Wednesday, November 30, 2011

FA ratifies tentative agreement

FA members voted to ratify the tentative agreement with the administration today.  Of the 138 who turned out to vote, 95% voted to approve the agreement.  The 130 131 yes votes made for a majority of all FA members--though all that was required was for a majority of those voting to approve the agreement. With final ratification by the SIU board of trustees, presumably at their December 8 meeting in Carbondale, the 17 month process to get a new contract will at last be complete. Let's hope it doesn't take as long next time around.

After the break, a press release we sent around announcing the results.

The SIUC Faculty Association (FA) is pleased to announce that its members have voted to ratify the tentative agreement with the SIUC administration reached earlier this month. Once the agreement receives final ratification by the SIUC Board of Trustees, it will be signed by both parties and serve as the contract between the tenure-track and tenured faculty represented by the Faculty Association and the SIUC administration. The four year agreement covers the period from July 1, 201o until June 30, 2014. 

“While we are disappointed that it took sixteen months of negotiations and a strike to reach this agreement,” FA spokesman Dave Johnson said, “the agreement will help us defend academic freedom, shared governance, and academic priorities on this campus, and we are proud of the hard work, resilience, and dedication by our members that has made this progress possible. We are also thankful for all the support from other unions on campus, from members of the community, and from our students here at SIUC, hundreds of whom came out to march and rally in support of their professors.”

The following are among the important provisions of the tentative agreement.
  • A transparent process ensures that tenured and tenure-track faculty can only be laid off in the event of a bona fide financial exigency.
  • Conditions justifying furloughs are more clearly defined, the number of furlough days is limited, and the FA may continue to pursue its unfair labor practice charge regarding FY 2011 furloughs. 
  • Faculty gain a greater say in defining their workload through departmental operating papers.
  • Faculty retain the right to decide how best to teach their courses, including the decision over whether to offer a course via distance education.
  • The student-faculty ratio remains unchanged, and includes distance education offerings.
  • Conflict of interest policy and procedures for investigating accusations of sexual harassment will be bargained to resolution in a timely way.

“We are ready to open a new page on relations between campus unions and the administration,” Johnson added.  “We think it is in everyone’s interest, especially those of the students we all serve, for the administration and campus unions to work together. It shouldn’t take us 500 days, much less a strike, to get a new contract into place.  Last year the SIUC administration insisted on imposing its own terms on campus unions, and this fall it took a strike to reach a final agreement. We’re ready to do all we can to build a better relationship with the administration, and we hope that the administration is willing to do so as well.” 


  1. 138?! I don't know if I should laugh or cry. Is that the new 104?

    There's something like 700 tenured faculty, FA membership is about 225 and then 138 vote.


    Oh sure, you had a couple of hundred "supporters." Of course, most of them had no idea what the real issues were.

    I suppose there's always gonna be a certain portion of any group that isn't happy. Here at SIU, that one percent or so managed about 15 years ago to form a union giving a small minority the power to dictate to the 99 percent.

    I got to give it you guys though. Through the clever use of union rhetoric, mis-information, half-truths and taking advantage of a herd mentality a small minority did cause quite a stir. And you blame and demonize the administraiton to claim it was all worth it.

    Tell it to the hand!

  2. Dave: I thought we were up to 275 members? I'll reiterate my call that we should have a membership drive. The apparent failure of the FSN petition gives further evidence that most faculty do want representation.

    The low vote turnout is just because people knew the result was going to be to approve the agreement.

    8:54 AM:

  3. "The low vote turnout is just because people knew the result was going to be to approve the agreement."

    Well now I AM laughing.

  4. Mike:

    Actually, the number of FSN cards is higher than the FA voters. I really think we need to recognize that this campus, this faculty, is not united. Our faculty need to have safe spaces and opportunities to work toward a healthier culture.

    This vote is no mandate. As it took faculty several years to get together enough people to vote the FA in, it may take the FSN time, too. As a faculty, we have a little over two years to create a different climate among ourselves. The FA is the most organized and as such FA leadership has an opportunity to be leaders in this. If this current leadership can not find it within themselves to buy into this need, then the FA membership needs to vote for leaders with the ability to meet the needs of the whole faculty. I recognize there will be posts saying if I want change I should join the FA. To that, I simply have to say that I cannot belong to the FA until its leadership can prove its serious intent to hear all 700+ of us in respectful way and to respond to such. But other out-spoken people critical of the FA have to step forward, too. I include myself in that group.

    Just observing the dynamics: some faculty who are pro-FA and some who are not represent the "knee-jerk" extremist views. ie...the anything the FA proposes is seriously suspect and should be rejected out of hand side because their motives are suspect vs. anything the faculty association questioners propose should be rejected out of hand because their motives are suspect people.

    It's so easy to be cynical. I fight it in myself everyday.

    What do we want to do? We know how to polarize ourselves. What do we want to do?

    I want to be a part of a healthier environment.

    Kim Asner-Self

  5. I too wouldn't make too much of the turnout, but it is undeniable (as Kim notes) that the faculty is divided, and would be stronger if more unified. I rather think that the FA leadership has been listening to everyone with something constructive, including criticism, to say to them--but there is of course a distinction between being listened to and having the leadership follow one's advice. Trust me: I lost a few internal debates as well--though more often than not I was later glad that I'd lost. And, while the FA has a duty to represent and listen to all Faculty, yes, joining the FA does give you more influence over FA tactics & goals--I don't see how that isn't fair.

    Most criticisms I hear of the FA are directed at tactics, rather than goals. Of course poor tactics should be criticized. The main criticism I hear is that the FA is too confrontational, or at least not civil enough (that was clearly the main charge in the FSN manifesto). There are of course numerous comments on this blog that flunk any reasonable civility test, but I find it difficult to understand just how the FA leadership could have responded any more civilly or non-confrontationally without surrendering outright. The administration politely imposed terms on us last year without making any genuine effort at negotiation: their approach to negotiation was perhaps modeled on a classroom experience in which "How about four furlough days?" is the question and the only correct answer is "Yes, please." (Among the answers ruled out were furloughs as loans, furloughs traded for job security, etc.)

    So while I agree with Kim that the faculty has lots of internal work to do, I think that we can't expect to have a union that represents us without being critical and, should it come to that again, confrontational, if the administration doesn't meet us half way. Call it politics, democracy, shared governance, or what you will, there will be conflict some times if there is more than one party with any power. And, yes, when push comes to shove the debate between the faculty and the administration is more often than not about power (far more than it is about money). If the faculty want to have any power on this campus they need to be willing to stand up for what they believe, even if that means standing up to the administration. The more faculty who stand up together, of course, the more power we will all have. I also tend to think that we achieve more when we are respectful, civil, and rational when promoting our principles in our official statements. But this doesn't mean, of course, that we can rule out satire, parody, etc,. as unofficial tools; given the Chancellor's "bully pulpit", the administration's predominant control over the budget, etc., we must use all the creativity and ingenuity we can muster, using a multitude of forms of communication to counter administrative power. Speech is what we've got; if we insist on muzzling ourselves (tempting though it is at times), we're consigning ourselves to second class status.

    I am of course a partisan in this debate. I'd be happy (believe it or not) to hear ideas from others about how the FA could have protected tenure, given departmental faculty more say over their operating papers, etc. without getting us to a strike.

    Or attack my premise that the FA's goals broadly reflect those of the faculty: if you think the FA has/had the wrong goals, say so--and suggest others. Before too long it will be time to start gathering ideas to shoot for in the next contract. If the FA has the wrong goals, let's change them.

  6. Reread your post. You're juxtaposing two separate issues:

    (i) Faculty-Administration relations
    (ii) Faculty-faculty relations.

    These are separate issues. The FA has always been confrontational in its approach to both, which may be why you are unable to separate them, but Kim's message was about (ii).

    Your words suggest that you are still primed for battle with the administration (which does not bode well for the future). I am beginning to think that it is just part of your nature tat you just love to be fighting. But I would advise you to consider other approaches. Sooner or later you will lose a fight. As the saying goes, "you can't win 'em all". (And declaring victory is not the same as winning).

    Try considering, if you can get your head around it, that for every FA member, there is about one who signed a petition card seeking the right to vote on whether the FA should be removed entirely. You might also consider the distribution of FA supporters who went on strike as a function of college and departmental affiliation. 60% of those that went on strike were from CASA, COLA and the Library. The rest were a smattering here and there with scattered unevenly between departments and colleges. Business had no one participating from the entire college. So maybe rather than posting a new verse of the FA fight song, the FA leadership, including you, should be doing some soul searching right about now?

  7. Business represents the corporate mentality of Cheng and Poshard so it is not surprising theyt did not go on strike. Maybe some of us have little patience with neo-conservative faculty who agree to the erosion of tenure, forced DL. and the authoritarian tactics used by the administration who refuse to see that shared governance of the ISU model works much better. And after all, did not a majority vote Hitler into power?

  8. Whats the name of that law? I guess that this thread is over, pity...

  9. COBA faculty are paid well. I bet if you went department by department and compared the average salary to percentage of FA membership you'd get a pretty strong correlation.

  10. 3:13 What an ignorant post! Has it ever occurred to you that faculty in Business are just as entitled to their opinions as you are? Or that as faculty they have exactly the same standing as you (assuming you are a faculty member)? Or that there is a possibility that it may be that your views are the ones that are out of step? Your post typifies a very narrow minded "my way or the highway" mentality, that is common among FA supporters (unfortunately). Coupled with a certain combativeness in your tone, that attitude certainly speaks to the probability of continued divisiveness among the faculty.

  11. Anon 3:04, I see you like your discrete categories. I don't think you can so easily separate (i) and (ii). Dave's point (one of them, anyway) is that (ii) is, according to the FSN manifesto, a direct result of (i). So, in explaining why a firm resistance to the Administration is sometimes necessary, he is responding to the charge that the FA is always and only confrontational.

    If you think the FA members are the only ones who have some soul searching to do after this semester, you must have nothing to search for. But by all means, let's shirk the real issues and avoid the very real questions Dave poses, and instead continue to play games with numbers. Because that, apparently, is what you think is best for the university.

  12. In the last days before the strike, a College of Business professor gave his opinion to the Daily Egyptian in a great letter to the editor about what both the FA and the chancellor could do to avert a strike. Neither side did enough of those things quickly enough.

  13. My own view is that the FSN have made the situation on campus worse by agressively suggesting that the faculty dispose of the FA, before suggesting any alternatives.
    (Except the ridiculous alternative of asking the Faculty Senate to take on a union role, without even asking the Senate about it .... that was almost surreal.)

    I think what the FSN people should do is, not to join the FA necessarily, but perhaps to come along to some FA meetings. And hopefully discover that we are not quite as fearsome, evil as they may think. In fact perhaps the FA should invite/ask them along. I doubt the hardliners in the FSN will come, but perhaps the more moderates will come.
    Or, the other way round, of course, the FSN could `formally' invite some FA people to a meeting. Not a burger party at Turley Park, but something more formal, where there can be genuine discussions of common interest, etc.
    Where perhaps various people can give short talks, rather like at a conference, and then take questions, etc.

    This could be started as early as next year.

    One problem on this campus is that there is no Faculty Club, hence everyone is isolated in their own Departments/Colleges. And such a situation always builds up resentments. This is one reason why the COBA people didn't strike;.... they probably hardly know any FA members.

  14. Anon: 5:38. What an ignorant and reactionary post on your part! Opinions should not go challenged particularly if they involve slavish obedience to the whims of Rita, selling their own colleagues down the road, and contributing to the elimination of everything regarded as important in the academic community. Basically, that attitude represents the type of opinion represented by Gary Metro and there can be no form of agreement unless an apology is forthcoming for these reactionary attitudes that have no place in a university. Perhaps you should consider going to work for Gary Metro?

  15. I see life at SIUC continues "As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, angst without end. Amen."

  16. Anonymous 3:04 makes a valid point, that there's a distinction between intra-faculty relations and relations between the admin and the faculty, but as Jonny has noted, the FSN's criticisms were directed largely at the FA's relationship with the admin. The argument would make more progress with specifics rather than attacks on the FA in the abstract (and defenses in the abstract), which have thus far produced more heat than light.

    My point above (which was abstract) was simply that if you rule out frank disagreement with the administration, much less rule out a strike, then you don't want the sort of representation a union provides. This doesn't mean that it isn't reasonable to criticize the FA for being unnecessarily confrontational, or striking unwisely--but for such attacks to hit home (at least for an audience that accepts union representation as the status quo) the attacks have to include specifics. Readers of this blog also know that I make a point of praising administrative actions when I find them praiseworthy (and draw fire from the left for doing so). I'd be happy if the FA were more willing to publicly work together with the admin on some issues--though we have done so in the recent past (as in the fight to secure borrowing authority the university never chose to use).

    Speaking of specifics, here's the advice in the letter paranoid cited that applies to the FA:

    On the other side, the Faculty Association might acknowledge that we are in a historic worldwide economic crisis and that it might be wise to tolerate some short-term compensation inequities in return for the assurance of continuing employment in positions that are highly paid and intrinsically satisfying, especially in light of the rather dire Illinois state budget situation.

    Offering no salary increases for a few years in return for job security and pay stability, or salary increases only in the event of increased enrollment would demonstrate a highly visible commitment to students and the university that could generate enormous goodwill.

    I don't frankly know what the author meant by "compensation inequities", but presumably he meant that we ought to forget about salary compression and the like. Or equity? Who knows. While I'm not terribly happy about that, we did indeed essentially give up on both issues, if only because the raises we'll get are so small that it seems ridiculous to propose any distribution other than across the board (the administration's proposal).

    As to foregoing raises save in the event of an enrollment increase, well, our proposal was fairly close to this, as we suggested that raises merely keep pace with increases in revenues, which are dependent on enrollment (though tuition revenues will also go up as the tuition rate goes up, even with flat enrollment, or slight declines; certainly no one expects state appropriations to increase significantly). And had the administration been willing to forego the furlough option (providing pay stability), I'm sure they would have found the FA and other unions quite interested in pursuing that line--we were far more concerned about furloughs than salary. That is, had the administration been willing to trade the 0/1//1/2 raises for our furlough proposal, they may well have had a deal (though I speak only for myself on that).

    As to the last suggestion, Kim did attend at least one FA meeting, the Sunday meeting during the strike about where things stood. Kudos to her, again. I think the FA also deserves a certain amount of credit for inviting all faculty--including those not striking--to an open meeting in the midst of the strike. Believe you me, we were aware that that meeting might provoke some heated discussion.

  17. anon3:52...

    Godwin's Law:

  18. Alas, if we enforced Godwin's law most comment threads would end rather soon, wouldn't they? I've thought of developing a algorithm for detecting overheated comments that goes beyond "Hitler". "Rita" would probably do it for most overheated FA supporters. To their credit, I'm finding it harder, off the top of my head, to come up with terms to characterize overheated anti-FA comments. Anonymity is correlated with such comments, and I suppose terms like "demonize", "divisive", "civility", and "minority" are common--but none of these items is itself disqualifying, of course. Suggestions for improving discourse via this censorship machine? (Or, more positively, a word cloud sort of study?)

  19. FA is a part of problems, not a part of solutions.
    If you are a serious researcher, you don't need FA which is only interested:"if you want your voice to be heard, pay money". I prefer: "if you want your voice to be heard, do excerlennt research in your field and thus you have options to leave FA at SIU". FA at SIU does like me, fine, I can find other place. Good luck! FA at SIUC.

  20. Can someone explain why the FA objects to proposals that it only represent paying members? I know that that is the way the current law is written and everyone has to be represented whether they like it or not. By why, in principle, is the FA opposed to the idea of representing those that want to be associated with it and represented by it, and not representing those who do not want to be associated with or represented by it? Kim's post above is absolutely correct that the FA does not make any serious attempt to represent all faculty, and its agenda is certainly driven by the views of a like-minded minority of the faculty, so why object to cutting others loose to fend for themselves?

  21. 10:15 AM, I think you answered your own question. The law requires the FA to represent everyone. As to whether or not we as a matter of fact represent all faculty or not, well, let's get to specifics once again. If you'd suggest areas where the contract (or our proposals) discriminate against non-members, that would be something worth talking about.

    Here's a place to start. The FA does make some effort to protect the lowest paid faculty--for example, the current contract does much to address the hitherto second class status of Library Affairs. And there's probably a correlation between low-paid departments/colleges and FA membership. But my guess would be that even some higher paid faculty would support that sort of tilt in FA proposals. And most FA gains benefit all faculty--equity pay in the last contract, for example, meant that faculty in higher paid fields got larger raises.

    Again, the criticism would be more constructive (not to mention more damning, potentially) if it included specifics.

  22. Well, I think you are dodging the main point of my question my question.

    As to specifics indicating that the FA does not represent all faculty, I think the answers are self-evident (if you are willing to see them): Minority membership; poor (25%) participation in the strike and numerous departments with minimal or no membership or participation etc. Of course you will deny that that shows anything but we will have to disagree about that. But that was not the point, the question I asked was why does the FA oppose the concept of representing only those that want to be represented by it? How often have we heard the accusation, "so-and-so is a hypocrite/freeloader/ungrateful, s/he should sign a paper foregoing raises etc negotiated for them by the FA" etc? I for one would GLADLY sign such a paper. I would happily concede all affiliation with the FA, including raises and other (so called) benefits such as grievance assistance etc in return for the right to be unaffiliated and free to represent and negotiate for myself. I have been told of cases where individuals have tried to negotiate for themselves and those have been opposed by the FA. I have no objection to the FA representing those that want to be represented by it by why insist on representing others that do not want to be represented. So I ask you again = why do you insist on not allowing faculty who want to do so, to represent themselves?

  23. Again, 8:12, you've not understood the answer, namely it is the law. Otherwise, some of us would wish you "good riddance" and wait to see your experience of the administration laughing in your face as they did in the pre-union days. This happened to one faculty member I know who is now retired.

  24. And you are still avoiding the question...

    I will add to 8:12's post the following: The fact that so many faculty were willing to signed petition cards to get rid of the FA is pretty strong evidence that there are a lot of faculty that feel the FA does not represent them! So why not agree to let them represent themselves or to not object when they do so?

  25. @Anon 10:15, As Dave points out (but as I think you understand), there's currently no legal way for people to elect on their own to be in the bargaining unit or not.

    I signed the FSN card because (1) I personally don't feel that a union is an appropriate representative structure for faculty at a research university (at least, not for me); and more importantly (2) I wanted there to be a faculty-wide vote to find out what the faculty (particularly the "inertial majority") really wanted. The card campaign came up short, so now that won't happen.

    However, I recognize that that if there were a vote to disband the union, it would have the unfortunate consequence of taking away something that many faculty believe in (and feel empowered by), and I wouldn't want that to happen either--to me that's no better than forcing faculty to be represented by an organization that they did not choose (or worse, do not believe in). How can any of us be satisfied with either situation?

    But the law is apparently the law, and Prof. Bean's efforts aside, I still wonder (aloud) if a more equitable arrangement could be obtained by (1) a temporary decertification vote of the FA; followed by (2) votes to (re)certify the union -- unit-by-unit, or at least college-by-college (ideally this would be on an individual basis, but I doubt we could be so lucky that this would be possible); and (3) repeat every several years (ideally, with the same frequency--but out of phase of--contract negotiations).

    While the above would not prevent the problem of having individuals that aren't represented the way that they want (although there would be a lot fewer of them), it *would* enable everyone to at least get to vote on their means of representation.

  26. Dave didn't particularly object to people who signed cards if their desire was decertification, so they could represent themselves. His vigorous objections were directed toward the phony* alternative that the FSN proposed.

    Speaking just for myself, and not for the FA, I have seen the Old Boys Club operating enough in internal hires for upper administration. I do not want to see that style of "individual bargaining" brought down to the personnel decisions in my department.

    *"Phony" was Dave's word choice. I rarely use that word for fear of sounding like I'm channeling Holden Caulfield. I also didn't think the Faculty Senate option was phony so much as it was ill-conceived.

  27. Anon 8.12:

    About 60% of the FA membership went on strike, which is pretty impressive. What is more important though is that enough people went on strike to be effective, we achieved in a few strike days what we hadn't done in 500+ days...

    As far as I know, (I personally know of one case), you are allowed to negotiate for yourself, but you may have to threaten to leave to achieve anything, or, more likely, the admin will have a good time turning you down.

    and Anon 9.56, some faculty did sign the FSN cards, but obviously not enough to be effective, ....the FSners have been strangely quiet recently, no more annoying spam mail.
    Hopefully that will be the end of them....adios.

  28. I may have misunderstood the anonymous request for self-representation (no doubt thanks to the ambiguities in "representation").

    Under the current contract, the only way for a faculty member to get a raise outside those offered via the contract (i.e., merit, equity, etc. raises and promotional raises) is to actually receive a offer from some other institution, and then get a counter-offer from SIUC.

    Anonymous, I take it, would like to empower individual faculty members to negotiate raises on other occasions, presumably simply through one-on-one negotiation with their boss (and thus empower bosses to hand out such raises). That right? The problem, of course, is that allowing such discretionary raises would raise the specter of favoritism and, if such raises became common enough, funding them would drain money from the raises specified in the contract. In fact it seems to me that individualized raises would have to fall into one or two of these traps (from the FA perspective): either there would be so few of them that favoritism would appear to be the driving force, or there would be so many that there would be no money left for other raises.

    A better way to reward genuine merit, it seems to me, is through merit pay, which is supposed to be awarded in keeping with procedures spelled out in departmental operating papers. While the FA's priority has traditionally been on other sorts of raises (those keeping up with the cost of living, addressing equity, and addressing salary compression), the FA has certainly gone along with merit raises in the past. Indeed, in the past the administration suggested that raises be handed out 100% for merit--so to get any percentage for anything else, the FA's own proposals started with 0% merit. This time around the administration made no effort to assign raises to merit, presumably due to the paltry amount of money they saw fit to commit to raises.

    My own preference would be for us to decide on a more or less permanent distribution of merit, across the board, etc. raises across contracts--though the absolute dollar amount given for raises would of course have to vary given the finances of the university. For example (just an example--not a proposal I've worked out or discussed with others in the FA, to be clear), one could suggest that raises be across the board up to the inflation rate, with the remainder assigned 50% to merit, 25% to equity and 25% to salary compression.

    An advantage of some sort of multi-contract understanding would be that it would allow departments to draft rational merit pay schemes. In the current climate, it is not clear whether merit pay is going to be the "icing on the cake", in which case the distribution curve should be pretty steep (i.e., so that the most meritorious faculty get most of the merit money), or merit is going to make up the majority of all raises (in which case the curve should presumably be flatter, so that an 'average' faculty member gets a decent raise).

    So, while I wouldn't support Anonymous's idea that individuals be allowed to negotiate their own raises, I don't think that idea in particular is illegal. I do think that it would ultimately undermine contractual raises, and that it runs contrary to the whole purpose of having a union (solidarity and all). But I do think we can and should have a conversation about merit pay, and how to make it a permanent part of the salary structure.

  29. The absence of any mechanism to reward excellence in the FA's policies regarding salaries is effectively a reward for mediocrity - which I believe is the intent given the academic records of many of the FA's leadership over the years. The FA's proposal in the last round of negotiations for "longevity pay" (for faculty with tenure!) is an excellent example of the mindset at work.

  30. So now some posters have resorted to attacking the academic record of FA leadership! I wonder if they would apply the same standards to those who have become Chairs or overburdened with heavy administrative responsibilities in their units that make research all but impossible? Both the FA leadership and the bargaining group have put a huge amount of time into their work and many of us thank them for the toll it has taken on their research and productivity. Attacking their "academic records" is another cheap shot from Rita's supporters. Obviously, if we had individual bargaining then money would go to those faculty who are not in the FA and who slavishly agree with whatever dictatorial action the administration proposes. This is all so transparent!

  31. @ Anon 3:28:

    I agree that none of us get anywhere by calling into question the integrity or intentions of ur colleagues (particularly with sweeping generalizations).

    However, whether through the mechanism of union representation (as Dave) suggests or not (as others would like), "merit" can indeed (and should be) defined before hand according to metrics that are appropriate for a given discipline (and it's not like we have to re-invent the wheel--this is how the world works most other places). It is a strange meme put forth on occasion from some FA corners (though I doubt the majority) that merit pay is merely a sham to reward faculty toadies who mindlessly (or mindfully, with full complicity?) carry water for evil administrators hell-bent on university destruction (a.k.a. not knee-jerkingly opposing and complaining about everything administrators do and say). I agree with Dave that having some long-term discussions on merit are in order.

    While I would certainly disagree with the recurrent implication (or outright claim) that the FA is only for "mediocre" (or worse, completely unproductive) types, it would also be crazy to think that people who would like to see merit pay are not only similarly mediocre/unproductive, but are *also* disingenuous stooges.

    It may surprise some here to hear that many in the FA would like to see rewards for merit too!

  32. Merit pay is important and should be negotiated in the next contract. But the FA can not do everything at once. My objection is to the return of the "good 'ol boy" system where a faculty member wishes to brown nose a Chair and/or Administrator, inviting them to dinner etc, as a result of "individual negotiation of contract" as opposed to a firm union agreement. This has gone on too much in the past and I'd hate to see a return to this type of incestuous practice.

  33. 8:12 said "As far as I know, (I personally know of one case), you are allowed to negotiate for yourself, but you may have to threaten to leave to achieve anything, or, more likely, the admin will have a good time turning you down."

    You should clarify your statement. The contract (current and past) requires more than a threat. To receive a non-FA-negotiated raise one must have a written offer from another university, else the administration is in violation of the contract. This has been a major contention for me with the FA for the past decade. It is a stupid policy that results in the loss of many of our best faculty. The grass sure looks greener on the other side and sometimes is. With the emphasis on across the board and equity based raises, the only way for meritorious faculty to get ahead is by shopping for an offer. It seems clear that the FA wishes to maintain a more egalitarian salary system.

  34. Dave, I think your comment regarding merit pay is spot on. This is something I think truly represents the interest of a majority of the faculty. I have long thought that most of the previous negotiations wasted a lot of time to essentially achieve cost of living increase.

    One last comment. I think that your statement of the FA previously starting out with 0% merit because the administration was anticipated to be at 100% points out what I see as a fundamental problem of the collective bargaining system. One could argue that both sides intended to get to 50%, but had to posture to have somewhere to "bargain in good faith". In the best of cases, time is wasted and both "sides" are offended by where the other started.

  35. Anon 10:36... Your last point speaks directly to the alternative Interest Based Bargaining is supposed to provide. The kind of bargaining you describe is the kind the Administration wanted this time around. When the other party stipulates to chess, it makes little sense to try playing bridge.

  36. People know and people knew everything and every individual think that he is smart.



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