Monday, November 7, 2011

Board ensures strike continues

Here's news release the FA has released this evening.  

Board departs negotiations after revising proposal

At 5:17 pm on Monday November 7, the SIUC administration's bargaining team presented the Faculty Association's negotiating team with a revised proposal on all remaining items at dispute.  The administration’s team then informed the FA team that they were departing for the evening and wished to resume negotiations Tuesday morning. The FA's bargaining team will return to bargaining with the administration team Tuesday.

The following statement may be attributed to FA spokesperson Dave Johnson.

"While we will seriously consider the board team's revised offer, we are extremely disappointed that they have broken off negotiations this evening.  Their premature departure ensures that the strike by faculty on the SIUC campus will continue at least one more day.  The faculty team will work through the evening to prepare for negotiations and be ready to meet with the BOT team Tuesday morning." 


  1. I'm sure they are disappointed in you too Dave.

  2. Snarky comment, Anon: 7:18. The administration has again shown it has no intention of resolving this dispute quickly despite the FA wanting to remain at the bargaining table.

  3. Snarky, yes. I'm getting short on patience as the FA drags us all through the mud. I'm regretting that I committed myself to SIUC by staying here instead of moving to a different university pre-tenure. I know many others feel the same. Perhaps we should leave and make this the center of mediocrity that the FA desires.

  4. Well, did the parties bargain through the night, as the Chancellor's earlier email implied? If so, then it seems sane and productive to take a break, and I imagine both parties would be relieved to do so.

    But why pass up a chance to continue to portray the folks across the table as the bad guys? After all, it's not like you have to reach an agreement with them or work with them afterward.

    Way to stand up for the working man, Mother Jones. No quarter to the bosses and their lackeys!

  5. The negotiators for both sides have been at this for more than 24 hours! Dave's comment is ridiculous. To post it demeans him more than the negotiators. Do you think sleep deprivation for either side is going to produce a better agreement?

    I agree that this was just a cheap shot. Typical FA - never miss an opportunity to stick it to the people you are trying to work with. After all insults are so conducive to a productive working relationship.

  6. Mathematics graduate studentNovember 7, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    @Anonymous 7:42 PM : This is no time for breaks, They took breaks for more than 1 year, that is why our teachers are out there in the picket lines.

  7. Does anyone know what time they will start in the morning? I cannot make it tonight's meeting at the Newman Center.

  8. dosen't someone on the bargaining team text? if the admin bargaining team does something like that again, text it! let the world rain "the admin is lying"! before rita gets on live tv.

  9. Admin. is getting a lot of courses covered by qualified retired folk (and administrators). These are people who used to teach the exact same courses.

    Perhaps the FA needs to sleep on the BOT proposal. I agree that sleep deprivation is not the best way of thinking. But they used it in the War on Terror (go ahead and slam the analogy. I'm joking).

  10. @7:32 I'm regretting committing to a university with an administration that doesn't care about my education. As they scrambled to secure "qualified" substitutes for the undergrads, they decided the graduate students could fend for themselves. One of my classes today had nothing more than an attendance taker show up and my second class was completely ignored. "Business as usual" clearly doesn't mean education as usual. At least not for the graduate students.

  11. Ferph - Why is there no blame for the FA? You're instructors (and presumably your advisor) left you high and dry. The administration shares the fault, but the decision was your professors to make. Many of us decided that the issues did not warrant a strike.

  12. After any confrontation, looking back one can find moments where each side could have acted differently and perhaps avoided or reduced the harm. I would be shocked if the FA did not make any mistakes. Here are two, imo: we should have had a recruitment drive last year and we should have done a better job communicating the essential goals regarding FE sooner. Some people have said initial supposal on FE was too extreme and they may be right.

    But when you compare this to the actions of the Cheng/Poshard administration they are minor. The FE issue has been hanging over us for years and they refused to deal with it. The stonewalling of all the IEA unions was deplorable. Why didn't Cheng cut deals with the other three months ago? Were they pawns in her game or is she mindlessly stubborn? What can you say about her trying to fire 93 NTT faculty? Can someone here defend that or even explain it? Why did the BOT team refuse to bargain for three days? Maybe the strike could have ended late Thursday. Did she just want to test the FA out? Isn't that using the students as pawns?

    And let's look at the bigger picture. Why has the number of non-faculty professional staff grown by 37% over the last ten years as enrolment has declined? I like JN as a person but does anyone think he is qualified to be Provost? Shouldn't it be illegal to hire BOT members as administrators? I think the IEA should lobby like hell to ban that. Will you FSNers support me in that?

    If you think the FA has made mistakes, get involved so it will have a broader base to draw ideas and leadership from.. This administration is not going away any time soon. Do you think Cheng has given up on the notion that Core courses should be controlled by the administration instead of departments? Do you think Poshard has had an epiphany and realized how tangential sports are to our mission? Who will stand up for the core values of academia in this age of corporatization?

  13. Plato's Big ToeNovember 7, 2011 at 9:30 PM

    @Mike: The FSN can't answer for the administration and does not support the administrations position (contrary to much of the FA rhetoric on the FSN). The FSN contends that the FA has not represented the faculty well. The fact that only 100-200 faculty (less than 1/3 of the bargaining unit) think that the issues are serious enough to strike supports that notion. Do you think that the FA should represent our bargaining unit in perpetuity? Wouldn't it be reasonable to have the faculty renew their support for the FA every few years to keep the FA honest?

  14. Mike, I think your "bigger picture" is that a very large number of people on this campus are truly unhappy with the direction in which this administration is taking us--in terms of the explosion of administrative positions, the chase to recruit more and more massively under-prepared students as a solution to financial issues, and the siphoning of funds into athletic facilities at tremendous cost to our students. And, of course, some of us would like some affirmation that our administration thinks that faculty and students are of value.

    Unfortunately, however, these are not the actual issues on which our FA is providing any leadership. Instead, they are asking us to strike to support proposals for FE that defy good sense, and to preserve tenured slots at all costs, including throwing both TT and NTT folk under the bus.

    It is time for the FA to agree to tonight's fairly decent contract proposal from the administration and let the faculty get back to teaching and working toward something of educational value here.

  15. Status update!

    What were the last BOT and FA proposals at the end of the day? One of my complaints about FA was lack of - dare I say - "transparency" on posting such things but they have gotten much better. So someone at FA please post this revised BOT proposal and the last FA one.


  16. Well, aren't Rita's lapdogs getting desperate again with their usual attempts to protect our version of H. Rider Haggard's -who-must-be Obeyed". The fact is the FA were willing to negotiate but the BOT team proved unable (or unwilling) to bargain seriously and took a break by walking out of the room as they did before. Had they not done so we could have had a fair contract by now. Make no mistake. The administration is playing games with student education and the FA really want to return to the classroom.

  17. So no status update?

  18. 7:32 PM wrote "I'm regretting that I committed myself to SIUC by staying here instead of moving to a different university pre-tenure. I know many others feel the same. Perhaps we should leave."

    Hindsight is usually 20/20.
    Got guts to quit and move? Seriously?

  19. Negotiations will resume tomorrow morning at 9:30 am. A statement outlining where negotiations stand should appear on the FA website later tonight and, if you are lucky enough to still be receiving them, in an email sent out by Randy Hughes. We're aiming to be as transparent as we can manage given the fluid situation, the level of detail involved, and the barriers to communication imposed on us by the administration's decision to shut down SIUC emails.

  20. PBO,

    Many faculty who did not strike support the FA's major goals. Some are afraid to strike and some are too cheap. I only mentioned the FSN once in my last post and that was to seek their support for a state law banning BOT members from taking administration positions. What do you think about that idea? Is there some common ground there?

    Now let's get serious. The FSN claims to be for alternative representation. But I do not think they are being honest. They want no representation. If we had a different union, who do you think would join it and who do you think would end up running it?

    As for perpetuity, I would support a re/de-certification vote every few years, say the second year of each contract, if we had fair share. I am tired of people who say they support us but don't join. The FSN folks could form a block and seek leadership positions. Or, if most people really don't want a union then the FA should be decertified.

    I just got your email saying that you have only gotten 15% of the faculty to sign your cards. Maybe it is you who has misread want the faculty want.

  21. Anon 9:42 & 9:48--The administration has posted its proposal here:
    I think it is quite reasonable for folks to get some sleep after over 24 hours non-stop negotiating. I think there are folks on both sides who have put in a lot of hours on this, and that ought to be recognized.

  22. Mike has a number of points to discuss. One that interests me has to do with the FA's long-standing contention that the administration is bloated with personnel (and that may well be true). But I'd like to see evidence that isn't taken in aggregate. For example, Mike writes:

    "Why has the number of non-faculty professional staff grown by 37% over the last ten years as enrolment has declined?"

    I don't know, but if that 37% increase includes postdocs, assistant scientists, and the like (i.e., scientists in labs in the units) then those should not be counted as such (grant activity has increased because of the faculty, I expect leading to increases in the numbers of such categories). However, I don't know how easy it will be for the FA to pull those out (case by case?) and get a fairer estimate of "true" administrators. On the other hand, I believe some areas of administration that directly serve faculty (e.g. OSPA and EHS) have seen decreases in the AP and CC staffing (and these decreases have been increasingly problematic in my view). If there has been a true increase in "true" administrators, where are these people going?

  23. To Anon 9:55 about people leaving. I know STRIKERS who are sending out applications fast and furious. They aren't the only ones. This place is sinking. Man, if I only knew I would have taken a couple of job offers elsewhere years ago. I suspect that those who successfully leave will end up at NON-union campuses but be a LOT happier.

    Any one want to gainsay that? SIUC is the unhappiest place I know. Sadly I've known it for too long.

  24. Anonymous 9:48: I can only make this brief, because I need to get to bed early so I can be back at the picket line by 7 am. The good news is that real progress has been made on some articles in the contract--workload, salaries, and most importantly, RIF and FE. The last is significant, because this was the sticking point that people were convinced could lead to a long and protracted strike. The probable resolution of RIF is hugely important--it's a major victory for the FA and for every tenured faculty member on our campus. Their job security will be restored, as I understand it.

    But there are two major sticking points that remain: furloughs and the "back to work" agreement. The BOT is not budging on their right to impose furloughs, and they want to retroactively validate the furloughs they imposed last Spring (which would require our withdrawal of an unfair labor practice charge that is currently moving through the pipeline). And their back to work agreement is appalling. It gives the BOT the right to penalize faculty who were guilty of "misconduct" during the strike, and it demands that striking faculty cease from threatening (!!!) behavior.

    I think it's significant that these are among the last hurdles for us--furloughs and back to work. Both of them ultimately come back to our collective bargaining rights--our right to negotiate our wages, and our right to strike without fear of retaliation. If there was any lingering doubt that this Administration loathed our union, read the language of their "back to work" proposal. It's truly scary.

  25. Rita has just sent out an email outlining their last offer with a link to the full document. Here is the link.

    Let your DRC rep know what you think. Should we hold out for more or are we ready to settle?

    I wish they would have scheduled to start the meeting a few hours sooner. It would be great to wake up and hear it was done. Is this just away to ding our pocketbooks one more day's pay? Is that leadership we can trust?

  26. Anon 7.32

    SIUC is not a center for mediocrity as you suggest the FA wants, there are many excellent researchers here, many in the FA.

    But don't let this knowledge prevent you from leaving......

  27. Mike wrote:

    "The FSN claims to be for alternative representation. But I do not think they are being honest. They want no representation."

    Well, I may not be a core member of FSN, but I would say that I would personally prefer to handle the negotiations for the financial side of my own contract, and have the Faculty Senate handle the big picture stuff (so that's not no representation). However, I do think some of the FSN members would prefer the absence of a union.

    As I wrote before, I think the best solution would be to have those wanting union representation to have it (and as you say, pay their fair share), and those not wanting it not have it. But I think that may be against Illinois law or something (so it may not be possible). So, in the end I support the effort for the de- (or will it be re?) certification vote--this will force the faculty to really say what they want. Whether you support the FA or the efforts of the FSN, I think the numbers both sides have so far are outweighed by the numbers of faculty who would prefer to sit on the sidelines--for whatever reason...

  28. Mike,

    I checked and that is NOT the email she just sent. Here is the most recent email.

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: A message from the Chancellor
    Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2011 20:55:50 -0600 (CST)
    From: Office of the Chancellor
    To: SIUC, SIUP, and SIUM Employees

    To the University Community:

    After more than 27 hours of continuous negotiations the bargaining teams
    for the Faculty Association and the University have been unable to reach an
    agreement. The University team has carefully considered the major
    remaining issues and has proposed the following in an attempt to resolve
    differences and reach a final agreement. The Faculty Association’s
    bargaining team has been provided a very detailed proposal, which we
    believe addresses the majority of faculty concerns and that faculty will wish
    to approve. At this time, the University’s team is taking an important but
    brief break from the negotiations to rest and spend time with their families
    before returning to the negotiations in the morning, or sooner if the Faculty
    Association is ready to finalize an agreement this evening to bring closure to
    the strike.

    1. Reduction in Force Article – The Administration has included the AAUP
    definition of “Financial Exigency” in the Reduction in Force article. We have
    further agreed to insert the criteria required by current SIU Board of Trustees
    policy into the collective bargaining agreement, thus making it contractual.
    In addition, the University has agreed to include the Faculty Association in
    front-end discussions regarding the possible need for a declaration of
    financial exigency, before such declaration is made. All of these
    concessions provide additional transparency on the front end of this
    decisional process.


    Furthermore, the University has agreed it will bargain with the Faculty
    Association any layoffs resulting from a subsequent declaration of financial
    exigency made by the Board. Finally, if no agreement results from this
    bargaining, the Association may terminate the contract and exercise its
    statutory right to strike. These concessions provide clear accountability for
    the Board’s possible actions concerning financial exigency.

    2. Overload – The University has agreed to compensation of 1.0 month’s
    salary for face-to-face overload courses of three (3) credit hours. For the
    duration of this agreement (through June 30, 2014), Distance Education
    overload courses will be compensated within a range of 0.5 month to 1.0
    month salary. Throughout this period, the Provost will collect and report
    data on credit hours, student enrollment, revenue/cost per credit hour
    generated in order to evaluate the appropriateness of continuing this range
    of compensation.

    3. Salary Increases – The University has proposed salary increases that
    guarantee across-the-board wage increases in each year of the Agreement.
    This is consistent with the other three IEA-affiliated bargaining units. In
    addition, this proposal preserves promotional increases, and efforts to grow
    enrollment increases from the previous contract. Finally, the University’s
    proposal has granted the Faculty Association the right to invoke a wage re-
    opener in any year of the Agreement where the State of Illinois General
    Operating Appropriation allocated to the Carbondale campus plus the
    Income Fund on the Carbondale campus increases by 2% or more over and
    above the amounts necessary to meet the across the board increases for

    4. Sexual Harassment and Conflict of Interest Procedures – The University
    has agreed to execute “side letters” that call for bargaining the procedures
    for sexual harassment and conflict of interest procedures. These
    negotiations will incorporate the principles of interest based bargaining and
    must be completed by May 15, 2012 and August 15, 2012 respectively. In the
    event that no agreement is reached in the negotiations over these issues,
    both parties agree to utilize the services of the Federal Mediation and
    Conciliation Service.

    5. Furloughs – The University will guarantee no furloughs for FY2012. If
    the need for furloughs arise in subsequent years of the Agreement, the
    University has agreed that it will bargain the furloughs with the Association.

    6. Fair Share – The University will not agree to modify the status quo on
    fair share.

    7. Back to Work Agreement – Neither the University nor the Association
    shall retaliate against any employee or student who participates or refrains
    from participating in the strike. The University will not agree to reimburse
    the lost wages or benefits for any Faculty member participating in the strike.

    More details about the University’s proposal are available here:

    We believe that these proposals should result in an agreement and we have
    explained that we are willing to return to the table ANYTIME TONIGHT to
    settle this contract. However, as of 5 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2011, no agreement has
    been reached. We will continue to keep you updated.


    Rita Cheng

  30. beezer,

    Your best option would violate labor law in any state. And the FS cannot negotiate 'big picture' contracts. I was on the FS and chaired the Governance Committee. I is just not set up for that. The FS could not organize a strike, and without that possibilty you cannot negotiate a labor contract.

    But one reason I favor fair share is that it would pull in more moderate faculty. I don't agree with some here who think the FA leadership is extreme or radical. But a union should be a 'big tent' where all views are fully represented.

  31. I hope everyone is taking the time to read the details of the BOT proposal that was emailed by the Chancellor. You can also have a look here.

    Perhaps the FA will share this with us as well and maybe even ask us what we think of it.

  32. The proposal appears fair. The administration's bargaining team has offered to return to the table any time tonight to settle the contract. As an FA member, I have supported the FA on this blog. But under the above mentioned circumstances, at this time I respectfully feel that the initial post stating "Board ensures strike continues" is a low blow. Perhaps it was posted in haste, before the FA bargaining team took time to dig into the administration's proposal. As a show of good will, if this were my blog, this is a thread that I would strongly consider deleting. In any event, it appears that the administration is working hard to settle the contract and has conceded an awful lot. I have followed very closely what the FA has been seeking, and I see much of it present in this proposal. I hope to see good news shortly. I commend the hard work of both bargaining teams.

  33. Mike,
    If the FA teams wants to meet earlier, it appears they are ready to do so if simply asked. I have read the contract and I see no problems in it worth continuing a strike.

  34. "Perhaps the FA will share this with us as well and maybe even ask us what we think of it."

    Contact your DRC rep. If you don't have one or don't know they are, contact your College rep:

    (Unfortunately they still list siu email addresses. That is something that should have been fix.)

    The DRC declared the strike. I think only the DRC can call it off. Dave Johnson is Chair of the DRC, so you can tell him what you want.

    All members will be able to vote on the final agreement. Personally I think we should get paid for Thursday and Friday because the BOT team walked, but I don't think it is worth extending the strike over.

  35. Wait, doesn't "fair share" mean that the FA will get to garnish my wages? I don't want to join the union or give it any money, especially after this fiasco. Shouldn't my academic freedom include my right to say "no" to the FA?

  36. In reading Natasha's post, I am once again struck by the differences that appear between the actual language of administrative proposals and the interpretation of FA members/leadership:

    Natasha says: "But there are two major sticking points that remain: furloughs and the "back to work" agreement. The BOT is not budging on their right to impose furloughs, and they want to retroactively validate the furloughs they imposed last Spring (which would require our withdrawal of an unfair labor practice charge that is currently moving through the pipeline). And their back to work agreement is appalling. It gives the BOT the right to penalize faculty who were guilty of "misconduct" during the strike, and it demands that striking faculty cease from threatening (!!!) behavior."

    I agree that the Admin proposal incorporates the right to declare furloughs, but notice that this must now be negotiated, and that the right to strike is now inserted over furloughs. This is a significant adjustment to the usual "no strike during a contract" language.

    On the FY 2011 furloughs, I agree that there is a problem with asking the FA to validate those.

    On the Back to Work agreement--what is so appalling about indemnifying faculty for any conduct related to the strike, but preserving the right to discipline faculty for conduct unrelated to the strike. If some had, for example, assaulted a student, engaged in sexual harassment, or whatever, on the days of the strike, to you actually want them protected from any action?

    And what in the world do you mean about "threatening" behavior? The language is the same for everyone here--all faculty and all administrators!

  37. The Board is ready to meet earlier if the FA Team is willing to sign exactly what the Board has offered. The FA team isn't ready to do that, so the meeting will be at the appointed time.

    I hope that the remaining areas of disagreement can be worked out quickly, but that will depend on BOTH the FA Team and the Board Team.

  38. At first blush, I would have to say that the changes in the contract as offered by the administration should provide the FA leadership with plenty of cover and good news to report back to its membership.

    to Mike (regarding my pie-in-sky wishes for representation) -- I know it is not legal for everyone to do their own thing (but I would point out that this is happening to some degree already--the medical school faculty get along fine without a union). I also realize the the FS in its current form does not have the numbers or muscle to do what has been suggested but increased numbers of participating faculty would be a good place to start...

    Re: fair share and "moderation" -- yeah -- you may be right. Certainly if I were forced to particiate via fair share, I would certainly participate. Doing it by myself would be peeing in the wind, but if everyone had to do it? That's another story.

    Maybe there is a solution to all of this that might start with the FSN's effort to call a vote. Maybe if the three choices were instead: 1) Union (with Fair Share); 2) No Rep; 3) "something else" (FS derivative), maybe it would pull everyone off the fences and they would have to commit to what it is they actually want. Then, if we did that every X number of years...

    And yes, I would have no problem stipulating that board members can't be administrators.

  39. @10:27 PM,

    I hope we can meet before 9:30 am. But do not assume Rita's statement about meeting anytime is genuine; it might be, but don't assume that.


    I know we all want this to be over. But there is a need to be disciplined and not go back to work until the DRC ends the strike. Contracts are not easy to read and there may be serious problems that a quick read by people, like me and most of us, who are not experienced in contract language would miss. Our elected leadership needs to make the call. But by all means make your wishes known to them.

  40. One very ticked off history professorNovember 7, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    One more day people and I believe we will win acceptable "back to work" language and probably acceptable furloughs language. One more day....

    The chief reason for me to rise very early again (when I normally do not ever) is this: the middle finger attitude of the administration toward us is just NOT acceptable. First of all, they brought this largely on themselves. Instead of dragging out the negotiations 16 months, they should have bargained fairly with us from the get-go. Would have stopped a lot of drama and unnecessary heartache.

    Two, why were negotiations so glacial throughout the month of October when it was clear that 92% of the FA voted yes to authorize the strike? Again, not acceptable behavior.

    Three, why did they wait three and a half days before they resumed bargaining with our team after Wed. night last week? That was a big "F-U" to me as a faculty member, that my representatives and our concerns were just not important enough for three frigging days. Talk about Nero dancing while Rome burned! Indeed, one of the bargaining team members from the BOT came by our picketing spot, accosted one of the striking members, and then declared that we were "ruining her weekend plans." Totally childish and not what I expect out of a university dean.

    Four, even now today, after successful mobilization and growing student and community support each day this goes on, we are faced with totally unacceptable "return to work" language. If the university were truly concerned about the disruption this has caused to our students' education, they would allow us to make up the class sessions missed. I know my class has not been covered twice now (by anyone). My students require a whole semester as best as is possible now.

    The kicker, though, is the insinuations to discipline faculty for participating in something that is their legal constitutional right under the Illinois Education and Labor Relations Act, which is the right to strike. That is wholly unacceptable and tantamount to still giving us the middle finger.

    So, yes, I will be out on strike tomorrow for a clean contract. Don't despair, FA members, we are nearly almost there; the smell is one of rank desperation by Poshard, Cheng, and the BOT team. Again, they brought this on themselves.

  41. @paranoid,

    That's for clarifying the meaning of 'anytime,' which it seems does not mean anytime for any reason.

  42. Anon. 10:37 wrote:

    "On the FY 2011 furloughs, I agree that there is a problem with asking the FA to validate those."

    I don't -- it's water under the bridge by now. Lots of universities had furloughs in that time period, and the money situation was/is bad and I'm glad that it maybe helped some keep their jobs.

    But forgetting all of that, I'm not sure that there is a practical way to remedy it in any case. For example, how would we get back-pay for days we didn't officially work? Do we get offered the opportunity to officially work extra days? Why would it be fair for the faculty to get it back (and not everyone else)?

    I don't see anything in the Administration's contractual language that is worth maintaining the strike over. Let both sides declare victory and move on for pete's sake...

  43. Ticked off history prof raises some pretty good points. Maybe people who think in the long term are good to have around in times like these.

  44. I say we demand the BOT team meat with our team at 5 am to clean up the remaining details in time for 8 am classes. Can we get that on the 11pm news?

  45. Just curious -- does anyone know, to what degree, if any, the mediator has helped bring both sides together?

    (i.e. was this just administrative window dressing, or has this been helpful?)

  46. The FSN people are at it again. Mike Eisholz sent out this message (see below). They should rename themselves as the Faculty for SELFISH negotiations!

    "The Faculty for Sensible Negotiations is more than 1/2 of the way to holding the required number of signature cards (30% of faculty) to petition the IELRB (Illinois Education Labor Relations Board) to initiate a vote for alternative bargaining representation.

    It is possible to have new voice. Please submit your signature card to be heard. Contact one of the individuals listed below if you need a new card or have any questions."


    The FSN

    Executive Committee: John Groninger (, Karl Williard (, Jason Greene (, Kim Asner-Self (, Justin Schoof (, Ed Benyas (, Sara Baer (, Matt Mccarroll (, Bruce Devantier (, Maryon King (, John Voges (, Mike Eichholz (

  47. Personally I am ready to eat last year's furlough days, although I did not take any days off, but I would rather not 'validate' them, whatever that means. I suggest we split the strike days with them, i.e. we get paid for half our time on strike.

    I do not have a good understanding of the 'threatening behavor' issue. This is why you need IEA people experienced in contract language.

  48. Beezer, I'm Anon 10:37, and I think that the furloughs issue from last year needs to be allowed to make its way through the labor complaint system. If there had been across-the board belt-tightening I might have been persuaded, but there were a bunch of oddities on this. For one, the Chancellor first announced that any bargaining unit could find a different way to save the money involved--but then invoked furloughs anyway, even for those that had saved the money through loss of positions (the NTT, for example).

    Secondly, there was a notable lack of belt-tightening in the Chancellor's own expenditures on other stuff, including hiring a marketing firm, adding administrative slots (and these were clearly NOT in the postdoc or similar category), her own installation, and so on. IOW, there is at least a definite appearance that furloughs were imposed upon others so the Chancellor could spend money on things she wanted to do.

    But no--I don't think this is worth striking over.

  49. One very ticked off history professorNovember 7, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    Beezer, if this was helpful in getting us to agreement so quickly, I say we make this a requirement in the next bargaining round! What better way to rebuild trust on both sides, which we are going to have to do, after this disaster. And I call it deliberately so. I don't know of anyone who wanted to strike; we did because we regarded it as the only option we had left to protect our rights as faculty on this university. Those of you who have been naysayers ought to thank the hard work of those of us on the pickets the past few days for the fact that you are all achieving a far superior contract than you had last week. Perhaps by joining the union rather than continuing to free-ride on those of us who do belong?

  50. @mediator role: I talked to Marvin this morning and he said all the mediator does is take propsals back and forth between the two teams. He does not really add any new ideas. Its window dressing. They could have been talking Th, F, and Sat. I suggest we call this episode of SIUC's history "Rita's Strike".

  51. Re: mediator, ok, thanks Mike for the clarification. Oh well, whatever helps I guess (even window dressing can be nice).

  52. It was window dressing that cost us three days.

    Something to think about:

  53. One ticked off.. wrote: “…Perhaps by joining the union rather than continuing to free-ride on those of us who do belong?”

    As I’ve stated above, my natural preference would be to not be represented by the union at all (so sometimes, I don’t feel so much as I am getting a free ride as a free drag). But Mike makes some good points too. What’s interesting to me is just how many true “freeloaders” (not meaning to be too negative about our colleagues) there apparently are. Let’s say that there are 700-odd faculty (maybe less—whatever). If over 100 are striking (let’s assume they are happy with FA representation), and over 100 signed FSN cards (let’s assume they are not), that sure leaves a lot behind that may meet your description! What do these faculty want? Do they want union representation? If so, I think I’m coming to agree with Mike that they should have to pay for that (no more freeloading then). The nice thing about doing a true (and semi-regular) vote of confidence is that it would force the faculty to vote on what they really want. I’m coming to the opinion that not only should we have regular votes, but votes for the FA should mean to include votes for fair share.

  54. It is really important that the last part of the administration's response to the FA's proposal (the Back to Work clause) be publicized. The chancellor has cunningly tried to create the impression the the administration has agreed to everything the FA has asked for. Notice that in her e-mail that she distributed to the university community and beyond that she does not mention the punitive actions that the administration is now threatening the faculty who were on strike with. It would be good to publicize the FA proposal (back to work clause) and show how small minded, petty and revengeful this administration is. Why would they want to make additions to the back to work clause that they know will prolong the strike and prevent faculty from getting back to work? Also, they are forgetting about the members of the FA bargaining team who spent many many hours in negotiation with the BOT bargaining team. If the members of the BOT bargaining team continue to receive their salaries (they were not really doing their regular administrative jobs!)--e.g. Dean Kimberley who was on the BOT bargaining team was not carrying out her duties as Dean of COLA. Yet, she continues to get paid for these days--and for doing what? for basically being a puppet with no thought about the faculty or the students? How could she agree to the punitive measures that the administration has included in the back to work clause? and what about Deans from other colleges who showed that their their positions were expendable when they chose to teach a class in a discipline or area in which they were not qualified to teach? Shouldn't their salaries also be cut? Faculty who were on strike can make up their classes and teach their students and they should be paid for the days they missed. That is the simple solution which will greatly benefit all our students. Instead this vengeful and bloated administration is intent on making our students suffer. And as for all those faculty who will benefit from the work of others--you should all come out tomorrow and support the faculty and students and other community members who are out there fighting for a better university! In a few months or within a year Cheng will have left--so will Niklow and Glenn Poshard. But SIUC--its wonderful students and faculty--especially those who fought the good fight and were not cowed down by a vengeful administration will be there at the helm steering this university forward.

  55. I agree with an earlier comment that the FA reps seem bound and determined always to misrepresent what any actual or perceived opponents have said or thought. It is time to get back to work. The last proposal, from what I have seen, gives you nearly all of what you were asking for, except total control of the university. But now the issues are shifting once again, I've noticed, and the noble fight will continue until you can ensure that everyone else but you will bear the consequences of the strke. now it is all about the money. Why should you be paid when you did not work so you could strike about principles that allegedly had nothing to do with money?

  56. beezer,

    I have talked with several on the fencers. I have talked to FA members who voted yes on the strike authorization vote but said they would not strike. For the former the biggest excuse is just money. They may have some issues with the FA but these aren't big issues. For the later some are afraid. They are afraid they could be fired or that the administration will find ways to make their lives miserable. For some money was the issue again. Several folks close to retirement thought the lose of pay from a strike would affect their retirement down the road.

  57. I'm off to the picket line! I am disgusted the BOT team would not meet earlier. If you really think we can trust this Admin and hence have no need of a union, who do you explain their behavior? I respect your right to agree with Cheng on the issues, but how can you explain not talking to us for three day? How do you explain not meeting bright and early to get this done before classes start? How can you justify the FSN idea of negotiating without the protective armor that a real union provides?

  58. Dear Perplexed,

    In order of importance, here are the things that are NOT complete control of the university that I want.

    I want the back to work language to exclude a statement that tells me to cease and desist from something I never did. (When did you stop hitting your wife?)

    I want makeup days, so my students can catch up on what they missed.

    I want something similar to what other unions have regarding fair share and furloughs.

    The FA may not get all of these things, but I'm willing to strike another day for them.

  59. In response to the bit of grumbling about fair share, I don't think that you guys are getting that. Pity. I've long thought that fair share would be the best way to break this union or at least oust its paranoid leadership. Careful what you wish for.

  60. Paranoid,

    I think you should also strike for world peace, harmony and the universal brotherhood of man. You want make up days so your students, whom you have already inconvenienced and treated like hostages, can be required to come back to school at your convenience to learn wisdom at your feet. You want to be free of e consequences of your choices. You want other people to pay for you to misrepresent their positions and interests by striking.

    Please stay on strike indefinitely, or at least long enough to make an actual sacrifice BORNE BY YOU AND NOT OTHERS. And don't try to pretend that standing outside with a few other people and congratulating yourselves on your bravery and commitment counts.

  61. One very ticked off history professorNovember 8, 2011 at 7:51 AM

    No, Perplexed!!!! I am about to walk out there on strike today so that my students can get their education they paid for. Nobody at all has showed up to my history course for two class sessions - nobody! Not even an administrative flunkey. In one sense, I am grateful; at least there is no harm being done to their education by history amateurs like Dr. Winters.

    Rita needs to put her money where her mouth is. If they are so concerned about student retention, you just don't put an endochrine biochemist into a 270-student history core curriculum class! And you don't abandon the upper level courses for the majors.

  62. Disgusted entirely at the BOT nowNovember 8, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    And you don't say a royal F-U to individuals who are exercising their legal rights under the Illinois Education and Labor Relations Act!!

  63. I hope everyone will actually read the BOT proposal rather than taking someones summary as word. It isn't that hard to do and you don't need a contract lawyer to understand it. In my view the only thing arguable about the back to work clause is back pay. In my view this is a petty thing to continue striking over. Anyone that went on strike with the full assurance it would not cost them anything was duped by their union. You have the right to strike but not to be paid for work you didn't do (and no, working the picket line is not is volunteerism) . If you want a better guarantee of back pay you better make sure your cause is strong enough to garner the support of more than 1/4 of your group. If there is guarantee of no personal consequence it isn't really a sacrifice and then what are you doing?

    Also, the comparison of time striking to time of the bargaining team is ludicrous. That is an assigned work duty and striking is a personal statement.

  64. To Ticked Off History Professor and Disgusted,

    I don't think I've seen any comments contesting your right to strike, but rather disagreeing with the wisdom of it and challenging your reasons for doing so. If you want to strike based on a paranoid hypothetical situation predicated on the type of reasoning that anyone would fail a student for using in an essay, you are free to do so and the law protects you. I say stay on strike until you've lost a paycheck and some benefits, if these principles are as important as you say there. But I don't think any of you are willing to do it, because deep down inside you all know this strike is nothing more than a publicity stunt to embarrass and harm the university. It has nothing to do with tenure or the quality of the education we are providing to our students.

    Waving a sign and having people bring you coffee, and writing breathless dispatches from "the line" is not a sacrifice, not unless and until you are willing to actually give something tangible up for it. That's what an actual labor movement is all about. If your strike is noble, don't cheapen it by holding out for pay for the days you struck. But I have seen no willingness on the part of the FA to sacrifice and bear the consequences of it.

    And don't tell me that it has hurt you to leave your precious students. They are your hostages, and they are the reason you struck towards the end of the semester rather than in the summer. They are your leverage.

    BTW, I'm not an administration stooge. I think the administration has handled themselves badly throughout this strike. They have lost my support, which they had until the chancellor started acting like the mirror image of the FA. You all deserve each other. Unfortunately, the rest of us have to live with you. And some of us resent the restrictions placed on the faculty by the union. I'd vote for decertification in a second.

  65. "Board ensures strike continues"

    It is sad to see the disingenuous spin the Faculty Association uses in its announcements. The opportunities the FA has passed up to prove their concern for the welfare of their students this semester are continuing to pile up. When the other three unions reached tentative agreements the FA could have suspended their strike to return to bargaining and their members would have missed no classes (this was a public relations gift that the FA could have turned into tremendous public support and pressure on the administration); the three days of no bargaining could have been avoided with a phone call by the FA; the FA could have suspended the strike on Sunday when bargaining began again; and if the FA accepts the current offer then today's striking is entirely the choice of the FA leadership.

    The Faculty Association is primarily responsible for the strike (though the administration and Board of Trustees are responsible for pushing the FA to declare a strike) and the FA leadership is entirely responsible for the strike's duration. Why are they so unwilling to be held accountable for their decisions?

  66. 10:14 AM,

    Your spinning faster than George Orwell. The BOT team broke off talks Wednesday night. They refused to meet until Sunday with a federal mediator for window dressing. They broke off talks last night after saying they would bargain 24/7.

    Regardless of whether we should get paid for days on strike, shouldn't the BOT team be there to talk instead of knowingly extending the strike another day?

    8:04 AM,

    I guess one does not have to be a lawyer to read a contract. We could get Todd Winter's to look it over! Then he could boast that he was a lawyer for a day!!!!

  67. 7:02 AM,

    I agree fair share would force the FA to justify itself and broaden its base. Do you ever wonder why the Admin is so against fair share? They may know something you don't.

  68. One very ticked off history professorNovember 8, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Perplexed: I am not striking over lost pay with the back to work clause. I am striking over the right of administrators to discipline striking faculty. That is 100% wholly unacceptable, and is the royal FU that I was referring to earlier today.

    I hope you aren't so obtuse to see that is a huge problem, and one deliberately placed there in the BOT's proposal to bait us into striking another day.

    Look, I am satisfied now with the RIF language - there is full AAUP definition and a right to strike if the FA regards it as illegally declared. The workload compensation for overload is reasonable. While I would have liked for a set rate to be used for online courses, summer courses are now for the first time contractualized, as are face-to-face overloads during the semester. I believe I speak for a lot of FA members in saying I can live with this and hope to get better contract language the next time.

    Furloughs language is unacceptable. Even my colleague Jon Bean, who is not striking, thinks the BOT's terms are unreasonable. Jon, I agree with you, which is why I am striking a fourth day to do my part to get reasonable furloughs language into the contract.

    But, again, the main reason is to protect my First Amendment rights to do something that is entirely legal. I will not put up with being disciplined or even the threat of that, nor will a lot of other union members that I have been talking to.

  69. Still nothing in the BOT proposal regarding distance education. Seems that was one of the primary pillars of the FA position. Where has opposition to DE gone?

  70. Anonymous 11:02 This was resolved a few weeks ago when the administration conceded the right of an individual faculty member to refuse that assignment because of pedagogical reasons. They were trying to tie that us agreeing on a 0.5-1.0 month salary course compensation ratio FOR ALL overload assignments. We bargained some more on this, and we got face-to-face overloads and summer courses now guaranteed at 1.0 month. They get to keep the flexibility about 0.5-1.0 for DE but the provost must by the end of this contract provide actual real economic data about how much each course costs to run, and so forth, so this can be bargained with greater information next time around.

    So, you know, this is how bargaining is supposed to work: one side proposes one thing, the other side counters, and then horse trading to get in the happy medium. Not, take it or leave it, impasse to impose nonsense that they must have taught Rita Cheng over in the business school.

  71. Perplexed:

    I did not ask for abstract concepts like "world peace, harmony and the universal brotherhood of man." I asked for concrete things.

    1) Remove the accusations that I have threatened someone. If I've threatened someone, the university should be able to follow its normal administrative procedure, and shouldn't force my representatives to, through a back door, say that I or anyone else has threatened anyone.

    2) Give me a chance to make up the lost time with my students. I can understand that I should not penalize students who crossed the picket line, but students who came to class with no qualified instructor (despite the chancellor's promises) should not have their educations penalized.

    I'm not so vain to think that students are learning "wisdom at my feet," but I do believe that more is learned in full class session with a trained professor than in a 5-minute session with a roll-taker or a partial session with someone with no professional training in my field.

    3) Provide something similar to what other unions have regarding fair share and furloughs. There already is language in their contracts that could be used as a model for this.

    None of these things makes the FA suddenly take over administrative control of the university and none of them is pie in the sky. These are concrete things that the bargaining teams should be able to work out.

  72. Dear Ticked Off History Professor,

    Here's the language from the BOT proposal. It doesn't say what you seem to think it means. In fact, it protects returning strikers from any retaliation for their legally protected activity, but provides no protection for independent misconduct. If you don't want to be punished for independent misconduct, don't commit any.

    The Board shall take no reprisals of any form including but not limited to any discipline/dismissal action, denial of tenure or promotion, assignment of basic workload or overload, access to summer/intersession appointments, research opportunity or support, loss or reduction of insurance coverage or benefits, sabbatical leave approval or return from sabbatical, for any Faculty member who participated, either in whole or in part, in a strike on November 3, November 4, and November 7, 2011 except that the Board reserves the right to discipline if appropriate and consistent with the collective bargaining agreement for independent misconduct that occurred during the strike. Faculty pay (and benefits if applicable) shall be reduced equivalent to the number of days on strike.

    No strike related notice, warning, email communications and any other document or electronic posting regarding events, activities, and work-related matters pertaining to the strike action of November 3, 4, and 7 shall be placed in a Faculty member’s personnel or employee record(s) (paper or electronic) and, if already in such a record, shall be removed and expunged except that such documentation associated with any discipline for independent misconduct that occurred during the strike shall be exempt from this provision.

    Board representatives shall reinstate access to Faculty members’ emails, communication, Blackboard, or other electronic platform. All access shall be in accordance with Board policy. Faculty members shall cease and desist from communicating any and all threats, either direct or implied, to other Faculty, staff or students.

    The Association and individual Faculty members shall refrain from retaliating against employees, students, temporary workers, or Faculty for exercising their rights under the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act including but not limited to their participation in the strike or their election to not participate in the strike action by performing work duties during the strike.

  73. "Independent misconduct" is a wishy-washy term. It could be used for anything and is as vague as the sexual harassment language used by the university to refuse the accused the right of a third party to hear their case. This is punitive language of the worst sort in which administrators will get back at strkining faculty and use scabs to supply "reliable" information.

  74. Actually, that's not quite right. The BOT language doesn't just preserve the right to punish independent misconduct. It also includes an admission of guilt: "Faculty members shall cease and desist from communicating any and all threats, either direct or implied, to other Faculty, staff or students." So signing such an agreement is tantamount to admitting that one has committed, at least, a violation of Illinois labor law, right? Which would in turn constitute independent misconduct, right?

  75. One very ticked off history professorNovember 8, 2011 at 11:25 PM

    About as circular as the BOT bargaining team's RIF language until we forced a cleaner policy on that on Monday because of our strike! No, this is not acceptable.

    Of course, I almost want to say bring it on! They will look so foolish if they even try to go after any of us for exercising our legal rights to strike.

  76. A concerned citizenNovember 9, 2011 at 1:35 AM

    @ Ticked off history professor

    "Faculty members shall cease and desist from communicating any and all threats, either direct or implied, to other Faculty, staff or students."

    The motive for potential retaliation may not be as mundane as a punishment for striking. Rita may have shut off emails because she feared the faculty would successfully encourage their students to join the effort. This would present a major roadblock to efforts at damage control with the 'business as usual' spin. A show of support from the students makes the administration look foolish and reinforces the notion that it is out of touch with the university.

    Either the administration is so out of touch, they are convinced the only way to obtain student support is through threat and intimidation, or they want this clause because it is a way to save face.


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