More than a year after their contract expired, faculty union leaders have reached a tentative agreement with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system.
Although no details have been released publicly, the Inter Faculty Organization, which represents some 4,000 faculty members at seven Minnesota state universities, posted a note on its website telling members: "We think you're going to like it."
The agreement, if approved, would cap a contentious year of negotiations between the faculty union and MnSCU, the umbrella organization for all two-year and four-year state colleges other than the University of Minnesota.
Just last month, faculty union leaders were threatening a vote of no confidence in the chancellor, Steven Rosenstone, in part because of their frustration over a lack of progress in the contract talks.
On Tuesday, the union announced a breakthrough, after months of negotiations with a federal mediator.
"Obviously, I'm happy that we have a settlement," said Jim Grabowska, the union president and a foreign language professor at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
He said the details would be shared with members in the coming days.
Chancellor Rosenstone issued a brief statement Wednesday saying he was pleased to announce a settlement and thanking Grabowska and his negotiating team for their efforts.
To take effect, the agreement must be approved by a majority of the union's members and a majority of the seven campuses, Grabowska said. The voting details are still being worked out.
In June, MnSCU reached a contract agreement with its other faculty union, the Minnesota State College Faculty, which represents more than 5,000 instructors at the state's two-year colleges. Both union contracts had expired in June 2013.