Sept 2021 Newsletter

FA Newsletter 9-19-21

Hello, Faculty!

IMPORTANT: There is some confusion regarding the Chancellor’s statement about 2% raises. The raises he mentioned are for the administration and non-represented, not TT, NTT, or Civil Service employees. 

This statement does NOT mean no raises for SIUC Faculty!

It sets a bar of at least 2% from which we will bargain.

At the request of the administration, the FA bargaining paused until after the September 16 Board meeting. We have resumed bargaining in earnest about raises.

In solidarity,

Anne

Statement I read to BoT on Sept 16, 2021

Many of you have met me before. I’m Anne Fletcher, President of the SIUC Faculty Association, and I’m here to talk to you about what it would mean to make Faculty at SIUC a genuine priority at this university. 

We are happy to see that the current proposed budget now includes a salary increase plan for SIUC. The rationale for the plan states that “adequate salaries for our faculty and staff are a high priority.” In light of inflation and essentially the pay reduction it has caused, “adequate” isn’t exactly inspiring language at an institution that prides itself on excellence. 

This isn’t the place to bargain salary. We return to the Interest Based Bargaining table to begin discussion of finances tomorrow. But here’s what you could do, today, to show that fair salaries for Faculty are a real priority. Faculty are grievously underpaid. Recognize the Faculty who facilitate the university’s teaching and research: we are the university’s essential employees. SIUC Faculty have gone the extra mile to help the university weather a budget crisis and, now, a public health crisis. Every day we enter the classroom, the laboratory, or the studio, we put our disciplinary expertise—and, in the confusion of a pandemic, our health— on the line. We have helped turned around SIUC’s declining enrollment. We have taken on extra work to fill gaps as colleagues have left. We can’t afford to keep losing good Faculty, and we cannot expect good people to keep working for a university that allows their real wages to erode year after year. 

Commit to put an end to the real decline in Faculty salaries, this year— and with long-range planning for the years to come. Develop a long-term plan to get SIUC Faculty caught up with inflation, with our peers at other research universities, and even with the other schools in the SIU system (as indicated by the chart provided at the conclusion of today’s Agenda).

We believe SIU can be more than “adequate.” Make Faculty a genuine priority, and you’ll take the single most important step you can toward recruiting, retaining, and motivating the Faculty we need to make SIUC the excellent university it aspires to be. 

Thank you.

Faculty Association Fall Gathering 8/21

Fall 2021 COVID Impact Bargaining Agreement

The Impact Bargaining agreement about class room procedures and Faculty rights is posted under the Current Contract tab. Thanks to the FA Bargaining Team (Anne Fetcher, Sam Pavel, and Jeff Punske) for their hard work on this agreement. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact a member of the Team. Here’s to a safe and productive semester.

President Fletcher’s Remarks to the BoT 7/15/21

Statement to Board of Trustees July 15, 2021 (available as read on BoT website)

Good afternoon. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Anne Fletcher. I am a Professor in the School of Theatre and Dance. I have been at SIUC for 20 years. I am here today in my capacity as President of the SIUC Faculty Association.The Faculty Association works with administration in settling and even preventing grievances, implementing the Collective Bargaining Agreement, navigating reorganization, and more. We are currently in collective bargaining. Employing Interest Based Bargaining, the joint team’s relationship remains open and friendly. I urge you to take the opportunity to build into the FY 2022 budget meaningful salary increases for Faculty. Except for Promotion and Tenure, Faculty have received in total a 2% increase in salary across the last decade. Salary compression has become acute. Morale is extraordinarily low. While I recognize that “feelings are not facts”, Faculty perception is that we are simply not a priority. Faculty numbers have decreased by at least half in my time here, currently totaling approximately 425. Arguably, the student body has shrunk proportionately. However, in terms of class preparation, office hours, committee assignments, recruitment and retention, and other service activities, work has increased. There are fewer Faculty to complete daily operational tasks. Students and Faculty, teaching and learning, are the heart and soul of a university. We hope that SIUC will recognize Faculty and stand committed to the people who have committed themselves to SIUC.Thank you for your time.

August 2021 Newsletter

April Newsletter

February Newsletter

January Newsletter

Check out the latest Newsletter from President Fletcher.

SIUC Faculty Association / GA United

Joint letter to IEA concerning Representative Mike Bost

Time Sensitive Items and Voting

FA Newsletter 9-28-20

Three time-sensitive items have arisen. The FA needs your thoughts. If you have concerns related to the first two items, please respond a.s.a.p.

  1. Many of you have received instructions concerning the modalities of classes for Spring 2021 (filtered down from the Provost to Deans to Chairs). Communication has been inconsistent at best. Some Faculty have received the entire unedited directive from the Provost. Some have received requests from their chairs simply asking for a description of what their classes will look like in their given modalities. Some have received what appear to be directives asking for “justifications” or “class plans” and/or a quick response. Some have (as of Friday) have received nothing. Please reach out to the Faculty Association if you are confused or, more importantly, if you feel the request you received may infringe on your academic freedom.
  2. The provost is soliciting “in-put” re: an “opt-in” on the part of students for PASS/FAIL again this semester. We need your in-put by Oct.2.

A number of issues arose from this practice when it was implemented last spring, among them:

  • Some students exercising the pass/fail option failed to get a letter grade on their record that they might have needed in the future.
  • The pass/fail option set up students to fail to meet the achievement thresholds they needed to satisfy degree and prerequisite requirements.
  • Programs were pressured to accept pass grades that did not meet degree or certification requirements.
  • The pass/fail policy eliminated minimum grade requirements that should have been applied for a course to serve as a prerequisite in the future. 

Please reach out to your DRC member and/or to me or another member of the FA leadership with your concerns (afletcher849@gmail.com)

It’s time to vote on the new contract!

  • You will soon receive a copy of the new contract (with changes indicated), a list of “talking points” that outline significant changes, and instructions for “drive-thru” voting on ratification. Voting will take place on October 5 (time and place forthcoming). ONLY FA MEMBERS CAN VOTE! Now would be a good time to join the union if you are not already a member! New member form will be available at voting. The FA website can be accessed (siucfa.org), although it remains “a work in progress.” Thanks for all you do!

In solidarity,

Anne Fletcher

President, SIU Faculty Association