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 The organizing issue

LEO's Newest Organizers

Meet new campus organizers Jordan Adams (Flint) and Chris Pomeroy (Ann Arbor).

LEO seeks lead organizer

Written by Bonnie Halloran. Posted in News

Lead Organizer Job Search Announcement

The Lecturers' Employees Organization (LEO), AFT Michigan Local 6244, AFL-CIO, a progressive volunteer-based union of non-tenure-track faculty at the University of Michigan (UM), is seeking to hire a Lead Organizer. LEO represents over 1500 non-tenure-track faculty on 3 campuses: Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint. We are largely a volunteer organization with a strong organizing ethos.

LEO's Merit Campaign

Written by Kirsten Herold. Posted in News

Link: Why and How to Submit a Merit Increase Request (PDF file)


1. There is a strong contractual basis for lecturers receiving merit increases, in spite of what members are told.

The LEO UM contact mandates a set of annual and major review raises. In addition, it states very clearly that all lecturers are eligible for merit or equity increases: "In addition to A.2., above [the annual increases], the Employer may increase an Employee's full-time salary rate based on merit, or equity, or retention considerations. Such increases will be effective on either September 1st or January 1st." (Article XV, A. 7, p. 81 in the current contract). Thus it is simply not true when a Dean or Department Chair tells a lecturer that the LEO UM contract prevents him or her from awarding merit, equity, or retention pay to lecturers.

2. There is a strong historical precedent for lecturers receiving merit increases.

Before LEO formed in 2003, in LSA in Ann Arbor Lecturer IIIs (the equivalent of today's Lecturer III/IVs) were eligible for merit increases. Unfortunately, different departments responded very differently: in some departments lecturers routinely received merit raises, while in other departments, all raises above the bare minimum went to tenure-track faculty alone. Nevertheless, the college policy was that Lecturers were eligible for merit pay, and dozens received merit pay every year.

Since the LEO contract, LSA has largely discontinued the practice. However, a few colleges have continued to award merit raises to a number of Lecturers, notably the College of Engineering and the Ross School of Business.

AFT leaders voice concerns about rating system to Education Secretary

Written by LEO. Posted in News

Recently, higher education leaders from the American Federation of Teachers, including LEO President Bonnie Halloran, met with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his staffers to express their concerns about the Obama Administration's plan to develop a rating system for US colleges and universities based on graduation rates, student debt and post-graduation income. All of the AFT leaders in attendance said that such a ratings system will not address the real problem of social inequality and its impact on adequate student preparation for college, nor the 30 years of state disinvestment in public universities. In response, Secretary Duncan and his staff made it clear that they are not interested in hearing about the potential problems, and are already committed to establishing a rating system that would provide consumers a way to compare the value and performance of institutions of higher education.

Call for writers

Written by LEO. Posted in Around LEO

LEO Matters needs writers! Writing for the newsletter is a fun and easy way to get involved in your union. Get in touch with LEO Matters co-editor Jamie Jones if you have a few hours to give this year. Send an email to Jamie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Are you a new UM lecturer in Ann Arbor, Dearborn or Flint? Welcome! We're lecturers, too, and LEO is a union for us all. To learn more about LEO, click the Union Yes! button.