Our Units

Information resources & Museums

The resources collected in the university’s museums, archives, and libraries, big and small, make possible the education and research for which U-M is globally recognized. But we, the staff who care for those collections, have rarely shared in the recognition. We are professionals with specialized skills, multiple languages, deep subject-matter knowledge, or advanced degrees — but little opportunity to advance our careers. We make sure that whatever students, researchers, or members of the public need is in the right place, at the right time, in a useful format, with an accurate description — and we are among the lowest-paid employees at U-M. We are preservation staff, tasked with protecting valuable materials but relegated to neglected, fire-prone buildings. We are collection managers stretched thin by ever-increasing responsibilities.

It’s time for us to get the respect we deserve. United, we will finally have the chance to speak and be heard as equals with management and with our faculty allies in LEO-GLAM. We’re discovering we have a lot to say. Join us and be a part of developing our voice.

Academic, Student, & Instructional Services

We are the staff who make education possible at the University of Michigan. We handle admissions, recruiting, and financial aid; we advise students on their careers and faculty on their course design; we manage the specialized resources needed for both in-person and online instruction. And we teach: students in labs, studios, and performance venues, adults in continuing education, and our community’s children.

But we can’t afford to enroll our own children in our own childcare centers. Our quality of life is slipping as meager pay increases fail to keep pace with inflation. In media and classroom technology, we’ve taken on vast new responsibilities throughout the pandemic and into the present– and received no additional pay for this dramatically increased workload.Our teams in counseling and student life suffer from constant turnover because our salaries aren’t competitive with the private sector. And, despite years of talk and DEI Strategic Plans, some of our units are still buckling under the weight of unaddressed workplace climate issues. These are some of the many reasons that staff in the Academic and Student Services, Instructional Services, and Arts job families have decided to join University Staff United. Share your contact information today and ask to speak to an organizing committee member to learn more and/or get involved in our campaign.

Which Units Will Be Next?

Over 10,000 staff at U-M do not yet have the protection of a union. Organizing all of us is a big project, and it will take time and commitment, but we have a plan. We’re building up our union in groups, guided by the “job families” in which staff are classified according to the type of work we do. Once a strong majority of staff in each group become members of USU, that group gains the right to be recognized by management and negotiate their working conditions as equals. The more groups we add, the stronger we’ll be, and the more we’ll be able to take on university-wide projects. Job families include:

  • Administration

  • Communications & Marketing

  • Development / Institutional Advancement

  • Engineering & Architecture

  • Environmental Safety & Security

  • Facilities Operations

  • Finance

  • Hospitality

  • Human Resources

  • Information Technology

  • Legal & Government Relations

  • Purchasing

  • Research