A New Countdown Begins

DAYS WITHOUT A CONTRACT: 453

This is the week! I have a good feeling about the votes. I know many faculty, staff, and graduate assistants are scared. Uncertainty scares people! That’s understandable. But the more I talk to people, both those called to vote for a strike authorization, and those who are not, the more people seem to understand the issues and what we’re fighting for. More importantly, people are starting to see why that fight is necessary.

So, a few thoughts as we begin the week:

For faculty: your issues — both NTTFA and FA — are at the core of what formed unions. Fighting for job security and dignity — the right to keep a job and the right to do that job the way you see fit, rather than the way some boss who may not have any idea what you do tells you. I have a button tha sums up a large part of this fight; it says: “Those who can TEACH, those who can’t pass laws about teaching.” You’re fighting for the university to actually leave education to the educators.

For the staff: you’ve said over and over that you’re the front line with the students. You’re the first and last points of contact students have at SIUC. That’s an important job worthy of both respect and stability. So many of you are being asked to do more with less, work multiple jobs on campus, all with the threat of layoffs hanging over your head. That’s unacceptable.

For my fellow graduate assistants: we too deserve respect and dignity — and to actually be paid completely for the work we do while not having to worry about medical bankruptcies. That is the situation we face, where we work 9 months and only get paid for 7 (I haven’t yet made back the money I paid in fees this semester; have you?), where our health care plan is designed to be “always be the payor of last resort, not the primary source.”

SIUC can do better. SIUC should be doing better. That’s what these strike authorization vote are about.

Those of you who read this blog regularly know I prefer to update in the morning. I’ll be shifting my posting times to late afternoon/early evening so I can post updates about the strike authorization votes as I get them.

Upcoming Events:
Monday September 26, 10-2: Informational Tabling in the Student Center
Tuesday September 27, 10-2: Informational Tabling in the Student Center
Wednesday September 28: Faculty Association Strike Authorization Vote
Friday September 30: GA United Strike Authorization Vote
Friday September 30, 4:40-6pm, Blue Martin: NTTFA Informational Meeting
Wednesday October 5, 5pm: Informational Meeting for Students About Striking

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