Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ralph Martire Speaks on the Future of Learning at the Y on Friday, September 30.

Ralph Martire, Executive Director, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability,gave a great CFA-sponsored talk on pension funding last year. He's back this Friday (9/30) at the YMCA on Wright Street to talk about school funding and tax structure. Ralph is one of Illinois' best-informed experts on taxation and its effects on public education. He's accessible and interesting to talk with. Hope to see you there at 12 noon!

His talk "Improving Equity in School Funding," is part of the Friday Forum series, noon, September 30, University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign.

The Fall 2011 Friday Forum Series "The Future of Learning; Is Public Education Under Siege?" will explore the relationship between education and society with special attention to the challenges of improving education in an era where budgets, politics, and ideology are central to the debate.

For more information see http://www.universityymca.org/friday_forum/

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Contract for Lecturers at Eastern Michigan

From AnnArbor.com

September 22, 2011

-- For Eastern Michigan University part-time lecturer Kay McGowan, it finally feels like her employer of 14 years is listening.

“Our voice has been silent for too long,” McGowan said of EMU’s part-time faculty, who teach 29 percent of classes on campus. “Now we have a say in some of the situations that affect us on campus.”

McGowan’s comments come after the EMU Board of Regents voted Tuesday to approve the first-ever contract agreement with part-time faculty.

About 800 contingent lecturers are represented by the new contract, which was ratified last week by the adjunct bargaining unit of the EMU Federation of Teachers. The contract increased and formalized pay and benefits for adjunct professors.

After 14 years of teaching anthropology part time at EMU, McGowan says the contract brings welcome stability.....-- Read the whole story at AnnArbor.com


Monday, September 19, 2011

University of Illinois Spends Millions on Outside Counsel to Resist Collective Bargaining

The University of Illinois continues to spend millions of dollars resisting unionization and collective bargaining.

Our unionized colleagues at Chicago, UIC United, have obtained financial and other records revealing that the University administration has spent millions of dollars over the last decade resisting unionization. The records were made available through a Freedom of Information Act filing.

In the past ten years, the UI administration has spent $3,282,414.14 on outside counsel costs for labor issues. This averages to over $300,000 per year. At the same time, UI has many on-staff lawyers who are paid very well, several of whom are assigned to deal with labor issues.

In the month of May 2011 alone the administration paid $24,583.75 to Clark Baird Smith LLP to try and defeat The UIC United campaign, which followed the legal process by filing a majority interest petition with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board [IELRB]. U of I continues to resist entering into a legally mandated collective bargaining with UIC United.

On September 15, 2011 the IELRB supported the ruling of an administrative judge and reaffirmed UIC United's right to exist and to represent tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty. But the administration has said it will continue to pursue its appeal through the courts. We can only imagine how much more expensive it will be to carry out that threat, not before a labor relations board, but in the courts of the state of Illinois. And what if they lose in Illinois? Will they go to the federal courts?

Faculty here at UI Urbana-Champaign wonder how that three million plus dollars might have been used to upgrade classrooms, maintain equipment, avoid furloughs, provide raises, lower or maintain student tuition, and bolster staffing support. $300,000 a year could go a long way toward improving the UI working environment and our students' learning environment, here and in Chicago.

President Hogan says he has a long history of working with unions. We hope that’s true. The UI’s resistance to UIC United makes us wonder.

The Campus Faculty Association is committed to transparency and wise use of public funds. We think unions can strengthen the faculty voice in the running of the university and fulfilling its three missions: education, research and public service.

Many thanks to our UIC United colleagues for their efforts, and many congratulations on their big win. We’re all for you!

Campus Faculty Association

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our Fall Reception and Membership Meeting

Campus Faculty Association Invites All Faculty to:

Come meet and share ideas with:

People who organized the victorious union campaign at UIC

Hear what's happening with CFA this fall and how you can be involved

Munchies from World Harvest, soft drinks and inspiration guaranteed.

Date: Wednesday, September 21st

Time: 5-7 p.m.

Place: University YMCA

1001 S. Wright St

Bring a Friend!