Call to Lecturers' Allies: Administration's Salary Proposal is an Insult to Us and You

Are you ready to fight for UM Lecturers?

On Monday night at 7:30PM, the University of Michigan administration let us know what they think of the work that Lecturers do for this institution. They let us know what they think of the $462 million in tuition revenue that the university makes off the labor of Lecturers every year. 

Tonight we received the University of Michigan administration’s first counterproposal on salary.

The minimum salary for full-time Lecturer work at the university is currently $34,500 in Ann Arbor; $28,300 in Dearborn; and $27,300 in Flint. These salaries are at least $10,000 below a living wage in Washtenaw County for any single- or dual-parent household with children. 

Since we began bargaining on October 27, 2017, the university’s bargaining team has heard from Lecturers who work 60 hour weeks, driving Uber in order to survive. They have heard about Lecturers who cannot afford to have children, or to ever dream of buying a home because they are paid such abysmal wages. 

Administration began their proposal by telling us that Lecturers cannot complain about this exploitation because with the current job market, they are more or less disposable. Here’s what they think we deserve: 

$1,000 increase in salary minimums in 2019, $750 in 2020, and only $500 in 2021. They actually proposed $500 as a legitimate salary increase. No longevity or equity raises for Lecturers who have worked at UM for 20 years, who can only hope of making a $40,000/yr salary by the time they retire. They think that in Ann Arbor, Lecturers should receive only a 1.5% annual raise. Outrageously, they insinuated that Lecturers are not faculty by suggesting that in Dearborn and Flint, annual raises should be “tied to 'faculty'” – by which they actually mean, tenure-track. 

Our members are stunned, insulted, and outraged. In the past 14 years, Lecturers have seen a 11% overall raise in minimum salary. In that same time period, tuition has increased roughly 90%.  

This treatment of Lecturers is morally unjust. Is this who we are as a university and community? We need to tell administration NOW that no one is going to accept this.We need any ally in this community who thinks this is wrong to show up and help us amplify that message. Whether you are a student, a graduate student, university staff, or someone who just lives near one of the University of Michigan campuses, your presence matters and it is urgently needed this week.

1. REGENTS’ MEETING

This Thursday, February 15, Lecturers will be showing up to the meeting of the University of Michigan Board of Regents. The meeting is in the Anderson Room of the Michigan Union (530 S. State St). We will be staging a grade-in starting at 1:00PM and speaking at the meeting itself, which starts at 3:30PM. The more people who can fill the hallways and the meeting room in LEO shirts and buttons the better. Show up at any point between 1:00PM-3:30PM to grab a shirt and button and express your support, and try and get in the room if you can to attend the meeting itself. 

The Facebook event for this action is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/162367887749501/

2. ACTION LISTSERV

Whether or not you can attend the Regents’ meeting, we’ll need your help and solidarity for the rest of this contract campaign (our current contract expires on April 20). We’re creating an action listserv for people to stay up to date on moments when their presence will be critical. We’ll never spam you or use your contact information for anything besides keeping you updated on our fight for a fair contract. 

If you support a just contract for Lecturers, let us know here: bit.ly/act4lecs


3. SPREAD THE WORD This information needs to reach every member of our community. Spread this post to any and all listservs you're in touch with. Tell your friends. Post on social media (#respectthelecs). The university administration should be ashamed to exploit labor so readily. Let's make their greed and immorality public knowledge.