Approximately 1,700 Michigan professors demanded a pay raise Wednesday that would nearly double the starting salary for lecturers and threatened to go on strike for two days.
Eighty percent of the Lecturers’ Employee Organization, a union representing non-tenure track faculty in the University of Michigan system, voted to strike for two days in April if the school does not reach an amicable arrangement with the union, reported Michigan Radio.
The union reported starting salaries of $27,300, $28,300, and $34,500 at UM Flint, Dearborn, and Ann Arbor campuses, respectively. It asserts that a higher pay scale exists at neighboring public schools and community colleges.
The Lecturers’ Employee Organization asks for a $60,000 starting salary at UM Ann Arbor, with comparable salary hikes at Flint and Dearborn.
“This is happening because so far the administration has offered incredibly insulting counters to our eminently fair demands,” UM Ann Arbor lecturer Shelley Manis said to Michigan Radio.
Manis reported that the strike would occur April 9 and April 10. Nearly a third of the classes at UM Ann Arbor and half of the classes at UM Flint and UM Dearborn would be impacted by the strike.
Another UM Ann Arbor professor, Victor Rodriguez, termed his compensation “not sustainable,” claiming that he works three jobs, one of which is at a coffee shop.
“I could make more money if I worked full-time selling coffee, which is just unacceptable when you consider that I am teaching at one of the leading universities in the United States,” Rodriguez said in the union’s press release.
“A work stoppage or strike by LEO members has its biggest negative impact on students at a critical time near the end of the academic year,” UM spokesman Rick Fitzgerald told Michigan Radio. “A strike by LEO members violates the terms of the current contract, which remains in effect until April 20. There is a ‘no strike’ clause in the contract to which LEO members agreed.”
The spokesman told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the union and the university system are still negotiating.
“State law also prohibits labor strikes by public employees,” Fitzgerald told TheDCNF. “The university believes strongly that the collective bargaining process is effective and there is no need for LEO to call for a strike.”
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