Jan 17, 2006

Lots Of Strike Chatter At UT

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(Toledo, OH) It appears that all sides are gearing up for a strike at the University of Toledo. Both the Amaerican Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) have announced January 23 as the strike date, and they have been joined by the union for campus police officers.

In my dealings with various university departments, the focus seems to be on strike preparation, not on mediation. I fully expect that the University will be facing its first collective action in its history next Monday, barring some eleventh-hour deals.

It is unclear how, exactly, this strike will affect students. I have heard that professors will still work, but will not teach; it is possible that TAs will cover courses during the interim. However, I doubt that the administration has enough personnel to operate all of the important functions that CWA employees perform.

Would students continue to show up for class, even if it constituted breaking a picket line? Should they even be expected to?

Strange days are in the offing for UT in the coming week. My hope is that a deal gets inked, and soon. The last thing that UT needs is a disruption of the education of its students, and I suspect that a strike will further damage the university's ability to attract students in this era of hyper-competition between universities.

9 comments:

valbee said...

Mike, both the CWA and AAUP websites are saying a tentative agreement has been reached.

We're all crossing our fingers!

historymike said...

Let's hope so, Val.

Dan Johnson is supposed to give his State of the University speech Thursday at 3:30 in Doerrman, so that would be a good time to announce it.

Lisa Renee said...

11 just announced the tentative agreement as well.

whew....

:-)

Stephanie said...

On the up-side, if you could call it that, this experience will offer said students a lesson in reality...which isn't always readily available in college classrooms.

Who knows, it could be quite the educational experience for them?

Stephanie said...

I guess the lesson to be learned (from the comments at least) is that if you threaten enough, you get what you want?

Hooda Thunkit said...

The bullet appears to have been dodged, barring any unforseen hitches like mass rejection of the agreement.

Assuming a fair agreement, all should be relieved.

historymike said...

Yes, it looks like a deal has been reached, and from what I hear the unions are working hard to get people to accept the compromise.

That's great for me, even though I do not belong to any of the unions, as I stood to lose a couple of hundred bucks a week from my two part-time positions.

But it's better for UT as an institution and a community.

valbee said...

The CWA is holding their ratification vote on 1/26, following an informational meeting on 1/25. I think it'll have an easier time passing there than with the AAUP. No real reasoning behind it other than my gut instinct tells me the domestic partner benefits were more of a priority with AAUP than with CWA. I know at least one faculty member who thinks the contract isn't much better than the last offer, and I know one CWA person who thinks the domestic partner benefit is unfair. But... we live in Ohio. I don't think we're going to get much better and Miami of Ohio is already facing a lawsuit over their inclusion of domestic partner benefits.

So, who knows? Things might just be starting to get interesting... (although I don't think a strike will be part of it).

Hooda Thunkit said...

Domestic partner benefits is still an issue?

Christ even I understand the need for this as being only fair.

It's not like they're trying to push gay marriage (an oxymoron) down our throats...

Domestic partner benefits should be a non-issue, IMO.