27 April 2016

Reasons Why You Should Support Striking NTTs

This evening members of NTFC Local 6546, the union representing non-tenure-track faculty at the U of Illinois, voted overwhelmingly in favor of a five-day strike.

The mild optimism of this morning seems a long way away. At points the news we were getting from the mediation session seemed to indicate some movement was possible, but it was illusive. The administration remains locked inside the nothing they've been promising us all along. Our team was prepared to stay all night until an agreement was hammered out, but as the session stretched past five pm, the administration team presented one more counterproposal, more of the same, and walked out of bargaining.  So that was that.

Here we are.

Reasons Why You Should Support NTT Faculty When they Form a Union or Strike for a Fair Contract (whether or not they're at UIUC)

1. NTTs are the face of their college and of their academic discipline for many students. Students learn what the institution values from the way NTTs are treated.

2. (As a member pointed out at our strike vote meeting) unions are the only way most of us can work to reverse the current downward spiral of U.S. higher education.

3. NTTs deliver the teaching and research at the heart of higher education. Supporting them means supporting that mission. If their work doesn't matter, then what is the institution for?

4. They're not going away.  If anything, there are going to be more of them in future (that downward spiral I mentioned in #2). The working conditions they get set the floor for everyone.

5. Your grad students (if you have them) are likely to become NTTs if they choose to stay in academia.

6. Your children are likely to be taught by NTTs when they go to college.

7. Even though state support of higher education is dwindling, your taxes go to support institutions where NTTs deliver public higher education.

8. Every day, you rely on college-educated people who have been taught by NTTs: from insurance adjusters to health professionals, bankers, your children's teachers, librarians, police officers, city council members...

9. Many NTTs love their work and are easy prey for administrators who would rather take them hostage than direct institutional resources to their institution's teaching and research mission.

10. It could be you.

Update: things that you can do to support striking NTTs here at UIUC

Call or email Interim Provost Ed Feser: 217-333-6677; feser@illinois.edu (corrected)
Call or email Acting Chancellor Barb Wilson: 2​17­-333­-6290; bjwilson@illinois.edu
Ask them to bring this labor action to an end by urging the administration bargaining team to agree to a fair contract. The one that the University of Illinois has already ratified for UIC's NTT faculty will do nicely.

1 comment :

  1. Feser's email is feser AT illinois DOT edu without the initial "e"