Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tentative agreement released

Here's Randy Hughes' email giving the news. 

Dear Colleagues,

The agreements that were reached last week between the Faculty Association and Board bargaining teams, including all prior tentative agreements, have been compiled into one contract document along with an attached "Back to Work Agreement." Representatives of both the Faculty Association and the Board bargaining teams signed off on the compiled documents yesterday, November 14. The documents are still subject to proofreading and editing to conform with the individual tentative agreements reached throughout the bargaining process.

These documents are now available at the Faculty Association web site for your review:

http://siucfa.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/tentative-agreement.pdf
http://siucfa.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/back-to-work-agreement-final.pdf

A summary of the new contract language and an annotated version of the contract document indicating where changes have been made will be available soon.

Now that there is a tentative agreement on the contract, the next step is for the Departmental Representative Council (DRC) to review and vote on the agreement. A meeting of the DRC is being called for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, November 17. The recommendation of the DRC will be communicated to the membership of the Faculty Association and the membership will vote on ratification in balloting which has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 30. Ratification of the agreement is by majority vote of the Faculty Association membership. A General Membership Meeting for the purpose of presenting the terms contained in the tentative agreement and answering questions concerning the agreement is planned for 5:00 p.m., Monday, November 28 (location TBA). More details about each of these meetings and the balloting process are forthcoming.

Sincerely,
Randy Hughes

68 comments:

  1. Would anyone like to take a crack at explaining how the following language represents any significant improvement over the imposed contract from last spring and/or the BOT's initial contract offer? The newly-posted TA says:

    "19.05.04. Notice of Layoff. Faculty shall be given employment for at least one academic
    year beyond the academic year in which she/he is given notice of layoff. The notice
    requirements of this Section shall not apply in cases of extreme and immediate financial
    exigency."

    In the absence of any definition of "extreme" or "immediate," or any additional hurdle that must be met beyond the declaration of FE to invoke this, it seems to me that the second sentence pretty much undoes everything the FA has claimed to accomplish with regard to job protection. In other words, it's just the 30-day layoff article (Article 20, I think) from the imposed contract condensed into this section. More distressingly, its presence has not even been mentioned in any of the FA announcements that there will now be a one-year notice of any layoffs.

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  2. FA leaders know that it is almost impossible for the Admin to lay off or to fire tenured/tenured track faculty. They don;t worry about that. They simply use that tactics to scare people to get support. The only goal for them to call on a strike is to try to get rid of Cheng. Since now they couldn't make it, they don't really care those languages.

    No one will believe that tenured faculty can be fired in this country.

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  3. Anonymous 6:05, tenured and TT people are being laid off all over the country due to financial exigency. In many (most?) places, especially those considered our peers, however, notice must occur in the year prior--typically by November or so. Our new contract actually appears in the first sentence to give us better notice than that, but then in the second sentence takes it all away and leaves us actually worse off. This makes us fundamentally non-competitive in terms of attracting and retaining faculty, even given present market conditions.

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  4. There is a significant difference in the definition of "finanacial exigency". In the tentative agreement, the definition is the AAUP's:
    "A state of bona fide and legitimate financial exigency means an imminent financial crisis that threatens the survival of the institution as a whole and that cannot be alleviated by less drastic means.
    The discretionary re-directing of resources away from SIUC to another part of the SIU system by the Board of Trustees does not provide grounds for declaring financial exigency."

    Current board policy provides, "A long-term fiscal emergency is the condition of financial exigency, which results when an imminent financial crisis will require long-term programmatic reductions and termination of tenured faculty."

    The new definition is a measurable standard that could be tested in the courts. The former basically says, "We can lay off tenured faculty if there is a financial exigency. There is a financial exigency when we need to lay off tenured faculty." Achieving a measurable standard that is subject to outside review is a major accomplishment.

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  5. The courts will rely on their own standards for determining whether an exigency exists, just as they did in the 1970s when they reversed the terminations of the faculty laid off then. This is a semantic victory only, but I am sure the leaders of the FA will tell everyone that their sacrifice (a weeks pay) was well justified by this.

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  6. It seems disingenuous to declare this simply a "semantic" victory. Semantics are fundamental--to the law, to the a university culture, and to our self understanding as respected faculty members. My broader question, then, is this. If this is merely "semantic," why did the admin. fight so hard to avoid such language?

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  7. I too reject the simplistic "semantic" claim. People are writing me from different universities across the States, having discovered in this language a powerful precedent for resisting erosions to tenure.

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  8. Courts protect tenure as a property interest that (in a state university) is constitutionally protected. The nature of the right, however, is defined by the policies and terms that govern teh employment contract. Many legal cases cite this proposition. It is not "mere semantics."

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  9. If I were Admin, why I keep thinking how to fire TT faculty as I know this would be very risky? I need to run the university, and faculty and myself are on the same boat. I would be very happy if the congress can promise that there will be no any lay-off of TT faculty at any higher institutions in this country.

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  10. We got screwed over by FA on furloughs. But the FA didn't care about such mundane issues. So we bleed slowly. Thanks, FA.

    Also, if the courts protect tenure (that is shifting) then why the FA scaremongering? I don't see how in any objective way the new language is more "measurable." Different, perhaps stronger wording, but "measurable"? How? The FA got rolled by BOT. They never cared about FE or layoffs, only furloughs. The FA didn't have their "eye on the ball." Chumps.

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  11. "They [BOT members] never cared about FE or layoffs, only furloughs."

    BOT won, FA lost. Welcome to negative pay raises, folks.

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  12. The library is archiving (now) historical material related to the strike. Since much of it was on web sites, I highly recommend the cross-platform (Win/Mac/Linux) program: HTTrack. It even preserves copies of linked material that might be taken down later. Great program for us historians trying to archive our e-world. http://www.httrack.com/

    Perhaps use it for Deo Volente? I'm using it for my posts over at FreeU.

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  13. Well the FA leaders would say that the congress is corrupted and it shifts the resources to other places (their friends...), and the congress may declare a war and then fire all TT faculty at SIU....

    Thus we should require no lay-off written into the constitutions... Otherwise we will strike again....

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  14. Even if everything "Chumpville" says is right--namely, that the board never really cared about FE--this doesn't negate the victory here. Fighting back when the admin. tries to use tenure as a cynical bargaining chip is a major source of pride for me personally and for MANY people who went out. Alas, who are the ones thinking more about money than principle here?

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  15. To Chumpville: The courts protect tenure in accordance with the rights and terms of the school's policies or the employee's contract (the policies are deemed to be part of the contract if there is not an explicit contract). Under the new terms for finanacial exigency, the threat must be to the university as a whole, not just a segment of it--there can be no layoffs due to financial exigency while funds are being expended on other functions of the university beyond what is necessary to maintain the school. But the contract is still subject to FA member approval. If you think it is such a bad deal, you can, if you're a member, go vote against it.

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  16. When each president of the United States swears into his/her office, the statement should include that "no lay off or firing any TT faculty of any higher institution, including SIUC"

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  17. A question for Chumpville: Did you honor the picket line?

    I ask this question, because if we had had more faculty honoring the picket line (or better yet, joining us on it), we would have had more leverage at the bargaining table and probably would have been able to gain more transparency and accountability in the furlough language. The BOT team remained firm on this issue up until the bitter end. Are you proposing that those of us who were spending 10 hours/day on the picket line remain there because of the furlough issue?

    The tone of your comment makes me think that you were not on the picket line, though I would love to be proven wrong. I find it curious that the lack of progress on the furlough issue is being blamed on the people who tried to fight back, rather than on those who chose to stand on the sidelines.

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  18. One other thing I forgot to mention: the FA is continuing to pursue an Unfair Labor Practice regarding the furloughs imposed last Spring. So when you get your four days of pay returned to you--which I predict you will--you can thank the "chumps" in the FA who have done such a poor job protecting your interests.

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  19. Natasha:

    FA people also told me "it is very likely you (the strikers) would get back pay after the strike". Did you get it now?

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  20. I don't understand that last comment. I was a striker, and I NEVER expected back pay. Do elaborate...

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  21. To Anonymous 8:19: I never expected back pay either, and I don't know a single person who did.

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  22. So You don't expect to get back pay, and FA didn't expect to get back pay. So why they still asked?

    You may say: why not? Then can I still say you don't care?

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  23. To anonymous 8:30: This is a question you should address to the bargaining team. As a picketer I never figured I'd get paid, and I didn't ask anybody on the team to ask for this either. I imagine it was a bargaining chip on the team's part.

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  24. Dear FA fellows:

    It will be very busy in the future, since we do need to modify our constitution so that no one can fire or lay off TT faculty at SIUC. We may even contact the United Nations to express our concerns and excuse our right.....

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  25. I am frankly baffled by this constant refrain (STILL) of "It's all about money." Is it so beyond one's imagination that a bunch of college professors might actually act out of principle--in this case, tenure, transparency, etc.? Even if you think everything the FA did from start to finish was misguided, it still remains the case that everyone I talked to on the picket line had larger principles in mind.

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  26. Where in the TA does it say that the FA can challenge IN THE COURTS a declaration of financial exigency?

    Thanks for any help

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  27. If we had 70%+ faculty honoring the picket lines, it would (probably) have been all over by Sunday eve, and we could all have been back on Monday.
    So who can we blame now?..........

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  28. To Anon. 8:48. You have a point--a violation of the contract would go through the internal grievance procedure and then to an arbitrator. Nevertheless, the standard for financial exigency is one that provides a standard that someone outside the university could apply whether it is an arbitrator or a judge.

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  29. To Anon. 8:56, and many others here: It is probably time to stop blaming and start working to heal the wounds, time to look forward rather than backward.

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  30. "If we had 70%+ faculty honoring the picket lines, it would (probably) have been all over by Sunday eve, and we could all have been back on Monday.
    So who can we blame now?......."

    In reality, there is NO if..... There is only one true outcome!

    If Obama honored the picket lines, then whatever you say would be true!

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  31. Anon 9.03: Many thanks for your explanation.

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  32. "If we had 70%+ faculty honoring the picket lines, it would (probably) have been all over by Sunday eve, and we could all have been back on Monday.
    So who can we blame now?......."

    Dear Professor, you may want to review a basic couse in logic. It says:

    If the assumption is false, then anything you claim would be true.

    A student from computer science.

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  33. Anon 9.05: true enough, I agree

    Anon 9.12: an (anonymous) man can but dream...

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  34. "You have a point--a violation of the contract would go through the internal grievance procedure and then to an arbitrator. Nevertheless, the standard for financial exigency is one that provides a standard that someone outside the university could apply whether it is an arbitrator or a judge."

    There is no big deal. The Admin has to follow the guild line of AAUP, or else, they will have trouble in the court. It is simple. The FA tried to make it complicated just like Wall Street's game for ripping people off.

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  35. Back to the very first comment, from Debbie. Compare the imposed terms, where 30 days was the norm. One year save in "immediate and extreme" conditions sounds like progress to me.

    Re make up days (fewer dock days). I would confirm that most FA members were quite aware that they'd likely lose the dock days. If you compare the final back to work agreement to the one on offer a day before the strike ended, while you'll see no movement on dock days, you'll see movement on the issue that motivated far more people on the picket lines--inflammatory language that called on FA members to "cease and desist" from threats we weren't making. Once again our main focus was on non-monetary items. Does that mean we wouldn't like to have gotten some pay back--the better to compensate us for make-up work for our students? No. But our most important interests weren't about money--which is why most in the FA are happy with a result which makes real gains on non-monetary issues but does not provide raises that will even keep up with inflation.

    The legal issue is above my pay grade, but the FA clearly would not have fought for accountability in the contract if we could rely on accountability outside of it. Unfortunately--in my view--the administration was only willing to give us the most disruptive form of accountability imaginable, the right to strike in the event we find a declaration of financial exigency unjustified.

    But let's not overreact. I think the progress on "RIF"/financial exigency is very real, and what it means is that SIUC is very unlikely to declare a questionable financial exigency in order to lay off faculty, a prospect raised, in many minds, not only by the possibility of major cuts in state funding but by the furloughs many of us consider unjustified. With this option largely off the table, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

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  36. Well said, Dave, no contract is ever perfect. But we can indeed relax a bit now,
    and get back to teaching and research.

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  37. One issue that may exist under the TA relates to benefits for domestic partners. I believe CMS changed the eligibility of domestic partners for health insurance and life insurance when the civil union law passed. As I read the information on the CMS website, domestic partners who are currently covered will remain covered, but no new domestuic partners may be added (although if one enters into a civil union, they may be covered under the civil union provisions). As I read the TA, in section 14.20, it appears to not take into account the change CMS made in response to the Civil Union law.

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  38. Dave said:

    "Back to the very first comment, from Debbie. Compare the imposed terms, where 30 days was the norm. One year save in "immediate and extreme" conditions sounds like progress to me.

    "...But let's not overreact. I think the progress on "RIF"/financial exigency is very real, and what it means is that SIUC is very unlikely to declare a questionable financial exigency in order to lay off faculty, a prospect raised, in many minds, not only by the possibility of major cuts in state funding but by the furloughs many of us consider unjustified. With this option largely off the table, we can all breathe a sigh of relief."

    Dave, I think one's perspective on this depends upon one's sense of likelihood. Sure, I agree that getting good language on FE is an excellent thing. However, this focus upon a frivolous declaration of FE supposes that the major threat is bad faith on the part of the BOT: that the BOT was poised to declare FE when it didn't actually exist.

    If, instead of beginning with this assumption, which is quite speculative, we remember that we are living in a state that is on the ragged edge of insolvency, I would propose that the threat of actual FE is quite significant. Unfortunately, the new agreement does very little more (if anything) to protect faculty in the event of a real fiscal emergency than did the imposed contract. In this, it is out of step with the conditions of employment at our peer institutions and our aspirational peers.

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  39. Anon 9.28, student from CS

    My logic is correct:

    Sure we know the assumption is false NOW, but if the 70+ support had happened the strike would probably have been over quicker.

    So, get back to your homework......

    and I'm off to bed.

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  40. Debbie Seltzer,

    Good point!!!

    The FA basically traced a wrong cat. The probability for faculty to be laid off due to the bad faith of Admin is not high, but the probability for real FE is very likely, as our state is closing to be bankruptcy!

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  41. Anon 10:49

    "My logic is correct:

    Sure we know the assumption is false NOW, but if the 70+ support had happened the strike would probably have been over quicker.

    So, get back to your homework......

    and I'm off to bed. "

    Dear Professor,

    I think O should transfer to other school since I don't have the "academic freedom" protection. You can fail me at your will with your wrong theory.

    A CS student.

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  42. Dear CS student,

    Don't worry. This professor may haven't conducted research for a long time since he/she is quite busy in fighting with the Admin that is considered to be Satan by FA. You can complain to the Chair or Dean if you think the grading is not fair.

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  43. Debbie does make a very good point. Perhaps it would have been better to push for furloughs instead of layoffs in the event of an actual FE, in order to protect faculty positions. Everyone act in solidarity by taking a hit in salary to protect the lowest rung of tenure-track faculty (those most in danger of the axe).

    Furthermore, unless I'm missing something, why isn't there a definition of "immediate and extreme" in the contract? That seems like it would be important, since that is what differentiates between a layoff notice of 30-days and the 1-year notice. How do you differentiate an "immediate and extreme" FE, from just your run-of-the-mill FE (i.e. financial catastrophe).

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  44. The part of the Back to work agreement that made people mad:

    "The Board shall take no reprisals of any form including but not limited to any discipline/dismissal action, denial of tenure or promotion, assignment of basic workload or overload, access to summer/intersession appointments, research opportunity or support, loss or reduction of insurance coverage or benefits, sabbatical leave approval or return from sabbatical, for any Faculty member who participated, either in whole or in part, in a strike on November 3, November 4, and November 7, 2011 except that the Board reserves the right to discipline if appropriate and consistent with the collective bargaining agreement for independent misconduct that occurred during the strike."

    The "new" back to work agreement, that made people happy:

    The Board shall take no reprisals of any form including but not limited to any discipline/dismissal action, denial of tenure or promotion, assignment of basic workload or overload, access to summer/intersession appointments, research opportunity or support, loss or reduction of insurance coverage or benefits, sabbatical leave approval or return from sabbatical, for any Faculty member who participated, in a strike on any day during the period of November 3, 2011 through November 9, 2011. In the event of individual actions occurring during the time period of the strike, but unrelated to the protected activity, covered by this Back to Work Agreement the Board reserves the right to discipline if such disciplinary action is appropriate and consistent with the Agreement and subject to grievance arbitration (Article 6).

    The only differences I see are semantics, and two more days lost pay. Good job!

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  45. Oops, I did miss this part:

    This:

    "The Association and individual Faculty members shall refrain from retaliating against employees, students, temporary workers, or Faculty for exercising their rights under the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act including but not limited to their participation in the strike or their election to not participate in the strike action by performing work duties during the strike."

    Became this:

    "Neither party shall retaliate against any employee, student, temporary workers, Faculty, or any other individual for exercising his/her rights under the IELRA to participate in the strike or to not participate in the strike action, or for performing or not performing any work duties, attending classes, or engaging in any other protected activities before or during the strike period. Decisions related to an individual’s grades, promotions, tenure status or track, etc. shall not be impacted by
    either party or any individual members of either party for these individuals exercising their rights under the IELRA."

    I didn't even notice the second part until I actually looked for it. Charged emotions can make people do regrettable things, so I understand why the original statement was included. What I don't understand is why the FA couldn't have changed the wording in a less public and emotionally-charged manner. I know someone must have felt insulted, but still, was the conniption necessary?

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  46. Anonymous 2:36:

    Dave mentioned something about "cease and desist" from making threats. You seem to have missed that part of the first version of the back to work agreement. You also missed the assumption that there was independent misconduct during the strike that was made in the first language but not in the final language.

    Your also missed something that was still up in the air on Monday night that was different on Wednesday. From a previous post: "Finally, the Board’s proposal would limit our recourse to the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board to settle our dispute over the legality of the BOT’s imposition of four furlough days in FY 2011." The final agreement allows the ULP to go forward.

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  47. Show Me the Money b/c I Can't See Your PrinciplesNovember 16, 2011 at 5:04 AM

    For those that want to blame the lack of faculty support for the furlough loss. That's not the issue. It's the strike. The FA chose to strike--was it worth the cost?

    The FA knew that it would not have faculty support for the strike. But it went on strike anyway over this issue, the pay raise, and FE. We can debate the FE, but the FA clearly struck out on the other two issues. You can blame those of use who didn't strike, but you knew we weren't going to do it and you chose to strike anyway. Why pursue such a strategy? Did you think it was going to work?

    No, the real problem is that the FA isn't a real union. A real union cares about money, not abstract principles. Tenure is property. Pay raises are money. Financial exigency is about, well, finances. It's a CONTRACT. Not everything is about money, but in a contract it's all about money.

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  48. Show Me the Money: Well, check the last contract.

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  49. I don't blame those who chose not to strike. The DRC knew about how many people would strike. It estimated that enough gains could be made to make up for the cost. DRC members likely underestimated how long the strike would last but everyone knew we could not know for sure how long it would last.

    Now there were other faculty who not only did not go on strike but who volunteered to be strikebreakers. These faculty went out of their way to see to it that the FA would get a weaker contract. They violated the academic freedom of their colleagues by not consulting with them on what to cover or contacting strikers afterwards to let them know what they covered. This fact also undermines the idea that these faculty wanted to help the students. They acted to harm their colleagues for idealogical reasons. The Administration used them as cover to avoid scheduling make up classes which would have benefited the students. (This is what is normally done in K12 strikes.) I believe that strikebreaking is unethical in general and was highly unethical in this case.

    I try not to personally resent these people, but I strongly urge them to develop a stronger sense of right from wrong. We who went on strike are committed to seeing to it that our students get all the instructional time they are due. If we needed your help is this regard we would have asked. At the very least one should never teach someone else's class without their consent.

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  50. I completely agree, Mike. I am just glad that my classes weren't mucked up by individuals underqualified or outright unqualified to teach them (as in Career Services folks with BAs in history thinking they can teach a history class). On Monday, I did a teachable moment when I interest-based bargained with them how to make up for the lost week the Chancellor is not giving us (even though we called her bluff about "business as usual"). I wanted to make sure in my British history class that we got to a great documentary film about the British class system as it has evolved over the past half-century "Forty-Nine Up." But the students did not want to have to cancel three class sessions to ensure this. So they agreed magnanimously to see the film one night outside of class so we can continue with the rest of the semester.

    Then again, they were miffed beyond belief that "business as normal" consisted of an administrator promising on Friday that my replacement would show up on Monday, then on Monday some geology secretary thinking that the class meeting in the Parkinson classroom was some section missing its TA. I kid you not.

    Oh, and I did get to teach the 1926 General Strike today!

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  51. Joe, Is this screening of "Forty Nine Up" open to anyone interested since I'd like to attend, if free? As you know significant numbers of Oxbridge students acted as "scabs" during the General Strike, a very different attitude to those SIUC students who supported us. Raising of fees is also ideologically motivated in keeping the less well-off students out and re-admitting the "Brideshead Revisited" Generation that right-wing faculty would welcome as their predecessors did in the 20s and 30s.

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  52. Responding to Mike, I'm going to, ahem, *defend* strikebreakers. In this sense: I suspect that many, perhaps even most, were motivated not by a desire to harm the FA (though of course some were) but by a desire to help students. I agree with Mike that what they did was wrong, that their belief that they would do more good than harm by parachuting into our classes for a couple of days was shortsighted and wrongheaded. I agree that there is a major distinction between those who merely taught their own classes (who can basically be regarded as trying to remain neutral) and those who also taught ours, for the latter were used by the administration, whether they wanted to be so used or not, to undermine the FA.

    But it is hardly fair to blame them for not consulting with us--when we went out of our way to not be consulted (at least I did). And if we want them to "develop a better sense of right and wrong", we need to begin by understanding what motivated them in the first place; we need, in short, to attempt to persuade them that what we did was right and what they did, whatever their motivation, was not. And we will make far more headway in this attempt at persuasion if we don't start by condemning their motives.

    Perhaps I am merely reflecting my absorption in Socratic moral philosophy by assuming that the only "sin" of strikebreakers (as of anyone else) is ignorance. Some ignorance is culpable, and in my view this occasion qualifies, but if we assume that those who crossed us did so out of ignorance rather than out of malice we will find it easier to continue the conversation with them and convert them into allies.

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  53. I don't think it is fair to assume that the administration was trying to undermine the FA. They too may have been trying to minimize the impact on students. I don't think that they wanted to put unqualified substitutes in your classes any more than you wanted them there. I would have gladly helped out by teaching courses that I was qualified to teach as a means to minimize the impact on students in my department. If that weakens the FAs bargaining position, that isn't my problem.

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  54. Dave,

    I think you are being far too generous. How did we avoid being contacted? And how are we continuing to avoid being contacted? I certainly did nothing to avoid being contacted.

    If someones wants to teach someone else's class but they feel reluctant to contact that person, why is that? I suggest that it is a pang of conscience. They actually do feel guilty. I want to bring this to their attention.

    The lack of self knowledge is the main cause of sin. People rationalize their actions. They may not know their own motives. Anon 5:03 is a good example. He would "gladly" teach other's courses. Why wouldn't he "gladly" consult with these faculty members to see how s/he could best help? They might welcome the help, or they might explain that they plan to make up the missed time later.

    The moral is, don't teach someone else's class without their consent.

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  55. Mike - I strongly disagree with your position. If lesson plans were left behind, I would do my best to follow them, but I'm not going to contact a striking faculty member to get their approval! The true moral is, if you don't want someone else teaching your students, stay in the classroom and teach them yourself. You can't have it both ways. When you walked out on your students, you gave that up. Most of us weren't willing to do that.

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  56. Tony, I am doing a screening on Tuesday after Thanksgiving at 7pm in Faner 1222. You are welcome to come.

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  57. Anonymous 9:55 A more correct answer would be that the administration walked out of my students, and multiple times. First time: when they made a conscious decision to settle the contracts with the three unions but not mine, almost completely ensuring that the FA would strike if it had any credibility (and it did). Then they walked out on my students a second time when they cut off their professor from them for over a week (and censored students when they expressed any sympathy toward their professors at all). And third, in my own specific case, when they gave my students the run-around about if anybody at all would be showing up to the class instead of me.

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  58. Joe - You can twist things any way you choose, but at the end of the day only one person walked out on your students - you!

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  59. 9:55 PM,

    Your statement implies that we should not have the right to strike. We do. Strikes always inconvenience third parties. Do you really want to live in a country where the right to strike does not exist?

    And again, you state, emphatically, that you would not contact a striking faculty member. You do not say why not. My hypothesis is that you would be too ashamed to.

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  60. It's not twisting things around - it is stating reality. Do you deny that the administration chose to settle with every other IEA union but the Faculty Association on Wednesday November 2? I hope you can offer up an explanation to my students about the various administrators who told them different things during the following week, because I certainly cannot except via shaking my head.

    Smug conceits by yourself and others of moral righteousness will do nobody any good right now.

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  61. "My hypothesis is that you would be too ashamed to."

    Be careful, Mike, where you point your moral compass. When it points at someone else and you read "Ashamed"; the other end of the needle is pointing back towards you and reading "Shameless".

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  62. Hypotheses are often wrong.

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  63. It is wrong to not state one's hypothesis so that it can be tested.

    No one has explained why, if they took someone's class to help the students, they did not contact that person and let them know what was material was covered during the strike. So, my hypothesis is neither proven nor refuted.

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  64. Mike - If you didn't leave a lesson plan behind for that person, it is not likely that they could have provided anything close to a suitable substitution for your instruction. Why didn't you leave specific instructions for a substitute if you (1) knew you were going to strike and (2) wanted to minimize the effect on your students? My hypothesis is that it is easier to criticize those that tried to help YOUR students than accept that your decision had a negative impact on them.

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  65. (My reply to 8:32 PM seems to have vanished. This a repost.)

    8:32 PM,

    I did email the person I thought was taking my class with instructions. As I noted elsewhere I was mistaken about who that person was. The person I emailed did not reply and I don't know if they forwarded my message to the correct person.

    Also my day-by-day syllabus was online. However, my instructors were to have students do review problems as the material we were about to cover is rather subtle (Riemann integration) and I don't follow the textbook for this material. I have review days scheduled for the end of the term and figured I could have fewer of them if the sub did some review now.

    I have learned that the person who took my class is an AP staff member who was forced to do so. They basically just took role and did a few examples on the board. Classes ended after 15-20 minutes. I am working hard to make this time up for the students.

    Now, here is a question for those faculty who voluntarily took over other people's classes. You were told to take role and report this to the Admin. Why? Do you take role and report this to the Admin in your classes? Did you give the attendance data to the striking faculty member? Why not? In hindsight could it be that you were being used to provide cover for the Administration so it could falsely claim students were receiving the instruction they were owed and thus not work with the FA to schedule make up classes in the back to work agreement? Something to think about.

    Just to be clear, my raising the ethics of strikebreaking for discussion and arguing that it is unethical does not mean I harbor personal resentments against those whose actions I disagree with. And challenging people to examine their own motives is fair game.

    ReplyDelete
  66. (My reply to 8:32 PM seems to have vanished. This a repost.)

    8:32 PM,

    I did email the person I thought was taking my class with instructions. As I noted elsewhere I was mistaken about who that person was. The person I emailed did not reply and I don't know if they forwarded my message to the correct person.

    Also my day-by-day syllabus was online. However, my instructors were to have students do review problems as the material we were about to cover is rather subtle (Riemann integration) and I don't follow the textbook for this material. I have review days scheduled for the end of the term and figured I could have fewer of them if the sub did some review now.

    I have learned that the person who took my class is an AP staff member who was forced to do so. They basically just took role and did a few examples on the board. Classes ended after 15-20 minutes. I am working hard to make this time up for the students.

    Now, here is a question for those faculty who voluntarily took over other people's classes. You were told to take role and report this to the Admin. Why? Do you take role and report this to the Admin in your classes? Did you give the attendance data to the striking faculty member? Why not? In hindsight could it be that you were being used to provide cover for the Administration so it could falsely claim students were receiving the instruction they were owed and thus not work with the FA to schedule make up classes in the back to work agreement? Something to think about.

    Just to be clear, my raising the ethics of strikebreaking for discussion and arguing that it is unethical does not mean I harbor personal resentments against those whose actions I disagree with. And challenging people to examine their own motives is fair game.

    ReplyDelete
  67. PS: I do accept that my decision to go on strike had a negative impact on my students. I did weight this when making my decision against other considerations. I determined that the educational impact could be recovered although at some inconvenience. Had I determined that the negative educational impact would be irreversible I would have voted against the strike authorization.

    ReplyDelete
  68. Mike, I'll begin by making clear that I did not take over anyone else's class, but in defense of those who showed up to take roll, I'm not certain that the situation is simply one of strike-breaking. Federal financial aid regulations and visa controls have grown increasingly intrusive, and it actually is the case that we can be compelled to confirm whether or not our students were in class on any particular date. If there is no evidence that students are attending class, financial aid can be suspended--or even actually removed and repayment required--and student visas revoked. This apparently actually happened at some other university during a strike (this was raised on another thread here), so I don't think it's just a distant possibility.

    Again, I am not a fan of administrative positions on many, many issues either, but on this one I'm not so sure there wasn't a real need to ensure that student attendance could be verified.

    ReplyDelete

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