Sunday, November 6, 2011

FA Bargaining Unit Meeting Tonight at 5:00

Just a post to flag the meeting at the civic center tonight (Sunday). All members of the FA bargaining unit are welcome to attend (members and non-members). The main order of business is to present where negotiations stood at midnight on Wednesday. We aim to provide detailed accounts of our final set of proposals, and the latest from the administration as of that date.  We'll have quick reports from leaders of other locals on their settlements, and a report on the strike so far.  There will also be an update on the progress of negotiations since. We expect to at least have a resumption date & time scheduled, and it's quite possible negotiations will have resumed by 5:00, in which case we'll try to provide some sort of update on what is going on at the table today. And there will be time for Q & A. 


  1. Faculty who have been sitting on the fence can do something important now, today. Write your dean and say that if there is not settlement Sunday night you will join the strike on Monday. (Copy in Jacob Baggott,, Rita's assistant as I imagine Rita's mailbox must be full.)

    I don't believe in grudges and have no ill will toward those who have chosen not to strike. But there was nothing to prevent the BOT team from meeting with us on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. What does that tell you? If you want to help bring this thing to a rapid conclusion the only effective tool you have now is to tell the Admin you will join the strike on Monday.

    I know it is a difficult and stressful time. But we will get through this. You cannot be fired or disciplined for striking. It is a lawful democratic right like voting or free speech.

  2. Someone asked about the result of FIRE's action against the censor-Facebook president at Valdosta. He lost a federal lawsuit and took the opportunity to "resign" (although I think the final court decision was after his retirement). See below. If you think the university has violated First Amendment with Facebook, contact FIRE. This situation is quite different, however, because the kid at Valdosta was banished for posting to Facebook, taking things off your own web site (even if you are state entity)? You can always call FIRE or EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation). It seems more ambiguous case here than the usual case that makes it to court of public opinion or federal court. PS: FIRE has a lawyer network here in midwest so they can help. Their Chicago lawyer wrote a piece in DE challenging SIU's restrictions on speech (look up SIUC on their list).

    I was going to go to the meeting tonight but my father and his wife from Vermont are here on their annual visit. Dad is near 80 and hate to give up my few days with him to more strife.

    Let's hope it gets better. Can't get worse.

  3. Strikers - If you are on the fence, there is something you can do today. Call the FA leaders and tell them that if they can't negotiate reasonably with the BOT team that you will return to work on Monday. We need to put pressure on both sides to end this crisis. Randy and Dave's e-mail boxes are pretty full, so you might cc Mike.

  4. 10:56 AM,

    As I mentioned on another post people on strike who don't think they can hold out longer should let their DRC reps know this. And why did your spoof of my post stop with the first paragraph? And can you explain why the BOT team did not meet with the FA team for three days? I have asked you (or some other anon like you) this before and never got an answer.

  5. Anon 10:56 participates in the fallacy of False Equivalency. We get a lot of that here. But good questions on the turn-around, Mike.

  6. The sticking point is the definition of Financial Exigency. I hope that FA Bargaining team have some creative ideas of how to get over this hurdle.

  7. I am not the anonymous poster from above, but I was struck by Mike's question: "And can you explain why the BOT team did not meet with the FA team for three days? I have asked you (or some other anon like you) this before and never got an answer."

    This would seem to imply that the only unanswered questions are the ones directed toward Admin. Several people here have requested that the FA post the full text of its offers that were made on Wednesday, and that has never happened either; all we have is assertions as to what was contained in them. The devil very often is in the details, you know, and if the FA is going to present itself as the side that embodies transparency, it needs to be a little more forthcoming, I would think.

    And yet again, this is NOT to say that I agree with the Administration: I find our top administrators' attitudes towards faculty and students pretty deplorable. I do not believe, however, that this automatically means I must give support the FA, if they too are behaving in ways that work against the interests of faculty and students.

  8. 12:12 PM,

    Fair questions. I know there is tricky balance between "not bargaining in the press" and transparency. I hope more details become available soon and you should continue to press for answers to your questions as I am with mine.

    Jonny, any ideas on what can be made available, or reasons why some things cannot be made public yet?

  9. Hey, I copy what I get here. If there were clearer language available, I would share it. Folks have summarized the offer here and elsewhere, as well as challenged the Chancellor's explanation of it.

    The most recent "furlough" supposals can be found here:

    In general, the FA website has a permanent page in a menu on the right hand side for bargaining documents.

  10. Mike - I'm the anonymous that you questioned. I am not part of the bargaining process, so I can't speak for the lack of weekend negotiations. However, I will say that when the FA decided to strike, they implicitly accepted that it could go on for a long time. Frankly, I don't think that the FA's last offer on FE even merits a response.

  11. "Call the FA leaders and tell them that if they can't negotiate reasonably with the BOT team that you will return to work on Monday."

    I suspect with mediation on the table, many on-the-fencers will return Monday or Tuesday (depending on their schedule). A lot of people could only afford a week of lost pay - maybe a bit longer if they have a good second income...If they have only one (now zero) income, then mediation is a good reason to come back to work. Just a guess.

  12. Guesswork, not so much the people I have called today on my picket squad. We are hopeful that mediation will help resolve this thing quickly, but we know what got the mediator to the table in the first place. Some folks who were thinking they might go back to work on Monday have agreed to stay on the picket line a while longer because they see the effect it is having.

    They won't lose a week's pay for a few days yet; they won't lose any pay if not docking their pay is part of the back to work agreement.

  13. 1:40 PM,

    I respect your opinion on the FA's offer. You have a right to call them as you see them. I would still maintain that the BOT team should have kept talking. I don't care if they are throwing spit balls at each other they should stay at 'the table' and keep at it.

    I took my first grad level course as a sophomore. It was overwhelmingly hard. Every hour or so I would take the textbook and kick it across the room. Then I would pick it up, straighten the pages, sit down and get back to work. The BOT team needed to keep at it.

    Although you chose not to strike (I assume), you can still use your rights to contact state officials and ask them to press the Admin to negotiate in earnest. You can also write the FA leadership with your critique of their proposal. Constructive criticism, even at a heated time like this, should always be welcome.

  14. Disgusted entirely at the BOT nowNovember 6, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    Let me echo Mike's point here: support for quality education here at SIUC comes in many forms. I do not begrudge anybody for working right now; I know my choice to strike was agonizing and may get even more so in the coming days if this thing doesn't get settled. And we all have to work together to mend the damage that has been done by our administrators in the past few years. I durst not complain about the union at this time out of respect for solidarity but there will be a reckoning of their role as well later I am sure.

    We need a new contract settled, and one that is fair to the BOT's needs and to the faculty's. I sense we are getting closer to that goal.


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