Sept 1 Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

In the coming months, you will be asked to sign a membership card for University Staff United, our union for University of Michigan staff. We’ve spent the past three years in conversations with more than 1300 of our colleagues, and we’ve heard many of the same needs and desires again and again:

  • pay that reflect the value of our work, that keeps up with the increasing cost of living, and that’s equitable across all three of our campuses;
  • reasonable workloads that allow us to perform at our best, and freedom from ever-growing responsibilities without compensation;
  • real opportunities for career advancement and meaningful rewards for experience
  • greater support for families and caregivers;
  • fair policies for flexible and remote work, grounded in genuine operational needs and trust for staff;
  • protection from discrimination and mistreatment and the security to stand up for ourselves and for one another.
  • Most of all, we want a real seat at the table where decisions are made about our work.
  • This is why we’re forming University Staff United (USU) — one big union made up of almost all nonsupervisory staff at UM. A recognized union will allow us to negotiate a legally-binding contract with UM, both to secure what’s good about our jobs and to push for improvement.

    Our vision is one big union that represents a number of groups (called “bargaining units”), each made up of staff in a particular category of work and with its own contract attuned to our particular needs. After many months of growing momentum, we’ve decided to move forward this fall with a membership drive in the first bargaining unit, Educational Staff (Student Services & Instructional Services). This drive is the process of bringing together a strong majority of staff in your bargaining unit as USU members, which will allow us to request official recognition under the regents’ policy of neutrality.

    This is our union, and it’s up to us to grow and shape it into a powerful, democratic force for justice at work. That’s why we need more of you to join our Organizing Committee and help build USU by talking with your coworkers this fall. If you’re interested in helping out, please fill out this form (both pages!) and we’ll be in touch to help you get started. We’re holding an Organizing Committee retreat on September 9 to prepare for the membership drive, and we’d love for you to join us!

    Otherwise, you’ll have the opportunity to show your support by signing your membership card later this fall. Together we can make a huge difference in our working conditions.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to reach us at

    In solidarity,
    University Staff United Organizing Committee