DAYS WITHOUT A CONTRACT: 393
DAYS UNTIL THE START OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR: 22
Today’s my last day in Bloomington, so you can expect a more regular blog post tomorrow.
For today, I have a couple of quick things to highlight:
Dave Johnson, at Deo volente, did a longer post deconstructing this editorial in the Southern that blames public sector union employees for the woes of employees in the private sector. I actually almost focused my own entry on this yesterday but decided to address the source directly — I wrote a letter to the editor in response (with thanks to Natasha Zaretsky for a quick and excellent editing job). When we see things like this show up in the Southern, we should be reacting. The opinion section is actually one of the most heavily read sections of most newspapers and a quick look through the past editorials — it’s also pretty heavily commented as well. We need to reach out to the community and begin to undo the misinformation campaign within the local media. We should let the community hear our voices and get to know us. Eventually we’ll move from those “greedy SIUC professors who are just whining for more that we haven’t gotten in years” to “oh, that’s my neighbor who works at SIUC, wow, that’s a pretty reasonable letter, I wonder what’s wrong with the administration over there.” A variety of different voices would be even better; that’s the first misconception we need to clear up. A lot of people work at SIUC and not all of them are professors. There’s student workers, secretaries, accountants, graduate assistants, librarians, custodians, maintenance, instructors, and many more people who all work hard to support the students. Their voices — our voices — should have their time in the Southern, on WSIU, on WDBX, and other media outlets too.
Second: Dave Johnson (maybe we should ask him to guest blog here?) also has a post from last night commenting on the FAs Strike Watch #1, with the text of the announcement included. GAU also issued our first Strike Watch on Monday morning which can be found on our website. I assume the Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTTFA) and the Association of Civil Service Employees (ACsE) will issue theirs soon, if they haven’t already. We want to settle these contracts. We’re quality employees who care about the university, about the students, and about preserving the history of collective bargaining and employee voice in the workplace. We deserve fair, mutually acceptable contracts. It’s time the administration woke up and realized that.
Julie Arendt, who writes a blog of her own at Science Librarian Notes, decided to answer a question I asked yesterday. She pointed me to this post which describes what exactly is on the sixth and seventh floors of Morris Library — with pictures. In her email to me with the link, she said they look a little like “an attic.” I have to agree.