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UPAMM Ratifies First Contract

On June 2, the United Physician Assistants of Michigan Medicine (UPAMM), AFT Local 5297, announced that its members had voted 202 to 3 to ratify a first contract. The vote is the culmination of several years of hard work organizing the local from the ground up and negotiating an entire collective bargaining agreement with the University of Michigan.

The contract includes average raises of 17.5% over three years and bonuses for PAs through a

completely new salary structure, additional paid time-off, increased professional development funds, just cause protection, and a union grievance procedure. Retirement contributions and health care contributions are now locked in as well. PAs will now have a more collaborative relationship with management through a Labor/Management committee, more representation on committees, and protection against excessive workloads.

Congratulations to UPAMM members and leaders on an excellent first contract!  And thank you to the UM Board of Regents, who played an important role by passing a majority recognition organizing policy and setting a more collaborative tone for negotiations.

Support Increased Job Security for Wayne State Lecturers

AAUP-AFT Local 6075, which represents full-time faculty and academic staff at Wayne State University, is negotiating a new contract for the first time in eight years. Guaranteed job security for all members, including contingent full-time faculty, is one of the major issues on the table. Contingent full-time faculty (lecturers, clinicians, and researchers), who make up 45% of the bargaining unit, lack meaningful job security under the current contract. Lecturers have been especially vulnerable. Administrators routinely give them pink slips (notices of non-renewal), even when they fully intend to renew their full-time appointments, which makes it impossible for lecturers to know if they should seek employment elsewhere or if they will be rehired. These notices disrupt the educational mission of the university and have already driven away some of WSU’s best teachers. The administration also wants to erode tenure protections and make it easier to fire faculty through a new “post-tenure review” for all tenured faculty members, rather than follow existing contract provisions and university statutes that address issues with faculty performance as they arise. 

Please support Local #6075’s members by signing the petition below demanding guaranteed job security for all full-time faculty and academic staff.

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AFT Michigan Pride Picnic

Let’s celebrate Pride month together and connect with fellow AFT Michigan union members!

  • When: Saturday, June 19, 1-5 pm
  • Where: County Farm Park Pavilion in Ann Arbor (2230 Platt Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48104) (click here to see a map – use the park entrance indicated on Platt Road)
  • Who: Queer & trans AFT Michigan members/staff, their families, & allies in our union. All are welcome! Bring your partner/s, kids, & well-behaved dogs on a leash. People at all stages of coming out are welcome – you don’t have to be out to hang out!
  • RSVP: send a brief email to AFT Michigan field rep, Erin Lavin ( Note: an RSVP is helpful for planning, but is NOT necessary – feel free to just show up!
  • Other info: Picnic food & non-alcoholic drinks provided, including vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free options. The pavilion offers shade, restrooms, picnic tables, multiple grills, a water fountain, & a playground. Parking is free. The path from the parking lot to the pavilion is even and paved. COVID precautions: Since this is an outdoor event, facemasks and social distancing are welcomed, but not required for vaccinated individuals.

Our picnic falls on Juneteenth – click here to read more from AFT on the significance of Juneteenth. As we celebrate LGBTQIA+2S pride this weekend, we will also honor the ongoing and intertwined struggles for racial justice, workers’ rights, and queer & trans rights. Questions? Contact Erin Lavin (she/her), higher ed field rep, at

Public Education and Our Fight for Racial Justice

I published an op-ed in the Michigan Advance last week discussing how we can chart a better path forward and work toward a future where students and educators of color are respected, supported, and given the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.

Essential Worker Celebration and Vaccine Clinic

MDHHS is hosting a free vaccine clinic Thursday, June 17, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Mission Point of Detroit, 2102 Orleans St., Detroit, MI 48207. Bring your family and get vaccinated! Free food truck, DJ, and no appointment needed!

Upcoming Professional Development 

Celebrate Juneteenth with Your School and Community

Teach the history of June 19, the holiday known as Juneteenth, where we celebrate the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. 

Within the collection of Juneteenth teaching resources, you will find lesson plans, activities and other materials to help educate and engage students in learning about the Reconstruction era history and politics surrounding the Juneteenth holiday, and the role Black joy plays in celebrating this heritage.

Learn More

Juneteenth: A New National Holiday?|PBS NewsHour Extra

Use this news lesson from 2020 as a point of reflection for students to explore the meaning of the day and the case to make it a federal holiday. 

Learn More

In solidarity, 

David Hecker, President

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