Central Student Government Representative Frank Guzman’s Remarks to Administration on Friday, January 26, 2018

On Friday, January 26, administration’s bargaining team heard from Frank Guzman. Frank is an elected representative for the College of LSA to Central Student Government in Ann Arbor. Read Frank’s strong reflections on why he as a student believes that we must treat our educators with dignity and respect below. Frank also read aloud the resolution that was recently unanimously passed in Central Student Government in support of Lecturers’ fight for a fair contract.

LEO Speech (1)

LEO Speech (2)

LEO Speech (3).jpg

We’re an Important Part of the Community – Invite Allies to Participate

UM Non Tenure Track and Tenure Faculty, Students, and Staff, as well as Local Unions and Politicians are invited to LEO Open Bargaining on Feb 9 on the Dearborn Campus. Community members are invited to stand with LEO as advocates for an equitable Lecturer contract. 

DBN open bargaining feb 9

 

Why now?

Well, here’s another question:

What calculates to nearly 7% of the Lecturers on the Dearborn campus?

The answer to that leads to yet another question.

What does it mean to be a dedicated and accomplished Lecturer?

It’s hard to tell when you find out 7% is the percentage of Lec III appointments at Dearborn.

Check out the breakdown below.

Dearborn Lecturer Appointments

Lec IV………………..9%

Lec III……………….7%

Lec II…………………43%

Lec I……………..….29%

Intermittent……..12%

I’m a Lec I, part of that 29%. In a few more semesters, a Lec II appointment could be offered to me. And after that, there are few options for my discipline other than to say, “Keep up the outstanding work.” I’ll keep up the work and continue to elevate student writing, while preparing them for upper level coursework and challenging internships and careers.

But without each discipline opening up lines for advancement, Lecturers will continue to be outstanding, but lose faith that management recognizes and values all that we offer. Do you think the breakdown above might be one of the reasons why Dearborn has the highest turnover rate among Lecturers of all 3 campuses – 40% of Lecturers starting out (LIs) don’t return each academic year.

You know what you’ve accomplished as an instructor and a contributor to your field. You know the publications, the conferences, the dissertation you worked the heck out of and defended like a champ! I’m not anywhere near the most published Lec in my department. I’m not the most anything out of the Lecs in my department. One of my contributions is that I’ve taught Writing and Rhetoric to nearly 350 students, not including the students enrolled in the four classes I’m teaching this term. What can’t possibly be calculated, but is incredibly important to me, are all the office hours I’ve voluntarily devoted to student success. The office hours that have not only taken place in my actual office but have stretched far beyond any set schedule in order to offer student guidance by email, through Canvas, and over Skype.

It’s your turn now. What are all the amazing things you’ve done to effect positive change on this campus? Scream it out: those unique qualifications on your CV, your role as an advisor to a student organization, the internship program you coordinate!

The administration will have their chance to let us know what they think about our accomplishments. We expect in one of the upcoming bargaining sessions to receive the administration’s response to some areas of the union proposal on improved job security for LIs and LIIIs; more year-long appointments, earlier notice dates, and full-time jobs; recognition of the service of LIs and LIIs; open-ended appointments for long-serving Lecturers; and no more reviews after the first Continuing Renewal Review.

Make sure the administration is paying attention to our hard work and to our allies.

Here’s how you, along with all members of the University of Michigan and the greater community, can shine the brightest of lights on our daily contributions and semester to semester advancements.

Lecturers: Show up at bargaining on February 2 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm in Palmer Commons at Ann Arbor.

Lecturers & Community Allies: Join LEO organizers at the Community Forum this Thursday, February 1 from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm in Kochoff Hall B, University Center (UC), Dearborn.

Lecturers & Community Allies: Show up at our FIRST OPEN BARGAINING session, when Lecturers viewing the negotiations will be joined by UM Faculty (Non Tenure Track and Tenure), Students, and Staff on February 9 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm in Kochoff Hall B, University Center (UC), Dearborn.

 

On Thursday, Feb 1, LEO hosted a Community & Allies Forum at UM-Dearborn. Our supporters are all around campus and throughout the region, and they want to transform their knowledge and solidarity into action.

The time is now for community members to stand with LEO and discuss the many important ways they can be advocates for an equitable Lecturer contract. The upcoming Community & Allies Forum welcomes UM Non Tenure Track and Tenure Faculty, Students, and Staff, as well as Local Unions and Politicians.

Dearborn Community Forum Flier

 

Going to Bargaining 101: How To (Maybe) Significantly Increase Your Income With This One Weird Trick

Phil: When I first heard my union friends talking about “going to bargaining,” I was confused. What did they mean? When I got answers to this question, I was even more confused. Because “going to bargaining” means, essentially, sitting in a room all day, while two teams of negotiators–one representing a union, one representing management–trade proposals back and forth, ask questions, envision scenarios. Pay lecturers for doing [X], says Our Team. But who counts as a “Lecturer”?, says the other team. In a way, it’s like listening to people interpret a religious text. “Don’t work on the sabbath.” “Ah. But what if your horse gets stuck in a hole? Do you have to leave him there?”

I was initially unable to see how my silent presence improved any aspect of this scenario.

Empty Bargaining Room LEO Side for Blog

My ignorance was no accident, it turns out–and it plays right into management’s hands. When people who aren’t part of the bargaining team show up on bargaining days, it does three things:

One, it makes management think about what they’re saying. It’s easy to tell an isolated, lonely bargaining team that the “university has no interest” in lecturers’ labor conditions. It’s another thing to say that at a bargaining team, plus a roomful of strangers who have been showing up consistently, and already look mad enough to strike if not set things on fire. 

Two, it shows that we’ve got each others’ backs. A room full of lecturers–some who know each other and work together, many who don’t–demonstrates that we care about each others’ experiences. It shows admin that, and just as importantly, it shows us that. Academia can feel like a solitary existence, even on the most bustling of campuses. For full-time lecturers who have service or research duties, it can feel like ALL we have time for is keeping up with our work (make no mistake–that’s also no accident). For lecturers who cobble together a living with several part time jobs, it can feel like all we have time for is rushing from one gig to another. Like we’re just scraping by alone. But the thing is, we have each other’s backs. And bargaining is a beautiful reminder of that.

Three, it gives every member of LEO an opportunity to have a say in the decision-making. How, you ask? By being in “The Room Where it Happens” for bargaining and caucus.

Shel: Here’s what happens in “the room where it happens”:

  1. For over a year, the LEO bargaining team and contract committee have been researching and developing our platform and drafting the proposals. But the work isn’t done.
  2. The team has presented all of our proposals to admin at the bargaining table. But the work isn’t done.

Bargaining Tables Labeled for Blog

  1. The admin team has begun returning counterproposals to us. (Spoiler alert: often the first few rounds of these “counterproposals” consist of striking our language and returning to the original contract language.) Our lead bargainer asks a few questions about their proposals, and we break to caucus.
  2. What’s a caucus? A caucus is a chance for the bargaining team and the membership to talk about what’s been said at the table, what we think about it, and then decide how to respond. Oftentimes that even includes drafting our counterproposals then and there. (Spoiler alert: Many of our early counterproposals consist of replacing the language they struck.) But the work isn’t done.

Caucus Room at Work for Blog

  1. Then the admin team and the LEO team return to the bargaining table, where the cycle starts again, with little gains and concessions here and there on either side, more questions and answers, and probably increasing testiness about some issues that the University would rather not answer for.

So yes, membership in the room (and the bargaining teams, except for the lead bargainers) mostly sit quietly. But we listen. And we watch. And we react with our faces and our body language. And while that may seem like nothing, it’s everything. It’s a show of strength, of solidarity, and of commitment. And our presence or absence tells the university exactly how seriously to take us.

What to Expect from Union Bargaining DIGITAL” – Here you’ll find a handy sheet with an overview of the information in this post (and more!) about bargaining.

We have fewer than ten weeks of bargaining left in the semester. If you could get a $20,000 raise, would it be worth 2 hours a week of your time? Because if enough of us show up at bargaining, and we build that number every week, we’ve got the chance to get the best contract we’ve ever gotten. We’re in. Are you?

–Your Ann Arbor Campus Co-Chairs,

Phil Christman & Shelley Manis

 

 

LEO Lecturers Are…

…accomplished professionals in their fields.

RESPECTTHELECS Button

A statement by Jessica Frelinghuysen, an artist and designer and Lecturer II in the Stamps School of Art and Design in Ann Arbor. This was originally presented to the UM admin. bargaining team:

Hello my name is Jessica Frelinghuysen, I am an artist and designer living in Detroit. I drive here four days a week to teach three studio classes a semester at the Stamps School of Art and Design, a total of 18+ classroom hours a week, 6 hours beyond that required of a Tenure Track Faculty. I have been teaching here since 2009. I currently hold the highest rank available to an Art or Design Lecturer in our school, that of a Lecturer II.

I’m here today with my colleague to tell you of my experience in the school, how I bring a range of expertise to my instruction via my creative work, and why we would like to have Lecturer 3 rankings put in place for us to reflect the work we are currently doing, and expected to do, via the requirements asked of us from the School’s administration and review process.

I love teaching at Stamps. Living in Detroit, I have taught at 3 of the top art schools in the area and believe in the goal here at UofM. My multidisciplinary background– a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Architecture from Cranbrook Academy of Art– echoes the principles of Stamp’s multidisciplinary program. I have become a vital part of the community at UofM, teaching not only during the school year, but in the Summer Portfolio Prep Program that introduces 40 high school students to the Stamps experience. Over the past 8 years of teaching this, countless students have gone on to matriculate into UofM based on their first impressions of the program from my drawing and sculpture classes.

Over these last 8 years I have had numerous Lecturer I and Lecturer II reviews each requiring that I show a large number of my own creative work beyond teaching accomplishments in the form of slide presentations to the review committee. Lecturers in Stamps are also required (as our contract letter states) “…to create a yearly activity report due in May that includes: Creative Work / Research: A list of no more than five creative work and/or scholarly accomplishments during the review period. Include exhibitions, performances, public presentations, awards, grants received, etc., as appropriate.”

I’ll share some points of these required review forms with you from the last few years including being nominated and awarded a Joan Mitchell Emerging Artist Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation in New York, being one of twelve artists that received that prestigious national fellowship in 2017. This year I was also one of two United States artists included in the Windsor Essex Triennial in Windsor Canada. I have had numerous group shows both nationally and internationally, solo shows in Detroit at numerous galleries, a subsequent featured-artist article and interview in Barbed magazine, Wired magazine, and a review in Artforum magazine for my 2015 solo show in Detroit. My performance inclusion in the comprehensive book Emergency INDEX Vol. 5, that includes 190 performances and writings from 34 different countries; important installations at the Broad Museum of Art at Michigan State University and The Mattress Factory Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. I have had multiple artist residencies at Haystack School of Crafts in Maine, Headlands Center for the Arts in San Francisco and the Santa Fe Art Institute to list a few. I help create and run a traveling stop-motion animation workshop in the summer called Tiny Circus housed in revamped Airstreams and have developed a curriculum program in elementary schools in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, North Carolina and Detroit called Germination Corps that combines design with teaching 4th and 5th graders about food justice.

I am also a co-director of an important Detroit Gallery collective called Cave with a ten year exhibition history. We recently wrote and received a Knights Arts Challenge Grant to bring artist stipends to our exhibition schedule. With this I curated a UofM Stamps instructor from the Michigan Society of Fellow’s- Leslie Rogers- into her first solo show in the Detroit Area in 2016.

My professional concerns outside of the classroom produce connections and expertise that I pull from for my students.

Three years ago I was appointed at Stamps to become the first Lecturer to teach the Senior IP Thesis Project. The Integrative Project is a year-long 6 credit-hour per semester class for our Seniors that combines independently driven studio work with seminar, professional practice, critique and culminates in a public Senior Exhibition. Until I was appointed, this class was only taught by Tenure/Tenure Track Faculty due to the highly skilled expertise that the professors must bring to their instruction for this class. This is now my sixth semester teaching this class. I believe my running a gallery and my creative practice and accolades make me continually highly qualified for this class. Other Lecturer 2s are also asked to teach sections of it now. We spend days and weeks, above and beyond our class and planning time organizing committees to ensure that the gallery coordination and installation is set up correctly for the event throughout the entire year. For instance, I am heading up a planning committee to bring in 11 guest curators that will be visiting critiques for the 120 BA and BFA students we have. I am working with another IP Lecturer, at the request of the administration– without additional compensation, to organize all the 2-D students across four interdisciplinary sections, beyond class time, for the production and installation of all 2-D artwork during the show. These are currently presenting as Lecturer III duties and being compensated as Lecturer II pay and acknowledgement. According to Article 6 section 3 of the Leo Contract: A Lecturer III appointment is for a position that includes instruction and significant ongoing administrative or service duties within the academic unit, AND/OR requires a range of instructional expertise. The creative work I’ve mentioned is equal to or above that of which I have seen from some of the Tenure Track Faculty and should be considered as such.

I approached the administration during my last major review as a Lecturer 2 about advancement into Lecturer 3. I was disheartened when the administration came back with the answer “we’d love to, but don’t know how. There is simply nothing in place for us to promote you to a Lecturer III.” I don’t believe that response and we’re asking for your help to right the situation that devalues the work we are doing in Stamps both in and out of the classroom.

Looking at this list of all Stamps Lecturers in 2017, out of 41 there are 16 Lecturer 2s and only one Lecturer 3–that’s Jennifer Metzger our writing instructor, who at home with Pnemonia, wanted to me to share her struggle with you –

She says: “I came in from Sweetland, and I based my job on Sweetland’s Lecturer III model, and could see that what Stamps was asking of me was already a Lec III just based on the fact I developed and managed the upper-level writing course before even coming there full time so I asked for them to hire me as a Lec III. They said no for about a year. And then when they said yes I ended up managing way more than just that class. I don’t even think Lec III is an accurate title for my job any more, really. I’m in charge of the equivalent of what ALL the Lec III’s in Sweetland do all together, at least. In my case I ended up with about ten service responsibilities at Stamps!”

For myself, I would like to advance within this school, and am asking for you to help put in place the rules that will make that possible. I am embedded in Detroit, its art scene and its resurgence, I am embedded in the UofM Stamps School of Art and Design– its growth and its wonderful students. I am not wiliing to move away yet, something I will have to do to advance in my field of teaching if Stamps remains with its terminal position as Lecturer II. I am not done with my time and dedication to this place and my students, but I want to be valued and acknowledged for the work I do. We are asking that the work we do as Lecturer IIs be regarded and recognized for what it is- beneficial to the School. We want to advance to Lecturer IIIs. We need your help.
Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Flu Season… What are You Going to Do about it?

Have you ever lost your health insurance and wondered what you would do if you got sick? broke a leg? needed antibiotics? Have you ever had so much teaching work in the fall you didn’t know if you could survive it, only to become almost or totally unemployed in the winter semester and also lose your benefits?

I was in this situation for three years before I started getting UM benefits year-round. For three fall semesters I had four appointments across two UM campuses, and two other jobs outside of that so I could have money to make it through winter when I knew there would be less work. And I had health insurance from Sept-Dec and then it ended. One year I finally got ACA insurance when that became available. One spring I applied for medicaid, and that got approved almost a year later, after I had gone back on UM benefits in the fall and then lost them again in the winter. Ironically though, my job–that should be considered a profession but is respected no more than that of a temp worker–is to help students succeed in their English and writing courses, in order to graduate, and to then get quality professional jobs with benefits. My students are preparing to become engineers, doctors, lawyers, and more, but helping them to do those things doesn’t qualify me as a professional who is respected with fair pay and benefits. I have multiple degrees and years of professional work experience, and the admin. takes that for granted. But Lecturers deserve to be treated like professionals for the work we do.

This Friday at bargaining, Benefits are on the table. We have already proposed various improvements, including these:

∙         Expanding benefits eligibility to those who average 50% for the year, so folks don’t keep going in and out of benefits eligibility

∙         Paid benefits during a one-year unpaid leave for long-serving lecs

∙         Childcare benefit

∙         Enhanced parental leave, especially for recently hired lecturers who don’t qualify for long-term sick pay.

∙         Summer benefits bridge for those who were first hired in winter, who have a confirmed appointment for the following fall

And we should get the admin’s proposals back to negotiate.

So far though, they have basically said NO to most of our proposals, handing us back versions of our documents with our proposed new language crossed out. Admin doesn’t believe we should improve our contract to the benefit of Lecturers.

We need members in the room to help convince them we do deserve respect.  Not only do we teach a majority of undergrad students across campuses, it is our labor that keeps many students in school, keeps departments and programs running, that makes the university work as an institution of higher education. If UM advertises excellence, LEO Lecturers play a huge role in providing that excellence in terms of quality of teaching and all of the other professional responsibilities and unrecognized labor we take on.

Help show admin that we do more than they want to admit we do, and that we are worth more than they are offering. Come to bargaining this Fri anytime between 9am and 4pm in Palmer Commons and then come socialize with other LEOs at the Social after to learn more about how you can be involved.

We also always need more member volunteers so ask any organizer how you can participate today! 

social jan 19

Celebrate MLK, Celebrate Labor Unions

Martin Luther King Jr. was an advocate of strong labor unions because he believed in economic justice. Below are some excerpts from an article that show the importance of labor unions to help workers unite and work toward economic and professional respect… ideas and arguments that we are still making today. Unions are attacked because workers come together and demand better treatment. See the whole article by Michael Honey here.

from “Martin Luther King and Union Rights”:

Throughout his life, King stood up for union rights. His teachings about the rights of labor can serve us well in our own trying times, when those rights are under fresh assault.

One of King’s phrases that we rarely hear is this: “All labor has dignity.” King spoke these words to a mass meeting of over 10,000 people in Memphis on March 18, 1968, in the midst of a strike of 1,300 black sanitation workers. Some 40% of these workers were so poor they received welfare benefits even though they worked 60-hour weeks. Speaking of both sanitation workers in Memphis and the working poor across the country, King said, “You are reminding, not only Memphis, but you are reminding the nation that it is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages.”

But the strike was not just about pay. “Let it be known everywhere,” King declared, “that along with wages and all of the other securities that you are struggling for, you are also struggling for the right to organize and be recognized.” The key issues for the Memphis strikers were their demands that the City of Memphis grant collective bargaining rights and the collection of union dues – the very two items that Gov. Scott Walker targeted in Wisconsin. Like city officials in Memphis, Walker knows that if you can say no to bargaining rights and dues collection, you can kill the union.

RACE & RIGHTS

The Memphis sanitation workers’ strike was part of the black freedom struggle. Jerry Wurf, national president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), to which the sanitation workers’ Local 1733 belonged, defined Memphis as “a race conflict and a rights conflict” as well as a union conflict. But white municipal workers had also suffered from local government’s hostility to unions. While many of the city’s white craft workers got paid at union scale, they had no contract. And when white firefighters, teachers and police officers tried to organize unions, the city fired and blacklisted them; city officials did not want organized workers exercising any independence or raising the costs of their labor.

Opposition to public-employee unionism was a strong tradition in Memphis. Sounding like Fox News today, City Councilmember Gwen Awsumb warned in 1968 that the “ultimate destruction of the country could come through the municipal unions.”

Memphis Mayor Henry Loeb III came from a family of anti-union employers. Like Gov. Walker and other Republicans today, he held that public employees should not have the right to collectively bargain over their conditions of work, and said he would never sign a union contract. Like Walker, Loeb wanted to cut public jobs to help end an operating deficit: he wanted sanitation workers to do more work for less pay. If they didn’t like it, they could quit.

King’s support for the sanitation workers reflected his long-held concern for economic justice. With some 25 million unemployed and many more underemployed, with 50 million without health insurance and 44 million living in poverty, King’s prophetic words in Memphis ring true today: “Do you know that most of the poor people in our country are working every day? And they are making wages so low that they cannot begin to function in the mainstream of the economic life of our nation.”

ECONOMIC JUSTICE

The second phase of the civil rights movement, King said, would have to be the struggle for “economic equality.” To that end, he came to Memphis as part of his Poor People’s Campaign. He sought to organize a mass movement to demand that Congress shift its priorities from funding military buildup and war to funding jobs, housing, health care, and education. The richest country in the history of the world, he said, could easily afford to eliminate poverty. What it lacked was the will to do it.

Racial justice is at issue in today’s attacks on public worker unions. Thanks to the destruction of manufacturing jobs and unions, the one toehold many black and minority workers (and especially women among them) still have in the economy is in unionized public employment. Now, the Republicans want to take that away.

The GOP not only wants to eliminate public employee unions but also to pass “right to work” (for less) laws that take away the requirement that workers in unionized jobs pay union dues or their equivalent. Just as it has done throughout the South, this type of law would undermine unions by starving them of funds, while, in King’s words, providing “no rights and no work.”

In King’s framework, killing public employee unions today would be immoral as well as foolish. He said the three evils facing humankind are war, racism and economic injustice. The purpose of a union is to overcome the latter evil, and without them, unions wages and living conditions will go down for a significant number of workers, especially women and workers of color.

UNION POWER

King’s rhetoric spotlights the central question in today’s budget battles: Who should pay? Today’s public employees have won better wages and conditions than those faced by Memphis sanitation workers 43 years ago. But they still live fairly modest lives – and it was not teachers, firefighters or sanitation workers who caused our nation’s economic and fiscal collapse. Why, then, should they be asked to pay for its cost, instead of the private-sector profiteers who created a gambling casino on Wall Street and left the public to pay the bill? Is that economic justice?

King believed that power concedes nothing without a struggle, and for that reason he long supported union organizing. Indeed, he went beyond that to support other forms of direct action that may be increasingly appropriate today as Republicans try to break the last hold of public employees on a living wage.

In Memphis, King called for a general strike in support of the sanitation workers’ demands. “You may have to escalate the struggle a bit,” he told his audience. “If they keep refusing, and they will not recognize the union, and will not agree for the check-off for the collection of dues, I tell you what you ought to do, and you are together here enough to do it: in a few days you ought to get together and just have a general work stoppage in the city of Memphis.”

FIGHTING ON

King’s audience responded with thunderous applause and cheers, because they knew that African Americans did so much of the city’s work. If teachers, sanitation workers, students, and workers across the board went on strike they could definitely shut the city down.

King said, “All labor has dignity.” There is no more important time than the present for us to remember his words and to follow King’s lead in fighting for union rights as human rights. In the wake of the anti-union assault and pro-union protests in Wisconsin and other Midwestern states, let us reflect on where King would have stood in that fight were he alive today.

My bet is that he would be in the streets, fighting for the rights of workers.

*

Support your union and yourself by coming to bargaining to demand a fair contract. Every Friday in January and Feb 2 at Palmer Commons in Ann Arbor. Feb 9 in Dearborn.

Don’t forget to follow this blog to get email updates, and follow LEO on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date and join the conversation!

Respect Means an Improved Contract for Lecs

Today and Every Friday: Bargaining from 9 am until 4 or 5 pm.

Put it on your weekly schedule…we will only get a strong contract if we show up and demand it (history as well as the current political climate shows this to be true).

Sometimes bargaining finishes early but you can come for any part of the day that you can make it. Usually there is a sign at the Info desk to direct you where to go. This week (today!) JANUARY 12, we will be in Palmer Commons on AA Central Campus, in the Great Lakes North Conference Room on the 6th Floor. During the day we move between the bargaining room and the caucus room, which is where LEO-only folks hang out to discuss how negotiations are going, eat lunch and drink coffee, actively work on our proposals, and more. And we need folks from all three campuses to represent… if you can get to AA, come sit in the bargaining room, or talk to organizers in the caucus room to get updates and info, and participate in the conversation! So far the administration has not been willing to do much negotiating on our proposals… we need to show them we are entitled to the respect these contract improvements will offer.

Lately on social media, we’ve also started sharing stories of things that have happened to members that we are fighting to prevent from happening to others. If you have a story to share in writing or on video, let us know! We’re trying to show the administration who we are, the work we do across campuses and disciplines, and the ways that we’ve been treated unjustly. If you’ve been in bargaining, you may have heard LEOs give statements about the work they do in Computer Science and STAMPS in Ann Arbor, work comparable to tenure-line work, work that goes above and beyond the short time spent with students in classrooms but that enhances students’ educational experiences many times over. In STAMPS, many Lec IIs are nationally recognized artists, they run programs and do serious administrative work in their departments, and the administration refuses to create more Lec III positions that would give them more job security, pay, and recognition for the work that they do.

In another school, a LEO lecturer going through a major review was denied the customary raise because the department thought that lecturer was already being paid enough.

denied raise

There are so many stories. If you work in Dearborn or Flint we especially want to hear from you. Let us know about the work you do that benefits students and the ways you have felt disrespected as a professional. Contact us to find out more or tell us your story.

Come to bargaining today. Come next Fri. Come to Bargaining in Dearborn on Feb 9 and in Flint in March. Bring colleagues. Help share stories of LEOs on social media. Let an organizer know if you want to get involved more… there’s plenty to do because WE ARE ALL LEO AND THIS IS OUR CONTRACT. 

And come hang out and meet other Lecturers Fri, Jan 19 at the Social:

social jan 19

Don’t forget to follow this blog to get email updates, and follow LEO on Twitter and Facebook!

A Clean Slate

If you’re anything like me, you have a list of New Years’ resolutions long and complex enough to rival one of those Norwegian crime novels they’re always selling at Costco. (Not that I’ve ever read one. Too busy! Resolutions!)

My plans for 2018 include the doable (run three times a week), the ambitious (average an essay a month), and the insane (washboard abs). But in terms of my career security, the most important resolution I’ve made is to be in the room where my future is being decided, starting tomorrow, January 5, in Palmer Commons.

We’re bargaining every Friday in January from 9-5. (More on February-April dates as those approach.) I teach on Fridays, but I intend to be there every minute I’m not in the classroom. Everybody doesn’t need to make that level of commitment (I don’t, for example, live far away from campus, or have small children at home). But find the hour or two that you can commit and spend it with us. Bring stuff to grade, or paperwork to fill out.

Nothing you can do as a single individual will improve your job security as much as a decent contract.

On 1/5/18, LEO returns to the table!

As we say goodbye to the surreal and exhausting 2017, let’s greet the new year with renewed determination to win fairness and justice in our workplace. Please mark your calendars for January 5, 2018 (less than a week away!), when your union returns to the table!

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On January 5, we will convene from 9am to 5pm in the Great Lakes North Conference Room (6th Floor) in Palmer Commons on Central Campus in Ann Arbor.

We have some easy and not-so-easy matters to discuss with management next Friday.

First, the easy. We will sign two articles: Article VI on Union-Employer Conferences and Article VII on Scheduling and Reduction in Appointment for Union Representatives.

Now the hard stuff—but made easier if turnout is BIG.

We will deliver a new version of Article V or “Union Rights.” Presently, the administration treats LEO like it’s an outside entity, rather than the union representing 1660 faculty members, in the way it grants access to basic university resources, like office space and printing. We hope to change that with our Article V.

We will also present our latest proposal on Layoff and Recall (Article XII), with earlier notice dates for LIs and the right to keep your recall rights, even if you turn down an assignment for cause (for example if the class meets at a time when the lecturer is teaching elsewhere.  

Finally, we will present new arguments concerning Article XI on appointments and major reviews. Last time we met, on December 15, the administration rejected our proposals to redefine the LIII title to protect LIs/LIIs who are required or strongly encouraged (read: coerced) by their units into doing LIII work (i.e., service and research) but without the corresponding title and compensation. The administration did not believe this was a serious problem affecting many departments. We know that it is, and we intend to tell them. (If you have a story to tell and feel comfortable sharing it, please get in touch with alex@leounion.org.) At 1:00PM, right after lunch, a lecturer from the Stamps School of Art & Design will address administration about their own experience with required research commitments under the LI title. 

The administration has also rejected our proposals concerning Continuing Renewal Reviews. We want to end reviews in perpetuity and instead have only one CRR and an open-ended contract. After meeting with them in small group, we think we can make progress on an issue of great importance for long-serving Lecs.

Management refuses to tell us when we should expect to receive a counterproposal to our economic proposals, which we presented back on October 27th.  

Next Friday, let’s start the new year off right. Please join LEO – and bring at least two coworkers! – at Palmer Commons on January 5. Lunch will be available from 12-1pm.

You can register here.

~Alex Elkins