“A win for collective bargaining”

DAYS WITHOUT A CONTRACT: 462

Now that I actually have time to write, congratulations to the NTTs on their vote last night. For a group that is very vulnerable — the university tried to lay off just under 100 NTTs (including most of the union bargaining team) in December — that kind of vote is a real statement: we’re tired of this. We’re tired of an administration that seems to want to quash any sort of real voice employees might have — it seems to want to get rid of the unions (or at least create “shop unions,” that are firmly under the heel of the administration, regardless of what the employees might want). Apparently, they don’t even want us to talk to the students and answer their questions in a way that sounds fairly uncontroversial, according to the DE’s article about the meeting.

Anita Stoner, the president of the NTTs, told me this new vote was a “win for collective bargaining” in her text to let me know the results last night. She’s right — the success of our four votes is a win for people who are tired of being imposed on, vetoed, or just plain pushed around. We’re pushing back and the administration is starting to feel the pressure; that’s why they’ve upped their amount of emails and scary rhetoric. The best counter for that is to stand together.

We can get want we want: fair contracts. But remember the votes are only the first step!

We’re also gaining activists every day. People who are not union leadership, people who are allies, they’re on our side. We’re not alone in this. I’ll post announcements of upcoming events as I see them, whether they’re “union organized” or otherwise. Keep an eye on the “upcoming events” section!

Completely unrelated to the labor situation here, I have a bit of an update on the performance funding that is both reassuring and worrying at once. This comes from Larry Frank, who is part of the IEA’s research group and sitting on the committee:

The discussions thus far have been very general in nature and we’ve yet to see any proposal for a specific metric. The discussions have centered on keeping the formula simple (though a number of people have suggested a bunch of metrics so we’ll see how that shakes out) and recognizing that one size does not fit all (and this has been around the missions of different kinds of schools). I’d suggest you go to the IBHE website and check out the Performance Funding site. Under the link for “schedule of meetings” you’ll find all the material the committee has seen to date.

What I think you’ll find is that no clear vision exists with regard to what the metrics will be or, in fact, what the goal of a performance funding formula is. If you can make sense of what’s posted, let me know! I really don’t see where this is headed and there seems to be little agreement within the group as to what we want to accomplish.

So, we won’t end up with a Higher Ed version of No Child Left Behind… but since this is supposed to roll out in January, the lack of cohesion or vision is a little disturbing. The IBHE website can be found here.

Finally, I will actually be in Seattle next week, so we will have a surprise guest blogger!

Have you contacted the Board, the President, and the Chancellor yet?

Ms. Misty Whittington
Executive Secretary of the Board
Office of the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees
(618) 536-3357

Rita Cheng: rcheng@siu.edu
SIUC Chancellor
(618) 453-2341

Glenn Poshard: poshard@siu.edu
SIU President
(618) 536-3357

In the News
NTTFA fourth union to authorize walkout [The Southern]
Four unions in contract negotiations authorize strike [Daily Egyptian]
Unions conduct info meeting for students [The Southern]

Upcoming Events:
SIUC Tuesday Work-ins (GAs + Allies)
Wednesday October 12, 4:30pm, Anthony Hall: PROTEST & PRESS CONFERENCE: Student Solidarity with Faculty, GAs & Staff

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