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Union of Non-Tenure Track Faculty will vote on a new contract agreement with MSU

Posted at 11:40 AM, May 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-30 11:40:04-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Union of Non-Tenure Track Faculty and Michigan State University have negotiated a new contract for the next four years.

The agreement hasn't yet been ratified by union members, however.

"It is a historic win. This will be our fourth contract," said Kate Birdsall, president of union.

MSU spokesperson Dan Olsen said in a statement that, "We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the leadership of the Union for Non-Tenure Faculty that underscores the university's commitment to faculty success — a key principle of the MSU 2030 Strategic Plan."

Birdsall sai dthe union went in with goals largely determined by its members, among them fair salaries, annual raises, job security and a pathway to promotion.

"We do a whole lot of the undergraduate teaching at the university, and we believe in the university's mission to provide a world class education, and we believe that we are the world class faculty MSU talks about," Birdsall said.

The UNTF and MSU agreed on a 3.5 percent increase for all union members and an increase in the minimum amount they can be paid.

"There's a salary increase for everyone at all ranks. But in addition to that salary increase at the rank of instructor, we were able to negotiate a pathway for them to be promoted to senior instructor and that is brand new in this contract," she said.

Birdsall said they also negotiated a memorandum of understanding that says they want to be treated with the same respect as tenure-stream faculty, whether it is being put on the same website or not having to put on email signatures that they are non-tenure-track faculty.

"The memorandum of understanding is an agreement that, that I and others on my team will work with MSU to make sure that UNTF members won't be distinguished in a disparaging way from our very valuable colleagues in the research system," said Birdsall.

UNTF members will vote on the agreement on June 7 and hope to give the university a decision by June 8.

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