The Michigan Times

University of Michigan Lecturers Vote to Strike Unless Deal Reached on All Three Campuses

Aubree Stamper/MJ

Aubree Stamper/MJ

Colin Roedel, Writer

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Roughly 40 students, faculty members, and other allies gathered in the UM-Flint Happenings Room on Thursday to talk about the current contract renegotiations between the university and Lecturers’ Employee Organization (LEO). A sign reading “Highly Qualified, Under Paid” hangs on the door.

Bill Emory, the LEO Flint Campus Organizer, spearheads the forum, which is intended to inform the community of where the contract renegotiations are now standing.

The most recent development is that an agreement has not been made between the lecturers and the university, and that a potential strike is planned on all three campuses for Monday, April 9 and Tuesday, April 10.

A press release from LEO stated that 80 percent of voting members agreed to implement a strike.

The press release also stated that this is subject to happen “Unless there is substantial progress on LEO pay demands and other bargaining issues, including a working title change that will make it easier for departments to recruit and retain high caliber talent into lecturer roles.”

At the forum, Bill Emory shared that UM-Flint lecturers are some of the lowest paid out of all the colleges and universities in the area. He shares that Mott Community College (MCC) lecturers receive a starting salary of $40,000 a year.

However, the median salary for UM-Flint lecturers is $38,000–still less than what MCC lecturers are paid in their first year.

“I think Mott is an important institution and is servicing the community, but the University of Michigan isn’t even keeping up (with MCC),” stated Emory at the forum.

Currently, the university has offered to bump up starting pay of UM-Flint lecturers to $30,300, which Emory stated is “A disservice to not only the staff, but to all the students, as well.”

Emory shares with the audience that UM-Flint lecturers often have to find secondary employment to make ends meet. He shares the story of one unnamed English department lecturer who also lays concrete because he makes more money in that field, even though he holds a Master’s Degree.

A picket line could also be potentially in the works during the strike if renegotiations continue to be deemed as unreasonable by the union.

More information in regards to this, as well as a sign up for the picket line, can be found at leounion.wordpress.com/petitions/. A time and location will be released to those who sign up to participate.

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