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Judge rejects EMU's request for temporary injunction against striking professors

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A circuit court judge Friday rejected Eastern Michigan University’s request for a temporary injunction to force striking faculty members back to the classroom.

EMU requested the temporary injunction after more than 500 professors went on strike earlier this week.

A university spokesman expressed disappointment in the judge’s decision.

“As we've stated from the outset, our primary concern in filing this action was to get our students back in the classroom while negotiations continue,” said Walter Kraft, EMU spokesman.

A faculty union leader welcomed the judge’s decision to deny the temporary injunction.

“Now that their unsupported claim for a temporary restraining order to force EMU faculty back to work has failed, it’s time to focus on good faith negotiations so we can reach a fair agreement that supports our students,” said Mohamed El-Sayed, professor of engineering at EMU and president of EMU-AAUP.

Before hitting the picket line, the faculty union had been working without a contract since August 31 when its old contract expired. The two sides remain at odds over pay and health care benefits.

The denial of the temporary injunction is not the end of the court fight.

Washtenaw County Circuit Court Judge Carol Kuhnke did schedule a hearing for next week on EMU’s injunction request.