WSU Governors Okay Faculty Contract

March 21, 2013

The Wayne State University Board of Governors ratified a new eight-year contract with faculty Wednesday, amid threats of steep cuts in state funding. The vote was along party lines, with six Democrats voting in favor of the contract, and two Republicans voting against it. GOP lawmakers in Lansing have voted to cut funding to universities and school districts that approve long-term union contracts before Michigan's right-to-work law takes effect next week. The law will prohibit mandatory union membership and dues, but labor agreements in force before the law starts would be exempt until those contracts expire. Right-to-work supporters say the contracts violate the spirit of the law. Wayne State could lose $27 million this year. WDET's Pat Batcheller talked with State Board of Education President John Austin. The Democratic leader of the board says lawmakers should not retaliate against WSU or other schools that legally-negotiated contracts. Click on the audio link above to hear the conversation.