MSU reaches tentative accord with unions

Michigan State University has reached a tentative agreement with its nine labor unions. The details of the plan are being withheld pending ratification. The new four-year contract covers some 5,700 support staff on campus. The talks focused specifically on wages and health care costs.

Wayne Cass chairs the Coalition of Labor Organizations at MSU. He believes both sides responsibly addressed the economic pressures on the university. But Cass admits everyone walked away from the table wishing for a better situation.

"But we are in agreement that in meeting our obligations to preserve the economic viability of the institution and having the employees be part of that, but still be able to maintain their own standards of living .I think we hit the right balance and we did the right thing for everybody," he says.

The nine individual unions must now ratify the agreement. Cass says the coalition hopes to render a final collective judgment on the deal by the end of February.