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MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (WOOD) - An Isabella County judge has ordered Central Michigan University faculty members participating in a work stoppage to end their walkout.
The order Monday could at least temporarily end a work stoppage by tenure system faculty that affected the first day of fall semester classes.
Members of the Central Michigan University Faculty Association were on the picket line as part of what they're calling a work stoppage. Central Michigan's administration called it an illegal strike and headed to court to end it.
Isabella County Circuit Judge Mark Duthie signed a temporary order for Judge Paul Chamberlain ending the walkout. A hearing is set for Friday.
"We are pleased Judge Chamberlain has granted the university's request for a temporary restraining order," officials with CMU said in a written release. "We expect that all faculty members will comply with the judge's order immediately so the university can resume normal operations and we can provide the high quality of education our students expect and deserve. Judge Chamberlain has scheduled a hearing on an order to show cause why the TRO should not be continued at 9 a.m. Friday."
The faculty association has about 600 members. The Mount Pleasant school says classes taught by fixed-term faculty and graduate assistants are taking place as scheduled Monday.
Members of the Central Michigan University Faculty Association went to the picket line Monday morning in Mount Pleasant as part of a work stoppage.
Michigan Education Association spokeswoman Rosemary Carey is working with the CMU Faculty Association. She tells The Associated Press that tenured faculty members began the action following what the union says is bad-faith bargaining by the school.
CMU late Monday morning filed that injunction against the faculty association, saying the strike is illegal.
CMUFA president Laura Frey said it is a "legal work stoppage…based on unfair labor practices."
George Ross, CMU president, says the administration is open to negotiations, saying it was the faculty association that walked away, not the administration. He says even the state mediator said it was time to break away from talks, because the two sides were not coming to an agreement.
Ross was very passionate during a news conference on Monday, saying the students are the ones who are most hurt by this work stoppage. He said the students are supposed to be protected by both the faculty association and administration.
Some students said they went to class on Monday but nobody was there to teach them. Others said graduate assistants taught some classes.
The majority of non-tenured teachers and graduate assistants showed up to teach on Monday, and many tenured teachers even showed up to teach.
The professors have been without a contract since June 30.
The Associated Press contributed to this story
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