I am on the line again today, so this will not be as full an analysis as it could be of a very full yesterday. Still, I have a few comments after the break and an announcement or two.
|[Click on image to enlarge. These are just the on-campus sights where picketers were present 7-5 yesterday!]|
Second, do not equate "picketers" with "strikers." We knew going into this thing that many more planned to honor the strike than to actually picket. Those picketers are merely the tip of the iceberg. The Administration is getting a census of strikers by seeing who doesn't show up to teach class. The number they reported yesterday (a likely low balled 78 by some accounts) will double if not more today when the strike affects the the MWF schedule of classes. Even if we accept the low ball figures, though, that's an awful lot of professors to replace with qualified substitutes. And if they plan do so with administrators, maybe we do (as one GAU video claimed a month or so ago) have "too many f%$king administrators."
The Chancellor (and several comments here) suggests (here, specifcally) that her hands are tied by BOT policy. This is a lie. The collective bargaining agreement supersedes BOT policy, and there are many cases of contract negotiations changing BOT policy, both here and elsewhere. The Chancellor claims that we are unreasonable in our requests regarding furloughs, citing precedent across the country. And yet there are also precedents for exactly the kinds of limitations the FA wants to put on furloughs. But of course, our first proposal was a halt to furloughs for the term of the contract -- the Administration told us no, although apparently they can agree to this for ACsE and NTTFA.
But then we know the Chancellor lies. She lied about the FA not negotiating during the summer. She lied about ACsE requesting "signing bonuses" in their contract. And she is lying about the campus operating "business as usual."
Look no further than the SIUC Facebook page, where the Administration removes any and every comment in support of the unions or even just in support of a settlement. At first they claimed it was because of vulgar language, even though they leave up the vitriolic anti-union comments. Now they whine that the page is meant as a recruiting tool -- translation: that makes it okay to lie. But our students and our alumni are not so dumb, and they have set up a counter-FB page documenting the kinds of comments the Administration is censoring: SIUC fan page. Stop censoring.
I won't be able to keep up here today as I will be back out on the picket line. All day, likely. If you were wondering why the comments were a little more troll-like yesterday, it could be the fear and the need for an outlet to express it, or it could be that the folks who would counterbalance that critique are otherwise occupied right now. But to help out, we are adding some new bloggers to the mix to keep you informed while I and others are seeing the strong community support (in the form of honks, thumbs up, and food) for this strike on the line.
The Administration can spin all it wants, but I hope it isn't so foolish as to believe its own lies. Get back to the table, bargain in good faith, and let's get a contract. You've demonstrated that you know how to do this with the other three unions. Now finish with the FA. Three down and one to go!