NMC requests MERC fact finding to advance union negotiations

TRAVERSE CITY — In an effort to advance negotiations with the Michigan Education Association (MEA), Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) petitioned the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) for a fact finding analysis. NMC made the request following an August 5 mediated collective bargaining session where members of NMC and MEA union bargaining teams met to discuss outstanding contract issues.

Fact finding allows a neutral, state-appointed representative to create a non-binding report on the remaining disputes.

NMC requested that MERC initiate the fact finding process because faculty bargaining representatives have advised the college that the bargaining unit members will likely reject its last proposal.

In the Petition for Fact Finding, NMC states: “Publicizing the facts and recommendations of the fact finder will assist the parties in attempting to find common ground.”

The NMC administration looks forward to the report.

Status of NMC-MEA Negotiations

NMC’s request for fact finding follows the college’s March 21, 2016 request for state-appointed mediation. Since the faculty voted to unionize in March 2015, NMC has:

  • Presented numerous written proposals and counter proposals for the union’s consideration, the first on June 12, 2015 and most recently, a comprehensive proposal and set of tentative agreements on July 29, 2016.
  • Followed established negotiating practices, engaging in 17 collective bargaining sessions with union negotiators between May 15, 2015 and March 7, 2016.
  • Requested mediation through MERC on March 7, 2016.
  • Participated in seven sessions with the appointed MERC mediator between March 22 and August 5, 2016.
  • Reached 18 tentative agreements with the union.

Release Date: August 8, 2016

For More Information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
(231) 995-1019
dfairbanks@nmc.edu

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