Ferris State, faculty negotiating labor deal – classes start Monday

Image courtesy: Ferris.edu

BIG RAPIDS, Mich.  – Fall classes start Monday at Ferris State University, and bargainers for the university and Ferris Faculty Association are trying to hammer out an agreement before then.

The two sides began labor negotiations in May, and resumed Wednesday with the assistance of State Mediator Fred Vocino. In a news release, the university says the talks have focused primarily on economic issues, with the FFA seeking pay hikes of 6 percent annually over the next three years. The prior pact expired June 30.

FSU says it’s offered pay raises of 1.5 percent for each of the next five years, plus annual “supplemental market adjustments” totaling $300,000 per year – for an an average total compensation package exceeding 2.25 percent per year.

University bargainers say tuition, room and board need to be “competitive”, because the FSU student debt load is “among the highest in the state for public universities.”

The FFA has sought 6-percent annual hikes, according to the university, which says that would result in tuition rising by about 12 percent, or $1,560.

“This is obviously a burden we cannot ask our students to bear,” says University Budget Director Sally DePew.

FSU’s director of Labor Relations, Steve Stratton, adds: “With the projected decline in high school graduates, the market is tightening. Universities are being forced to adjust staffing and budgets to keep higher education affordable for students and their families.”

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1 Comment

  • David

    First society slowly villainized the public school teacher and over time fewer and fewer people wanted to become teachers, and now the shortage of good qualified teachers is becoming very apparent and complaints about the quality of our public school systems are far more common than they should be. Now it appears it’s time to start blaming the cost of higher education on college professors.

    As a parent I know and understand that education comes at a price, but why is it every time it comes to making sure good qualified teachers are retained and recruited, the cost of that must fall on the students? From where I’m sitting I see Far too many administrators and administrative assistants. Perhaps they should be looking in those offices where the person behind the desk has the six-figure salary to make cuts. Why so many administrators??? Maybe legislators should stop making more and more unnecessary rules and regulations regarding education that bog down the system and require that so many administrators sit in offices and try to make sure these new rules are followed.

    The education system as a whole needs some major overhauling.