The Lecturers' Employee Organization at the University of Michigan has reached an agreement with the school on a new contract after bargaining since October.
The new contract came after university regents held their June meeting.The budget allowed for an agreement that includes higher pay, increased job security, and better health benefits for 1,700 lecturers employed by the university on its three campuses.
Ian Robinson is president of LEO and a sociology lecturer at the Ann Arbor campus. He says the new contract is a big step for the union. Most notably, he says, it will ensure most full-time lecturers no longer have to live in poverty.
“A majority of the regents voted on a budget that included enough money for LEO that we were able to meet our core member's demands and really come up with a transformative agreement.”
Many of the group's demands were met. But Robinson says they still have not achieved equality for lecturers at the school's Flint and Dearborn campuses, who he says are paid less because of budgeting policies.
The union will also continue to work on gaining the right for colleges within the University of Michigan to allow lecturers to use the title “teaching professor.” Robinson says this helps retain high-quality lecturers.
The contract will now be voted on by all LEO members before it is officially accepted.
A verdict will be made by mid-July, but Robinson expects it to pass.