FA News: 11/23/2016

I have three announcements for you, two of which can I think be characterized as things to be thankful for.

1. The SIUC Faculty Senate and SIUC Faculty Association are sponsoring a Faculty Town Hall on Wednesday, November 30, from 4:00 to 5:30 pm, in Parkinson 124.  Faculty Senate President Judy Davie, FA President Dave Johnson, NTT-FA President Shannon Lindsay, and NTT Faculty Senator Deborah Burris will be on hand to lead a discussion of the faculty’s role in helping to shape SIUC’s response to the budget crisis. We will make brief opening statements, then open the floor for questions and discussion about the future of SIUC. Please join us if you can.

2. The Illinois Labor Relations Board, whose members are appointed by the governor, recently ruled that negotiations between AFSCME and the Rauner administration are at impasse, overruling an earlier ruling by a labor board judge who ruled that negotiations were not (fully) at impasse. Governor Rauner now has the legal authority to impose his “last, best, and final” offer on AFSCME. As the AFSCME contract establishes our health insurance coverage, the governor now could impose his terms, which call for employees to either pay twice as much in premiums or receive lesser coverage. The governor has started to impose some of his terms, but has not yet said whether he will impose his health care proposal. AFSCME for its part will appeal the labor board ruling, but in the absence of an injunction from a judge, and eventual overturning of the verdict, Rauner could impose his final offer. The IEA is looking into possible responses to any major change in our benefits, and is supporting AFSCME in its effort to protect our health insurance. We will keep you updated about developments on this issue.

3. We continue to make progress on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the administration. At this point only minor changes and clarifications are required to finalize a Tentative Agreement between the two bargaining teams, which will become a legally binding contract if it is ratified by the FA membership and the Board of Trustees. The Departmental Representative Council (DRC) will meet on Thursday December 1, at 5 pm in Parkinson 202 to discuss the current draft agreement. This meeting is open to all FA members. We expect to have a signed Tentative Agreement by that date or soon thereafter. Once the DRC has made its recommendation on whether or not to ratify the new contract, we will release the draft agreement, together with a document outlining major changes since the last agreement, via this email list. Assuming the DRC is able to complete its deliberations on the new agreement at its December 1 meeting, we will hold an open membership meeting to discuss the agreement on December 7, with the goal of voting on the agreement on December 9 and 12. Details on the membership meeting and voting will follow. Only dues-paying FA members can vote on the agreement; we will gladly welcome any new members who wish to join in time to vote.

Happy Thanksgiving,

Dave Johnson
President, SIUC-FA

About Dave Johnson
I'm an Associate Professor in Classics and currently (fall 2016) President of the SIUC Faculty Association.

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