Bernhard Center

The Bernhard Center on a sunny afternoon.

Western Michigan University Board of Trustees will convene to finalize financial items for the 2022-2023 fiscal year including tuition and student living rates, union labor agreements and presidential retention during their regular meeting Thursday, June 23 at 11 a.m. in the Bernhard Center, rooms 157-159.

The board will consider the general fund budget, specifics of which have not yet been released. This item will include compensation, academic tenure and promotion and labor agreements with the Teaching Assistants Union (TAU) and the Police Officers Association (POA).

The proposed resolution for the TAU labor agreement has been under discussion since March 2022. The new four-year agreement will include wage increases set at 2.5% for the first year, 2.25% for the second year and 2% for the last two years of the agreement. The agreement also includes higher bonus payments for bargaining members and TAs returning to a previous appointment as well as clarification on substitution hours and provision of duties. TAU ratified the agreement on Tuesday, June 21.

The POA labor agreement will be a five-year contract beginning July 1, 2022. The contract will include wage increases of 3.25% in the first year, 3% in the second year, 2.5% in the third and fourth years and 2% in the final year of the agreement. Additional adjustments are to be made to detective wages. The POA will also continue to receive the same health insurance plan as the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) while paying the same employee share of premiums. The POA ratified the tentative agreement on Monday, June 20.

Information relating to several other action items, such as tuition rates, room and board rates and presidential retention, has not been made available prior to the meeting. 

WMU community members speculated about the presidential retention action item and expressed their thoughts on social media leading up to the meeting.

“Why so little respect for faculty, staff, students & alumni?” wrote user @SaveWMU on Twitter. “Board of trustees keeps defending & protecting @Pres_Montgomery despite his atrocious performance on the faculty senate eval, faculty union no-confidence vote, DISASTROUS scores on employee engagement survey.”

WMU President Edward Montgomery has faced scrutiny from university faculty and community members, including a vote of no-confidence from the WMU-AAUP in December, 2021, for low enrollment, the rebrand and budget cuts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Montgomery’s contract was last extended through June 30, 2025 in December 2019.

The meeting will be open to the public and available to watch via livestream on YouTube.

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