TRAVERSE CITY — The Northwestern Michigan College Faculty and Faculty Chair associations voted 56-1 on Tuesday to ratify a contract that has been in the works for more than a year.
The faculty and administration bargaining teams came to an agreement last week after meeting with a state mediator for about 10 hours.
The NMC Board of Trustees will vote on the proposed contract at a special meeting scheduled for Monday. The time and place for that meeting are not yet set.
“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,” Faculty Association President Brandon Everest said in a press release.
The contract is the culmination of a process that had both sides meeting in June with a fact-finder from the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. The fact-finder was requested by NMC after negotiations reached a stalemate.
Mark Liebling, associate vice president of human resources, said the agreement achieves the goal of a contract that supports faculty and is responsible to students and taxpayers.
The details of the agreement have not been made public and will be available once the contract has been approved by the NMC board.
The biggest roadblock to a settlement was salaries, with faculty asking for 4 percent raises for each of the three years of the contract and the administration countering with increases ranging from 1.14 percent to 2 percent.
The fact-finder recommended raises of 2 percent, 2.5 percent and 3 percent over three years on steps 6-20 of the 20-year faculty salary plan. Those amounts are in addition to 3.7 percent annual step raises faculty get on the salary plan.
The fact-finder’s recommendations were non-binding.
The contract expired in December; negotiations have been ongoing since Sept. 2018.