EMU Lecturers Say "Union YES!"
Tue, 28 Mar 2000 14:13:47 -0500
Jon Curtiss <curtissj@CONCENTRIC.NET>
LECTURERS SAY "UNION YES!"
Establishes first Lecturer Union in Michigan
MI - Lecturers of Eastern Michigan University have voted 91 to 2
unionize, establishing the EMU Lecturers Organizing Congress (EMULOC) as
official collective bargaining agent and ending an eight year battle for
rights. The union is affiliated with the Michigan Federation of
and School-Related Personnel (MFT&SRP), AFT, AFL-CIO.
ballots were counted by representatives of the Michigan Employment
Commission. The tallying process was observed by EMU Department
Chemistry Lecturer Julie Frentrup, MFT & SRP Organizer Jon Curtiss,
SRP President Rollie Hopgood, and EMU Academic Human Resources Director
Rush. The results indicated unusually strong support for
according to Robert Strassberg, MERC Elections Officer.
of the mail-in ballots were returned by members of the bargaining
are approximately 400 Lecturers on this Ypsilanti campus, as
to nearly 700 tenure-track faculty. Of the 400, at least 115 will
be now represented by EMULOC in upcoming contract negotiations with the
the average salary for full-time Lecturers is $22,600 per year.
a great opportunity for Eastern Michigan University to rectify what has
been an exploitation of highly-qualified professionals," said Dr.
Figurski, nine year veteran Lecturer in the Psychology Department.
take a leadership role in addressing a national crisis in higher
are running especially high for members of EMULOC's Steering
Chuck Bonney, Lecturer in Sociology, remarked, "It's a
feeling, after 26 years of 'casual labor'," referring to the EMU Administration's
legal tactic of asserting that Lecturers were casual
and thus undeserving of bargaining rights. "I feel absolutely
said Wendy Gouine, an English Lecturer finishing her third year on campus.
next step will be negotiations between EMULOC and the Administration.
Regents have recently appointed a new President, Samuel Kirkpatrick,
is to start on May 15. One of his first challenges will be to enter
complex situation and lead both parties toward a reasonable contract. Lecturer
Matt Johnson commented, "The University may want to take note ofour margin
of victory. This is going to be a strong union. We're looking
to finally being treated with the respect and dignity we've
all along as hard-working, committed professionals." Living
benefits, and job security are important concerns of the
who generate approximately 40% of the tuition dollars at EMU.
some lecturers are included in faculty bargaining units at Grand Rapids
Community College, Oakland University, and Jackson Community
EMULOC is the first autonomous union of lecturers in the state. More
than 10,000 lecturers work at state universities and colleges in Michigan.
precedent-setting court decision that confirmed EMU Lecturers' right
form a union now opens the door for Adjunct Faculty and Lecturers
the state to follow suit. Collective bargaining rights may represent
the first step in abating the dramatic increase in hiring of Lecturers
instead of tenure-track faculty, a nationwide trend.
Michigan Federation of Teachers and
Personnel, AFT, AFL-CIO
phone / voicemail: (734) 358-7004
more recent news on this event contact:
Frentrup, EMU Lecturer in Chemistry,
Organizing Committee: 313-531-2085, 734-487-0297
Curtiss, MFT&SRP Organizer 734-358-7004