part Time Lecturers through a fair contract!
By the way, head football coach Chris Creighton last month was offered a 2.5% raise every year until 2022, bringing his current base salary to $425,000, and President Jim Smith received a $60,000 raise over his predecessor when he was hired for $400,000 last summer. EMU is trying to balance the budget on the backs of the lowest paid teachers on campus while putting athletics and administration first!