Higher Ed

Higher Education

MEA is proud to represent faculty and staff working at Michigan community colleges and universities, addressing the unique needs and challenges faced by employees in higher education.  The Michigan Association for Higher Education is MEA’s constituency group helping to ensure the voices of higher education members are heard in the organization as the union advocates for quality public education at all levels.

Higher Education News

Image of Paula Herbart, MEA President.
Whitmer’s bipartisan higher-ed budget can help Michigan lead the way

Michigan’s economic future hinges on our state’s ability to attract good jobs and investments — and no factor is more critical in that endeavor than having an educated and trained workforce. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recognizes that, and it’s reflected in the new state budget that passed last Friday with overwhelming bipartisan support. The quality of a state’s workforce is the…

Higher Ed Union Elevates Member Voices

The pressures of COVID have reinforced a belief long held by David Schneider, a Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) professor and the faculty union’s chief negotiator for 25 years: “Not everything needs to be negotiated for us to have a voice.” David Schneider Funding in three federal COVID-relief packages included tens of millions of dollars for Michigan colleges and universities,…

Why I Belong: Lansing Community College’s Eva Menefee

Eva Menefee says her interest in academic advising grew out of a bad experience she had as a young undergraduate student seeking guidance from an advisor. “I wanted to be an accountant, which at that time meant getting into the school of business. I can remember going to see the advisor, and he said, ‘People like you don’t become accountants.’…

Big Changes in Public Service Loan Forgiveness Announced

An overhaul of the broken federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) announced on Wednesday is meant to restore the promise made to educators and other public service employees who have suffered under the program’s 98% rejection rate. Changes include a limited one-year waiver that allows all payments by student borrowers to count toward PSLF, regardless of loan program or…

Education Funding Begins Legislative Movement

Tuesday marked the beginning of key legislative movement in the State Legislature on both distribution of much-needed federal COVID relief funding and the annual education budgets for the 2021-22 school year. Relief Funding The House passed HB 4421, which appropriated the remaining ESSER 2 ($841 million from December) and all the ESSER 3 ($3.3 billion from this spring’s American Rescue Plan)…

Gary Cooper
Ann Arbor ESP Member Walks his Talk in College and Second Career

MEA member Gary Cooper could have relaxed after retiring from a 30-year career as an autoworker at Ford Motor Co. Instead his upbringing eventually led the 64-year-old former UAW shop steward to a full-time role as a community assistant at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor. The support staff position requires him to wear “quite a few hats” and has…

Unionized employees file second unfair labor practice charge against NCMC

PETOSKEY — The North Central Michigan College Educational Support Professional Association (NCMC-ESP) today filed a second Unfair Labor Practice charge against NCMC for failing to bargain in good faith. The bargaining unit, composed of custodial, maintenance and office personnel, began its affiliation with the MEA following a successful union representation election in May 2018. Collective bargaining on the initial contract began…

Above and Beyond: Land Acknowledgments Start MEA, MAHE Meetings

For the past several months, members of MEA and MEA’s higher education branch – MAHE – have begun every meeting by reading a land acknowledgment, which is a formal statement “collectively acknowledging that we meet on the traditional lands served by the 12 tribes of Michigan, upon which those participating in this meeting reside and work.” Central Michigan University Professor…

LCC Equity Initiative: ‘A Game Changer’

After nearly a decade of equity work focused on improving student success and closing achievement gaps, Lansing Community College History Professor Jeff Janowick has some hard-fought wisdom to share. Some of it, the MEA member admits, may seem obvious. Jeff Janowick “The first thing we had to change as a department was our mindset,” Janowick said. “As teachers we often…

MEA files Unfair Labor Practice Charge against NCMC

East Lansing, MI — The North Central Michigan College Educational Support Professional Association (NCMC-ESP) today filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge against NCMC for failing to bargain in good faith.  The bargaining unit, composed of Custodial, Maintenance and Office personnel began affiliation with MEA following a successful union representation election in May 2018.  Collective bargaining on the initial contract began…

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