Faculty Association to vote on strike authorization

By Gus Bode

The Faculty Association, which represents tenured and tenure-track professor, will hold a strike authorization vote in less than two weeks.

The union’s Departmental Representatives Council voted Thursday to have members vote Sept. 28. Approval of the measure does not necessarily mean there will be a strike, but would give the council the authority to call a strike at any time.

Chancellor Rita Cheng could not be reached immediately for comment.

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Dave Johnson, the chair of the council, said in his blog that while the union hopes to get a fair contract through bargaining, preparations for a strike have been under way for some time.

“The administration demands the flexibility to cut our salaries and to fire tenured faculty, but has shown no flexibility at the bargaining table, Johnson, an associate professor in foreign languages, said in a union press release.

Negotiations between the university and the Faculty Association began in 2010, and the union has now worked more than 440 days without a contract, Johnson said.

Contract negotiations are also under way with unions representing non-tenure-track faculty, graduate assistants and Civil Service employees.

The press release said the union wants a contract that preserves faculty members’ freedom to teach the courses they see fit and ensures the university devotes sufficient resources to academics.

Johnson said the council members think the university has not bargained sincerely and will not without the pressure of a possible strike.

“It is their unanimous judgment that continued negotiations will almost certainly be fruitless without further pressure from the full FA membership that goes well beyond the informational picketing and other events held on campus over the last months,” he said in the blog post.

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See Monday’s Daily Egyptian for more on this story.

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