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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

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.

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.

Halloran wins re-election

Written by LEO. Posted in News

Long-time LEO president Bonnie Halloran has won re-election in the first-ever contested election for the union's top office. Halloran received 66% of the votes cast to defeat challenger David Skrbina.  The ballots were counted Tuesday evening by the LEO Election Committee.

Those who won uncontested elections to LEO's Union Council were as follows:

Vice-President --Kirsten Herold

Treasurer-- Rick Robinson

Secretary -- Elizabeth Axleson

Ann Arbor Co-chair – Rob Sulewski

Dearborn Chair – Sheryl Edwards

Flint Chair – Laura MacIntyre

One of the two co-chairships in Ann Arbor remains to be filled.

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. 

LEO wins national awards for communication

Written by Bonnie Halloran. Posted in News

ribbonOnce again, LEO has garnered awards for excellence in communication from the American Federation of Teachers.

AFT has notified us that LEO has won six Communications Awards:

  • 1st Place Print Periodical, 3rd Place Layout - LEO Matters (Issues 20, 21 & 23)
  • 1st Place Print Non-periodical -"Treating UM Lecturers Fairly" (Bargaining Brochure)
  • 1st Place Editorial - "Governance before Shared Services" (Joint LEO/GEO Op Ed in Michigan Daily 11.17.2013)
  • 2nd Place Photo or Illustration – Fighting RTW in MI State Capitol, LEO Matters (Issue 20)
  • 2nd Place Video – "Respect" Flash Mob. View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxYaNN6vvQY

Special thanks to Lila Naydan, Melanie Manos, Jamie Jones, Beth Hay, Judy Dyer, our entire Communications Committee, our GEO friends, and all who danced in our "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" VIDEO.

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