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University of Michigan presents another contract offer to striking graduate workers

a sign for GEO that says UM works because we do
Caroline Llanes
Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan has presented another contract offer to striking graduate workers.

The university also plans to submit a formal "fact finding" petition with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, unless there is substantial movement towards a resolution with the union by Tuesday, May 16.

“Fact-finding” is a process present in some union negotiations that allows a neutral, state-appointed “fact-finder” to review the issues and work out the parties biggest disputes.

A recommendation from the fact-finder will likely take several months.

Amir Fleischmann is the chair of the Graduate Employees' Organizations contract committee and a PhD candidate in political science.

He believes the "fact-finding" petition will not impact current negotiations.

“It's another maneuver by the University of Michigan to use the legal system to impose an unfair contract on graduate workers. That didn't work when they tried to get an injunction against us and I don't believe it's going to work here either,” Fleischmann said.

Fleischmann said GEO is largely unsatisfied with the new contract offer, and it is unlikely to be accepted.

“The 5% raise that they're offering in the first year of the contract is the same offer that they've been giving us since the beginning of the strike,” Fleischmann said. “That's not an offer that our members think is serious and is not one that is going to convince them to end the strike.”

The contract offered graduate students on the Ann Arbor campus a 12.5% raise over a three year period, and a 6.75% raise to graduate students on the Dearborn and Flint campuses over a three year period.

Editor's Note: The University of Michigan owns Michigan Radio's broadcast license.

Taylor Bowie is a senior studying English Literature at the University of Michigan and an intern in the Michigan Radio newsroom. She is originally from Owosso, Michigan.
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