(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.