Money Talks. What is Your University Saying?

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

How do we as a community - Lecturers, students, graduate students, tenure track faculty, tax payers, etc. - make university administration realize that we will not accept anything less than an equitable contract for Lecturers?

On Friday, March 23, while bargaining at UM Flint, we received University of Michigan administration's second counterproposal on salary in our contract negotiations.

They offered:

  • $2,000 raises to minimum salaries in 2019 and 2020
  • 2.25% annual raises over 3 years in Ann Arbor
  • No additional raises, such as equity adjustments for Lecturers already above minimums (even if just barely)

With this proposed salary package, Lecturers in Ann Arbor would only see salary minimums reaching $40,000 in 2021, the last year of the contract. Dearborn Lecturers would see a minimum of $34,000 by 2021, and Flint Lecturers would only reach $33,000 salary minimums in 2021.

Money Talks. This is what your university is saying.

You've heard these numbers again and again, but they just can't be stressed enough. In the 2016-2017 academic year, Lecturers generated $462 million in tuition revenue for this university. In that same year, the university spent $85 million on salaries and benefits for all 1,700 Lecturers and their dependents. That means the university made a profit of $377 million off of Lecturers' labor. 

You might have some questions. Questions like: 

How does it make sense to spend $15 million on a new clubhouse for the golf course (check out the notes from the last UM Regents' Meeting), and offer $33,000 full-time salaries to members of a group responsible for generating $462 million in revenue?

If the university has one President and one Board of Regents, why does administration continue to use the idea of artificial "silos" between all three campuses to justify paying lower wages and directing fewer resources to Flint and Dearborn campuses?

If the university loves to use statistics from the Flint and Dearborn campuses to boost the appearance of diversity across the university, why is there no DEI money allocated to Flint or Dearborn campuses to SUPPORT those students?

But of course, the biggest and best question is...

Students have stood behind us every step of the way. We had 120+ allies with us at open bargaining on March 16. We have nearly 1,300 signatures on the petition started by students and other allies. At this point, the university administration's disrespect for Lecturers is ALSO extreme disrespect for every person who has stood up so far to say: I want my teachers to be compensated fairly. I want my tuition to go toward my education. I want my tax dollars to prevent the exploitation of labor. I want my colleagues to receive the respect I know they deserve.

...So, how do we make university administration realize that we as a community - Lecturers, students, graduate students, tenure track faculty, tax payers, etc. - will not accept anything less than an equitable contract for Lecturers?

Great question. We have to keep putting the pressure on. We have to show that our community is behind Lecturers until the very end. Here's how:

1. Sign up to join us on our picket lines in solidarity at leounion.wordpress.com/petitions. Having allies sign up for picket shifts A) helps us to make our presence constant and unmissable on our campus in the event of a walkout, and B) helps demonstrate the kind of solidarity power we have in our community.

2. Attend the LEO Talks to the UM Regents' Meeting and Grade-In THIS THURSDAY, 3/29, 2:00PM-3:00PM at the Michigan Union. At our last grade-in at a regents' meeting, we had over 75 allies come out to show support. Can we double that number this week, in light of another miserable counterproposal on salary from administration? See details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1970825376514922/

3. Attend our next and last open bargaining session on Friday, April 6 (location TBA).

4. 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.