A couple weeks ago, I blogged about the lecturer’s negotiations and how paying for a portion of health insurance was figuring into the formula. This morning, Howard Bunsis, who is the president of the faculty union (the EMU-AAUP), emailed faculty and told us some of the basics of the deal the lecturer’s ended up with:
- In a five year deal, the lecturer’s will get 3.2% in the first year and 2.0% for each year after that; and
- Lecturers will have to pay up to $1,500 a year for insurance– half that if they are single, if they don’t use the insurance much, etc.
Bunsis concludes that this means that the lecturers actually negotiated a contract where they ended up with a pay-cut. How much of a pay-cut I supposed depends on how a particular lecturer uses (or doesn’t use) the insurance and how much they get paid. But for single folks who get paid around $32K a year, I think they end up with a slight raise the first year and they “break even” for the other four years of the contract. Regardless of the exact numbers, this is not exactly good news.
Now, Bunsis said that there’s no way that the faculty union at EMU would ever accept a contract that resulted in a pay-cut, and I think this is true. If the administration at EMU tried to make the same deal with the faculty that they (apparently) just made with the lecturers, I’m pretty sure that faculty would strike. And I should point out that our faculty union is not one of these “we’re going to work without a contract” sorta unions. Since I came here in ’98, we’ve been on strike twice: once for a week (more or less), and once for about 7 hours.
Of course, one of the reasons the administration made the deal they did with the lecturers is because they could. Simply put, the lecturer’s union doesn’t have the same kind of numbers of members as the faculty union.
But while I admire Bunsis’ committment to a contract where faculty don’t pay for health care, it’s pretty clear to me that this is inevitable that we’re going to paying something for insurance soon.