Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bargaining report: workload

I promised a report on the progress of bargaining, as I've heard it at the FA general membership meeting on Thursday, 10/13 (and of course supplemented with what I now from other sources). I'm going to break this report up into a number of chunks (which may also help focus comments). 

I'll only briefly characterize the overall impression I have of the 64k question: How's it going? Since the strike authorization vote, there has been been a change in atmosphere and attitude but rather little substantial progress. Rather than simply saying that they had "no interest" in our proposals, the board team has now been interested in more clearly figuring out just where the two sides disagree. Meetings have also become much more frequent. Hours before the Chancellor's announcement a few weeks ago that her team was willing to meet 24/7 (and her false charge that the FA was responsible for the failure to meet over the summer--when meetings did in fact take place), the administration team did indeed offer many more times for meetings, and lengthy meetings are now occurring on most business days.  On Monday, the teams will meet twice, and the FA team expects new language from the board team on a number of different issues.

I have been impressed, though many of you will not consider me an impartial observer, with the flexibility and creativity of the FA team (in addition to their more obvious persistence). On several crucial issues we have offered a number of different approaches in an effort to meet our interests. This is how Interest Based Bargaining is supposed to work. The sides don't stake out conflicting proposals and bang heads until they meet some place in the middle. Rather, each side attempts to creatively come up with proposals that allow them to meet their interest without undermining essential interests of the other side. This sort of flexibility is particularly clear on the first issue I'll consider below the break, workload.

For a bit on how negotiations with GA United are going, check out their latest bargaining update.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

GA United

GA United is calling for a protest outside Anthony Hall tomorrow (Friday) at 1:30.  Details can be found over at SIUC Unions United, from whom I've stole the nice bullhorn below. 

More contempt from the Southern

Our colleagues on the civility patrol might want to give Gary Metro a call over at the Southern.  I had managed to avoid comment on his editorial last Saturday, in which he essentially repeated the prior week's editorial, with the confirmation that people giving him a thumb's up in the supermarket showed him that the community was behind him. Oh, he also argued that faculty who support their union are like panhandlers who ask for money for whiskey, only worse.

Today's editorial, though, says that the students who protested yesterday are "obviously brainwashed",  prey to their ditzy emotions and passions, utterly out of touch with the facts, and completely lacking in common sense. (The paper covers the protest, fairly, here.) This editorial, I think, calls out for some comment. The students involved are, at least judging by the rather eloquent piece that I posted the other day, exactly the sorts of students we should be proud of. "We" here means anyone interested in a university that encourages students to get involved and informed about the issues facing them. You can of course disagree with what they are saying or how they are saying it, but when the hometown newspaper of a university town drips with contempt for articulate, engaged, and informed student activists, well, that newspaper is clearly part of the problem.

I'll engage with the rest of the editorial after the break.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday roundup

Not much time for blogging today--I haven't even dared to read the comments as of yet.  A few quick things you've probably already seen.

The leadership of the FA put out an "Open Letter" attempting to respond to the Faculty for Sensible Negotiations--I'll past it beneath the break. The FSN themselves have just struck again, albeit only by reminding us about their picnic. They also announce a Facebook page, which at this early stage consists of their past announcements, including this last one, which I will therefore forego posting here, as I hunted their FB page down and just provided you with a handy link. Various confused things in the DE, including confusion attributed to me, correctly and incorrectly, follow as well. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Satire outbreak

The piece of satire below has come into my hands.

Surrender Now

Monday, October 10, 2011

"We are not pawns"

A letter from a pro-union student group has been making its rounds, and as I've passed on many other such things, it makes sense to post this one as well.  The full text can be found after the break.

Columbus Day Cartoon

By popular demand, a cartoon I should have shared earlier . . .