Dear LEO Allies...
Are you a student, tenure-track faculty member, community leader, or otherwise invested in U of M in Flint, Dearborn, or Ann Arbor? Then you are invited to attend Open Bargaining on Feb 9 at UM-Dearborn, beginning at 10 am in the Student Center, to support LEO Lecturers who are negotiating with UM administration for a fair contract.
Why do LEO Lecturers need the support of allies?
So far UM Admin. hasn’t responded to many of our proposals to improve our contract in ways that would help lecturers to do more quality work on behalf of our students across campuses. We have had no response on our proposal for salary and compensation, for example, which we gave to the admin. 100 days ago when we first began negotiations.
Right now, the minimum salaries for full-time lecturers at UM are $34,500 (Ann Arbor); $28,300 (Dearborn); and $27,300 (Flint). UM lecturers with PhDs often earn 50% or more below community college and tenure-track faculty. And many lecturers work part-time for UM (and have other jobs) and are paid per class, making much less than the salary mins.
Lecturers I & II primarily teach; Lecturers III & IV also do service/administrative work. Lec II, III, & IV have multi-year contracts; Lec Is have one-semester or one-year contracts. Lec Is are paid per class based on the minimum salary; Lec IIIs & IVs are usually paid higher than the minimum.
At UM-Dearborn, for example, only 16% of Lecturers hold Lec III or IV appointments. At UM-Flint, more lecturers have Lec III & IV status and seem to report higher job satisfaction, because greater job security and professional respect translate to lower rates of turnover and a more positive atmosphere. Generally, though, lecturers at Flint and Dearborn are paid much less than lecturers at Ann Arbor.
Lecturers teach 56% of student credit hours at UM-Flint, 51% at UM-Dearborn, and 33% at UM-Ann Arbor. Nearly half of all lecturers work part-time or term to term. Since many are hired by the semester, that means a lecturer can be hired to teach in the fall, but not winter. Imagine if the university admitted you on a per-semester basis, and each year you didn’t know until December whether you’d be able to come back in January!
For these reasons and more, LEO is trying to negotiate more job security in the form of stronger annual contracts, more full-time appointments, improved benefits, and greater professional recognition. We’d also like to see UM invest in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) goals through UM-funded inclusive teaching and community service resources. And we’ve also got strong proposals for improved disability accommodations and fairer and more transparent performance evaluations.
But can UM afford to do better?
In 2016-17, lecturers generated $462 million in tuition revenue, and salary and benefits were about $85 million… WHICH MEANS LECTURERS GENERATED A $377 MILLION SURPLUS.
Paying lecturers an amount that reflects how much work we do for the university should not mean raising tuition. IN 2016-2017, UM SPENT ONLY 7% OF $1.2 BILLION IN TUITION REVENUE ON LECTURER PAY AND BENEFITS.
How does all of this affect students and the University as a whole?
*Lecturers’ work conditions impact our students’ learning conditions. Improvements to the contract will help lecturers invest more fully in teaching.
*Lecturers’ primary focus is on classroom instruction, including planning and preparing courses, holding office hours, and other duties. We are highly educated, have expertise, and experience, and are passionate about teaching. Many lecturers win awards for teaching excellence, do research, produce and publish research and creative work, present work in professional venues, run businesses, are nationally or internationally recognized for professional or creative accomplishments, and more.
*More investment in lecturers in various forms of professional respect, recognition, and full-time appointments means that lecturers will also be able to invest more fully in students and in our departments in the form of service and administrative work. As many TT faculty and Lec IIIs and IVs know, there is more work to be done than often there are people to do it…
As one of the country's top public universities, UM has the power and responsibility to set a new standard of professional respect that values the extraordinary work of non-tenure-track labor.
Investing in Lecturers means investing in UM Excellence. Or as UM itself says:
Support LEO Lecturers on Feb 9: