News, Culture and NPR for Central & Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
91.7FM Alpena and WCML-TV Channel 6 Alpena are off the air. Click here to learn more.

EMU faculty strike enters second day as educators face lawsuit from administration

King Hall
Eastern Michigan University / Emich.Edu
King Hall

The strike by the faculty at Eastern Michigan University is in its second day as of Thursday, September 8. Educators have been picketing on EMU’s campus as their union is facing a lawsuit from the administration that could force them to go back to work.

Outside of Welch Hall across the street from the Ypsilanti Water Tower, dozens of members of the EMU American Association of University Professors picketed. There was a steady stream of chanting and very animated people like biology professor Jonathan Hall, who's trying to get passing cars to show their support by honking their horns. Hall says he wasn’t surprised by the lawsuit.

“You know the times that we’re living in, I think it’s both shocking and not that those who are in power, those are the people who are writing the checks continue to try to take power away from those who have less of it.”

Hall says if a court ruling sends him back into the classroom, he will trust union leadership.

“The faculty are united in doing everything that we can to fight for a fair contract, so whether or not that means united defying the ruling, I don’t even know if that’s legal, you know, our legal team will inform us of that.”

The administration is calling the strike illegal. They filed a suit with the Washtenaw County Circuit Court Wednesday, arguing its teachers are public employees and not allowed to strike. The EMU AAUP, who have been without a contract since August 31st, says the strike will be settled at the bargaining table, not a courtroom.