“Progress has been steady” writes U-M spokeswoman Julie Peterson in a “news” piece in today’s University Record on negotiations between the University and representatives of the Lecturers’ Employee Organization, a newly-formed union of over 1,500 lecturers across the three U-M campuses. However, Peterson notes, “Compensation issues have not been discussed yet.”
According to a report posted on the LEO website, the union seems satisfied with the process as well: “The atmosphere at both bargaining sessions was friendly and cordial. The impression of the LEO bargaining team is that the Employer sincerely desires to work with us to negotiate a contract that is good for both parties.” I suppose the University’s happy they’re not asking for the increased pay and job security of being an actual tenured professor! This is the 21st century after all – most of the Regents are millionaires, roughly 50 University employees earn over $250,000 a year, and some of my favorite teachers don’t know if they’ll have a job in 6 months:
“Job security and low pay are the major concerns of the faculty, who teach nearly half the total undergraduate credit hours at the university, but are often hired on a semester-by-semester basis for a fraction of the salary and benefits of their tenured and tenure-track colleagues. “Many of us worry every year about getting reappointed,” says Margaretha Sudarsih, who teaches at the Ann Arbor campus.” (From this press release)
In case you missed it, here’s the LEO press release about the successful vote last spring.