After eight months of negotiations, the Lecturers’
Employee Organization and the University signed tentative
agreements last night on most of LEO’s demands. Approval by
majority vote of LEO members tonight would authorize a final
contract with the University.
“The major issues that our members have, have been
resolved,” LEO President Bonnie Halloran said. “We will
be recommending approval for this plan to the membership, and
we’re very excited about the agreement.”
While minor articles of the contract still need to be worked
out, LEO will hold a members-only meeting today where members will
learn about and vote on the agreements made last night. Only those
attending the meeting will be able to vote to approve the plan.
The agreement includes decisions on salary, benefit eligibility,
a benefits plan, and job security, which includes two components
— appointments and implementation.
It states that salary has been increased “across the
board” for the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, and
that “some agreement” on summer benefits, one of
LEO’s critical issues, have been made, Halloran said.
Halloran declined to elaborate on details pertaining to wage
compensation and benefits.
The appointment process, a portion of the contract that will
periodically extend contracts of lecturers based on seniority and
performance reviews, was settled by the amendment of an
implementation clause yesterday.
Implementation relies on a grandfather clause that would extend
“the terms of the contract to lecturers who work before the
signing of the contract,” not simply to those lecturers who
will be hired after the contract is signed. The concept can be
summed up as a kind of retroactive job security, Halloran said.
Also stated in the agreement was the “presumption of
reappointment” after a certain number of years served as a
lecturer. An employee could be terminated only with
“cause” or because of a department’s inability to
maintain the position as a result of budgetary demands.
The emphasis on contract extensions based on lecturers’
ability was an issue both LEO and the University agreed upon.
“We didn’t want just anybody to get contract
reappointments,” Halloran said.
LEO and the University have been bargaining extensively for the
past four days. Yesterday’s negotiations lasted until 3 a.m.,
while negotiations ran from 9 a.m. to midnight on Saturday.
“You can tell (they’ve been) working really
hard,” University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said.
Before the agreement was signed, the possibility of “job
action”, which could include an open-ended strike that would
have potentially started on the last day of classes Wednesday,
loomed over the University’s administration.
“A strike was always a possibility,” Halloran said.
“But we’re very happy with everything’s that