After the break, a press release we sent around announcing the results.
The SIUC Faculty Association (FA) is pleased to announce that its members have voted to ratify the tentative agreement with the SIUC administration reached earlier this month. Once the agreement receives final ratification by the SIUC Board of Trustees, it will be signed by both parties and serve as the contract between the tenure-track and tenured faculty represented by the Faculty Association and the SIUC administration. The four year agreement covers the period from July 1, 201o until June 30, 2014.
“While we are disappointed that it took sixteen months of negotiations and a strike to reach this agreement,” FA spokesman Dave Johnson said, “the agreement will help us defend academic freedom, shared governance, and academic priorities on this campus, and we are proud of the hard work, resilience, and dedication by our members that has made this progress possible. We are also thankful for all the support from other unions on campus, from members of the community, and from our students here at SIUC, hundreds of whom came out to march and rally in support of their professors.”
The following are among the important provisions of the tentative agreement.
- A transparent process ensures that tenured and tenure-track faculty can only be laid off in the event of a bona fide financial exigency.
- Conditions justifying furloughs are more clearly defined, the number of furlough days is limited, and the FA may continue to pursue its unfair labor practice charge regarding FY 2011 furloughs.
- Faculty gain a greater say in defining their workload through departmental operating papers.
- Faculty retain the right to decide how best to teach their courses, including the decision over whether to offer a course via distance education.
- The student-faculty ratio remains unchanged, and includes distance education offerings.
- Conflict of interest policy and procedures for investigating accusations of sexual harassment will be bargained to resolution in a timely way.
“We are ready to open a new page on relations between campus unions and the administration,” Johnson added. “We think it is in everyone’s interest, especially those of the students we all serve, for the administration and campus unions to work together. It shouldn’t take us 500 days, much less a strike, to get a new contract into place. Last year the SIUC administration insisted on imposing its own terms on campus unions, and this fall it took a strike to reach a final agreement. We’re ready to do all we can to build a better relationship with the administration, and we hope that the administration is willing to do so as well.”