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Union Efforts to Help Lecturers

Dear UM Faculty,

I am writing to update you on what’s been going on with some of our non-tenure track colleagues.  This week, lecturers received a letter notifying them that they would not be teaching beyond this fall.  Other lecturers have had their workloads adjusted on them in unfavorable ways.  I want to explain what has been going on and outline our concerns about the way Administration is handling things.

We entered into negotiations with the Office of the Commissioner for Higher Education to create a Memorandum of Understanding to allow lecturers to teach for the full 2017-18 Academic Year, thereby ensuring that any who lost their jobs did so as part of a rationale APASP process.  After two separate proposals from us and no counter offers, the Commissioner and President Stearns decided to send out a blanket letter to all lecturers.

This decision is profoundly disappointing and we are worried reflects an approach from Administration that appears to be looking for what is politically and legally expedient rather than what is strategic or will improve the university for the students.

As we enter this semester where the APASP task force will be recommending a series of difficult moves to bring our university into line with our budget, it is critical that Administration work with shared governance groups in meaningful ways.  We can only hope that this current round of decision-making is a low point and that we will improve going forward.  We can only hope in the future that Administration will be willing to work with the union and other groups to come up with a strategic way to move forward.

We are ready to work with them.  We hope they will work with all of us.

It has been a busy summer and we know many of you have questions about where things stand. To that end, we will host a general meeting for members on August 24 at 4 p.m (place to be determined). This meeting will first focus on lecturers, to update them on their options and explain what we have been doing. We will also answer questions about APASP and other work by the union.

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