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Part-time instructors union at Western Michigan University calls off rally after reaching contract agreement with the university

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The part-time instructors’ union at Western Michigan University says it called off a rally on campus Thursday, Aug 26, after reaching an agreement on its contract.

The Professional Instructors Organization says Western asked the union to cancel the protest, which would have coincided with students moving in. In exchange the university agreed to start giving one-time payments of $50 to longtime instructors.

PIO president Jasmine LaBine says it’s a start, as the union seeks better pay for adjuncts who’ve taught at Western for years, and have gained what’s known as “Instructor II” status.

“It was less about the dollar amount and more about getting something secured in our contract that we can build on in the future," LaBine said. "We really fought hard for a more secure recognition of [the "Instructor II" status]."

The contract still has to be approved by the PIO’s members. If members approve it, the contract will run for four years but wage talks will resume in two years.

“We’re confident that in 2023, when we go back to the table to renegotiate wages that we will have something more concrete to build on that legitimizes that status," LaBine said.

The university did not immediately return a request for comment.