Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekend update

Two things I promised to look into.

1.  The FA does indeed propose a detailed procedure for dealing with cases of sexual harassment. You cand find the full procedure spelled out in an appendix to the FA's "supposal for mediation". I don't know the ins and outs of the history of this proposed policy, other than that it has been in the works for years. Two obvious differences are that the FA policy would provide for a clear, in-house way of dealing with complaints that wouldn't bounce up all the way to the Chancellor at once (or require use of a $12,000 outside investigation). The policy would protect the confidentiality of the parties involved, but the added transparency provided by the policy, which outlines procedures and would assign university personnel to judge and revolve complaints, could well result in university investigations having more credibility, and hence being less likely to be appealed to federal agencies and the like.

2. I spoke briefly with Randy Hughes about local expenditures from union dues. He tells me that only $20 of each members' fees come back directly to the SIUC local, though the local is able to get the IEA to pay for many local expenses (food at meetings, printing and duplication, etc.).  One local expense I hadn't ever imagined was reimbursing the student center for rent of rooms for bargaining, which Randy said had cost the FA several thousand dollars during the current round of negotiations. Thus items I linked to in earlier comments, the "Hudson Packet" which gives audited expenses for the IEA, and the more intelligible but less official report put together by our local NEA contact, Jim Clark, ought to give a pretty full picture of what dues are spent on.


  1. Isn't it ridicules that the FA has to pay for room rental at Student Center for bargaining? Why can't we use the conference rooms, balcony room, etc? Why doesn’t SIUC administration pay for that?

  2. As a separate legal entity, the FA has to pay the same rates that any community organization would have to pay to use university property. There is nothing unusual or improper about this.

  3. Whoa....Hughes says only $20 comes back to SIU....and the union dues are $600? Is that what I'm getting.

    Yeah, union membership is a bargain..for the IEA.

  4. Anonymous, Just remember that when Rita fires you with 30 days notice and you are facing bankruptcy due to legal fees to get your job back and encounter administrative delaying tactics.

  5. That's the drill isn't it? Get fired and run to a Carbondale attorney in an effort to get your job back. The attorney says, yeah, you gotta case, so lets run up the billable hours pursuing something that's not gonna go anywhere. I've seen it happen over and over...and you're right, the attorney gets all your money and you go bankrupt. So sad.....

    Shoot, if I get fired, I'm looking for a new lets not worry about that. I was looking for a job when I got this one.

    But that's besides the point....$50 a month...and $1.60 goes to the local chapter. I'd rather be on my own.

  6. Makes calculating an "agency fee" easy though, doesn't it!?

    Seriously, even die hard union supporters must be hard pressed to call $20/year + copying a good deal

  7. The $20 reflects the small total in direct control of the local chapter. It doesn't reflect what percentage of the total dues are spent on supporting SIUC. At every bargaining meeting with the administration, and any major union meeting on campus, for example, there's at least one IEA staffer present--not paid out of that $20. IEA legal prepared & filed the unfair labor practices complaint, and is continually giving advice on legal issues relevant to bargaining. And of course the IEA is already ramping up support for preparations for a potential strike; there's at least one additional staffer on campus full time already, and if things get rougher this fall there will be more support.

    What really makes the union work, though, of course, is the people who are active in it. Just what do you expect the IEA to be providing us with, by the way? The IEA won't solve our problems. It can only help us do so ourselves. Demanding more from union dues is perilously close to calling for stuff to be run by what used to be called "outside agitators".

    Sure, we can debate about whether the IEA spends its resources properly, but the IEA dues, while not insubstantial, have always made up something like 1% of my salary. I think it's worth it. For most people, I suspect that this calculation is not primarily driven by what percentage of the dues goes to lobbying in Springfield (or whatever else you're going to regard as wasteful) and what is spent in Carbondale.

  8. Anonymous, That is the very strategy SIUC higher administration uses. Good luck with getting another job especially as you will not have the backbone to fight for the one that will soon be removed from you with 30 days notice!


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