Upcoming Events

Membership Council Meeting

The next Membership Council Meeting will be held via zoom on

November 12, 2021 at 4pm

RSVP here to receive the meeting link!

The Membership Council is the democratic body of the Union. At these meetings members receive reports from their elected officers, providing both advice and consent on matters facing the Union. In addition to officer and committee representative reports, during the November meeting we will discuss the following important items:

  • 2021 EMUFT Election Timeline proposal

  • Higher Learning Commission

  • Resolution on a Vote for No Confidence in Jim Smith.

Members may submit agenda items ahead of time by sending them to me at emuftpresident@gmail.com. Otherwise, members may add agenda items by motion during the Council meeting directly.

All members in the Union may participate with both voice and vote.

PTL & FTL Teaching Awards Submission

Awards season, with all of its glitz and glamour, is upon us – the Grammy Awards(!); the Oscars(!); the EMU-FT Lecturers Outstanding and Distinguished Teaching Awards! Each year, EMUFT and EMU jointly recognize up to seven EMU lecturers for their outstanding teaching; one full-time lecturer and six part-time lecturers (two from CAS, and one each from CHHS, COB, COE, and COT) are recognized with a plaque (and a monetary prize) during the University’s Distinguished Contributions Awards Ceremony during the University’s Week of Excellence. A lecturer may be nominated for consideration for one of these awards by any EMU administrator, faculty member, lecturer, or group of three students, or they may self-nominate. Nominate one of your lecturer colleagues or yourself. We all know you deserve the recognition!

Official “calls” for nominations for the awards will be coming from the Provost’s Office via e-mail with specific nomination criterion and guidelines sometime during the first week or two of November; please keep an eye out for each of those announcements. The nomination window will close in mid-January, giving nominators and nominees plenty of time to compile the required documentation for submission (but don’t wait until the last minute!). Winners will be announced by the Provost’s Office between February 1 and the Distinguished Contribution Awards Ceremony, which usually takes place near the end of March.

Not looking to be considered for one of these awards for this year, but would still like to have an opportunity to participate in recognizing the great work that EMU lecturers do? The EMU-FT Lecturers Distinguished Teaching Awards Review and Selection Committee could use your help! If you’re willing to volunteer some time during the last two weeks of January to evaluate nominees and selecting the lecturers to be recommended to the Provost’s Office as the winners, please contact Tony Kurek, EMU-FT Treasurer at emu-ft-treas@outlook.com.


Covid Impact Bargaining & Extended Sick Time for PTL

As many of you have probably heard or read, details about the Biden Administration's COVID vaccine mandate were released on November 4. These will also impact EMU. Despite HR's claim that the EMU administration is working with its "organized labor partners" (see email sent to all employees on November 5, 2021 by Chief HR Officer Brett Last) as of the publication of this newsletter EMUFT has not been contacted by the EMU Administration to discuss implementation of the vaccine mandate.

In fact, since entering into COVID Protocol Bargaining on August 3 of this year, regular contact with the Administration has been drastically curtailed from their end. The regularly scheduled weekly meetings EMUFT used to have with Academic HR have been completely suspended and the periodic meeting between Provost Longworth and EMUFT President Thorne originally scheduled for July has been postponed indefinitely.

Despite these efforts by the EMU Administration to limit our abilities to advocate our your behalf, the Covid Bargaining Team has made good progress on negotiating better COVID Sick Leave for PTLs. The current draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) proposes up to two weeks of paid sick leave for PTL infected with COVID as compared to the 3 days of regular sick leave.

Less progress has been made on notification. The EMU Administration's team steadfastly refuses to change the notification policy of COVID infections in the classroom. As of right now only those students who have been within 6ft for more than 15 min of the infected student will be notified. Instructors, who are generally in front of the classroom, so their argument, do not count as a close contact and therefore do not have to be notified. We will continue to push the administration to adopt safer policies regarding notification and to bring them into alignment with many other universities in their area. This remains a critical issue in light of the increasing infections in Michigan.

Respect Lecturers Campaign

Full-time Lecturers, you have one of the highest workloads in the state of Michigan for some of the lowest salaries in this area. At the same time, your ranks has been cut in half over the past couple years. (see October Newsletter)

Part-time Lecturers, many of you can barely make ends meet, yet full-time employment remains elusive at best . Some of you have never seen a pay raise because you were hired in at slighlty above base and pay raises are only applied to the base.

We have the unique opportunity to bargain for higher compensation for both Part-time and Full-time Lecturers at the same time next summer. EMU Administration does not prioritize bargaining with us despite heavily relying on our work to achieve its educational mission. Covid Bargaining has proven that again (see above). If we want the administration to take us seriously and not dismiss us and our concerns as they are wont to do, we need to be public and we need to be loud before we begin bargaining.

In the September Newsletter we highlighted the beginning of the Respect Lecturers Campaign. The first step of this campaign is a Signature Petition to be presented to President Smith and the Board of Regents at the April 21, 2022 Board of Regents Meeting. It will be paired with a March on Welsh Hall.

Your support for this petition is the first step to better wages. It is critically important that we have a majority of lecturers supporting this petition so we can show the Administration that they can no longer take advantage of cheap labor. We deserve better.

So far at least 50 of your colleagues have signed the petition. Will you join them and sign the petition. CLICK here for the petition.

Question and signed petitions can be directed to emuftvicepresident@gmail.com or emuft9102@gmail.com

If we don't stand up for ourselves, no one else will. Now is the time to do so!

School of Art and Design lecturers win concessions

In mid-October, Lecturers in the School of Art and Design learned the full scope of the workload, and the tight deadlines, being demanded of them for the School’s accreditation process currently underway. As steward, I questioned the extra-contractual, unpaid service work demanded of Lecturers. College of Arts and Sciences Dean Heller weighed in, saying that these duties were all part of “routine instructional duties.” EMUFT Grievance Officer Jeremy Proulx wrote to the Dean, firmly disputing this interpretation, and calling on the University to cease loading unpaid, extra-contractual work onto the backs of Lecturers.

I, along with steward Suzanne Boissy, met with School of Art Director Sandra Murchison and negotiated a reduced workload and a better timeline. The Lecturers were also given the option to offload much of the work onto the tenure-track faculty – who are paid for their service work. I believe Suzanne and I were able to achieve this because of the feedback and support from the School of Art Lecturers, and because EMUFT was there to both make the contractual case for us, and to provide the full support of our union. Together, I believe we were able to improve the working environment for our Lecturers.

Alan Potter

Full-Time Lecturer


School of Art and Design

Member Spotlights

Toni Jackson

Title: Full-Time Lecturer, Internship Coordinator, HASO Advisor

Years @ EMU: 3 years PTL / 4 years FTL - Total of 7 years

Why Did You Become an Educator? I enjoy educating the adult learner. When I was pursuing my master’s degree, I took notice to a lot of things that were being done to provide a positive learning environment and that, peaked my interest. My Mom was an educator and I use to help her prep for her classes. It was enjoyable creating methods to test the content that students were going to learn.

Favorite Class You Teach @ EMU: I actually enjoy all the classes, but if I had to choose, I would say 307 HLAD- Communication effectiveness in Health Administration. During this course, you help the student effectively learn how to speak as well as write. The student learns how to effectively use APA writing style. I have found ways through this course to make a subject that normally is not that exciting, enthusiastic. I have developed a final project based around the hit TV show, shark tank. Through this project they are able to display all the skills they learn in the course.

What Is Something You Enjoy About EMU? I enjoy the flexibility at EMU. Department leadership allows you to master your craft through experimentation with supervised guidance. Through this process you are allowed to develop, create and achieve higher learning practices. It becomes a win, win for everyone.

What Do You Do Outside of EMU? I am a real estate agent and I help guide my son through his process of entrepreneurship while developing his clothing company-313 Branded.

Surprising Facts About You: I like to visit restaurants and try new recipes

Vicki Paulisson

Title: Part-Time Lecturer

Years at EMU: 28 years

Why Did You Become An Educator? It was my love of chemistry that pushed me toward teaching. The schedule of a part-time lecturer was ideal while raising my children. I feel that teaching students to think critically is more crucial now than ever before.

Favorite Class You Teach @ EMU: Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry

What Is Something You Enjoy About EMU? Small class size, relaxed and accepting faculty members.

What Do You Do Outside of EMU? I am a member of two book clubs, the League of Women Voters of Washtenaw County, and the Chelsea Writer’s Group. I also enjoy hiking and photographing birds.

Surprising Facts About You:

I am working on writing a novel.

Engagement Toolkit

Join a Committee

EMUFT is a member-driven organization. This means that unlike many other unions, EMUFT is not a professionalized union. Instead, we all are the union. All of our voices are important to ensure the best working conditions and a thriving community of educators.

One way to make your voice heard is by joining a committee or subcommittee.

Your input is needed! Your insights and opinions matter! We all have unique skills, talents, ideas and experiences. By sharing these with your community through a committee, your can make a real difference!

Join an AFT Working Group

The AFT Michigan Administrative Board has created five working groups to help push forward our work in priority areas that have emerged from, and cut across, our Constituency Committees, and we are looking for members to add your expertise and passion to the groups (listed below, with target constituencies we will seek to involve):

  • Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline (All Constituencies)

  • Increasing the Number of Black Educators in Michigan (All Constituencies)

  • Support Staff-to-Teacher Pathways (PreK-12 Support Staff, Teachers, Special Ed/ISD)

  • Converting Part-time to Full-time Faculty (Nontenure-Track Faculty, Tenure-Track Faculty)

  • New Deal for Higher Ed: Fighting Back Against Austerity Budgeting (Grads, Nontenure-Track Faculty, Tenure-Track Faculty & Academic Staff)

Each group will begin with an Assessment Phase before moving toward recommending action steps to the AFT Michigan Administrative Board. Time commitments are flexible and will vary depending on the project and timeline.

Click here for descriptions of each group's scope and sign-up forms.

Know Your Benefits

Did you know EMU offers many perks & discounts to employees? You could save money on a new car or take advantage of estate planning services. You could enroll in fitness classes or get a discount on your mobile phone plan. Want to get paid to live in Ypsilanti where you work? EMU offers a homebuyer program to EMU employees. There is a long list of discounts just waiting for you. Check out this link today!

Know Your Contract

Did you know that the way part-time lecturers are appointed to and retain their positions went through a dramatic change in 2020? The new appointment structure creates more job stability for lecturers by ensuring that available courses are offered to EMU’s large pool of experienced and highly qualified lecturers before any new lecturers are hired.

In preparation for the upcoming Winter semester, be sure you are familiar with your rank and how course appointments are made.

Below is a basic description of how the new rankings work. If you have any questions about these rankings, please do not hesitate to get in touch: emuftgrievance@gmail.com

Part-Time Lecturer Appointments

There are now three ranks to which a Part-Time Lecturer can be appointed:

PTL 1: All new hires begin at the PTL 1 rank. PTL 1s have priority for available courses before the university is able to hire any new lecturers. After 6 semesters as a PTL 1, lecturers are automatically promoted to PTL 2.

PTL 2: After teaching for 6 semesters as a PTL 1, a lecturer is automatically promoted to PTL 2, conditional upon meeting job performance expectations. PTL 2s are guaranteed at least 1 course in both the Fall and the Winter and are given a full-year contract. PTL 2s are given priority of assignment for available courses over PTL 1s.

PTL 3: After teaching for 6 semesters as a PTL 2, a lecturer is automatically promoted to PTL 3, conditional upon meeting job performance expectations. Once at the PTL 3 level, lectures have priority of assignment for available courses over all other lecturers. All PTL 3s are appointed to full-year contracts. There are three levels within the PTL3 rank to which PTL3s may be appointed, depending on the number of courses they typically teach in a year. Any additional courses beyond the minimums are assigned to qualified PTL 3s before PTL 2s.

PTL 3L: at the PTL 3L level, lectures are guaranteed at least 1 course in each of the Fall and Winter semesters.

PTL 3M: at the PTL 3M level, lecturers are guaranteed at least 3 courses in the Fall and 2 courses in the Winter.

PTL 3H: at the PTL 3H level, lecturers are guaranteed at least 4 courses in the Fall and 3 courses in the Winter.

Full-Time Lecturer Appointments

Full-Time Lectures are appointed to one of three ranks, based on their credentials:

Lecturer 1: Masters degree or a Bachelors plus 30 hours towards a graduate degree in a disciple directly related to the Employee’s teaching assignment.

Lecturer 2: Masters degree plus 30 hours towards a terminal degree.

Lecturer 3: A doctorate or equivalent terminal degree

Full-Time Lecturers are given 1-year appointments until they have completed two consecutive years of full-time employment.

Following 2 years of full-time employment, a ‘presumption of rehire’ shall take effect and Full-Time Lecturers are given a three-year appointment. A ‘presumption of rehire’ means that Full-Time Lectures can presume that they will be reappointed to another consecutive three-year appointment. EMU must provide notice of such reappointment by December 10th of the year prior to the beginning of the reappointment. If you are not notified of this reappointment in a timely manner, you can safely assume reappointment to another three-years so long as there is a sufficient amount of work.