The FA Strike is Over!

Dave Johnson just announced that the FA Department Representative Council (DRC) voted to end the strike. They do no have a tentative agreement yet but from his comments it sounded like the FA and the Board’s team had conceptual agreements on most everything but they needed to iron out specific language. I’m sure Dave will blog about this more extensively tomorrow so stay tuned!

Speechless

The title of this post is particularly apt today. I’m normally a person who is pretty good at writing and speaking. I know the right things to say to get my point across (part of a mispent youth as an English major before turning to Sociology). But last night and today as I sit down to write this post with updates and information, with news and commentary, I find I can’t. There really are no words to sum up my thoughts and reactions to the swelling support. To students rallying around the faculty who are their teachers, mentors, and in many cases, friends. I don’t have a good way to express what the activism, the creativity, and the solidarity make me feel. Maybe that’s the way it should be. It really shows the value of the people on this campus and how much everyone cares about the health and future of SIUC.

I know that even when this strike, this labor crisis, ends, the community we – students, faculty, and staff – have built will live on. And maybe that’s all that needs to be said: we have gotten stronger together and we will continue to get stronger and our voices will continue to get louder. That’s something we all can be proud of.

Student Rally the Sequel: 3:30pm outside of Anthony Hall today. Let’s tell the administration it’s time to do what is right and fair and end this today.

FA Updates

Randy Hughes, FA President, and Morteza Daneshdoost, the FA’s bargaining chair made two announcements at the after-picketing dinner tonight:

There will be an open meeting for ALL FACULTY, whether you are a FA member or not, SUNDAY at the Carbondale Civic Center, from 5-7pm. Everyone is encouraged to come to get the most up-to-date information about bargaining and the strike.

And, even better, we have real proof that the pressure of pickets, community members calling the Board and the administration, and the strike has been successful so far: the administration just reached out to Morteza Daneshdoost to set up a bargaining session.

The pressure got the administration back to the table to bargain with the FA. Now we turn the heat up so they can get a fair settlement!

GAU Reaches Tentative Agreement

GAU reached a tentative agreement with the administration this morning at approximately 4am. You can read our statement to our members about this here on our website.

Thank you everyone for your support, hard work, activism, and energy. I believe we managed to reach a fair settlement — and we were able to do it because of all of you. A union is only what its members make of it and GAU members have taken a very strong step in the right direction to help us reach this point.

Speaking personally, I hope that the same can be said for the Faculty Association shortly. After I get some sleep (!), I intend to stand with them on the picket lines.

ACsE signs tentative agreement

At approximately 2:45 a.m., the Association of Civil Service Employees at SIUC signed a tentative agreement. ACsE employees will not be going on strike.

The ACsE tentative agreement resolves issues surrounding job protection, unpaid closure, personal days and summer insurance for less than 12-month employees. The deal also includes a parking permit installment plan.

The GAU and NTT FA await language that may lead those locals to tentative agreements.

The coffee machine is out of coffee.

 

Halloween Strike Edition

DAYS WITHOUT A CONTRACT: 488

Happy Halloween! Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year so you’ll forgive me if I take time out of union-related news to wish everyone a good time tonight.

That said! Union news! We’re just at about 60 hours (rounded) until the strike deadline and preparations for the possibility of a strike continue. We all hope it can be avoided but should a strike be necessary union leadership wants to make sure it’s successful.

What can you do?

If you haven’t already, JOIN! Each new union member is a message to the university administration to do better and to settle this in a fair and mutual manner.

If you have already joined (or even if you haven’t!), get in touch with your union leadership for more information on what you can do to volunteer and get active. There are a lot of jobs for people who are willing, from being on the front lines as picket captains to providing support for picketers at comfort stations or at the strike headquarters.

We’re also interested in what you have to say! We’ll be taking video testimonials – “I don’t want to strike but I will because…” – tomorrow at the strike headquarters from 12:30-2:30pm and 4:00-6:00pm. If you’re interested in having your two cents featured, join us!

There will also be a mass meeting Wednesday night at the strike headquarters at 8pm. While we all hope the news there will be “tentative agreements reached for all for unions!” this will be a last chance to get informed about strike plans and organization, in case the news isn’t so good.

Finally, I took a ton of pictures on Friday of the strike headquarters open house (including several of the amazing mural in one of the classrooms). You can check them out here in our flickr account.