During its regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, Feb. 22, the Ferris State University Board of Trustees was presented with the results of a ratification vote by the Ferris Faculty Association on a proposed contract extension. After taking this under advisement, the Board voted not to ratify the proposal and issued the following statement:
The FFA first put forward a proposal to extend the current collective bargaining agreement by two years during the Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 15, 2012. The University and the FFA subsequently discussed ways in which the existing contract might be amended.
The resulting proposal would have required Ferris faculty members to remain dues-paying members of the FFA.
Faced with ratifying a proposal that included extending the union security clause, and with concerns about possible financial consequences, the Board felt that it should comply with the spirit of the new law. The university informed the leadership of the FFA in early February that the board would not support a proposal limiting faculty rights. The FFA chose to move forward with a ratification vote.
In describing the action of the Board of Trustees, Chairman Gary Granger said, “The Board considered this proposal very carefully. A compelling factor was a desire to follow newly passed legislation. Further, in the timeframe available to us, we could not determine the potential financial consequences of accepting this proposal. This is an unacceptable risk for our university, its faculty, staff and students.”
The current contract between the University and the FFA runs through June 30, 2013. The University is committed to reaching a fair and equitable contract agreement before that date.