U-M requests neutral third party to assist in LEO contract talks


The University of Michigan filed a petition July 1 for fact finding with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission to help reach agreement in contract negotiations with the union that represents lecturers on all three campuses.

In the fact-finding process, a neutral third party makes recommendations to resolve open issues in negotiations. Either party may petition for fact finding if bargaining and mediation have failed to result in a final agreement.

Fact finding is the final impasse resolution procedure available to public sector employees. It is illegal for public employees in Michigan to go on strike.

U-M and LEO, a unit of the American Federation of Teachers, have been engaged in negotiating a new contract since Jan. 15.

Over the course of 26 formal sessions, the parties have made progress on a number of significant issues, reaching 17 tentative agreements to date. However, they have not been able to agree on key economic issues and several non-economic issues. These include salary and compliance with the university’s felony disclosure policy (SPG 601.38).

The university previously requested assistance from a state-appointed mediator in April. There was hope that negotiations on a new contract would conclude then.

The university hopes to reach an agreement to ensure a smooth start to classes in the fall term. A limited number of additional bargaining sessions are scheduled in July, based on the availability of the LEO bargaining team. The university remains open to bargaining during the fact-finding process.

LEO represents approximately 1,650 full and part-time university lecturers on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. The current LEO contract is a three-year agreement that took effect July 13, 2018, and remains in place.



  1. Kirsten Herold
    on July 2, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    In response to this rather one-sided press release, LEO has issued the following statement: “LEO and Admin have been bargaining in good faith since January. We have reached agreement on numerous issues, in many cases compromising greatly to get there. If Admin had been willing to meet us on our extremely reasonable salary demands, we would have been done by now. We welcome looking at the facts, which will show that the wealthiest public university in the country pays fulltime faculty members, with Masters and Ph.D.s, 41K a year.”

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