A new school year is bearing down upon us. Students, lesson plans, grading, departmental politics. And with it, not only inside the classroom, various balls start rolling that will have a considerable impact on all of our lives as skilled, talented, yet vulnerable academic professionals. Beginning on Friday, October 27, LEO and the U-M administration will negotiate a new multi-year contract, the first one under the right-to-work legislation passed in 2013. A few weeks prior to negotiations, on Sunday, October 8, LEO members will convene to discuss and ratify our bargaining platform. All in all, we face heavy collective responsibilities, with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.
But before all that…let’s party! (How’s that for a tonal shift?)
LEO will host two welcome-back socials for lecturers, both new and returning, at Dominick’s in Ann Arbor, over at 812 Monroe Street near Tappan. We’ll provide some finger food and some pitchers of probably-adult beverages. (Yeah, ID required.) They’ll take place on Friday, September 8, 2017, 4-6 PM, and Thursday, September 14, 5-7 PM. Come to one, come to both, it’s all good. It’ll give us all a chance to hang out in a non-official capacity.
And we’re all encouraged to come! Come on! Let’s meet one another! It’s sort of a pisser to think of LEO as “those guys over there,” some bunch of third-party jackanapes seemingly kept on retainer to fight lecturers’ battles for them. Sure, LEO does have a small handful of professional organizers who help keep the engine running. But with around 1700 people covered by our contract, with over 900 official members (and growing!), I’m LEO, she’s LEO, he’s LEO, you’re LEO, we’re all LEO. And if you’re not yet, maybe you should be.
So let’s eat some eats and drink some drinks and talk some talks. Let’s learn (or relearn) some faces and names. Let’s find out who our brothers and sisters are in banding together for better, fairer working conditions. You’re not an isolated atom or a cog in a dehumanizing neoliberal apparatus . You’re not just contingent labor. You can be part of something bigger. Together, we can make things happen. And it may start with sharing some snacks and some glasses of Dominick’s sangria.
The beautiful flyer! You can print it! You can post it!