I'm simply repeating what Kristi Brownfield says and links to over on Unions United, but this is worth a post: 80% of ACsE (Association of Civil Servcie Employees) members voting voted yes to authorize a strike, and 75% of those eligible to vote turned out to vote.
I find it most impressive that members of the union who are the most vulnerable to layoffs, the least well paid, and whose jobs have steadily been cut over years, were the first to vote on a strike, and have had the courage to support their leadership so strongly.
As all who work on this campus know, the civil servants working in the ranks represented by ACsE are paid terribly low wages. And we all know the absolutely essential work ACsE employees do to make this university function. We all know many represented by ACsE whose dedications to their jobs, our students, and our university is a wonder to behold, particularly given their low pay and the low status afforded them by this administration. I was in fact not ten minutes ago emailing with one of our ACsE represented office staff, who could not come to work today due to health reasons but was eager to make sure that a task I had asked her to do got done in a timely way.
Graduate students of course are paid far too little, have grossly inadequate healthcare, and face other challenges, but they are in a temporary phase in their lives. NTT faculty, especially under the current regime, where one-semester contacts have become the rule, are overworked and underpaid, and deprived of the basic job security and the basic respect that anyone with a position as responsible as that of a university instructor ought to merit. We in the FA have it easy by comparison, though of course for all the reasons outlined elsewhere on the blog our status is also at threat, and with it our role in ensuring quality education at SIUC.
I for one am honored to be voting after ACsE has set us all such a strong example, and proud to be in coalition with them.