MSU agrees to pay adjunct faculty $67K in back wages

Source: Lansing State Journal

February 27, 2014

Matthew Miller

EAST LANSING — Michigan State University has agreed to pay more than $67,000 in back wages to its unionized adjunct professors.

The Union of Nontenure Track Faculty, which represents more than 500 fixed-term faculty members at MSU, had filed a grievance last spring over the raises given to its members in 2012 and 2013.

The union’s contract called for 2 percent average raises in both years. But, in totaling up what members actually received, the union found a significant shortfall in 2012 and a smaller one the following year.

“No one, I think, was intentionally doing anyone any harm,” said UNTF President Penny Gardner. It had more to do with the difficulties of implementing a common procedure across a large and decentralized university.

“We’re delighted that the university has seen that it’s a data thing and that we’re entitled to it,” she said.

James Nash, director of the university’s Office of Employee Relations, said the two sides had gone through “a good process.”

“We all agreed on the right thing to do at the end,” he said.

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