Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

We're on STRIKE

12. September 2006 • Josh Steichmann
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EMU Faculty voted to strike last week, after the administration walked away from the bargaining table.

EMU faculty are seeking pay raises to keep up (at least) with inflation, an explicit dedication to faculty teaching classes, and renegotiations on health care.

Union website lives here

Eastern Echo special coverage

(And I wrote a pro-strike editorial for the Echo board that you can find if you poke around a little bit).

  1. you are now entering the rumor zone

    I’ve been hearing some interesting rumors about the reasons that EMU has driven such a hard bargain. Some folks are wondering if the University isn’t trying to break the Union so they can move toward a teaching staff based more adjunct faculty.

    Some are even saying that President Falon wants to take the school more in the direction of the University of Pheonix, which to me seems like the Wal-Mart of higher education.

    And of course, every prof I’ve talked to has said, “I’d much rather be teaching than on the picket lines.” (and at least for today they are back in the classroom )

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Sep. 13 '06 - 02:50AM    #
  2. A number of faculty believe the regents are trying to break the union and move to adjuncts only. As I recall, the chair is the former head of the Wash. Cty. Republican Party and quite conservative, anti-union, etc.

       —Dustin    Sep. 13 '06 - 03:23AM    #
  3. And… scene.
    Strike’s over. There were quite a few rumors about the university trying to break the union, but it was costing the university MUCH more. Oh, and the fairly empty insinuations that the administration would take over teaching classes never panned out.

       —js    Sep. 13 '06 - 03:49AM    #
  4. From what I hear, the strike’s not over, only suspended. The AAUP reports that the teacher’s aren’t impressed with the administration’s counter offer and may go back on strike as early as Thursday.

    As I understand it, when the EMU security forces had a contract dispute, they went back to work without a contract. After 2 years, they had to accept a contract that was worse than what they rejected during negotiation. The faculty I’ve talked to take that as a lesson NOT work long-term without a contract.

    Any takes on what impact the Detroit teachers’ strike will have on the EMU stike? The role of the court seems to be a real wildcard here (especially with a state law that raises questions about separation of powers).

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Sep. 13 '06 - 08:20PM    #
  5. It seems like the Gov. could step into this and tell EMU to bargain or otherwise offer to help settle this but if the Detroit teacher strike is still in play then she can’t do much because people there (parents) would howl… wondering why she isn’t settling their strike.

       —Dustin    Sep. 14 '06 - 07:07AM    #
  6. One factor in the issue may be that the EMU Board is comprised of political appointees. I haven’t read their bios, but I wonder how much commitment they have to EMU and how much commitment they have the the political ideologies of the folks who appointed them. (But then, I’ve heard concerns about appointees from both sides of the aisle.)

    In the meantime, the strikers are back to work pending independent fact finding

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Sep. 15 '06 - 01:17AM    #
  7. One more update, some EMU faculty are organizing a Teach-In (pdf file) to discuss some of the bigger issues that the strike brings up some of the issues behind the strike. The teach-in is scheduled for next Tues./Wed./Thurs. (Sept. 19-21), from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. each day at the Mark Jefferson Mall and
    McKenney Union.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Sep. 16 '06 - 01:07AM    #