I listened to John Fallon on WEMU this morning. You can take a listen to it yourselfby going to the story on their web site, but here’s some of my notes/thoughts:
- Talking about insurance, Fallon says the administration’s offer preserves the concept of choice of insurance plans and that there is still a “free” option. That’s sort of true. But keep in mind that the “free” option has a $1500 deductible, which means that the only reason why anyone would take this insurance is if they had a spouse who had insurance. Basically, it’s catastrophic insurance. So the “choice” faculty have is (basically) pay what can add up to be a premimum worth a two or so percent of your salary (relative to what we were paying before, of course) or to just make sure you don’t need to go to the doctor.
- Fallon conceded that this was less than a 3% pay increase if people pay these other insurance issues. Which again, raises questions about the fab offer EMU is proclaiming on their web site.
- Fallon said â€œThereâ€™s plenty left to negotiate.â€� Now, wait a minute: If thatâ€™s the case, then whatâ€™s the deal with this “final best offer” stuff? And why did the adminstration leave the table and thus leave the negotiations not finished?
- Regarding court action and other legalese stuff, Fallon said “Weâ€™re exploring a number of options along those lines.” Again, please EMU administration: if you’re going to seek a court order, seek it now.
- There’s a welcome back to school party planned for tomorrow that Fallon is planning on attending. Hmm, that might be an interesting place to picket….
- To me, one of the most telling parts of this interview was how he responded to the questions about what this says about the administration’s commitment to the students at EMU. First, he kind of stumbled a bit and then said â€œWe are ready to go back to the negotiating table at the same moment that faculty are ready to go back to class.â€� Then a little later, Fallon said something like â€œAs a former professor myself and as a parent, I donâ€™t know if I could condone this and behave differently.â€� I think what Fallon is saying here (along with how he is saying it) gets back to what I am beginning to think is the truly perverse lockout strategy of the administration: they’re trying to guilt us back into the classroom, and they are playing off of our inherent sense of decency. That is low, low, below the belly of the serpent in the mud low.
- The final question was if, by the end of the day, we’d have a sense about where we were going to be going to resolve the strike– court, bargaining table, or something else. Fallon’s response was “Yes, I’m hopeful.” Let’s see….