Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Southern Illinois University’s faculty strike gets a mention in The Indypendent <http://www.indypendent.org>, the newspaper of the nyc independent media center.

But despite the hesitancy of most union officials to match their rhetoric with action, there are unmistakable signs of a new fighting mood among the rank and file in many unions. Southern Illinois University faculty went on strike November 3 in a battle over the “corporate education” model, among other issues.

http://www.indypendent.org/2011/11/17/the-unions-weigh-in-for-occupy/

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Faculty strike but classes will be conducted as usual? Sure sounds familiar. A shout out in solidarity to the striking SJSU faculty from those of us at OccupySIUC!

The California Faculty Association, a bargaining unit representing all CSU faculty members, is planning to stage a one-day strike at CSU East Bay and CSU Dominguez Hills on Nov. 17. Some SJSU faculty members plan to participate in the CSUEB event.

How will this impact SJSU?

The CSU Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach conducts labor negotiations for all 23 campuses. Meanwhile, here at SJSU, we remain focused on our primary mission, teaching our nearly 30,000 students.

While it is difficult to predict with certainty, the one-day strike is expected to lightly impact San Jose State. Campus will remain open, and most classes will be conducted as usual.

http://blogs.sjsu.edu/today/2011/classes-in-session-during-informational-picketing-nov-9/

A shout out of solidarity to striking Cal State Faculty from those of us here at OccupySIUC!

Cal State Faculty Strike For First Time Ever

“We are tired of the chancellor using staff and students as ATM machines,” said strike organizer

Hundreds of California State University faculty took an historic step Thursday, staging the first strike in faculty union history. The action took place at the Dominguez Hills and East Bay campuses.

By late morning, 300 to 400 people showed up, some by the busloads, according to Lillian Taiz, president of the California Faculty Association, which represents 24,000 faculty members across CSU’s 23 campuses.

Taiz called the one-day strike a major step in what has been a contentious battle with the CSU Board of Trustees over pay raises.

“This is the very first time we have gone on strike since the faculty got collective bargaining rights in 1983,” said Taiz, who stopped mid-sentence to cheer for a marching band that had showed up at Dominguez Hills to offer support.

“This is amazing,” Taiz said. “The turnout has exceeded my wildest dreams.”

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Cal-State-Faculty-CSU-Strike-Teachers-Students-Budget-First-Time-Salary-134059083.html

Kristi Brownfield of GA United read a powerful statement in defense of free speech at SIUC at this morning’s open forum with the Board of Trustees. It concludes:

This administration seems more interested in power than people. Any policies that protect the established power of the status quo over the expressive power of a free people are policies that must be overturned. The students here recognize that. It was our voices inside the Student Center, outside of Anthony Hall and the Stone Center, throughout campus, on Facebook, and online — calling for accountability, fairness, and transparency. That is what we want from this university. That is not what we have been getting. We expect better and in the future we hope to work with the administration to ensure we get that better. Together we can heal this damage to create a better SIUC for today and tomorrow.

Read the full statement at GA United’s blog.

From a faculty member:

WBEZ, the NPR station in Chicago, ran a story today about Joe Paterno and Penn State. They have yet to run a story about SIU and the strike. So, I wrote this in response to them:

Hey, WBEZ, the last time I checked, Penn State was in Pennsylvania. Southern Illinois University is in Illinois and a majority the students at SIU are from Chicago. (How many Chicagoans are at Penn State?)

SIU had a week-long faculty strike, the first in the school’s history, and hundreds (some say thousands) of students, in three separate marches, on three different days, marched beside the striking faculty. What else happened? The university censored its Facebook page and then blocked anyone who wrote anything that challenged the Administration. Striking faculty were electronically shut out of their emails, and online sites that contained their course materials. And the administration fought furiously to undermine tenure and all that it means. But none of this is important, is it? Because it’s not about a football coach in another state. Shame on you, WBEZ. Here’s a site where you can begin your journey to southern part of the state. https://occupysiuc.wordpress.com/

The media should be reporting on the powerful actions by the students of SIUC. Let’s pressure them to do so.

A fuller analysis will probably have to wait until morning, but to tide you over here are some stories from the local media:

KFVS 12
WSIL 3 (includes full text from Chancellor Rita Cheng to SIUC students and staff)
WPSD 6
The Southern Illinoisan
Daily Egyptian

Fresh from The Southern Illinoisan:

Sievers also dismissed rumors and reports of vandalism that occurred on campus against people who have continued to work during the strike.

“There have been some incidents of minor stuff, but nothing has risen to the level of formal reports being field,” he said.

The number of reports has been fewer than half a dozen, Sievers said, adding police can’t even definitely connect them to the strike.

Sievers couldn’t specify what the nature of the incidents have been but said they are very low on campus security’s priority list.

Read more: http://thesouthern.com/news/local/education/article_8ab16492-0af8-11e1-95db-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1dERrxDIq

From the comments section at Deo Volente:

“Thank you university police, for your professionalism in keeping the campus safe during a busy and trying time on campus!”

“Yes, indeed! I was very grateful yesterday morning [November 3rd] for the university cop that warned me and other strikers of a white car trying to run other strikers over. I wish them the very best luck with their contract dispute with the university.”

“I’m also grateful for them telling us when we were getting too close to the road for safety. We may not have liked hearing that we should stay back where we were less visible, but they really were looking out for EVERYONE’S safety.”

“Any more news on the white car?
That episode sounds pretty unpleasant”

“A police officer has spoken with the driver. The driver indicated that he did not intend to run anyone down, that he was just trying to make a point. The officer told him that a way to make a point is to stop and talk with people and debate the issues.

What will happen to the driver judicially remains to be seen.”

Remember, the University Police are without a contract now, too. They are scheduled to begin negotiations soon after those with the FA end. Because they’re police, they can’t go on strike to make their will known.

They know what you’re feeling and they’re there to keep you safe. Treat ’em with respect.

[Edit: Here is the interview referenced below ]

We just received this email:

Moments ago, I just heard Chancellor Rita Cheng on WSIU radio. I have two things I would like to request you post to your blog.

#1
Chancellor Cheng claimed that the only posts that were deleted from the SIU Facebook page were ones containing vulgar language. She then went on to say that at 3am, the one staff member who was monitoring the site had the page locked down, to prevent further inflammitory comments. She did not mention the many comments that were not vulgar, but simply asked the administration to settle, yet were deleted. Even now days later, SIUC is not being honest about what happened. Could you ask your blog readers to call Chancellor Cheng for clarification?

#2
Chancellor Cheng also mentioned that some students have started a petition stating they now prefer their faculty replacement. Could you ask your blog readers to call Chancellor Cheng to make this petition available to the public. How many students have signed it? In the interest of transparency, let us see it.

If you do wish to call the administration:
Chancellor Rita Cheng 618-453-2341
SIUC Board of Trustees 618-536-3357
President Glen Poshard 618-536-3357