Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Record Update first

University, lecturers settle grievance and salary increase

The university and lecturers on the Ann Arbor campus have reached a settlement on two related salary issues that gives about 800 eligible lecturers an additional 1.5 percent increase in the 2008-09 academic year and a 2 percent increase in 2009-10.

A settlement was reached Tuesday between negotiators for U-M and the Lecturers’ Employee Organization (LEO) on the increase for 2009-10, a little more than two weeks after the two sides settled the grievance that lecturers had filed over their 2008-09 raise.

The 2008-09 provisions of the settlement resulted in an additional 1.5 percent increase for eligible lecturers in addition to the 2 percent that they received beginning in September 2008, says Jeffery Frumkin, associate vice provost and senior director of academic human resources.

The lecturers’ union filed a grievance against the university in February, claiming a September 2008 salary increase of 2 percent violated the 2007-10 collective bargaining agreement. The union sought an additional 2.1 percent.

The two sides were headed to arbitration when the settlement was reached. “We both decided to sit down and talk about reaching a settlement,” Frumkin says. “It’s settled and it’s taken care of and we can go forward. It’s good to have it resolved.”

Kirsten Herold, chief contract negotiator for LEO, calls the settlement “fair and reasonable.”

“We are glad we were able to come to an agreement without having to go to the time and expense of arbitration,” says Herold, a lecturer in English language and literature.

The key issue in the grievance was a dispute over how the 2008-09 raise for Ann Arbor lecturers was calculated, and the interpretation of contract language that guided that calculation.

As part of the settlement, the disputed contract language was removed, which necessarily required the parties to reach agreement on the salary increase for the final year of the contract, Frumkin says.

The 1.5 percent retroactive increase will be paid to eligible lecturers in a lump sum during the June pay cycle.