University of Detroit Mercy faculty asking for help from fellow MEA members

The members of the University of Detroit Mercy Professors Association are asking for help from their fellow MEA members from across the state — particularly those who are UDM alumni — to demand the university’s administration settle a new contract with its faculty.

Despite ongoing negotiations between administrators and faculty, UDM administrators have notified the faculty union that it would unilaterally terminate or modify its contract on Sept. 24 — a heavy-handed move that could have serious consequences for students and educators at the Jesuit & Mercy university.

The University of Detroit Mercy Professors Union and UDM administrators have been in contract negotiations for nearly a year and have reached agreement on 96 percent of the issues before them. However, the two sides are apart on wage increases and retirement benefits.

The UDM administration seeks to lower the professors’ benefits and wage package, which would make it harder to attract and retain qualified faculty.  The professors’ benefits and wages are already lower than competing local universities and many Jesuit institutions.  Lowering them further would make it harder to hire and keep top-notch faculty.

Please contact UDM President Antoine Garibaldi at 313-993-1455 or email him at garibaldi@udmercy.edu and John Lewis, chairman of UDM’s Board of Trustees, at jlewis@donnellypenman.com.

Tell them you support UDM professors and that you want them to protect the quality of education that is expected from the University of Detroit Mercy.  Demand that Garibaldi and Lewis to do the right thing and settle the contract with UDM’s hard-working faculty.

Please send a copy of your letter of support to Prasad Venugopal, president of UDMPA, at redphyx@yahoo.com.