Dearborn's Bargaining Kickoff TOMORROW (Friday November 17th)

Hello, fellow dedicated teachers, mentors, scholars, writers, artists, etc...Hello, LEO! What follows are some thoughts about tomorrow's bargaining and how you can support it, whether you can be in the room where it happens or not! Tomorrow is our bargaining kickoff on the DEARBORN campus, and we hope as many of you as humanly possible will join us. Even if you can only come by for a half an hour or an hour, YOUR PRESENCE MATTERS. Admin sees us. They see who we have, and they see who we don't.

We're a big University, and our work lives in more places than Ann Arbor--it lives in Flint, it lives in Dearborn. (It also gloriously lives other places like Detroit, New England, Washington, etc., in the form of some of our special programs, but we don't bargain there. :-)) We're a big bargaining unit, with big plans, and we need to have equally BIG turnout at bargaining - and related events - to show the administration that we mean business. (More details below the break.)

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Tomorrow in Dearborn, the administration's team will be presenting us with the first of their proposals, which we expect to be a proposal on the language around Union Security. They tell us that this part of the contract has to change due to the fact that anti-union "Right to Work" laws (truly "Right to Work for Less") are now in effect, but the changes need not be as drastic as their proposal might reflect. Showing strength tomorrow is especially important. Any opportunity to weaken the union needs to be met with a strong showing of resistance.

We'll also be presenting our own proposals to language on Benefits articles (expanding more consistent and stable health care benefits to more people and seeking a child care subsidy, among other things) and clarifying the scope of our duties(language changes designed to halt "service and administration creep," if I may coin a term, and make more clear the limits of "teaching duties," for example).

Bargaining starts at 9am, there will be a rally with allies at noon, and then bargaining resumes at 1pm. All lecturers are welcome in the bargaining room during bargaining. We encourage you to wear LEO shirts (and will have some of our new ones there for the taking), buttons, etc. Fly your LEO flags!

We should all offer a thank you to our fantastic Dearborn student allies, who have done a lot to prepare for and support the rally:

-They arranged a dedicated sign making session for our rally -They spoke up at a chancellors' meeting about LEO -They decorated the chalkboard in the UMD Cafeteria to advertise 11/17

If you CAN'T be there, please do STILL wear your LEO shirts and/or buttons, make sure you have posters on your office doors, and/or Tweet/FB your support ALL. DAY. LONG. When you tweet/post about bargaining, please use any or all of the following hashtags, as those are our tags for the whole bargaining process:

#respectthelecs #worthmore #leounion #faircontract4lecs #solidarity

We hope to see you tomorrow, but if you can't make it, please do consider showing your support in other ways so that we're visible on all campuses and across social media. And then plan to show up on December 1st in Ann Arbor!