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About our union

The Lecturers' Employee Organization (LEO - AFT Local 6244) is the union of all non-tenure track faculty (lecturers) on all three campuses of the University of Michigan. We are a democratic organization run by members, most of them volunteers. Our leadership consists of lecturers who are elected by their colleagues. 

In 2004, lecturers at the University of Michigan voted to unionize in order to secure collective bargaining rights with university administration. We did this in response to the incredibly poor job security, inconsistent health benefits coverage, and exploitative salaries that were the norm for non-tenure track faculty.

The historic gains of our most recent contract rest on a foundation of years of work by many brave union members—from the first conversations and membership cards in 2001, to the nearly-800-person vote in favor of unionizing, to the hard-fought contract campaigns of 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2018. We’ve gone on strike once (2004) and voted to authorize strikes three times (2004, 2008, and 2018). We fight alongside our sister unions at the University of Michigan for better working conditions for all.

The right to collective bargaining empowers us to fight for the respect we deserve as teaching professionals who are also recognized scholars, artists, and entrepreneurs. 

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  • Nearly tripled minimum salaries since 2003

  • Improvements in job security including open-ended appointments after Continuing Reviews

  • Arguably the most comprehensive health-insurance coverage of all higher-education unions in the nation

  • Longer sick leaves and parental leaves

  • Formal grievance process ending in binding arbitration

  • Funding for professional-development grants for lecturers

Lecturers and allies rallying in March 2018

Lecturers and allies rallying in March 2018


By standing together through collective bargaining and political action, we build the economic, professional, social, and political power we need to ensure that we are delivering the highest quality of education at the University of Michigan.

We remain committed to fighting for equity across all three campuses of this University, and to a future where there is no disparity between treatment of faculty or students in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, or Flint. 

Our contract victories affirm our community’s respect for the profession of teaching, and for education as the primary goal of this University. We aim to strengthen public and government support for universal access to high-quality public education at all levels. 

Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions.

As a union, we seek to be part of a dynamic and democratic national labor movement, promoting local, national, and international labor solidarity. We believe in a movement that promotes democracy, equality, and justice in society at large, and that actively opposes discrimination.

  • Read more about our union's values and foundational priorities by reading our Constitution.

  • Read about our organizational structure, and get in touch on our Contacts page.

  • View our 2019 budget here.

  • Learn about our state-wide and national union affiliates: AFT Michigan and AFL-CIO.