NMC Board of Trustees approves faculty contract

TRAVERSE CITY — The Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) Board of Trustees voted unanimously today to approve a new 34-month collective bargaining agreement with the NMC Faculty Association affiliates of the Michigan Education Association (MEA.)

Today’s vote comes after a 56-1 vote last week of the College’s 81 faculty members and a 3-0 vote by the four faculty chairs to accept a tentative agreement. Negotiating teams worked for 10 hours with a state mediator October 2 to reach the tentative agreement on all outstanding issues including salary and organizational flexibility.

“We are pleased to have an agreement that allows us to responsibly meet the needs of our students, faculty and taxpayers, while also giving us the ability to remain successful into the future,” said NMC Board Chair Chris Bott. “This has been our goal throughout the process and the Board appreciates the hard work of all those who have been dedicated to achieving it.” 

“We believe the contract continues to provide an excellent economic package for NMC Faculty and maintains the flexibility the College requires to be agile in an increasingly fast-changing and competitive environment, all while maintaining equity across the College's various employee groups and communities,” said NMC President Timothy J. Nelson. “This process is a lot of work, but the college has never shied away from hard work. It’s that perseverance, and the focus on our learners, that will ensure the success of this College for years to come.”

Social Sciences Instructor and NMC Faculty Association President Brandon Everest said, "the faculty look forward to being able to put their full focus on teaching and learning and on other exciting things to come for NMC."

Key sections of the contract include the following:

  • A 15-step salary plan that maintains the current 3.71% step increase for faculty moving along the plan. Under this agreement, Faculty will receive salary increases as follows:
    • October 2019 - scale movement of 2.50% with step increase of 3.71%
    • August 2020 - scale movement of 2.50% with step increase of 3.71%
    • August 2021 - scale movement of 2.00% with step increase of 3.71%
    • Once at the top of the scale (step 15), a Faculty member will receive only the scale increases.
  • A revised placement process that considers both education and relevant work experience for a starting faculty position.
  • Clearer faculty evaluation process.
  • Expires July 31, 2022.

Negotiating teams have been working toward this agreement since August 2018. The process included non-binding recommendations from a fact finder with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) in late August. The contracts expired December 31, 2018.

Release Date: October 14, 2019

For more information:

Diana Fairbanks
Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Communications
(231) 995-1019

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