Strike Warning

DAYS WITHOUT A CONTRACT: 446

Those of who reading this blog who are faculty, staff, and graduate assistants may have noticed over the past eight or nine weeks the unions have put out information under the header of “strike watches.” We choose that term to deliberately reference “watches” and “warnings” for the weather. In weather terms, a watch is:

“A watch means severe weather is possible during the next few hours, while a warning means that severe weather has been observed, or is expected soon.” [National Weather Service]

In my update to the graduate assistants today, I upgraded from a “watch” to a “warning.”

Like the FA, GAU has a date of September 30th for our strike authorization vote. It wasn’t an easy decision for us to come to — or any of the unions, for that matter — but we all realized two things:

1. Nothing was happening in bargaining. The university administration was content to delay meetings, not deliver promised information and language in a timely manner, and continue to impose what they want and veto everything we suggested. They were waiting for us to fold up and go away — completely.

2. We are stronger together. If GAs want the fees that degrade the value of the stipend we have to live on — we have to fight for it. If the tenured/tenure-track faculty want to protect tenure and academic freedom — they have to fight for it. If the non-tenure track faculty and civil service employees want real job security — they have to fight for it. But we’re not fighting alone, we’re all fighting together for those goals. If a strike happens, you would be walking the picket line with everyone in your department: faculty, staff, graduate assistants. We have nothing to be afraid of when we stand together.

I am not afraid. Are you?

In the news:
Unions to ask members for strike authorization [Daily Egyptian]
Faculty Association to vote on strike authorization [Daily Egyptian]
Strike authorization vote ahead at SIU [The Southern]
SIU faculty to vote Sept. 28 over whether a walkout is an option in ongoing contract talks [Chicago Tribune]
SIU faculty to vote on potential strike Sept. 28 [WPSD Local 6]
SIUC Faculty Union To Hold Strike Authorization Vote [Progress Illinois]
SIU Faculty to Vote on Possible Strike [WSIL TV]
SIU faculty to vote Sept. 28 on possible strike [Carbondale Times]

Upcoming Events:
Wednesday September 28: Faculty Association Strike Authorization Vote
Friday September 30: GA United Strike Authorization Vote

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