17% salary increase in first-ever librarians’ union agreement with University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR, MI — The University of Michigan and its union of librarians, archivists and curators reached their first-ever bargaining agreement on Friday after months of negotiation.

GLAM, the librarians, archivists and curators arm of the UM Lecturer Employees Organization, announced an agreement with UM through 2025, according to a July 29 statement. GLAM joined LEO in 2021, making this their first-ever contract with UM.

More than 98% of the union agreed to, among other things, an overall average wage increase of 17% over the three years of the contract while addressing historical inequalities, the statement said.

“Together, we have reached a contract that embodies our values ​​and demonstrates what is possible when workers exercise their power,” said Edras Rodriguez-Torres, vice president of GLAM.

GLAM has been in negotiations with UM for seven months, the statement said. Those talks culminated in the establishment of minimum wages on all three campuses by the first year of the contract, the statement said.

The 17% wage increase is based on total wage expenses for the entire bargaining unit, the statement said. The lowest paid librarians, archivists and curators will see increases between 9% and 30% depending on the pay scale, the statement said.

The agreement also streamlines the promotion system for all employees, standardizing their classification and advancement measures, the statement said.

All librarians, archivists and curators will also be considered professors, giving them the “right to academic freedom,” the statement said. This means access to guaranteed funds for professional development and agreed guidelines for workload and remote work, the statement said.

“Since gaining recognition just over a year ago, our members have worked tirelessly to build a strong union based on collective action for the common good,” said Meredith Kahn, president of the GLAM Campus. “I hope our success can be a signal to others at the University and to information and cultural heritage professionals elsewhere.”

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