Friday held a decision that was not welcomed by the Ferris Faculty Association (FFA), as the Board of Trustees shot down a proposal that would extend their contracts for another five years and circumvent the new Right to Work that was recently passed in a lame-duck session in the Michigan congress.
In a memorandum from Ferris President David Eisler, he states that the FFA and the Board of Trustees have been in negotiations since December of last year. The polarizing political atmosphere lead to the eventual disintegration of the bargaining all together due to pressure put on the university at the state level by congress threatening to cut funding to universities that ratified contracts that would delay Right to Work effects.
In the memorandum, Eisler said, “Both the Board of Trustees and I felt that, ultimately, risking millions of dollars of funding or further sanctions was an unacceptable level of risk.”
The Big Rapid’s Pioneer Online wrote in response, “Gov. Rick Snyder frequently corrects critics of the law, recasting it as ‘freedom to work’ for those who don’t want to financially support their union. aOne can certainly look at it that way. However, taking away the university’s ‘freedom’ to negotiate with professors exposes it for what it is—government-funded union busting.”
The board met with the FFA in early February to expound their new stance on the extension of the union security clause and nonsupport.
The current FFA contract ends June 30, leaving the 420 members’ positions and union stances up in the air until then. The exiguousness of a contract will surely lead to further negotiations before the contract’s termination. However, the effects of a new contract will no doubt be heard and felt by both the FFA and the Ferris students, as they wonder whether or not their favorite teachers will be back