Drawn out ratification

Contract yet to be ratified with members

The Ferris Non-Tenure Track Faculty Organization (FNTFO) sent out a press release last week stating they reached a tentative agreement with the university.

The press release stated that on March 29, FNTFO were pleased to have made some strides in job security and annual salary increases. The members of FNTFO will be meeting with the general members to vote on ratification of the agreement.

Janice Van Eck, FNTFO president, said the group agreed with the university that this would be their contract and the members have to decide on it.

“We have to meet with the leadership first to go over it before we go over it with the membership,” Van Eck said. “We would like to finish it before the end of the semester.”

Van Eck said the members of FNTFO went into it looking for more job security, salary increases and benefits. The group has been present at FSU for over a year now. Members have been in discussion regarding an agreement with the university for 18 months.

Members of the organization have attempted to convince management that teaching at Ferris is a professional occupation that deserves professional compensation, according to a letter Van Eck sent out to members after news of the tentative agreement.

FNTFO has full-time members who have been working at FSU for five to 25 years. Van Eck said some of these members have no health insurance. She said the university has offered to let members purchase health insurance through their plan.

“We are planning on having a fundraiser for those employees in need,” Van Eck said, adding that health insurance is a “great expense.”

In the letter, Van Eck said members of FNTFO have proposed many other things, such as benefits for all full-time members, salary increases to put them on par with local high school teachers, the presumption of reappointment for all reasons other than low enrollment or documented poor performance along with multiple “more reasonable requests.”

If the contract is ratified, the FNTFO will gain conversion of about 30 semester positions to full year, full time, transparent reappointment process with state criteria and notification to union and member of reason for reappointment, length of service as tie breaker in layoff and recall, possibility of promotion to position with better security and benefits, grievance procedure, additional sick days and other leave time, raises of twp percent each year within the next three years and a $600 signing bonus for members who did not get a two percent increase this past year.