Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Defeat bill 1673

Here it is, the bill we've all been waiting for, SB 1673, which will slash employee pensions and health care.

Call 1-888-412-6570 to be directed to your local representative by the We Are One Illinois labor coalition. (They will keep tabs of how many call via their service as a way of noting union strength on this issue.) If you'd rather call directly, here are the numbers for reps in the Carbondale area:

Rep. Mike Bost: 618 457 5787 / 217 782 0387

Senator David Leuchtefeld: 618 243 9014 / 217 782 8137.

While both are Republicans, and Democrats run the legislature (which runs the state), Democrats need Republican support to pass this legislation, and the Republicans may in fact be our greatest allies on this issue, as they are particularly opposed to the move to pass pension costs down to local school districts and universities.

The ieanea.org website has updates on pending legislation.  Capital Fax gathers media on the breaking story. After the break, an email the AAUP is sending out to Illinoisans on their mailing list.

[Extra: Faner construction]

[Schadenfreude update. On May 31 a gas line was ruptured outside Faner--sending employees home from surrounding buildings.  Earlier a water line had been ruptured, cutting of the AC in the building (but that luckily happened before the recent heat wave). Who's operating that there steam-shovel, anyway? And I wonder if the contractor's insurance will pay back the university for having to give hundreds of employees paid time off work.]

Comments are closed on this post due to violations of Godwin's Law, and thanks--special thanks--to numerous other anonymous offenses against good taste, bad taste, any taste at all. For similar reasons, even before shutting comments down, I have forever deleted (ah, what absolute powers I have as blogmaster, though they are but a pale foreshadow of my administrative kingdom to come!) I have deleted, I say, a number of terribly clever personal and impersonal attacks made via abusive references to poultry--who really deserve better, don't you think? Is there a law mandating that comment threads cease and desist once we get to maladroit rhetorical bestiality of this sort? Gosh, there should be. Johnson's Law? I shall be immortal, after all.

OK, I promised only retrospective posts but this one is close to home. The Southern has a story today on the renovated "pedestrian mall" outside Faner, where I work.

Two points: the non-aesthetic reasons for this renovation given in the story are bogus. And this is a helluva lot of money: $1.25 million.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Closing thoughts on the strike

Some closing thoughts on the conflict between the FA and the administration that culminated in last fall's strike.

I suppose the lead can be that less has changed, at least in relations between the FA and administration, than many of us expected. Many expected Armageddon. It didn't happen. Neither the FA nor the Poshard/Cheng administration has ceased to exist. Neither side won a clear victory, but neither has peace and goodwill broken out. Now back to business as usual isn't the worst of all possible results. The Cheng administration has not engaged in any significant retribution that I'm aware of (my relatively smooth approval to serve as chair is one sign of that for those who don't regard me as a traitor to the True Cause). Nor, so far as I am aware, has there been much in the way of action by FA stalwarts to punish their colleagues who didn't strike.

Of course that fact that nothing much has changed doesn't mean that a stalemate was inevitable, or that there aren't longer-term consequences of the strike and the conflict leading up to it that have yet to become evident. I still tend to believe that the FA faced a true existential threat during the strike, and suspect that putting an end to the FA was at least one result devoutly to be wished as far as some on the administrative side were concerned. It's also possible that had more faculty joined the FA strike, more effectively shutting down campus, Cheng could have been sacked. The fact that one emerges from a contest with the parties more or less where they started doesn't mean that the stakes weren't high in the first place, only that the contest came out more or less even.

Thoughts on possible longer term results after the break.