Saturday, April 2, 2011

Details on Administration and Faculty proposals

If you're interested in learning the details of the administration's "last, best, and final" offer and the FA's latest positions, both are now posted over on the FA website,; follow the "Bargaining information" link for the details.  Probably the most incendiary item in the administration's "offer" (soon to be the terms imposed on faculty) is the new provision to allow for "reductions in force"--layoffs--of tenure-track and tenured faculty.  That's article 19 of the administration's terms, which can be found on page 62 of this pdf document. The Faculty Association's earlier proposal to allow for such layoffs (but only after faculty and administration agree that the university is in a state of genuine financial exigency--a chronic financial crisis threatening the existence of the university) can be found in this document.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Events To Support Higher Ed Workers

There will be a "We Are One" rally held in defense of collective bargaining to protests moves against worker's rights in Wisconsin and elsewhere.  The rally takes place at the SIU Arena on Friday, April 8 and 6:00, rain or shine--and there will even be free food and drink. The date is chosen to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated while he was supporting striking sanitation workers in Memphis, TN.  

After the break, you'll find an AAUP announcement about efforts to "construct a positive counter-narrative in the national debate over the future of American higher education at a time when public higher education is at great risk."  I'll post any details I hear about any relevant campus events.  

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Teach-in on Workers' Rights

The same folks who brought you the DE op-ed piece on Monday are sponsoring a "Teach-In" on Tuesday, April 4, from 1-4 pm. Looks like a good occasion to learn how events at SIUC are part of a larger context.  (Click on the flier to view it at full size.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A smoking memo?

I've seen the memo the administration sent the FA announcing the ultimatum.  Some office staffer made an honest mistake.  The memo was dated March 28th, the first day of mediation.  That is, the administration didn't wait until the end of the second day of mediation (March 29) to decide to declare an impasse; they had already decided on day one--at the latest.  They had also already decided that we had rejected their ultimatum before they had made it.  This is what you do when your goal isn't an agreement but an impasse.  Here's the memo in full.  Click on it to enlarge it.  

Administrative Ultimatum Rejected by Faculty Association

Headlines in the press (like the one in the Southern and in the administration press release) read rather differently than the title of this post, saying something like "Faculty Reject Administrative Offer".  But what the administration has presented is a "last, best, and final" offer.  "Ultimatum" is Latin for "last, best, and final offer".  (Trust me, I teach Latin.)  Both sides will put out more details on their positions, and you'll likely find things to agree and disagree about with what both sides say.  But the single most important thing to keep in mind is that the administration is now putting forward demands, while the FA is putting forward proposals.  That is, the FA is willing to negotiate in good faith, still.  The administration, if it was ever willing to negotiate in good faith, isn't willing to negotiate at all right now.  They are only interested in imposing their own terms.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

DE op-ed piece on collective bargaining

There's an excellent op-ed piece on collective bargaining in Monday's DE by history faculty Natasha Zaretsky, Rachel Stocking, and Gray Whaley, who also have gathered support from 40 other faculty in 20 departments (I'm one of them). It will be interesting to see if the administration responds, as Glen Poshard responded very rapidly back in November to an essay in the Southern Illinoisian by Robbie Lieberman, chair of history.  Robbie's piece can be found here; Poshard's response is here.