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 The Merit Raise Issue 

"...our employer has decided that
lecturers by definition are not meritorious."


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Lecturers demand justice in "truly appalling" case

Written by LEO. Posted in Around LEO

Michelle O'GradySomething truly appalling has occurred.

LINK to petition

Michelle O’Grady has taught in the School of Nursing as an LIV for almost nineteen years, most of those full time.  This past Fall she was on medical leave.  When she returned in January, there were many miscommunications by the School about her assignment for the winter, which caused confusion for everyone.  Without consulting anybody, the School decided to put her back on medical leave and referred her to an office at the University called Work Connections, which handles transitions from medical leaves, in order to assess when she could return to work.  That was January 14th

Since then, it has been a Kafka-esque maze of conflicting and escalating demands.  On at least four separate occasions Michelle’s physicians have confirmed she is ready to return to work.  Each time Work Connections has demanded more testing.  In the absence of any medical evidence that she is too ill to work, it has become Michelle’s obligation to prove she is in fact as healthy as her doctors say she is.   This in itself is a serious abuse of power. 

LEO grieves lack of merit raises

Written by LEO. Posted in News

Citing a "consistent, deliberate, across-the-board refusal" to grant merit raises to Lecturers, especially in the liberal arts colleges, the union has filed a grievance seeking to remedy the problem. The grievance asserts that the employer's behavior violates Article XV of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which permits salary rate increases for merit, equity or rentention considerations.

The merit language was added to the Agreement in the 2006-07 negotiations to make explicit that the contract could not be used as an excuse for denying merit raises to lecturers. And yet such excuses continue to be used.

The union is seeking a new mechanism that will allow for the recognition of exceptional lecturer merit.

View the Grievance Letter.

Redefinition of full-time employment could impact lecturers

Written by LEO. Posted in News

The U.S. House of Representatives voted along party lines on Thursday to raise the full-time employment threshold in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from 30 to 40 hours a week. The Republican majority in the Senate is expected to support the legislation, but it faces a certain veto from President Obama. If made law, the 40-hour rule could impact college faculty across the country, perhaps including UM lecturers with a 75% appointment who enjoy health-care benefit eligibilty under the current law. 

AFT President Randi Weingarten issued a statement opposing the bill:

“Contingent workers, including college and university adjunct faculty, make up an increasing share of the workforce. If the threshold for coverage is raised from 30 to 40 hours, many of these contingent workers will lose a hard-fought opportunity for employer health coverage. This is wrong and unfair. Rather than embracing the spirit of the ACA to help expand healthcare for all working families, this unwarranted change would subvert the law’s intent to cover more Americans and would close off a much-needed health insurance option.”

Oregon grad students strike to improve working conditions

Written by LEO. Posted in News

From The Nation (Michelle Chen):

On their campus set amid the idyllic northwestern woodlands, graduate students at the University of Oregon stepped out of their classrooms and onto a historic picket line last week. The union, representing some 1,500 graduate teaching fellows, went on an eight-day strike and emerged Wednesday with a final deal, embattled but triumphant.

Read the rest at The Nation.Com

LEO members meet in Ann Arbor

Written by LEO. Posted in News

LEO members from all three campuses gathered in Ann Arbor on October 25 for the union's annual convention.

A budget for 2015 was discussed and approved, as was a constitutional amendment.

Members identified issues of concern to be addressed in the next three years, leading into the next contract negotiations, and agreed on priorities.

AFT Michigan President David Hecker addressed to the convention, urging continued activism in the 2014 state election campaign. Following lunch, a dozen members joined with Hecker to canvas labor-sympathetic voters in Ann Arbor, promoting a strong turn-out at the polls on November 4.  

LEO members can view detailed convention notes by logging into the Members Only page.

White House retreats on for-profit college crackdown

Written by LEO. Posted in News

Allie Grasgreen in Politico:


The Obama administration on Thursday watered down its threatened crackdown on for-profit colleges, loosening tough sanctions under heavy political pressure from the industry and members of Congress from both parties.


The administration’s long-awaited “gainful employment” regulation, in the making since nearly the start of Barack Obama’s presidency, aims to force colleges to overhaul or shut down career-training programs that leave students with high debt and too low a salary to repay it.

Read more.

Paul Fain in Inside Higher Ed:

Critics of for-profit colleges were disappointed by the final “gainful employment” regulations. They said the Obama administration caved to industry pressure and put out a watered-down, inadequate set of rules.

The U.S. Department of Education calls that narrative “misleading.” The department said the regulations are strong, legally sound and will protect students from underperforming academic programs.

Read more.

Amendment adopted

Written by LEO. Posted in News

At LEO Annual Convention on October 25, members voted to adopt a proposed amendment to the LEO constitution that designates the union's election day as the last working day of September in even numbered years. 

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