The University of Michigan Lecturers’ Employee Organization agreed to ratify their 2021-2024 contract with the University on Sept. 19 after nine months of negotiations, with 96.6% of the union’s members voting in approval.
LEO had previously reached a tentative agreement with the University following increased support from local community members and a series of unsuccessful negotiations. The tentative agreement came after LEO and the University agreed to extend their former contract to Sept. 15, the date when the union could vote to strike if no agreement was made.
The contract includes landmark gains for lecturers, such as the promise of a minimum salary of $51,000 by the 2023-24 academic year for all three U-M campuses. Lecturers on the Dearborn and Flint campuses making the current median salary can expect to see an increase of over $12,000 throughout the contract’s term.
In addition, the contract also includes other benefits for lecturers, such as longevity raises, increased job security provisions, enhanced sick pay, teaching professor titles for longer serving lecturers and guaranteed annual raises of at least 2.25, 2.75 and 3.25%, according to the LEO press release.
LEO President Kirsten Herold wrote in the press release Sunday evening that the union is proud to have reached a meaningful agreement regardless of the obstacles they faced in their nine months of negotiations.
“This was a long long process, lasting well over a year … I am proud that we found a way to have such an open, inclusive, and democratic campaign in spite of the Zoom constraints,” Herold wrote. “I am also excited that we managed to secure such meaningful and historic gains for our Flint and Dearborn lecturers while at the same time improving the working conditions for all our members.”
University spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald told The Daily in an email the University is “pleased that the LEO membership has overwhelmingly ratified the tentative agreement reached Sept. 13.”
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the contract between LEO and the University of Michigan is a 4-year contract. The newly ratified contract is a 3-year agreement from 2021-2024.
Daily Staff Reporter Emily Blumberg can be reached at email@example.com.