Saturday, November 5, 2011

Negotiation to Include a Federal Mediator

For those of you strikers out there that didn't get the FA your non-SIUC email address, our FA President just released the following email:

[Click Image to Enlarge.]

For those of you concerned that the FA's reason's for going out on strike were unwarranted, perhaps we'll see what a mediator thinks as he/she helps both parties weigh the strengths of their positions and their willingness to find a reasonable compromise.  Well, not directly of course, but in the outcome. 

A Strike Brings Out the Creativity in Folks

Never doubt that a strike is a serious labor action and serious work, but there's also a fair amount of creativity involved in a protest.  It's good to see that on the picket line.  I understand from people who were at that GPSC meeting Thursday morning that several upper administrators were rather smugly enjoying the weather conditions for the opening of the strike.  Let me be the first to reassure them that cold wind and rain did not dampen our spirit or our resolve.

After the break I'll offer some examples of that creativity.

Friday, November 4, 2011

In The Strike Zone -- Friday PM

Day 2 of the strike spirits are high. Here are some views from around the strike zone taken Friday afternoon.

Anthony Hall. We just missed a big crowd of students, marching and chanting for a couple of hours.

Mill Street with many cars honking in support.

More pictures from around the campus follow:

The most remote crew.

More to come …

News Flash: The Administration LIES!

However one might choose to characterize the beginning of the first strike in the history of SIUC, it was definitely not business as usual.  We know that the Administration is deep into crisis management mode and trying to assure all audiences that there's nothing going on here, keep moving along. But if you were on campus yesterday, you had a very different experience.  And even though the Administration has shut down striker's emails, we still heard plenty about the behind the scenes shouting matches and kerfuffles as the Administration struggled to put out "fires" all day all across the campus as a result of the disruption to business as usual.

I am on the line again today, so this will not be as full an analysis as it could be of a very full yesterday.  Still, I have a few comments after the break and an announcement or two.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

And So It Has Come To This...

I am fresh back from the Solidarity Rally where a courtyard full of people demonstrated their commitment to following through in the name of respect, in the name of fairness, in the name of transparency and accountability.  We are not happy or eager to strike, but we are vigorously resolved.  And the mood is high that a strike is what is required.

So you are reading this.  Not you who will anonymously respond with doubt or derision.  Not you who are weary with the work of it all but still ready to see it through.  But you, that colleague who has followed along, hoping like so many of us that it wouldn't come to a strike, hoping it would all just come to an end and we could move on.  Hoping most not to get into the muck of it all, to stay above the fray, to teach your classes and do your research and try to remember what you value in an academic life.  I am talking to you.

We also hoped, like you, that it wouldn't come to a strike.  But, barring some last minute awakening to the importance of compromise by our Administration, it has.  And based on the size and energy in that crowd, it is a strike that will challenge any "business as usual" promises from the Chancellor or the President.  You will face your colleagues on that line when you try to go to work tomorrow, and you will face a decision.  Will you continue to imagine you can stay above it, that it doesn't affect you?  Can you cross the line and imagine you are not involved? 

There is one last chance to make it go away, but it doesn't involve walking or driving past the picket line and pretending it isn't there.  If you really want it all to be over, just turn around.  Go back.  Take the day off.  Or better still, join your colleagues on the picket line.  Because that is now your last, best option to make this all end quickly. 

I left that rally tonight feeling an energy I haven't felt on this campus in, well, ever.  Not a confidence or a cockiness, but a palpable sense of taking ownership of our institution.  We are SIUC, not exclusively but so significantly.  And we welcome you, colleague, to join us and feel the energy of this solidarity.  No jeers, no sneers, no toxic atmosphere -- just welcome.  Join us and, by joining us, help us end this thing. 

I hope I'll see you on the line tomorrow. 

Message from the Chancellor: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

...unless you are in the vast super majority not supporting the strike, in which case would you please sign up to help us break these unions.

The Chancellor continues the Administration media blitz with a radio interview:

And emails:

[Click to Enlarge]

I'll offer a few comments after the break, but really the Chancellor's comments in both venues are pretty much "business of usual" if you are in the business of "threaten" and "mischaracterize."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Faculty for No Negotiations 2.0

I'm going rogue on the FSN and letting Blogger Dave out of the box for a moment (though he's snuck through in comments below).  I do so because the FSN message sent yesterday may seem to meet the objections I raised to the FSN earlier (so I feel it's pretty imperative to comment) and because the FA is too busy with other things right now to make the FSN an official priority or produce an official response.

The FSN white paper presents what many will find an attractive vision for shared governance on campus.  But what is utterly lacking, still, is any practicable means for achieving this end, their vision of shared governance. And the faculty committee they are calling for us to vote for seems to me to be chimerical.

Information and Preparation Rally Wednesday Evening

If you support the unions, want last minute information, and plan to picket, please try to attend this meeting.  If you can't attend the meeting, please come out Thursday morning and join the picket lines -- any of them at the entrances to campus. And of course, if you are unable to picket for any reason but want to help, please report to Strike Headquarters.  You don't have to be a member of one of the unions to join the picket line!

If it comes to a strike, the fastest way to end it is to have a strong showing on Day One. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

Consider a Cultural Event for your Calendar

It's kind of cool that the University Museum is currently holding an art exhibit on "The Way We Worked" that just happens to coincide with a potential strike on campus. 

There's also a public presentation in the Museum Auditorium tomorrow night at 7pm.  Look at what the topic is and who's on it:

“The Future of Work,” Panel Discussion by Dr. Glenn Poshard, Mr. Gary Metro, Ms. Kathy Lively and Dr. Robert Mees

Bosom buddies Glenn Poshard and Gary Metro opining about the future of labor?  Really???

So.  Anybody want to go and ask some questions?  I'd be very curious to see what these folks think the rather short-term future of labor is.

A Very Busy Monday

So much is going on today, you'd think there was something BIG about to happen on campus.  Regrettably, you are probably right.  It was a busy day for me doing actual work for the university, so I'm going to lump together the happenings of the day.  After the break I'll offer a few comments.  Well, maybe a tad more than a few.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Cartoon

Busy at Strike Headquarters

While no one wants to strike, the unions have been put in the position of moving forward with strike preparations. This includes opening up a strike headquarters. The headquarrters is in part of the old Carbondale Community High School, located on the corner of Oakland Avenue and High Street. It is an interesting location for labor action coordination.  I believe back in the early 80's the teachers at this school rose up to strike against unfair labor conditions; I haven't found confirmation of the details, but I've heard several locals comment on this history.  I certainly feel an energy of solidarity and collaboration filling our new space.  After the break, I'll offer some more comments and visual evidence of that spark.

Official Faculty Association Bargaining Report

As promised, here is the official FA bargaining report.  I think I covered most of these points, but Randy's clarifications are important. 

Bargaining Report 29OCT2011-1