FA News: 3/3/2017 (update)

Dear Colleagues,

My apologies for the multiple emails, but developments announced this afternoon made my earlier email today seem positively misleading.

AFSCME has won an important victory in court. Technically speaking, all the Illinois 4th District Appellate Court ruling did was delay implementation of the Labor Board’s ruling that the state and the union were at impasse. But in doing so the court had to determine whether the union’s appeal had “a reasonable likelihood of prevailing upon the merits,” and so the decision addressed the substance of the case. It offers a very forceful repudiation of the Labor Board’s finding that the sides were at impasse (a finding which had been supported by an administrative judge), while playing up the subsidiary finding that the Governor engaged in an unfair labor practice by failing to provide AFSCME with relevant information it requested. The full text of the ruling can be found here.

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FA News: 3/3/2017

This missive includes various updates on what’s going on (mainly what’s not going on) at the state level. Spoiler: there is no good news here.

One suggestion: let your state legislators and the governor know that continued paralysis at Springfield is crippling public higher education. The IEA site includes a handy tool which allows you to look up addresses of your state (and federal) representatives. This weekend, State Senator Paul Schimpf is holding a Town Hall meeting in Mt. Vernon: a number of SIU faculty are planning to attend, so you’ll have some company if you make the trip. Here’s a link with more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/179791422518575/

1. AFSCME and our health insurance

As you’ve probably heard, members of AFSCME, the union that represents some 38,000 workers statewide, have voted to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike. 81% of AFSCME members voted yes, with an 80% turnout. An AFSCME strike would not directly affect us (the FA would not be legally able to strike in sympathy, though we would provide AFSCME with other forms of support). But the AFSCME negotiations (or rather the governor’s refusal to negotiate) will set our health insurance coverage and rates, since our health insurance is determined by the state’s contract with AFSCME.

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FA News: 2/6/2017

Dear Colleagues,

[If you are surprised to be getting an email from the Faculty Association, or to be getting one sent to this email account, please see the housekeeping note at the end of this message.]

As you know, on Friday, January 27, Donald Trump issued an Executive Order barring entry to the US for travellers, immigrants, refugees, and others from seven primarily Muslim countries. While the courts have placed a stay on this order over the weekend, the Trump Justice Department is challenging that ruling, and the Executive Order could well be reinstated.

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FA News: 1/26/2017

[The day after this email was sent out, SIU announced some budget cuts in athletics.]

Dear colleagues,

Welcome back for the spring semester.

Last week, Interim Chancellor Colwell released the final report of the Non-Instructional Program Review Committee.  We commend the committee for their work, and hope that many of their recommendations will be put into effect. What follows are some ideas on how to further the conversation they have started.

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FA News: 12/12/2016

Dear Colleagues,

I am happy to report that the members of the Faculty Associated have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the new agreement with the administration. Upon formal ratification by the SIU Board of Trustees, presumably at their next meeting on February 9th, the Tentative Agreement will become the binding Collective Bargaining Agreement between SIU and its faculty.

Just about half of FA members voted, not a bad turnout at this time of year, especially given that the agreement did not generate much controversy. Thanks to all who turned out to vote, and to FA Vice President Aldo Migone for running the vote. And thanks in particular to the members of our bargaining team, for their countless hours working on this new contract:

Cade Bursell
Anne Fletcher
Judith Green
David Lightfoot
Rachel Stocking (chair)

We’ll say more about the agreement in a press release in the next day or two, which I will share on this list, but I wanted to release the results promptly. In the meantime, the best of luck to all as we navigate the last week of the semester.

In solidarity,

Dave Johnson
President, SIUC-FA

FA News: 12/2/2016

Dear Colleagues,

Last night (Thursday, December 1) the FA’s Departmental Representatives Council unanimously approved the draft of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the administration. Here are the next steps in the ratification process:

On Wednesday, December 7, at 5:00 in Wham 105 we will hold a meeting to discuss the Tentative Agreement.

On Friday, December 9, and Monday, December 12, voting (via secret ballot) will take place to ratify the new agreement. We will announce the exact location and hours for voting next week. If approved by the FA membership and by the SIU Board of Trustees, the Tentative Agreement will formally go into effect as the new binding contract.

Attached to this message you should find three documents. Read more of this post

FA News: 11/30/2016

Dear Colleagues,

Lots going on right now, so pardon the length of this message.

1. Faculty Town Hall this afternoon

The town hall the FA is co-sponsoring with the Faculty Senate will kick off at 4:00 this afternoon in Parkinson 124. Please join us for a conversation about the role of faculty in addressing the budget crisis.

2. DRC to vote on draft contract

The DRC will meet at 5 pm Thursday evening in Parkinson 202 to discuss the new tentative agreement between our bargaining team and the administration team. We anticipate a vote by the DRC on whether to recommend approval of the agreement. All FA members are welcome to attend.

3. Diversity on campus

One of the purposes of the FA is to promote diversity on campus. Here is the relevant goal from our bylaws:

2-G. To promote the attainment of a diverse faculty and student body and to resist any unreasonable discriminatory practices in the hiring, promotion, or retention of faculty because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, or political affiliation. Read more of this post

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.

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FA News: 11/9/2016

Dear colleagues,

This is a somber day. Not everyone on the faculty will have the same reaction to last night’s results, and this is not the place for reflection on the qualifications of our new president. It is, however, undeniable that our state and country are deeply, painfully divided, and that those divides, including divisions along lines of class, educational level, gender, religion, immigration status, and race will play out on a campus which was already facing the greatest fiscal crisis in its history.

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FA News: 11/2/2016

Dear colleagues,

Some good news

I am happy to say that after bargaining session held Monday between our bargaining team and that representing the administration, we have now essentially reached a tentative agreement for a new contract that will last until 2018. We have finalized all the contract language, save for a few sentences that may be required to clear up some ambiguous wording in the new SIU system policy on intellectual property. Once we get that last bit of wordsmithing completed, we will share the full contract with all faculty, and dues-paying FA members will vote on whether or not to approve it.

Thanks again to the members of our bargaining team, who have worked so long and hard negotiating this agreement: Rachel Stocking (chair), Cade Bursell, Anne Fletcher, Judith Green, and David Lightfoot.

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