Lecturer Walkout

I went to Ambrosia this morning to sit and do some last-minute prepping for my final 643 presentation. A grad seminar (apparently in Mideast politics, because every other word was “Islam” or “Baathist”) was holding court at a bunch of tables in a circle in the back. I sat at an empty table next to them and did my presentation outline on a legal pad while they pontificated. Meanwhile, a GSI sat at the table in front of me and held office hours with several of his undergrad students.

The Lecturers’ Employee Organization held a one-day walkout today to protest what it terms the University’s intransigence in addressing bargaining issues that the union has been pursuing with the university since last August, including salary, benefits, and “job stability” (i.e., tenure). Naturally, neither the local news coverage nor the position papers put forward by the union and the university has shed any light on the realities of the situation, and I don’t know enough about the history of the dispute to express an opinion about the walkout, so I won’t.

The picketers did not block any of the entrances to the library complex or West Hall. I don’t know what I would have done if they had; I suppose my instinct would have been, of course, to honor the picket line. I probably dishonored the strikers by not taking the recommended day off. If I had not had my final presentation hanging in the balance (the professor did not reschedule her class, nor, according to a firm letter sent out by the provost yesterday, was she or any other faculty member supposed to, which is of course one form of leverage that the university has in its arsenal), I would have taken the day off. I suppose my acts were selfish; I wouldn’t argue with anyone who said they were.