SIU Faculty Strike Less Likely

SIU Faculty Strike Less Likely
By: Kate Scott

"There is no celebration, there is no victory, there is no defeat," says Morteza Daneshdoost, the Faculty Union President.  That, after the group's leaders decide not to strike -- at least for now.

After a year of contract negotiations -- SIU faculty and administrators are now just one step away from coming to an agreement. Members of the faculty association met Tuesday night to talk about whether to follow through with their threat to strike, or to go ahead and accept the administration's final contract offer.
Though they say they still have many reservations, the 45-member Departmental Representative Council tonight recommended to accept  the administration's "last and best" offer.
But that doesn't mean the strike is definitely off.

Before any final decisions are made, the entire faculty association has been asked to put in their votes.  The Council thinks they'll vote to accept the contract, based on the results of the straw poll they've conducted over the last few days.In that poll, the general membership indicated that they would rather accept the contract than go on strike -- by a ratio of 2 to 1. Around 200 of them voted to accept the contract, opposed to the 90 who would rather go on strike.
The reasons some are giving for accepting the contract include the gains they have made in areas of student ratios, job security, and salary increases. They also say they're very concerned about the anxiety this is causing their students.
So even though the contract doesn't offer everything they want -- many SIU faculty members are hoping they can finally move forward.

"I personally feel that the faculty have spoken. it's time to move on..  This is the beginning and we are going to build on this.  And I emphasize that no vote has been taken from the general public.  I ant to make that clear," says Faculty Union President Daneshdoost.

Members of the Faculty Association will be asked to vote on Thursday and Friday, but the exact time and place has not yet been set up.

Again, it's not for sure the union votes to accept the contract until the entire membership chimes in. If they don't strike, the union president says they'll cross that bridge when they get there.