Students and staff at the University of Michigan occupied the Administration Building in protest. The dozens of educators and their supporters say it’s all about fair pay.
When 7 Action News arrived, there were people sitting, standing and singing outside of the Provost office. The office is located on the third floor of Fleming Administration Building.
Most of those gathered in protest are members of LEO. LEO is a union. It stands for the Lecturers’ Employee Organization at the University. Many of the men and women have master’s degrees and even a PHDs.
They tell 7 Action News that most of the teach more than professors. However, these educators say lecturers are making much less.
“We’re about to fill out food stamps, which is insane. I’m a full-time employee at the University of Michigan, they should be ashamed of this. The pay is abysmally low. It’s the minimal allowed by the university, is lower than the lowest paying public school job in the county, $34,500. This university runs on a 3.2 billion dollar a year budget, that is insane,” says one Lecturer.
LEO is fighting for a fair increase in pay.
So, what does the other side say?
“Our lectures are extremely important to the mission of the university. If we don’t resolve it today, we’ll keep working until we get a contract that both sides are happy with,” says Rick Fitzgerald, Spokesperson for the University of Michigan.
Both sides have agreed to continue talks.
The average lecturer salary on the Ann Arbor campus is $67,000.