Members of the faculty union at Eastern Michigan University voted overwhelmingly to go on strike beginning Wednesday after working without a contract since Aug. 7.
Members of school’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors voted 91% in favor Tuesday of authorizing the strike by more than 500 tenured and tenure-track faculty.
“It’s truly unfortunate that the EMU administration’s failure at the bargaining table will cause delay and disruption for our students,” Mohamed El-Sayed, a professor of engineering and president of the union chapter, said in a news release.
Talks were scheduled to resume Wednesday after breaking off over the weekend. Both sides said they would be at the bargaining table Wednesday morning.
School administrators said before the vote that they planned to continue classes during a strike.
“In addition to mediation, the university has filed for state-appointed independent fact finding in a further effort to reach a solution with the union,” university spokesman Walter Kraft said.
The biggest differences between the two sides appeared to be in salary and health care, with the administration proposing an increase in health care costs for faculty members. The union proposed a smaller increase.
Eastern’s faculty last struck in 2006 for two weeks.
Full-time EMU faculty earned $101,300 on average in salary and health care benefits between 2021 and 2022, documents released by the administration Monday showed. Associate professors earned made $85,600 and assistant professors made $74,000.