FA News: August 17, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the SIUC Faculty Association, welcome back for the fall semester. I write you in my new capacity as FA President. I round out the FA Executive Committee, whose other members are Vice President Aldo Migone, Secretary Rachel Stocking, Treasurer Joe Shapiro, and Dan Becque, Chair of the Departmental Representative Council. Many thanks to outgoing President Rachel Stocking for her four years of service in that post, and to Holly Hurlburt and David Anthony, who are stepping down from their roles as secretary and treasurer.

I begin by expressing our solidarity with all those impacted by recent cuts on campus. Two civil service employees and five continuing non-tenure track faculty members have been laid off. Many more non-tenure track faculty were not reappointed, or saw their positions cut back to part time. And SIU has also cut back significantly on graduate assistantships. All of these cuts hurt: they hurt individuals and families, and they hurt programs and the students they serve. We are enduring an unprecedented period of budget cuts and budgetary chaos. Union contracts and union activism cannot prevent all cuts, but we can and will raise our voice against budget cuts, note their cost to staff, students, and the university, and ensure that any cuts that do occur follow the procedures and protections laid out in our contracts.

We do have some good news from this summer: our bargaining team, after untold hours of negotiations, has reached a conceptual agreement with the administration for a successor contract. Final language for the contract is still being worked out, but we will provide a bargaining report in coming days with more details on the agreement.

The first step in the process to ratify a new contract will come at the Departmental Representative Council (DRC), the FA body with representatives from academic units on campus. We will be holding elections for open seats on the DRC early this semester. If the term of your unit’s representative is up, or your unit is not currently represented, do please consider volunteering. The DRC is the FA’s most important representative body, and will play an essential role discussing the new contract this fall; meetings are held roughly once per month. For more information, contact your College Representative:

Agriculture: Paul Henry (phenry@siu.edu)
CASA: Sam Pavel (spavel@siu.edu)
CoLA: Anne Fletcher (afletch@siu.edu)
Library: Phil Howze (phowze@siu.edu)
CoEHS: Laura Dreuth Zeman (dreuth@siu.edu)
MCMA: Rob Spahr (rspahr@siu.edu)
Engineering: Aslam Kassimali (aslam@siu.edu)
Science: Randy Hughes (hrhughes@math.siu.edu)

You should have a received an email from Randy Hughes on August 10th reporting on complications regarding summer payroll deductions for faculty who do not prorate their nine month contracts. We have learned that the deadline for prorating a nine-month salary is August 19th (rather than the 15th, as we reported last week). If you did not receive Randy’s email or want more details on this process, drop me a line.

Illinois Education Association (IEA) Members are invited to “WALK with IEA” in the Walk with Labor/Twilight Parade. We will join others in the labor movement in a parade to kick off the DuQuoin State Fair. Line up will be outside the American Legion building in DuQuoin at 5:00 pm on August 26th. We will walk from the American Legion to the Fairgrounds beginning at 6:00 pm. After the parade, there is a big, free picnic at one of the mansions in the middle of the fairground – so you eat under the lights. Stay and visit with friends, and/or enjoy the inspirational labor speakers.

As I’m new to this post I’ll note that I’d be happy to hear of your concerns, questions, or input. My office is in Faner 2037 (second floor, toward the student center end of the building), and you are most welcome to stop by. My office hours are Monday & Wednesday 10-12 and Thursday 1-3; while students have priority then, I’ll also hold “FA office hours” Tuesdays from 11-1, when colleagues will have first dibs, and I’d be happy to arrange another time to meet. I’d also be happy to come visit a formal or informal department meeting, should you and your colleagues be interested in that. And of course there is email. You can reach me at my siu address (mjohnson@siu.edu) or, for a smidgeon more of privacy, at my non-SIU address (dmj2@me.com).

Finally, a housekeeping note. I’ve recently updated the list of addresses on our listserv, making an effort to ensure all bargaining unit faculty are included. If you’re receiving this in error, getting multiple copies, would prefer we use another address, or would, heaven forbid, like this to be your last FA email, contact me at dmj2@me.com.

In solidarity,

Dave Johnson
President, SIUC-FA

About Dave Johnson
I'm an Associate Professor in Classics at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Among other things.

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