Campus Community

Faculty Negotiations Update

Share this story

Faculty Negotiations Update
Oakland University Sign

September 4, 2021

A Joint Message From AAUP and University Negotiators

Tentative agreement reached

While this year got off to a rocky start, Oakland University and the faculty are anxious to start afresh and focus on our collective mission.

Towards that end, Oakland University and its faculty, through their union, restate their commitment to offering our students a superior educational experience by focusing our collective energies on engaging in what we value most – serving our students and facilitating their success.

Accordingly, to make up for the delays experienced over the past few days, the faculty will undertake all feasible measures to assure that full course content and learning objectives are delivered to their students, and that all requirements for credits and program accreditations are satisfied.

Further, to the extent that faculty have not already done so, they will promptly engage with their students, through Moodle and other means, with respect to course expectations, syllabi, assignments for this weekend (if applicable) and the coming week, clinical programming, orientations, and other appropriate interventions.

September 3, 2021

After over 16 hours of bargaining yesterday, the issues dividing the AAUP faculty union and Oakland are minor. Despite the mediator’s willingness to work through the night if necessary, the union decided to extend its illegal strike and end the bargaining session with only minimal issues remaining. Oakland has proposed a pay increase to all faculty of 5.25% over three years; however, the union has not accepted this. 

Oakland University offers all employees outstanding health benefits. Most employees at the university pay a premium of 10% for these outstanding benefits. The faculty pay only 5%. Negotiators expect parity between the faculty and the rest of the campus community. This would result in an increase in health premiums to some faculty of as much as $6 per week (only $312 per year) beginning midway into the second year of the contract. However, this increase in healthcare costs would be more than offset by the increases in salary that have been offered.

Oakland University offers the opportunity for dependents of faculty to obtain degrees at virtually no charge, an attractive benefit for recruiting and retaining faculty. The union has demanded that this benefit be extended indefinitely when students fail to complete a class and must retake a course.  All other employees at OU are expected to pay for classes that are retaken when dependents fail a course. Again, Oakland seeks parity with the rest of its employees. This issue was unresolved last night. 

Oakland University administration wants to be clear that we highly value our outstanding faculty. We regret that the union left last night’s session with so few matters unresolved. Oakland is working hard to provide a fair and equitable compensation package to faculty, but that package must also be fiscally responsible, given the unprecedented revenue losses the university is facing this year.  Oakland is navigating an economic challenge in a way that still provides for increases to faculty compensation in every year of the proposed contract, in a way that does not touch the generous, above-market retirement package current faculty receive, and in a way that does not call for any cuts to our academic programming.  

The parties appear to be, and should be close to a settlement. The parties are scheduled to resume their bargaining at 10 a.m. this morning. Faculty are still expected to report to work and classes are to be held as scheduled.   

We look forward to resolving the final issues today so that we can focus our attention on the exciting start of our school year.

September 2, 2021 

University administrators and representatives of the Oakland University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors are continuing to negotiate to reach a tentative contract agreement.  

The university hopes to resolve remaining contract issues as soon as possible and with minimal disruption to fall classes, which will not be canceled. 

Students are advised to report to classes as scheduled and wait at least 15 minutes to determine whether their instructor will be teaching. Students may also contact their instructors in advance to determine whether classes will be taking place. Students will be responsible for all course content and assignments delivered during and subsequent to the negotiation period.

While contract talks continue, all university classes, support services, extracurricular activities and other operations will continue on their normal schedules.

The university regrets that this faculty union strike is taking place, particularly given that public sector strikes are illegal under Michigan law. The university’s negotiating team urges faculty to teach and requests that non-faculty employees urge faculty to do the same. 

This message will be updated as further information becomes available. 

Share this story