Meet Our Union Monday: Cindee Giffen


Every Monday, look forward to meeting another one of your fellow union members and hearing about how they got involved in LEO. This series is a way for us to learn about our fellow Lecs, and remind ourselves that We Are the Union!

This week, meet Cindee Giffen, a Lecturer in Ann Arbor’s Comprehensive Studies Program and Co-Chair of LEO’s Ann Arbor Contract Implementation and Organizing Committee (CIO). You can let us know if you’re interested in attending a CIO meeting here!

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What's your name?

Cindee Giffen

What do you teach and on which campus?

Biology in CSP [Comprehensive Studies] on AA [Ann Arbor campus]

How long have you taught at the University of Michigan?

This is my 6th year

What’s your favorite song to dance to?

That's a hard one....hmmmm.

What was your first experience with unions or the first time you learned what a union was?

I learned a lot about public sector unions when I lived in Wisconsin and the Republican gov/legislature gutted unions in the state, including the TA union at University of Wisconsin. Since becoming a LEO lec, I guess I first got involved during the early stages of prepping for the last contract campaign by attending a forum.

What union committee(s) are you on and what is your favorite part of being involved?

Co-chair of CIO. My favorite part is learning about the different experiences of lecturers and trying to figure out creative ways to help them!

Why should a LEO member join your committee?

To share the load: if you want to contribute to helping other lecs, CIO is not a huge time commitment, but helping a lec understand their salary or benefits, or guiding them through a review is really rewarding. There's a bunch of this work right now, but the load is much more manageable with the 12 contract ambassadors we have sharing the work. This is also a great way to learn about the contract and see how enforcement and implementation works.

Helping a lec understand their salary or benefits, or guiding them through a review is really rewarding.

Football or basketball?

meh - gymnastics? I also really like curling.

Current obsession?

My new InstantPot. And the otters on twitter.

What century would you want to live in (excluding 21st and 20th)?

Whatever century the Egyptian pyramids were built - I'm so curious about how that happened.

Hard shell or soft shell (tacos)?

SOFT! Sometimes corn, sometimes flour, though.

Favorite LEO slogan from this past round of bargaining (could be one we actually used, or one we considered)?

Those who write the checks must respect the lecs!

Your personal fight song--the one that gets you fired up to fight the good fights?

The song questions are too hard.

Share a guilty watch (a movie or show that’s probably no good but you enjoy anyway)

This Is Us.

What’s a favorite book you read in the past few years, fiction or non-?

Bad Feminist

What would you like to eat for your last meal?

Toss up between fish tacos and baingan bartha

What superpower would you least like to have?

Glitter farts.

In one word, describe your experience with LEO so far.


If you could teach something in another discipline for a semester, what would you teach?


What’s one pleasant surprise about your experience with our union?

Our bargaining team really stuck with it, long after I might have thrown in the towel - we have great staying power!

What was your favorite question on this quiz?

superpowers question

LEO Communications Committee