Friday, April 20, 2012

A response from a retiring colleague

This is a rejoinder submitted by Professor George Williams.
"Obviously, Dr. Walter misses the issues of my original “Dear Colleague” letter posted by P. Beverly. So let’s try again.
1.      PRIVATE NEGOTIATIONS: This issue is not so much what they did behind closed doors, but the fact that they actually met behind closed doors and excluded the union negotiating team.
L. Walter, E. Sullivan and J. Daniel (for one session only)  excluding the other negotiating team members met with the CSU President at his request for several sessions to finalize contract negotiations. The question is WHY? Possible answers: [select  one or all]
a.       The CSU President was unhappy with his own negotiating team;
b.      The CSU President wanted to finalize the contract on his terms so he could say (as he did with the CCC  union negotiations) that contract settlement required his special powers of mediation;
c.        [You supply your own motivation]
The issue is that the reduced union negotiating team of Walter and  Sullivan  should not have met in PRIVATE with the CSU CEO.  Referencing the College of  Pharmacy  integration and Appendix G  update  has nothing to do with the issue except to obfuscate  and deflect the criticism.
The Criticism of Walter and Sullivan is Chicago politics of “behind closed doors” meetings which resulted in the union acceptance of post tenure review, a 5 year contract with minimal salary increases, and inaction on other items on the table

2.      RUSHED VOTING to approve the contract. A membership meeting was held and voting began at that meeting on an incomplete version of the contract which has been posted online only a couple days prior to the membership meeting?
Again WHY the rush?

3.      PRO-ACTIVE LEADERSHIP: This issue is not so much with what was finally accomplished with the Administration’s computer usage policy, but the actual timeline of union intervention.
This criticism is of the union chapter president’s reaction to the “Computer Usage” proclamation and the timeline of the union intervention. The outcome of the fiasco was to be expected and for which there is nothing to compliment oneself. The entire point is that the day after the CSU proclaimed its new policy, the union should have responded by telling the membership to ignore the computer usage proclamation, not a week later.

In summation, let’s expand the criticism of the union, both union leadership and membership. Union meetings consist of a handful of loyal members -  why? Why did the union chapter president refuse to an open debate or Q&A meeting with Professor McFarland? Why is there not a CSU union blog similar to the Faculty Voice? Why is there no information ever posted for the membership concerning grievances (except those which are personal)?"

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