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Frequently Asked Questions



Q: What are the roles of labor unions at Oakland University?

A: About 1,200 members of OU’s 3,500 total workforce is represented by five different labor unions. The unions collectively bargain on behalf of a particular group of employees on issues ranging from wages to conditions of employment.

Q: Who does OU-AAUP represent?

A: The Oakland University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors (OU-AAUP) represents more than 800 full-time and regular part-time faculty members across the university.

Bargaining process


Q: What is the timeline for their current and next contract?

A: The current contract between the administration and OU-AAUP was agreed to in September 2021 and expires in August 2024. Negotiations between the administration’s bargaining team and union’s bargaining team are expected to begin soon. 

Q: How does the bargaining process work?

A: In the next few weeks, the respective bargaining teams will begin holding meetings to discuss all issues surrounding the expiring contract. It is the legal responsibility of both teams to negotiate in good faith, working toward an agreement that both accept. 

Q: What is the administration’s outlook for negotiations?

A: The administration recognizes the importance of providing faculty members with the resources and tools they need to perform their work, as well as compensating them fairly for their efforts in advancing the University’s educational and research missions. Our goal is to create an inclusive learning environment where all our faculty, students and staff can succeed. 

Q: Do the administration and union agree on all issues?

A: Of course not. But despite differing viewpoints on specific topics and past events, we are committed to approaching this process with respect. We are eager to engage in negotiations with a forward-looking perspective, focusing on productive discussions.



Q: Is OU operating with a budget surplus this year?

A: The administration recognizes its financial situation has improved since our last round of negotiations, and it is therefore hopeful it will be better able to collaboratively reach an agreement this year with the AAUP, one which fairly rewards our faculty within our means. With our one-time surplus of $5.6 million, a direct result of our Strive for 45 advocacy efforts, our guiding principles remain the same: addressing the critical needs of our students, faculty, and staff, keeping affordability in mind and ensuring fiscal responsibility and restraint with an eye on long-term financial sustainability.

Q: Didn’t the university receive substantial state support in Michigan’s fiscal year 2024 budget? 

A: While OU was one of several universities that received an increase from the latest state budget, it did so because state funding previously had not kept pace with growing enrollment and to bring OU’s per-pupil funding in line with other public universities in Michigan. This support was part of the Strive for 45 advocacy efforts.

Q: What is the Strive for 45 campaign?

A: OU’s Strive for 45 campaign, launched in 2020 with vital support from faculty, local legislators, peer schools and the broader community, has been successful in changing the minimum amount of higher education funding Michigan’s 15 public universities receive. This advocacy effort has led to a $15.4 million increase in state funding for the university over the past two years, much of what was used to prevent even deeper budget cuts the past several years. Despite that advocacy effort, OU remains 12th among the state’s 15 public universities when funding is broken down per enrolled student.

Q: What is OU going to get in the next fiscal year state budget?

A: The state of Michigan’s fiscal year 2025 budget recommendation from the governor provides a 2.5% increase in ongoing funding for the state's public universities and community colleges. However, the state legislature has not yet indicated what will be approved. OU looks forward to working with legislators as the budget is finalized, impressing upon them the importance of investing in the future for college students in Michigan.

Q: What is driving OU’s decision-making regarding budgeting for this fiscal year?

A: There is much uncertainty that OU is dealing with at the moment: implementation of the Common App, changes to the FAFSA process, impacts of the state’s free community college and achievement scholarship programs, results of the state budgeting process and the health of the overall U.S. economy. We also must be mindful of current and future enrollment trends over the next several years, which call for up to a 10 percent decline in Michigan’s high school population over the next 7 years.

Next steps


Q: How can I stay informed about the progress of the negotiations?

A: The administration will periodically post News and Updates on this website, informing the campus community of developments and progress made, as well as providing information key to the institution’s overall success.

Q: Will the OU administration post details from the bargaining meetings?

A: To be transparent and keep the campus community updated, OU will provide an overview of what is being discussed and progress made throughout the negotiations. However, we will avoid some specifics as we firmly believe the best place to have discussions regarding the faculty union contract is at the bargaining table, and not in media or social media. The faculty union and the administration both have dedicated teams of individuals diligently working to represent their interests and reach an equitable contract. They deserve to be allowed to do that important work.