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Non-tenure track faculty threatening strike at U of M campuses

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

1700 lecturers are threatening a two-day work stoppage next month at the University of Michigan’s three campuses. The Lecturers’ Employee Organization represents non-tenure track faculty at the University of Michigan. The union is seeking a significant pay raise.

“This is happening because so far the administration has offered incredibly insulting counters to our eminently fair demands,” says Shelley Manis, a lecturer at the University’s Sweetland Writing Center and Ann Arbor campus co-chair of the Lecturers’ Employee Organization.   

80% of union members voted in favor of a two-day strike. Manis says the strike would occur April 9th and 10th.  

A stoppage could affect a third of the classes taught on the Ann Arbor campus and half the classes in Flint and Dearborn.

Manis says upcoming bargaining sessions may affect whether the threatened strike occurs.   

A university spokesman says U of M officials remain hopeful an agreement will be reached before the current contract ends April 20.

“A work stoppage or strike by LEO members has its biggest negative impact on students at a critical time near the end of the academic year,” says U of M spokesman Rick Fitzgerald. “A strike by LEO members violates the terms of the current contract, which remains in effect until April 20. There is a 'no strike' clause in the contract to which LEO members agreed.”

Union officials say health benefits, job security, increasing diversity, the review process for lecturers, and job titles are also at issue during contract talks.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.