Thank you for giving me the time to speak. The WMU-AAUP is a faculty voice that is not always easy to hear. I understand that it may seem that we are constantly identifying problems, but it is our duty to protect the contractual agreement signed between the BOT, the administration and our faculty appointed by the board of directors. In this way, it creates a safe place where we can challenge each other and ultimately have a stronger institution. The university administration and representatives of the Western Branch of the American Association of University Professors reached a provisional agreement on the contract on May 17, according to the press release, and union members ratified the contract on May 21. The UMM announced on April 30 that it would put at last40 employees of one of its unions and implement wage reductions of 2.5% for all eligible employees who do not bargain. Here, too, I appreciate the opportunity to share this message of bargaining unity. The challenge facing the UMM-AAUP is to encourage the administration to recognize the precarious position of these people. We believe that boT and WMU administrations believe in common governance and academic freedom.
Providing the path to the mandate provided in the 2017-2020 agreement will allow these individuals to fully participate, contribute to and improve our university. The union urges the administration to work with faculty to address the reality that it is time to give our consultants the support they need to fully support our students. Mark said it well when he said, “We need to take care of the people who care about our students.” In the short time available to me for my speech, I would like to raise an important concern. In a meaningful discussion with President Montgomery last week, UMM-AAUP Vice President Mark St. Martin and I expressed concern about the current state of the need for student counselling and transparency between administration and the university community as a whole. I can talk more about the transparency discourse at a later stage; Right now, I`m focusing on mental health and counselling needs. Professors` salaries would be reduced by 2.25% as of July 1 and maintained until June 30, 2021, according to the recommendation. Ratification of the contract does not alter the benefits of the health care plan, which are available to the approximately 900 members of the union. Held by the President of the UMM-AAUP Prof. Carol Weideman13 December 2019 Currently, we are experiencing a crisis in which the majority of consultants are on appointments defined as “appointments are one year and are renewable annually for a number of five (5) consecutive years”. With the support of mental health, the foundation of the Think Big initiative, we are increasing the need for stability in the Faculty of Counselling Services. It is well known that employees who are at risk of losing their jobs have a higher perception of stress, anxiety, depression and negative feelings, as well as lower levels of positive feelings, compared to employees who are not at risk of losing their jobs.
People in situations of job insecurity also feel less sheltered and less connected to the labour force. This is what many of our consultants face every year. A strong team of tenure-track consultants who don`t have to worry all the time about whether or not they have a job next year that can and should provide students with consistent mental health treatment throughout their academic career is what sets us apart and should. .
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