Terrorism: No Good News
One of the many frustrations and disappointments related to the recent contract negotiations I've written about so much here recently is that on Sept 11, I was in negotiations for about 21 hours. As a result, I really didn't have time to post anything related to the anniversay of the terrorist attacks or about terrorism. As a criminologist, I studied terrorism before 9/11 and I have been trying to expand my understanding of the challenge of terrorism to the free societies in the global village. I'd like to write a little bit about the recent National Intelligence Estimate as part... continue reading »

On Strike for Labor Day (Part 12)
In the last post, the administration was negotiating again, and we were about 20 hours into the session. Our team was waiting for a final offer to take back to the faculty. The offer that came through was poor. More accurately, it was the same poor offer they put on the table on Sept 5 before they walked out. Basically, they spent more than 20 hours repackaging it and trying to dress it up. But shifting money from one category to the other (or from one pocket to another in the same pair of your jeans) doesn't change anything, even... continue reading »

On Strike for Labor Day (Part 11)
It's going on 1am and we've been negotiating since 9:30 am. No end in sight at the moment. Since my last post, the big change in the status of our labor dispute is that we are actually negotiating again. Remember the administration walked out on Sept 5, and after a few days where both sides had no direct contact, on Sunday we started some direct off the record conversations about how to get back to negotiating. When I say 'some conversations,' it really understates the intensity of the effort. We put together a number of ideas about conditions under which... continue reading »

On Strike for Labor Day (Part 10)
Life has been exceedingly busy, although the basic situation has not changed. The administration walked out of contract negotiations Sept 5 and refuses to talk with us while we're on strike. We don't want to call of strike. Conversations are difficult with those positions. I've been busy with some special projects. Saturday was a crash course in drupal to get ready for the online petition we've created. If you didn't see it on our website, please consider adding your signature. We tried to keep it simple:Because talks were progressing with the faculty union, you should not have walked out on... continue reading »

On Strike for Labor Day (Part 9)
Another day with no negotiations and no word from the administration about resuming contract talks. Still, it was a very busy day around the office. Much of what we're doing now revolves around multiple levels of strategy. Obviously much of this can't be disclosed here, but there are many short-term and longer terms (days ahead) to deal with. Most immediately is getting information produced: deciding on information for the daily flyers, and getting the paper, refreshments, and stickes (I Support My Faculty) up to compus in the right places. When students moved in, we distributed thousands of flyers to get information... continue reading »

On Strike for Labor Day (Part 8)
After so many days at in the basement negotiating, today was a radical change of pace. No negotiations after the administration walked out, and the negotiating team got to enjoy the sunny day  EMU-AAUP negotiating team ready to finish negotiating the contract whenever management wants to return from the walkout So at the moment, there are no negotiations and no scheduled negotiations. The only contact we had with the administration today was when we offered to call of the strike and return to class if they agreed to submit to binding arbitration. It took them not more than a few... continue reading »

On Strike for Labor Day (Part 7)
Yesterday was quite the rollercoaster, but ended witht he administration walking out of negotiations at 10 pm and ignoring a proposal we had on the table. Looks like this series will of blog postings will be running longer. We convened down in the basement to prepare a counter proposal, only to hear that they wanted us to take down the AAUP on Strike signs we put in the window (since it is an administration building, we understood but it wasn't a priority). The issue was health care, again... perhaps "still."  Their last proposal had given up about $23,000 of the... continue reading »

On Strike for Labor Day (Part 6)
I've removed the question mark from the earlier posts because we are on strike and it is now labor day. The question is how long after Labor Day the strike will continue, and what will happen with the administration's threat to suspend negotiations tomorrow night. How many parts will this series have? This morning, a group of us went to march in the Detroit Labor Day parade. Of course many people knew of our strike and were supportive, and I was glad to give a shout out to the Detroit teachers. As brutal as this negotiation and strike have been,... continue reading »

On Strike for Labor Day? (Part 5)
Today started off nicely with some picketing under nice weather. But by evening we were back to playing hardball. The administration threatened to walk out of negotiations if there was not a settlement by Tues at 10pm and they're trying to set the ground work for an injunction against the strike. In the morning, faculty passed out information to new students about the strike. I was going to take a break, but it was a nice day and I've found that wandering around the pickets is invigorating. It's a good chance to talk with colleagues and hear some of their... continue reading »

On Strike for Labor Day? (Part 4)
After some long days, it was great to have a break. I slept for 10 hours and had a long, hot shower. While 'feeling like a new man' is a bit of an exaggeration, I do feel reinvigorated for the next push - which will be through Wed at 8am when classes are supposed to start. My colleagues on the negotiating team feel similarly uplifted from sleep, playing with their kids and taking care of basic chores like mowing the lawn.I did have to spend some time dealing with a health care proposal I'll talk about below. But I noticed... continue reading »

On Strike for Labor Day? (Part 3)
Today was on the 'lighter' side - only 10 hours. As noted in the last posting, I got home last night after the strike rally about 1am and had to be back at 8am to start again. With some of the adrenalin and anxiety, it was hard to sleep - and that made getting up in the morning easy, but hurt later in the day. Although we were supposed to have an 8am session on health care as a 2 (from their team) on 2 (from our team), what meaterialized was a 3 (their team) on 2 (our team) about 9am.... continue reading »