439 Days Without A Contract

439 Days Without A Contract

I really must congratulate the administration and, possibly, their new marketing firm. Maybe I’ve been wrong and it’s money well-spent. Sure, I think we might have been better off spending it on things that directly effect the education of the students paying tuition and fees (like getting books in the library, fixing classrooms, paying the people who work with those students and not administration) but I’m finally starting to see the light. At least now the money going to administration and outside agencies is giving us some good spin.

SIU officials encouraged by numbers [The Southern]
Graduate enrollment way down, numbers down overall, faculty and staff unrest, low campus morale, but, hey, freshmen enrollment is up and freshmen retention is up! We’re doing good! All these programs to attract new students and I’m really starting to wonder what picture they’re going to see when they get here. Is it going to be the rosy one with happy students who want to stay and engaged faculty? Somehow I doubt it.

Another big point of contention, at least for represented faculty, is language surrounding tenure. Check out Deo volente for very detailed analyses of the language and problems (if you haven’t already). But you should also be aware that the lessening of tenure protections (and the threat of laying off tenure/tenure-track professors) is very real and happening else. Inside Higher Ed has an article today, Going to Bat For Tenure, about protests at Western Nevada College in support of tenured faculty who are expecting to be laid off at the end of the academic year.

Word to the wise: just because Rita Cheng says “we don’t intend to do that” doesn’t mean they won’t. A verbal statement in the newspaper is not a binding agreement. A contract is a binding agreement. If you want some control over your working conditions — if you want some power in your own life — you’d better be ready to fight for it.

Upcoming Events:
Struggles in Steel: The Fight for Equal Opportunity, over 70 African-American steel workers speak about their struggles for fair treatment during both their 125-year industry as well as after shutdown
A part of the labor film series sponsored by the SIUC Labor Coalition
Sunday September 18, 2pm
Admission is free and family is welcome!


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