Court restores first amendment rights to CMU faculty

Mt. Pleasant, Mich., Aug. 26, 2011 - CMU faculty’s first amendment rights were restored today by Judge Paul H. Chamberlain after the university filed an injunction to end the FA’s work stoppage on Monday.

“This is a win for the faculty and the students at CMU,” said Laura Frey, CMU FA President. “We had our day in court, and thanks to the insight and fairness of Judge Chamberlain, we prevailed.”

While Chamberlain enjoined the faculty from a work stoppage, he did reinstate contract provisions denied by the university when they refused to extend the previous contract which expired June 30.

In their filing for an injunction, the university not only barred the faculty from a work stoppage, they also prevented them from any mass picketing—a first amendment right. The faculty obeyed the order, but CMU students and faculty from Ferris State University took up the cause for them.

“Frey said, “The outpouring of support for the faculty has been amazing. CMU students have stood with us all the way, so this is a win for them too. We’ve also gotten encouragement from faculty on other campuses and from out of state.”

Next, the two sides are headed to fact-finding on Sept. 7, 9 and 13. The Michigan Employment Relations Commission named Barry Goldman as the fact-finder.

The court will revisit the issues 20 days after the filing of the fact-finder’s report.