Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Agreement between FA and FS

I've received a request to post the "Principles of Agreement" (a.k.a. "Memo of Understanding") between the FA and the FS. It's embedded below. This memo dates to the origin of the Faculty Association in 1996.

Principles of Agreement

16 comments:

  1. Like it or not, this MOU is the law of Saluki Land. There is a reason that this agreement was signed. It is in the best interest of all Faculty and SIUC’s administration to follow it. Read all statements by FA and administration carefully. There is a lot at stake. Don’t take things easily.

    FSN does not seem to have any idea about how things work at SIUC. A few faculty members, calling themselves as FSN, decided to create noise with a hope to get some sympathy and personal gains from this administration. On the other hand, members of the FA team are not looking for any personal gains. If layoffs are going to happen as per administration’s plan, they may be the last one to go. They are fighting for junior faculty members. Salute them and shake their hand to say “thank you” when you see them next time. Faculty members at SIUC are smart. They can see and evaluate the situation.

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  2. I suppose each may read into this document as they will, but to my eyes this document actually condemns the current situation, unless I have totally missed the evidence of the FA consulting with the FS or the Grad Council (I admit this is anecdotal and I haven't actually searched for it). From what I have seen the two parties generally do not promote the appearance of cooperation based on what seems to be perceived as a potential conflict of interest, since the Senate and the Grad council do not exclude chairs and administrators from serving. Who's to blame? Maybe everyone, but it seems clear that it is not working well now and to me the intent of the MOU is not being followed at all.

    I don't think anyone is suggesting the FA does not have the legal or procedural basis, but rather question whether they still have support of a majority of the faculty they represent, which is the simple criteria by which they obtained their current power 1.5 decades ago.

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  3. I am not sure by what metric anyone is evaluating the level of communication between FA, FS, and GC. There is a clear sense of what falls in the jurisdiction of each. And yes, there is a certain amount of not wanting to cross into the purview of the other.

    Similarly, I do not see evidence that the majority of the faculty are against the FA, either. Claims to the contrary are similarly anecdotal and speculative. The FSN has a Facebook page as their only real online presence. The activity there has been pretty sparse and, the last time I checked, they had just over 20 "Likes." The turnout at at their first event seems underwhelming, although the weather probably played a big role in that. it remains to be seenmif they are going to slowly build momentum.

    Increasingly, I sense the FSN rhetoric of discontent is aimed not only overtly at the FA but also implicitly at the FS as well. If this MOU is outdated or following it is problematic, if the FS should play a greater role in contract negotiation, it seems to me that those involved in FSN should be making official use of the FS to make these claims and seek the change they want. That they, to date, appear not to have done so suggests that they have similar (in kind if not degree) suspicions of this representative body.

    I can't help but wonder when (if?) these self-proclaimed advocates of sensibility will acknowledge that the evidence of their majority is not so clear.

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  4. I don't think that the FSN is claiming to be a majority. The FA also cannot claim to be a majority as its membership is clearly less than 50% (and probably far less). What has become clear is that the FSN is more than the "little annoyance" that Randy Hughes called them.

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  5. When did Randy call the FSN a "little annoyance"? I did a key word search through all his e-mails and did not find one occurrence of the word annoyance. A Google search for "little annoyance" "Randy Hughes" gave no hits.

    The FA membership is about 41% based on figures given at the last general meeting. But there are many people who support the existence of the FA and the gains in the last couple of contracts who do not wish to pay dues. My rough guess is 60-70% of the TT faculty support having a union and maybe 15-25% would prefer not to have a union.

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  6. The comment was made in a piece on the Channel 6 news about 2 weeks ago when the FSN first came to light. The numbers you offer about FA membership may be correct, but as you noted the support/opposition is purely speculative. If Mike Eichholz is telling the truth, he has received messages of support from approximately 25% of the bargaining unit. It is difficult to know where the rest of the faculty come down on this issue.

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  7. watch the video at http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/local/Seeking-change-some-at-SIUC-want-to-replace-faculty-association-131364463.html

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  8. Under Illinois law the FA, and now the NTTFA, are the exclusive representatives of all persons within their bargaining units with respect to "terms and conditions of employment." The courts and the Illinois Labor Relations Board have broadly defined "terms and conditions" to essentially mean anything that is not inherently a management right, such as budgeting (except for layoffs), programmatic restructuring, etc. That's the law regardless of this agreement or how one might choose to interpret it. If your curious you can find management rights defined in the collective bargaining agreements of the respective associations, … er, or should I say imposed terms.

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  9. I should also point out that the NTTFA is not subject in any way to this agreement as NTTs, like myself, were excluded from the FA bargaining unit. Their unit was formed in 2005.

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  10. 10:57 AM,

    Thank you for the link.

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  11. The News 6 identifies Mike E as an FA member. I am pretty sure that was a mistake. There were a few other obvious minor errors in the story. But thanks again for the link.

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  12. FSN is nothing more than a little annoyance. These are the same “silent majority” members who are looking for personal gains from this administration. Many of them are administrators and many are directors drawing full summer salaries. Cheng is making good use of Doggy Bags. If FSN really have 25% faculty with them, they should produce the signatures immediately without any delay and start the decertification process. Otherwise, stop BSing and let the FA do its job for us. FSN actions are creating more chaos. I don’t think FSN has any sense of what is the meaning of sensible negotiation.

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  13. "I don't think that the FSN is claiming to be a majority."

    True. Their principle leadership just dubbed themselves the "silent majority" earlier this year in the Southern Illinoisan. And, as folks regularly remind the FA that their membership is not a majority of the faculty, they often claim overtly or implicitly that the opposition to the FA is a majority.

    "If Mike Eichholz is telling the truth..." is quite a conditional, and one I am not willing to simply take on faith.

    Whether their support is over-claimed or just because their now self-acknowledged process of decertification will take six months or more, they are functionally a "little annoyance" at this time. It is not in the FA's or their bargaining unit's interest to spend too much time worrying about them as negotiations draw to a (hopefully speedy) close.

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  14. Jonathan - An editor at the SI dubbed them the "silent majority". That is not the same as "their principle leadership" dubbing them the "silent majority".

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  15. They (the letter writers who overlap substantially with the FSN leadership but are not exactly the same people) dubbed themselves the silent majority.

    http://thesouthern.com/news/opinion/editorial/guest/article_73c58914-6ded-11e0-9c5e-001cc4c03286.html

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  16. I stand corrected.

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I will review and post comments as quickly as I can. Comments that are substantive and not vicious will be posted promptly, including critical ones. "Substantive" here means that your comment needs to be more than a simple expression of approval or disapproval. "Vicious" refers to personal attacks, vile rhetoric, and anything else I end up deeming too nasty to post.