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September 04, 2018 - Image 19

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The Michigan Daily

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The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Fall 2018 — 3C

After three days of electronic
balloting and five membership
events spread out across the three
contract, the Lecturers’ Employee
Organization voted to ratify a new
labor agreement with the University
on July 13.
Ninety eight percent of LEO
members voted in favor of the new
contract which will raise wages,
improve healthcare and boost job
security for lecturers across the
three campuses. The contract was
reached and presented to the union
members for a vote following months
University. LEO represents a union
of more than 1,700 lecturers who
collectively teach tens of thousands
of students at the Ann Arbor,
Dearborn and Flint campuses.
“This agreement is a result
of months of hard work at the
bargaining table – and much more,”
LEO Vice President Kirsten Herold,
a lecturer at the U-M School of
Public Health and manager of the
LEO bargaining team, said in LEO’s
official statement. “We organized.
We marched. We rallied. We
lobbied. And we built a coalition
that includes students, tenure-track
faculty, union members on and off
the campus, elected officials and
community allies.”
LEO’s previous contract expired
on May 29. Since the beginning of
the last academic year, LEO has been
pushing for higher wages, improved
healthcare and greater equity of
resources across the three U-M
Under the new contract, as of
September current lecturers will
receive annual base pay raises
ranging from $3,000 to $12,500,
depending on the length of each

make over $80,000 will receive a
combination of base increases and
lump-sum payments.
By September 2020 the minimum
salary at which the University can
hire lecturers will increase at each
campus. In Ann Arbor, the base
salary will increase by 47.8 percent
from $34,500 to $51,000. In Flint
there will be a 50.2 percent increase
from $27,300 to $41,000. Finally, in
Dearborn, the starting salary will
go from $28,300 to $41,000, a 44.9
percent increase.
LEO President Ian Robinson said
the new contract represents not only
a shift in the University’s treatment
of lecturers but also in its perception
of lecturers.
“I would say that this is a real
paradigm shift for our relationship
with the University of Michigan,”
Robinson said. “We really have
livelihoods of many, many of our
poorly paid but many were and
most of those now are at a living
wage and the kind of wage that is
more appropriate for a professional
making a career teaching at the
University of Michigan and that’s
University has taken a massive step
forward, serving as an example for
other institutions with lecturers
facing the same issues.
“There aren’t many, if any, other
universities in the country that have
made such a big change in the way
they treat their lecturers,” Robinson
said. “I don’t want to say this is the
best agreement in the country, but
I think it’s up there in the top few.
It’s also a beacon for other lecturers
and other universities for what
universities can and ought to do
around the country.”
The new contract will increase
the University’s contribution to
retirement income for lecturers,
improve healthcare, enhance job
security by modifying the lecturers’

performance review process and
provide additional funding for
professional development for the
lecturers. As a result of the new
conference will be held during the
Fall 2019 semester in order for LEO
and the University administration to
discuss their progress towards the
goal of improving diversity among
the population of lecturers.
While the contract is a huge
step forward for the lecturers, both
Herold and Robinson agree it does
not meet all of LEO’s expectations.
“We did not achieve everything
our members wanted, especially in
Flint and Dearborn – that is going
to take more than a single round of
collective bargaining,” Herold said.
“But this contract does recognize
the value lecturers contribute on all
three campuses and sets the stage
for further improvements.”
LEO member Steven Toth, a U-M
Flint chemistry lecturer, said the
discrepancy between the campuses
can be discouraging for lecturers
outside of the Ann Arbor campus.
“I think we should be working
more towards equity across the
campuses and I think it’s a pretty
bad signal to say someone that
teaches at Ann Arbor is worth more
than someone who teaches at Flint
or Dearborn,” Toth said. “I do think
that they should be paid more due to
the cost of living (in Ann Arbor) but
not as dramatic as it is now.”
Similarly, Robinson said LEO
is not done fighting to overcome
the wage discrepancy between the
three campuses. He believes there
are other ways outside of collective
bargaining to meet this need.
“Some things are bargained for
collectively through negotiations
and some things are much bigger,”
Robinson said. “This is something
that is much bigger than just a
collective agreement.”

LEO ratifies new contract
increasing pay, benefits

Summer Managing News Editor

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