A little late, but on Tuesday, Chancellor Rita Cheng sat down with WSIU’s Jennifer Fuller for a morning conversation. You can listen to the podcast here. Some of the highlights:
- Discussions of a “structural deficit”: which includes a “2.5 to 5% reduction across campus” to “rightsize the budget”; she also said publicly this should be done without furloughs or layoffs
- Health care: she is “hopeful” the state-wide health care change can be resolved “quickly”; the university can’t change the student health care plan because GAs “are not considered employees” (this is true, as part of a state law, and not what GAU is asking for anyway)
- Negotiations: her reaction to the filing of ULPs
It’s definitely an enlightening discussion and in a lot of ways, at least from my experiences within GAU and our own fight, she seems misinformed about the real issues at stake for the unions — fairness, keeping quality employees, having a voice in our workplace, finding the best ways to support and help the students of SIUC. Dave Johnson, at Deo volente, also has a good write-up of her discussion.