Howard Bunsis just sent around an email to let everyone know that, basically, there’s been no movement. So, in this case, no news is just that, no news.
So, I guess I end the day and begin the next with five basic thoughts. First, the pickets that the union will stage early this week will be critical. I am sure that there will be some faculty who will feel the pressure and obligation to teach, but we have to hang as tough as we can. Certainly we can’t cross picket lines. This is why the likes of Fallon and Valvo think they can bust the union: they are playing off of the senses of decency of college professors. We don’t go into this line of work because we don’t care; it’s not like we’re a bunch of folks working the line at Ford putting on headlights. It’s the exact opposite, and the powers that be are using the fact that we care about our students (and our scholarship, our colleagues, our university) against us.
Second, and conversely, because of the nature of the work that faculty do, they can’t use the same tactics as you’d use to bust up a union in manufacturing. If we were making cars, the schedule might not be that big of a deal. But in this “education business,” time and the schedule of the semester are everything. The longer this goes on, the more in danger we are of completing a legitimate semester. And the thing is that in the “education business,” the “customer” (eg, student) pays up front.
Third, even if the worst happens around here, it seems to me that a weaker union will be better than no union at all. And I ain’t convinced that the union is going to be weaker after this either.
Fourth, this is going to be a different place after this strike. The last time we went on strike for a week like this, it was kind of strange how quickly things between the rank-and-file faculty and the upper administration went back to normal. I don’t see that happening this time.
And fifth, we need to start working now to change the rules for the Board of Regents such that they are elected and not appointed.