Union votes to ratify new contract for lecturers at all 3 University of Michigan campuses

Contract increases wages, improves job security

A lecturer grades papers during a sit-in on April 20, 2018 on Ann Arbor's campus demanding higher wages (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - University of Michigan lecturers are getting a new contract as a result of bargaining that began in April.

Members of the Lecturers’ Employee Organization, AFT-Michigan Local 6244, have voted to ratify a new labor agreement with the university.

Just more than 98 percent of union members voted during electronic balloting from Wednesday to Friday.

“Our members said they wanted a new kind of contract that would change how lecturers are paid and create the conditions for quality education for our students,” said LEO President Ian Robinson, a lecturer in the Sociology Department and the Residential College at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. 

The three-year agreement will raise wages, improve health care and boost job security for 1,700 lecturers at the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses.

Lecturers stage a sit-in at the Fleming Administration building on April 20, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

By Sept. 1, 2020, the minimum entry-level salary for Lecturer I appointments in Ann Arbor will increase from $34,500 to $51,000. It will increase to $41,000 in Dearborn and Flint, up from $28,300 and $27,300, respectively.

Beginning Sept. 1, 2018, current lecturers will receive annual base pay raises from $3,000 to $12,500, depending on their length of service. Lecturers who currently make more than $80,000 a year will receive a combination of base increases and lump-sum payments.

The university's contribution to retirement will increase as well, based on a percentage of salary.

The contract will also change the performance review process to enhance job security and provide additional funding for professional development.

During the fall 2019 semester, the union and university administrators will discuss progress toward meeting the mutual goal of improving the diversity of lecturers at a labor-management conference.

“This agreement is a result of months of hard work at the bargaining table – and much more,” said Kirsten Herold, a lecturer at the UM School of Public Health, LEO vice president and manager of the LEO bargaining team. “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. 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. But this contract does recognize the value lecturers contribute on all three campuses and sets the stage for further improvements.”  

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