By Aubree Stamper, Photo Editor
Students, faculty, and alumni gathered together in the University Center to show support for UM-Dearborn’s LEO lecturers as they bargained for a new contract on Friday Nov. 17.
LEO stands for Lecturers Employee Organization and was formed to “promote the workplace interests and well-being of non tenure-track faculty at The University of Michigan,” according to their website. They are the union that represents the lecturer faculty on all three campuses—Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint.
Despite teaching over 50% of the credits at UM-Dearborn, the LEO lecturers are some of the lowest paid in the entire state making a minimum salary of $28,300 at full-time employment. In comparison, the minimum salary for faculty at Washtenaw Community College is $56,641.
In the 2016-17 school year, The University of Michigan made about 1.2 billion from tuition—38.5% of that or $462 million was generated by the lecturers, but only 7% was spent on the lecturers’ salaries and benefits.
Many showed up to the rally to support the lecturers and spoke on their behalf, including Dearborn Pride, student government representatives, alumni and State Senator David Knezek, LEO President Emerita Bonnie Halloran, and more.
The supporters also walked through the UC chanting and holding signs that read things such as, “Respect the Lecs,” “Highly qualified, Underpaid,” and “Those who knead the dough deserve the bread!”
“Our main goals were increased stability for LI’s and part-time lecturers in general in terms of appointments and benefits. Put simply, we want more people covered by health insurance, and we want people to keep their coverage, even if they lose a class or two,” according to LEO’s WordPress.
“We also asked for expanded benefits for parents, including a child-care subsidy and paid time off for those unavailable for long-term sick pay–non birth parents included!”
The next bargaining session is at the Palmer Commons at the University of Michigan on Dec. 1 at 9 a.m. with a rally at noon. You can visit the LEO Facebook page and WordPress for more information.