Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Where we (the FA) stand


This is a statement emailed to the FA bargaining unit early this (Tuesday). With luck we'll have a happier announcement soon. 

Where we stand.  7 November 2011

Thanks to the resolve and hard work of faculty at the picket line and in the bargaining room, and with the help of numerous supporters from our sister locals and hundreds of SIUC undergraduates, we have made considerable progress over the last few days, but major differences remain between our proposals and those of the Board of Trustees team. The administration left us no alternative to a strike in order to achieve the progress we have made so far.  With continued resolve and support we shall secure enough progress to reach a tentative agreement and end this strike.

At 5:17 pm on Monday, November 7, the BOT team presented a set of proposals that responded to FA proposals that had been sent to the BOT team at 11:30 am.  After a brief conversation, the board team informed the FA bargaining team that they were leaving for the evening and would resume negotiations at 9:30 am on Tuesday. The FA team will resume bargaining with the Board team then.  The FA team had been prepared to continue bargaining in an effort to reach an agreement Monday night.  But by breaking off negotiations on Monday night, the board team ensured that a strike would continue for at least one more day.  In subsequent comments in an email and to the press the Chancellor indicated that her team was ready to meet again this evening, but that statement contradicts what the Board bargaining team said in direct communication with the FA bargaining team.

At 8:00 pm the FA’s Departmental Representatives Council received a detailed report from the bargaining team on the course of negotiations and the current positions of the board and FA.  At the end of that meeting the DRC voted unanimously to support their bargaining team, calling for them to return to the bargaining table and seek an equitable resolution of the remaining issues that divide the two sides.  The major items where the BOT and FA remain divided are the following:

Furloughs. The BOT proposal lacks clear standards and a clear process for determining when the financial situation justifies furloughs, and provides for no accountability that would allow a grievance or other appeal in the event the FA believes those standards have not been met.  The BOT proposal offers toothless midterm bargaining which could not reverse an unjustified imposition of furloughs. The BOT proposal would thus undermine our collective bargaining rights by failing to guarantee that salaries are determined by mutual agreement and cannot be arbitrarily and unilaterally reduced by the Board.  Because the BOT proposal lacks transparency and accountability, it provides no safeguard against the risk that savings from furloughs would be used not to safeguard our academic mission, but instead to fund other administrative priorities.  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 FA has proposed multiple options for meeting our interest in transparency and accountability on this issue.

Back to work agreement. The Board’s punitive back to work proposal is an insult to the faculty exercising their legal right to strike under Illinois law. Particularly insulting are the Board’s broad implications that faculty have been engaging in threats and misconduct during the course of the strike.  Inflammatory language will only inflame tensions on campus. The FA believes that an important goal for a back to work agreement is to build a better relationship between the faculty and the administration.

Fair share.  The administration continues to refuse to offer us fair share provisions similar to those offered to other IEA locals.

Areas of agreement. The FA team has worked creatively to secure our basic interest in transparency and accountability on Reduction in Force (layoffs) by contractualizing a definition of financial exigency and gaining the power to strike in the event we wish to challenge a BOT declaration of financial exigency, though we would have preferred the less disruptive alternatives of a binding outside panel or binding arbitration.  On overload pay, we secured full pay for all face to face overload courses, but would allow the BOT to offer 0.5-1.0 month’s for distance learning courses, in order to meet their interest in ensuring that such courses are profitable.  This last provision is explicitly limited to the current contract, and a cost study analysis done by the provost’s office will help determine whether the university can afford full pay for DL courses moving forward.  We have also reached an agreement to put off final decisions on sexual harassment and conflict of interest procedures, but with a schedule to resolve these matters.

67 comments:

  1. Furloughs, fare share and strike pay. But of course its not about the $. Yeah right!

    Dateline Carbondale: Having realized that the power issues are not going their way, FA leaders redirect strikers attention to their own wallets and the ever-hungry pockets of the IEA/NEA...

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  2. Dave--

    I have no doubt that you and many other FA members picketing are not aware of this nor are you condoning improper actions; please, please. please tell me these are not true:

    1. The faculty member who went to class, waited to be checked in and then took the class to the picketing line to picket.

    2. The faculty member who went to the class, did not teach, sat as a student, and challenged the substitute teacher. Students apparently left to "let them work it out."

    3. The faculty member who came in from the line to sign in and went back out to the line, refusing to teach the class, yet also refusing to be counted as on-strike.

    I have more.

    Please tell me that the FA is able to encourage its membership to continue to act with dignity and honor. Please tell me you will try to do something and I promise that if I can get the people who told me these things (they are afraid of retaliation) to go public, I will encourage them to talk with you guys either first or too.

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  3. Add to that the case of a FA supporter who came into a class being taught by an intro class that was being taught by a full prof (from the same department as the absent instructor of record) and tried to dismiss the class.

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  4. Don't know what happened to garble the last post so I will try again..

    Add to that the case of a FA supporter who came into an intro class that was being taught by a full prof (from the same department as the absent instructor of record) and tried to dismiss the class.

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  5. Re: complaints raised by Quiet One.

    I have also heard of such (perhaps isolated) incidents; I have also heard (which I completely admit is a 3rd-hand story) from a student that another student they know was threatened by their course instructor to honor the strike.

    I would not be surprised, given the number of people (and passions) involved, if at least some of these stories are true. I don't think that the FA can ask that such bad deeds should go unpunished (or at least, un-reprimanded).

    On the other hand, as 'Ticked off' pointed out (and as long as the FA is not seeking absolution for these sins), the faculty need not have their collective noses shoved in what has been caused by at most a few bad actors (by the current Board language), and instead can't we just go by standing language that makes clear that such actions are prohibited and subject to sanction?

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  6. Have you heard the one about anti-union faculty who deliberately concoct such imaginary narratives in a pathetic attempt to slander the other side and thus how their allegiance to the Chancellor's definition of what constitutes "truth"?

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  7. Anonymous 4:29: Yes, these are most certainly lies concocted by people whose loyalty is to the administration...they will sell their souls to the administration to say anything as long as they can get a move up the administrative ladder!

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  8. If the allegations about striking faculty misconduct are true (and I have no way of knowing if they are), then no wonder people want to be immunized from their UNPROTECTED, UNCONSCIONABLE behavior during the strike. If I were on the administration bargaining team, I would never agree to such immunity. There are consequences in our lives for everything we do. The law protects certain types of activities during a strike, but not all activities.

    So there is a pattern here:

    1) We went on strike, but we want to force our students to have make-up days so we can teach them what we skipped during the strike.

    2) We went on strike for noble principles not related to money, but we want to be paid for not working.

    3) While we were on strike, some of us committed misconduct. We want to be immunized from the consequences for that.

    4) Rita Cheng forced us to do all these things, especially activities that aren't protected by law, so it is all her fault.

    5) Even though we have behaved like a pack of juveniles, we want to run the university and have veto power over all decisions.

    Well, good luck with all that. Stay on strike. Keep blaming everyone else. Continue to misrepresent the rest of the faculty. Keep applying farcical and moronic interpretations to clear language in BOT proposals.

    And don't forget to congratulate yourselves for your nobility and the "sacrifices" you are making.

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  9. Anon 4:29,

    Yeah, anonymous comments at DV will get your an administrative raise. Some of you people are losing it. . .

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  10. I am beginning to feel a bit cynical about the FA's actual commitment to settling this thing before the BOT meeting tomorrow. After all, the media possibilities of a really large-scale protest outside the meeting seem pretty tempting.

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  11. Anti-FA posters be careful. Johnny Gray and Ryan Netzley will be returning from the picket line to destroy your arguments any time now! Hurry...hide!

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  12. What would be really lovely is if some folks around here could really get it through their heads that there are a certain number of us who rather deeply dislike the actions of BOTH the FA and our upper administration. But no--anyone who questions the FA's bargaining posture or tactics quickly gets bashed as a collaborator of the Chancellor.

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  13. Status update later tonight would be great! (Yes, I know the bargaining team must be exhausted).

    Also, what is up with the BOT meeting. Here or Edwardsville?

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  14. Where exactly are the arguments in this thread?

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  15. Thank you Beezer (4 PM)!

    Your statement reflects the spirit of moderation and compromise that can get things settled and get strikers back to work.

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  16. Anonymous 5:52 PM:
    The point of media opportunities is create pressure with the goal of a fair contract. If there's a tentative agreement in place before the BOT meeting, there would be little point in getting in the media attention.

    Anonymous 6:11 PM:
    The schedule for this month's BOT meetings is posted at http://bot.siu.edu/meetings/2011/1111meeting.html

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  17. If these acts of misconduct are true, shouldn't the FA repudiate such behavior? At least for the sake of the vast majority of us who are picketing respectfully, trying our best to treat our students fairly, and hoping for a settlement?

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  18. I am so disappointed after reading the above BS from administration’s puppets. Don’t you see the proven and written lies, threats, censorship by Cheng? WTH you are not asking for her resignation first. Shame on you.

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  19. No Back to Work PayNovember 8, 2011 at 7:41 PM

    "People have not worked for four days. Those who have not worked will not be paid, but we welcome them back at any moment," exclaims Cheng.

    Source: WSIL TV

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  20. For those here who snipe anonymously at the FA from the bunker:

    If you had personal and professional integrity, you would add your signature to your post as testament to the strength of your convictions. Some of you seem to have been at this University long enough to be established (i.e. tenured). What's stopping you?

    I suggest it speaks to the same kind of selfish, sneaky temperament that will allow you -- once a contract is settled -- to reap the rewards of those who stuck out their necks and incurred loss of wages. I might believe you are principled if you refuse any benefit derived from the FA's efforts. Indeed, why stop there? Donate to the university a big lump sum out of your lead-lined pocket representing the raises over the years that collective bargaining has provided you. Refuse all benefits and securities collective bargaining has procured for you, while you sacrificed nothing. Then, when I see your actual name on a post, I will respect a position that is not mine, but is principled.

    Until then,
    Erin Anthony

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  21. I talked to my students on the line today. For the second day of class, there was no substitute. And this time, there was no attendance taker either. After waiting 15 minutes, several of them came to join me on the line.

    I spoke to several other students who also had no substitute and were worried that they were not going to get credit for a class they needed to graduate.

    I heard horror stories of a Zoology professor teaching a Sociology seminar that was to meet for two and half hours. He told the class he would take attendance at the beginning and the end; those not on both attendance sheets would not receive credit. After the first round of attendance, half the students walked out.

    I heard a certain endocrinologists first bragged about his award winning status as a teacher and then proceeded to read to his History 101A students from their textbook.

    I heard half the class in another History course walked out because their AP substitute (with a BA in American History) was annoyingly chipper and uninformed. Reportedly, she screamed at them as they left.

    I heard some mortuary science classes were being taught by an apprentice, which is such a violation it could compromise the accreditation of the program. I hear the basic and advanced dissection classes were combined, but the substitute would not allow a planned dissection to go forward because he/she was "uncomfortable" with dissection.

    Please, Chancellor Cheng, tell me this is not the "business as usual" you meant when you promised students and their parents that they would have qualified substitute instructors.

    And while all of these examples are hearsay, it seems to me that that has counted as sufficient evidence for outrage earlier on in this discussion thread. So...consider me outraged.

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  22. Well said, Erin! These anonymous people who are obviously puppets of this bloated administration and for this reason are constantly attacking the FA while at the same time, being selfish to the core and unprincipled in their actions, they continue to enjoy the benefits made possible for them by the FA are worthless! I pity their students!

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  23. With all due respect, Anon 8:12, none of us are worthless. I think that's we are on the picket line. Certainly why I am.

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  24. Funny how we are not actually talking much about the actual contract anymore.

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  25. Jonny:
    Is there a way we (Faculty, staff, and students) can start a no confidence campaign against the Chancellor and unqualified administration team she has put together? She is the one who has created such a terrible atmosphere at SIUC.

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  26. I believe OccupySIUC can help us with this.

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  27. How is the back-to-work clause considered "punitive" and "insulting"? I can understand disappointment in not getting strike pay, but the other language seems pretty straightforward to me. I suggest that anyone that hasn't already done so to actually read the language.

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  28. AP is reporting that Ohio voters rejected the law that would limit public employee unions

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  29. One very ticked off history professorNovember 8, 2011 at 9:01 PM

    Given the past history of this place, Anonymous 8:56, of fights over "free speech zones" and trials in secret of students (like what happened to Jessica Bustos a few years ago), I would really worry a lot about that language right now.

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  30. (Sorry if I ramble. I am merely brainstorming over a few issues mentioned by other posters---also originally posted in wrong spot---sorry)

    According to the Chicago Tribune, roughly 1/3 of the tenured faculty are dues-paying members of the union. By definition, this means they are pro-union. If you are pro-union, why would you not join the union in the first place? Fear of backlash for simply joining?-->Doubtful. Not even all of the dues-paying members are on strike (I am assuming this is for practical reasons, and not political).

    With that stated, 1/3 of the faculty want the other 2/3 to pay a "fair share" to be represented (This makes sense to people in unions, which blows my mind)? The rhetoric I have heard from pro-union teachers has been worse than the PREDICTABLE rhetoric of Rita Cheng.

    I have witnessed teachers outright encouraging students to skip classes, walkout, and not attend. The rhetoric stemming from the FA is absurd. This "final" offer seems a lot like what has already been presented. What rhetoric will I encounter when the FA signs a contract strikingly similar to what was on the table before striking?

    The rhetoric from striking teachers is scary, and often was filled with more misinformation than Rita Cheng has ever provided. Plus, the (predictable) information provided by Rita was to be expected considering the possible strike she was dealing with (or not dealing with, depending on POV).

    I am disappointed that the highly qualified teachers on strike think it is intelligent to FORCE 2/3 of the faculty to pay fees for representation they do not want.

    A Back to Work agreement that includes pay while on strike is the most laughable thing I have heard of. Union members had the CHOICE to go on strike. There are consequences for every choice made in life. The choice to strike should not be exempt. If there are potential benefits from being on strike, then an individual must be aware that there are potential disadvantages too.

    I have rambled enough about my thoughts. Thank you for reading. Sorry if you disagree, but I wanted to feel "heard". Thank you.

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  31. Erin Anthony -

    I read this blog regularly, but rarely post. Your comment deserves a response. I don't condone the vitriolic anti-FA comments on this site but share in the frustration that leads people to post them.

    Many faculty on this campus have never had a say in whether or not we are represented by the FA. Many of us do not want to be represented by the FA (for a range of reasons) but have no choice, which is very frustrating. These views have generally been marginalized (indeed vilified) by many FA members and supporters. We have been seen as enemies rather than colleagues, simply because we have opinions that threaten the status quo. Just in this comment thread, anti-FA views have been characterized as puppets of the administration. This is kind in comparison to some of the other comments I've seen.

    I'm frustrated with both the administration's handling of this labor issue and with the Faculty Association's decision to strike. However, the latter represents me, the former does not. If the FA were truly a representative faculty body with re-certification required on a regular basis, they would likely have a broader perspective and I would likely be more supportive of their efforts. As it is, I feel that the FA represents only a narrow perspective of faculty interests on this campus. In my opinion, representation of all tenured and tenure track faculty in perpetuity without re-certification has led to problems. Perhaps requiring such re-certification would hold the FA to the interests of all faculty. This is the goal of the current FSN petition that has been circulated to all tenured and tenure track faculty. I hope that all faculty on this campus will recognize the need to re-vote on the FA as our sole bargaining representative. If the majority of the faculty really want to be represented by the FA, FA members and supporters have nothing to lose.

    Lastly, let's not pretend that all of the anonymous remarks are coming from anti-FA factions. Scroll through a few of the threads here and you'll find plenty of mean anonymous comments spewed in all directions. It is not just the anti-FA comments that divide us.

    Signed,

    Justin Schoof

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  32. Victory in Ohio!

    Washington Post:

    Ohioans voted Tuesday night to repeal a Republican-backed law that restricted collective bargaining for public workers, a victory for Democrats and labor organizers both nationally and in the state.

    AP has declared Issue 2 (as the law was called on the ballot) dead. As of this writing, with about a quarter of precincts in, repeal led by a whopping 63 to 37 percent margin.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/post/issue-2-falls-ohio-collective-bargaining-law-repealed/2011/11/08/gIQAyZ0U3M_blog.html?hpid=z1

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  33. Erin's not indicting vitriol or division. She's indicting cowardice and hypocrisy.

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  34. Justin:

    If you and other faculty had joined the FA and paid your dues then it need not have come to this. We could have gotten a fair contract long back. You cannot stay out of the FA and then complain about it.

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  35. Just got an email from Rita. Bargaining has stopped and will resume tomorrow at 9:30 am. Look's like another day on strike.

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  36. There's been plenty of hypocrisy to go around too. The FA blaming others for teaching their students comes to mind immediately.

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  37. How sad! Rita Cheng is determined to destroy this university. Then after that she will probably move elsewhere to another bigger union busting position.

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  38. 8:50 PM,

    I think we need a state law banning BOT members or former BOT members from being hired as administrators. When Glenn falls Rita will follow. With Glenn in charge we won't get anyone better than Rita anyway. A few years ago we found out a BOT member really lived in Indiana. The state passed a law banning people living out of state from serving on BOTs. I think we have a good chance of getting a law like I am proposing. Ideally it should be retroactive. Even if it is not its moral force might get Glenn to step down,

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  39. It is not easy during normal times to get someone to substitute teach my classes when I have to go to a conference. I usually end up rescheduling the classes that I would otherwise I have missed. I am surprised that now (when there is a strike on) there are some who think nothing of it to teach someone else's class. That is hypocritical, in my opinion.

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  40. It is a pity the unions supported Poshard in the past. Things could have been different if they had not, I think. Poshard will continue to drag the university down, with plenty of help from Rita Cheng and Niklow.

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  41. The FA leadership, at least some, did like Poshard at first. We all have to learn that competence trumps politics and ideology.

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  42. Disgusted entirely at the BOT nowNovember 8, 2011 at 10:13 PM

    That is very sad news, Mike. I want this strike to be over. I guess we have to show up to the BOT's party for it to happen, though. Sigh.

    Again, they brought this on themselves when they decided to waste 16 months of time, and then to not meet with our team for three and a half days after the strike began.

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  43. Anon. 9:46 wrote: "Justin: if you and other faculty had joined the FA and paid your dues then it need not have come to this. We could have gotten a fair contract long back. You cannot stay out of the FA and then complain about it."

    Justin never asked for union representation, and neither did I. You assume that this is what nearly everyone wants--and maybe it is. But there should be regular votes (every 4-5 years? Every contract?) to determine how we, the faculty, are represented. As I've said before, if the faculty vote for union representation (and I mean all the way, with full voting privleges for all), then I will go along with that and be a full (paying) participant. But until all faculty have equal voice (following a true vote, not the force of current fair-share attempts), what's the point?

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  44. The tension I am feeling is that there is a vast difference between two questions that are getting conflated by many here:

    -Would you come out to demonstrate against the Chancellor's current policies and/or support a move for a vote of "no confidence,"

    and

    -Will you strike in support of the FA's bargaining positions?

    The two are NOT the same--and I am willing to bet that I am not the only faculty member around here who is very tired indeed of being vilified for answering "yes" to the first but being unwilling to agree to the second.

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  45. It’s not “hypocritical” for faculty to blame others for teaching their classes, unless said faculty have been out on a soapbox superciliously preaching that it is immoral to blame others for teaching the classes of striking faculty. It has to be actions or statements betraying or contradicting another statement, usually one claiming superior moral rectitude. Please use the term correctly.

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  46. The vitrolic remarks about Glenn Poshard are shameful. SIUC would be in much worse financial shape than it is if not for Dr. Poshard's tireless efforts. When any FA supporter begins to even approach Dr. Poshard's contributions to Southern Illinois---ranging from education to aid for abused children to construction of shelters for battered women---then you will have the credentials to criticize.

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  47. Anonymous 9:52 --

    What you describe is not hypocrisy. The striking faculty are merely calling those strikebreakers what they are: scabs.

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  48. Anonymous 10:45:
    If Glenn Poshard, as you say, has the interests of Southern Illinois at heart and has contributed much in other areas, why the reluctance to do what is right for SIUC--its students and faculty? Why is he silently watching as Rita Cheng is doing everything to destroy the university?

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  49. Anon 9:53 wrote:

    "How sad! Rita Cheng is determined to destroy this university. Then after that she will probably move elsewhere to another bigger union busting position."

    Can we dial it back a bit?
    Really? You think our *Chancellor* is actively plotting the *destruction of the university* that she heads? That maybe at this very minute, she's sitting in a war room somewhere, looking at a giant Technicolor map of the campus, with fingers tented, repeating "egggcellent!" like Mr. Burns, or maybe a good "Everything's... going... according-to-plan!" And if so, *this* is it? This is the master stroke, the end game? Come on back to reality.

    There are disagreements abount contractual issues. The Board has their view (and Cheng is on a pretty short leash representing that), and the FA has theirs. The FA elected to strike to show their resolve, the administration is reacting, and in part is moving closer to resolution. It's a process. While I personally believe that what's at stake in the contractual minutae is not worth the risk of damage to the university caused by the strike (in the minds of students, prospectives, and parents), I don't in any way feel that we're hanging by a thread (or that she's gleefully holding the scissors).

    We've all seen union busting, and frankly, this ain't it.


    Please remember that students read this site too, and they don't need to see us acting like petulant children.

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  50. To 10:48: Glenn Poshard is doing right by Southern Illinois and SIUC. One piece of evidence: Most TTs and Ts are not on strike. The minority on strike seems to believe it is a privileged elite that should be sheltered from any sacrifice if we have a double-dip in the economy and the General Assembly cuts appropriations.

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  51. I'm with beezer:

    Erin Anthony asked people to use their names. I've read vitriolic and passionate comments both anti-FA and anti-BOT (the latter like the phrase "puppets of Cheng").

    So Justin Schoof responds with his name and the response is "well, if you had joined the FA, all would be well. . . " Sigh.

    That ultimately comes down to a "closed (union) shop" with no right of exit. OR the perpetual "sniping" of FA members at those who are not members.

    I am a member and benefited from the last contract. I joined for bread and butter reasons - concrete issues. I've posted (freesiu.blogspot.com) why I did not feel a strike was a good idea. I respect those who are striking but reserve the right to disagree - demands for solidarity notwithstanding. "Selling your soul to the union label" is as bad as selling it to the company store, IMHO.

    So what do you do with people who are glad they received benefits agreed to by FA _and_ BOT in 2006? But who are unhappy with the current direction of FA or disagree with it because it seems like scaremongering over issues not worth striking over?

    I have many respected colleagues out there striking because they think that is the right thing to do. Good for them. Still, I am sure there are also "passive" strikers just sitting at home.

    The day people like Justin are forced to pay "fair share" (practically closed shop) is the day I quit the FA on principle. FA should not stand for "forced association."

    And, yes, "this is Jonathan Bean and I endorse this message." LOL

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  52. On a lighter note:

    Allegations of sexual harassment have emerged against yet another high official. Stay tuned.

    At the top of the hour. . . first, it was Bill Clinton, then Herman Cain, but in breaking news we report that another woman - Chancellor Cheng - has reported "unwanted advances" by a certain celebrity rapper known as FA. Cheng said these advances began well over a year ago and continue to the present, thus creating a hostile work environment for her. Gloria Allred appeared by her side.

    FA denied the allegations and said that all romances begin this way but this one went bad. Ms. Cheng thought I was proposing her when I was merely "supposing" her with financial jargon about audits and so on. As a finance person, I thought she would understand I was joking.

    Stay tuned tomorrow as witnesses report what they know about the "unwanted advances" of rapper FA.

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  53. Jonathan, If Justin does not want to contribute "fair share" and wishes to avoid being called a selfish panhandler since he has benefited from the gains that the FA has made on his behalf, then surely he should write a check to the Glenn Poshard Foundation and/or Saluki Athletics made up from the salary increases gained. Otherwise, he is both a hypocrite and a freeloader. I have a feeling that he is not honest enough to do it.

    Great posts, Erin and Ryan.

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  54. Regarding Glenn's role. He has done many good things for SIUC and the region. But he should have stayed on the BOT and not have finagled his way is into a $300K/year job he is not qualified for. He has been good at getting $ from Springfield, but this he could have done as BOT chair. He has done a terrible job of hiring Chancellors. He has no sense of what it is that universities do. He seems to see sports and remedial education as our core mission. All pretense at admissions standards are gone.

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  55. Jon Bean,

    Quit joking around and join us on the picket line. Right now striking is the only tool we have is to pressure Cheng into settling. Call the press and tell them you are joining us.

    For you admins who are being forced to sub: walk in, put Rita's phone number on the board or overhead and walk out.

    For those of you who are scabbing: stop. Have a conscience. This admin is a disaster. Do not do anything to support it.

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  56. In-by God-credible! And the FA wants faculty to support them!

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  57. Here we go with the mindless insults of our colleagues again.

    Anon 12:43 writes:

    "...If Justin... wishes to avoid being called a selfish panhandler... Otherwise, he is both a hypocrite and a freeloader... he is not honest enough..."

    Where to begin?

    "hypocrite". Justin's actions seem completely consistent with his world-view. You may disagree with his conclusions or actions, but I don't see the hypocrisy. Similarly, in what way is he being "dishonest"? Easy to throw insults around, harder to make them stick though...

    "freeloader". This makes the assumption that Justin (or you, or myself) couldn't do better on our own with the free market (or at least, with a merit-based system). I personally would much prefer to take my chances with a merit-based system. This takes me to...

    "selfish". I can't speak for Justin here to answer for his motivations, so I'll insert myself here (and work under the assumption that there may be some overlap). I would be "selfish" (though certainly not simultaneously a "freeloader" (see below)) if 1) I would be right that a merit-based system would be better for me; 2) if money were the most important factor in my decision making; 3) if a pay system based at least in part on merit were good only for the likes of me and detrimental to SIUC as a whole. However, (2) and (3) are not true--I certainly believe I could make more elsewhere (but here I am, so there must be something good that I like about it here that is (much) more important than the biggest buck) and I strongly believe that SIUC would see improved faculty productivity (and stronger faculty over time) with a system that incentivizes merit--thus making a stronger SIUC. Let's not forget that having T/TT faculty represented by a union at a PhD-granting research institution is *an anomaly*. If the union is all that is standing between we defenseless faculty and indentured servitude, then how can you explain how things work at most other similar universities (or, our own med school)? Has anyone stopped to think that perhaps--perhaps--part of the reason we see some reactionary behavior from administrative types from time to time, is in fact a reflection of the faculty's own current organizational structure? I'm just throwing that out there, but remember: polarization is, by definition, a two-way street.

    "pan-handler"? Please. What has he asked you for? No one asked *me* (via vote) if I think the faculty should be represented by a union, and judging by Justin's apparent youth (in photo), I doubt he was here during the last vote either (was it 1996??) In fact, how many of the current T/TT faculty WERE here to vote then? I'm happy to play the pan-handler role though: Can anyone spare a collective vote for future representation? Anyone?

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  58. Wow. Dave Johnson on the radio this morning arguing that strikers should be paid to make up the days that were missed due to the strike. I support the FA, but that is a losing position if the FA is really going to stick with it as a condition for returning to work.

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  59. All that Chancellor Cheng was able to do in most cases was to have unqualified substitutes teach the classes of faculty who were on strike. In many cases all that the substitutes did was to take attendance! When the faculty who were on strike go back to work they will make up for the missed classes. Also, let's not forget why they were on strike in the first place. It was not for selfish reasons but for the betterment of the university-to put the value drivers back where they should have been in the first place--students and faculty--and NOT on a bloated administration + expensive changes to logo + athletics!

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  60. That's fine. If their motives were as altruistic as you suggest, then they shouldn't expect to be paid to make up the missed days.

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  61. "Quit joking around"

    After we all argued substantive points (and read insult after insult), doesn't ANY ONE feel the need for a little humor?

    I'm reminded of the comedian who quipped: "I wouldn't want to be a member of any group that would have me as a member." Sorry. Humor again.

    Did strikers make use of Guy Fawkes day?? (November 5th)?

    http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/11/05/remember-remember-the-fifth-of-november-why-guy-fawkes-day-wont-be-forgot-in-2011/

    Wiki: "One notable aspect of the Victorians' commemoration of Guy Fawkes Night was its move away from the centres of communities, to their margins. Gathering wood for the bonfire increasingly became the province of working-class children, who solicited combustible materials, money, food and drink from wealthier neighbours, often with the aid of songs. Most opened with the familiar "Remember, remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot".[47] The earliest recorded rhyme, from 1742, is reproduced below alongside one bearing similarities to most Guy Fawkes Night ditties...

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  62. 9:00, please stop with the lies about athletics and the logo. I'm sick of it. Next time you come out with the lies, please post your name. The $1.5 million is going to the ENTIRE Lipman Hearne campaign, a campaign led by Tom Abramson, an SIU alum. You can ignore me but I don't and I won't. Likewise, Saluki Way only happened because of years of stupidity and incompetence on part of past administrations and we had to fix it. I'm not on the side of administration or faculty but can we at least stop lying? I'm done. *drops mic*

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  63. Of course people are free to see themselves as rugged individualists and discerning free agents, beholden to neither union nor administration. They feel they are better equipped -- because they are more savvy -- to recognize authentically concrete issues better than their ideologue colleagues (how is financial exigency not bread and butter? And if it's not, does that exclude the possibility of fighting for principle?)

    It is a tempting role. You get to see yourself as a woman or man of principle with the independent, gimlet eye -- utterly secure in your customized cost-benefit analysis, tailored with essentially yourself in mind. Who wouldn't want this degree of self-satisfaction?

    I of course am free to see you as a selfish cherrypicker, who stands with the FA when it profits him or her, who mistakenly believes himself to be free of the ideological ties that ultimately put him so smoothly in service to the powers that be.

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  64. OK,Beezer, now why don't you sign a document stating that you don't want the benefits the union has obtained for you and ask SIUC to donate the sum elsewhere? You either put the money where your mouth is and sign a docuemnt certifying you as a free individual in the market or just stop posting until you do.

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  65. Anon 12:50 wrote:

    “OK,Beezer, now why don't you sign a document stating that you don't want the benefits the union has obtained for you and ask SIUC to donate the sum elsewhere? You either put the money where your mouth is and sign a docuemnt certifying you as a free individual in the market or just stop posting until you do.”

    Not so fast. Let me try this again: I am not in your union. I was never asked or allowed to vote on whether I wanted union (FA or other) union representation (were you?).

    If we have a binding vote on whether or not to have union representation (where that means full participation and full voting rights for all) – and if union representation carries the day (showing that this is truly what the faculty wants) -- that is precisely when I will “put my money where my mouth is” and will be first in line to sign up for union representation. Be careful what you wish for though—I fear that the ideological homogeneity of your union may suffer if all faculty are truly represented.

    Separate from that, “putting my money where my mouth is” now, would require that I have the opportunity to choose the way in which my contract is negotiated. I have never been given that choice. (Your hypothetical structure fails because it presents a false choice between taking what the FA has won for me and nothing (apparently under the assumption that I would have no contract—or would certainly have gotten less -- if it were not for the FA… that I, or another structure, am/is incapable of negotiating my own contract)).

    Why are so many so afraid of a full faculty vote for representation?

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  66. "So...consider me outraged.

    Isn't that your normal state?

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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.