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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Central Michigan University staff strike, halted after 24 hours on judge's order

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A Isabella County judge, responding to a request from Central Michigan University administrators, have temporary forced 600-plus CMU teachers and facility union back to work, less than 24 hours after initial calls for striking the higher educational institution the Detroit Free Press reported.

Faculty said they would comply and teach classes until Friday, August 26th when the judge has scheduled a hearing Friday to determine legality of the strike.

At issue is state Public Act 337 of 1947 that prohibits state employees from striking for economic reasons. The union, seeking a pay raise for later this year, cited the strike was legal because it's alleging unfair bargaining by the administration.

CMU President George Ross stated repeatedly at a August 22nd, news conference that the union of tenured faculty was violating the law, the Detroit Free Press noted.

The judge's order capped a day of striking at CMU campus which included hundreds faculties and students following President Ross as he walked to his office. They chanted loudly, over and over, "Negotiate now", as Ross ignored their chats.

CMU administration wants to freeze pay for the entire school year and to have faculty contribute up to 20% to the premium cost of health benefits. In turn, the union wants a pay raise later this school year.
"This (ruling) does not end the issue," Faculty Association President Laura Frey said in a statement. "The faculty remains strong and committed to securing a fair and equitable contract for members."
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