Bargaining Update 3/28 & 3/30: Some excellent movement on benefits, MUCH work left to do on salary
This update covers two bargaining sessions — Wednesday March 28 and Friday March 30 — since the pace of bargaining is quickening along with the pace of the semester in general. Here’s a look at negotiations this past week; let’s use what we have to shed light on the University’s responsibility to those of us who too often have to burn our candles at both ends to support ourselves so we can support the U’s mission.
A one-sentence summary is that good progress was made on benefits and other non-salary issues, and that a little progress was made on salary for Ann Arbor.
(Sorry for the level of detail in what follows, but as we get close to the end, it is important for members to have a clear understanding on where we are on the key issues.)
In their third salary proposal, there was only one significant change:
- For Ann Arbor, the minimum starting salary went up fairly significantly for the first year ($34,500 to $40,000), plus another $1000 for 2019-20, and 2020-21, ending at $42,000 a year. Annual raises remain at 2.25% a year.
- For Flint and Dearborn, admin offered no increases to starting salaries, which remain at $29,300/$30,300 for 2018-19, $31,300/$32,300 for 2019-20, and $34,000/ $33,000 for 2020-21, respectively. Annual raises remain tied to tenure-track faculty.
Management did indicate some interest in an equity increase for long-serving lecs (w/o committing to any specific sum of money) and asked for a small group discussion to lay out a “road map” for further discussion. During small group, some of the principles we discussed were the worry about compression (e.g. having a new hire make the same as someone in the fifth year), and the basic principle that if the mins go up by a certain amount, everyone else needs at least that same raise.
Although all this is movement in the right direction, we are very far apart on reaching agreement on fair and equitable compensation.
They told us that other than raising the mins they had no interest in doing anything for those who have not yet had both reviews, and we told them their position was unacceptable to our membership.
- On appointments, we are close to an agreement where lecs get an open-ended appointment after the first continuing review, and reframing that review, which will occur every seven years, as more of a professional development opportunity, rather than an evaluation.
- We also have an agreement that lecs will no longer have to submit materials already in the department’s possession (student evals and classroom observations) for their reviews, hence avoiding the several hundred page long review files.
- For benefits we have gained two big concessions and several smaller ones: Summer benefits for those who are at 50+% for winter and have a confirmed benefits eligible fall appointment, AND averaging of benefits, for those who average a 50% appt for the year.
- On bereavement leave, they agreed to our proposal of an extra two days of paid leave (for a total of five days) when there are extenuating circumstances, such as travel, for the death of a loved one.
- They agreed to include assuming legal guardianship of a child up to 6 (or a disabled child up to 12) as a ground for an unpaid leave of absence.
- Finally, they agreed to pay for benefits for a long serving lec (i.e., someone who has passed two major reviews) who take a one-semester professional leave (aka "sabbatical lite").
- And we are very close to agreement on a professional development fund and a diversity in teaching fund.
So what remains on the table, apart from salary? (See a detailed table of each proposal’s status here.)
- Admin remains adamantly opposed to letting units who want to use the title of "teaching professor."
- Admin remains opposed to our child-care proposal and any kind of parental accommodation either for birth mothers who are not eligible for long-term sick or for non-birth parents.
- They object to our proposal that lecs need input into the reviews of their supervisor.
- We are still working on ways to diversify lecturer hiring.
We have added additional bargaining sessions before this Friday’s OPEN BARGAINING in Ann Arbor:
- Tuesday, April 3rd: Starting at 4:30 and continuing as long as necessary (at Academic HR in the Administrative Services Bldg., 1009 Greene St.)
- Wednesday, April 4th: Starting at 4:30 and continuing as long as necessary (TBD, but near the Michigan League to facilitate transit to and from the GMM #3)
We also have three crucial General Membership Meetings--one on each campus.
You do NOT have to attend the meeting on the campus where you teach. You’re welcome at ANY location, depending on what corresponds best with your schedule:
Flint: Monday, April 2nd, 6:30-7:30 PM, at the IBEW Hall (1251 W Hill Rd, Flint, MI 48507)
Dearborn: Tuesday, April 3rd, 5:00-6:00 PM, at 1030 CB (Mary Kochoff Auditorium, CASL) — NOT Kochoff Hall in the University Center!
Ann Arbor: Wednesday, April 4th, 6:00-7:00 PM, in the Ballroom on the second floor of the Michigan League (911 N Univ Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109) — NOT Rogel Ballroom in the Michigan Union!
Please check your schedules and attend as many sessions and meetings and functions as you can!
Many are open to allies. All are open to LEO members!
The time is now. What could become the home stretch is here, provided we keep amassing and even increasing our support at this critical juncture.