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Representatives from the Lecturers’ Employee Organization, the union representing lecturers, archivists and librarians across all three University of Michigan campuses, announced in a press release Monday evening that they have reached a tentative agreement with the University’s administration after nine months of negotiations.
The tentative agreement includes a $51,000 starting salary for lecturers on all three University campuses starting in the 2023-2024 school year. The salary increase is a $10,000 jump for lecturers on the Flint and Dearborn campuses, fulfilling one of LEO’s demands for pay parity across all three campuses.
“In addition to the historic victory in minimum salaries, the contract would include longevity raises, increased job security provisions, enhanced sick pay, and teaching professor titles for longer serving lecturers,” the press release reads.
Contract negotiations between LEO and the University had up to this point been unsuccessful, primarily due to disagreements over LEO’s demands for pay parity across the three U-M campuses. On Aug. 9, LEO members voted to quit their current contract with the University, meaning they were no longer contractually prohibited from going on strike 30 days after the vote.
In a march on campus shortly after the union announced its decision to quit the contract, the organization’s members were joined by lecturers, students and community members in support of their demands.
Following further negotiations, LEO members voted to extend their contract with the University to Sept. 15 from Sept. 8, when it was originally set to expire, with hopes of reaching an agreement without a strike. Monday’s announcement comes just two days before the deadline.
The Michigan Daily conducted a data analysis in April 2021 showing a historical trend of pay disparity between the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses over the last 19 years.
Dominick Fanelli, chief negotiator for the University, wrote in a statement obtained by The Daily that the tentative agreement represents a win for both LEO and the University’s administration.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that provides a fair salary and maintains the university’s goal of providing much needed flexibility in benefits, as well as continuing security for lecturers,” Fanelli wrote.
LEO president Kristen Herold wrote in the release that while all of LEO’s demands are not being met by the new contract, the contract signifies a historic gain for the union.
“Although you never get everything you want, this contract achieves the historic milestone of parity in starting pay for all three campuses along with many other improvements for our members,” Herald wrote. “So many people worked incredibly hard throughout this process, including the bargaining team, our staff, and all the members who came out week after week and participated in the bargaining process.”
LEO members will vote on the ratification of the agreement sometime in the next week.
Daily Staff Reporter George Weykamp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.