Oakland University, professors reach deal for new contract; classes resume

The Detroit News

The start of Labor Day weekend brought a labor agreement between Oakland University and its professors, ending a two-day strike. 

On Saturday morning, the OU chapter of the American Association of University Professors and university negotiators announced they had reached a new contract, which means classes will start immediately at OU. 

Negotiations had continued through Friday night as issues remained, the union representing faculty said.

Striking faculty members work the picket line in front of the main entrance at Oakland University on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021.

"Oakland University and its faculty, through their union, restate their commitment to offering our students a superior educational experience by focusing our collective energies on engaging in what we value most — serving our students and facilitating their success," according to a joint statement from the union and university negotiators.

The two sides agreed to do whatever they can to make up for the delays in teaching since the strike began Thursday. 

"The faculty will undertake all feasible measures to assure that full course content and learning objectives are delivered to their students, and that all requirements for credits and program accreditations are satisfied," the statement said. 

If they have not done so already, instructors are expected to "promptly engage with students," the release said, "with respect to course expectations, syllabi, assignments for this weekend (if applicable) and the coming week, clinical programming, orientations, and other appropriate interventions."

The strike began Thursday, the first day of classes, after the union representing 880 of the school's faculty members and university officials and mediators failed to reach a contract before the semester started. The contract expired Wednesday night.

Among the sticking points in negotiations were compensation for full- and part-time faculty and health care, wages and job security for 250 part-time faculty, union leader Karen Miller said.

►Read moreTalks in Oakland University faculty labor dispute expected to last through Friday night, union says