After 10 months of twice-a-week meetings, round-the-clock
discussion and continuous work, the year-old Lecturers’
Employee Organization and the University signed a tentative final
agreement for a three-year contract on Friday.

The union’s first contract will be put into place after
June 16 pending approval of the agreement by majority vote of all
LEO members.

Members of the two bargaining teams met last week, signed the
agreement and shook hands at

the ceremony, an event that LEO’s chief negotiator Jon
Curtiss called

a “historic moment.”

“This (contract) is a model for the whole country —
a model of collective bargaining,” Curtiss said.

Advances made by LEO include increased job security, summer
health benefits and raises in minimum salaries at the Ann Arbor,
Flint and Dearborn campuses.

“We’re very happy with this contract,” LEO
President Bonnie Halloran said. “Clearly there was dramatic
improvement and our members are very happy.”

For the most part, the terms of the contract will be carried out
starting Fall 2004. Exceptions include the implementation of summer
benefits, which is already being applied, and the completion of
some job security articles, the execution of which is too
complicated to be ready in September, Halloran said.

While the two sides had already settled the three biggest issues
by April 19, the last four articles of the agreement were put into
place on May 21. These advances and negotiations follow a one-day
walkout staged by LEO April 8.

Ballots were mailed to LEO members on May 25 and will be counted
on June 16. Though ratification will require a majority vote on two
campuses and a total majority vote among all members, Halloran
“completely expects (the agreement) to be

The three-year contract will cover approximately 1,400 faculty
members from the three campuses.

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