FA News: 5/24/2017

Dear Colleagues,

I have just received word of the scheduled visit of the two new external candidates for Chancellor.

The two candidates will be here June 13 (Rodley Hanley) and June 14 (Carlo Montemagno). Each will hold an open forum from 8:45-9:45 am in Guyon Auditorium. Candidates are expected to deliver 15 minute remarks, and then take questions from the audience (not scripted questions from the search committee, as was the case for the other candidates).
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FA News: 5/18/2017

Dear colleagues,

I hope that you are in whatever summer mode you find most pleasant and productive–but there is still of course much news to share with you. This missive provides an update on recent events and some new data about trends in campus staffing.

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FA News: 4/27/2017

Dear Colleagues,

[This post contains an update on the Chancellor search; a link to a letter from the FA to students on campus; questions on the budget we are asking of the administration; data on staffing trends; and the announcement of the new “budgetary resources” page on the website.]

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FA News: General Meeting (4/13/2017)

Dear colleagues,

On Wednesday, April 19 at 6 pm, the Faculty Association will hold an open meeting for all tenured and tenure-track faculty. Members of the FA Executive Committee will present on our new (recently ratified and signed) contract, focusing in particular on the rights and protections the contract gives to faculty in light of the current budgetary situation. And faculty members can pick up a copy of the contract at this meeting.

The meeting will be held at 6 pm in Lawson 101.

It is vital to understand our rights under the contract. Please join us if you can.

In solidarity,

Dave Johnson
President, SIUC FA

FA News: Financial Emergency (3/30/17)

Dear Colleagues,

As you can imagine, we are still reviewing the details from the messages sent Wednesday by President Dunn and Interim Chancellor Colwell. In addition to those messages, we have just received notice of an addition to the Board of Trustees (BOT) agenda for their April 6 meeting in Carbondale. A new motion would officially allow SIUC to borrow funds from SIUE and, unless there is some improvement in the budgetary situation before then, call on SIUC to seek a declaration of financial emergency from the BOT at their July 2017 meeting. The updated BOT agenda can be found here (the new item is “DD”, at the end of the document). This will be an important board meeting to attend: they meet at 10 AM in Ballroom B of the Student Center. I plan to attend and make a statement during the public comment period.

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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