Friday, July 8, 2011

Give the BOT a message

Another announcement from the SIUC Labor Coalition.

The SIUC Labor Coalition, comprised of all four locals on the SIUC campus, is organizing a collective action for Thursday, July 14th. On that day the SIU Board of Trustees will be meeting at approximately 10:00 in Ballroom B of the Student Center. Our plan is to gather in the lobby outside the ballrooms at 9:45 am. From there, we will go into the ballroom together, take seats, and hold up signs that simply say the number "379." As of July 14th, this will be the number of days that SIUC employees will have been working without a contract. One person will be designated to hold up a larger sign that reads "How Many Days Without a Contract?" 

The public comment portion of the meeting is scheduled for approximately 10:30 (the schedule is not always exact, so please allow for the possibility that it may happen a bit later). At that time, a Labor Coalition spokesperson will read a public statement to the BOT on behalf of all four IEA locals. The statement will convey our concerns about the gravity of the labor crisis at SIUC and our sincere hope that the BOT will join with us in preserving collective bargaining rights on our campus. At the end of the public comment portion of the meeting, we'll distribute copies of the statement to fellow audience members, board members, and the press. 

We are asking everyone to wear black to this action as a show of solidarity. Please help spread the word about this action and attend if at all possible. It is crucial that we show the Board that union power on this campus is strong.


  1. Reading the statement and having a large showing at the meeting should suffice. The other tactics seem pointless.

  2. The other tactics make for a picture in the paper rather than an article with no picture or even no article at all.

  3. To any and all who are reading this: please participate in this action and encourage others to do the same. It's crucially important.

  4. Is a picture in the paper really the goal? I would think that we need to convince the BOT that there is an important unresolved issue, not the readers of the Southern Illinoisan!

  5. Surely both things matter--as does another, more internal audience. We need to make our case directly to the BOT, but also need to make ourselves heard before the wider public audience that they, being political animals, respond to. Plus we need to remind faculty and staff at SIUC that there's still a big battle underway over the future of this campus.

    We won't win over that many of the conservative (if sometimes pro-union) readers of the Southern Illinoisan, and certainly won't win over the BOT or administration bargaining team simply by persuasion. But if we make our case both coherently and loudly we make it harder for them to ignore us. We may have more luck convincing some opinion leaders and politicians outside Southern Illinois (though Quinn's recent actions hardly make him seem a friend to labor).

    Ultimately the most important audience is probably those represented by SIUC unions, as it is their willingness to support the unions that will determine the strength of the unions' bargaining position. Many represented by unions (but not automatically supportive of the unions) are reachable by persuasion, and will also be impressed by the unions showing they have the organization strength to mount a strong case--and hence presumably to pull off a strike, should it come to that.

    My two cents. Ok, back to vacation.

  6. Unions are for miners and factory workers. Faculty Union sounds like an oxymoron to me especially if tenured.

    Now go back to your 3 month vacation while us real union workers get back to work.

  7. Dear Last Anonymous:
    Do you know faculty members are only paid 9 months without getting any vacation? We do not have 3 months vacation. We are unemployed for three months. I do not believe you are a real union member or even a real worker. No true union member will denounce his brothers and sisters like this.
    May God bless you.

  8. Dave Johnson called it vacation.

  9. I've been in the office every day (except when I traveled to do work) even though I'm on a nine-month contract. Can I be counted as a person worthy of union representation?

  10. It's not as if the 9-month appointment is a surprise. Are you asking for sympathy because you have a 9-month appointment? Why not go after some summer salary by attracting research grants or other scholarly activity? Of course, you also have the option of spreading your 9-month salary out over the 12 month calendar year if you are unable to secure summer funding.


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