The Galleries, Librarians, Archivists and Museums unit of the Lecturers’ Employee Organization (LEO-GLAM) ratified its first-ever contract with the University of Michigan on July 29. After nearly eight months of negotiations and over 30 bargaining sessions, LEO-GLAM and the University reached agreements on 39 different provisions. 98.4% of LEO-GLAM members voted to approve the contract.
In an interview with The Michigan Daily, LEO-GLAM chair Meredith Kahn expressed gratitude to the union and the University for their work throughout the bargaining process.
“I am incredibly proud of all the work that went into reaching this agreement after almost eight months of bargaining,” Kahn said. “We are really proud of what we achieved. I think we made both financial and other non-economic gains for our membership, and we’re really happy with how things shook out. And we’re thankful that the University worked with us to come to this agreement.”
The contract will run from Sept. 1 of this year through 2025. Over the next three years, the librarians, archivists and curators (LACs) in this unit will see an overall salary increase of 17%, with individual raises ranging from 9% to 30%, depending on current salary. The contract also clarifies policies on workload and remote work, provides funding for professional development opportunities, creates a standardized system for promotion across all roles and guarantees that LACs have official faculty status, which protects their rights to academic freedom.
In a statement to The Daily, University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said this contract demonstrates the importance of LACs to the University’s academic culture.
“We are pleased we were able to reach an agreement that recognizes the value of the work that our librarians, archivists and curators perform for the University,” the statement read. “The Academic Human Resources team now will work closely with the units and the union to implement the terms of the new contract.”
Kahn highlighted the broader implications of this contract for LACs at the University.
“Any time you come to an agreement on a union contract, you are fundamentally changing your relationship with the employer,” Kahn said. “We’re no longer at-will employees. We’re now protected by a contract. So that provides all kinds of infrastructure for making sure our members are treated fairly, compensated equitably and have recourse when things go wrong.”
Summer News Editor Samantha Rich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org