AAUP Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2014
Attendance: Marc Becker, Mark Hatala, Wolfgang Hoeschele, Marc Rice
1. State wide conference.
Marc Rice and Marc Becker reported from the Missouri Statewide AAUP meeting. Conflicts at the national level, with opposing slates competing for the leadership, have become quite polarized. There does not seem to be any consensus in the state about whom to support in the upcoming elections. There are clearly problems in that there is a lack of new people joining the AAUP and old people retiring, as we are also observing here at Truman, though this seems to have been a concern for a number of years (not just a matter of the current AAUP leadership).
Since the reorganization of member dues, in which members no longer specify contributions to their chapter when paying annual dues, payments have not been going back to chapters from the national level. This is also affecting our local chapter – we still have money from earlier years that we have not spent, but we are not getting new money.
2. Collective bargaining
Marc B. mentioned collective organizing happening in Missouri, specifically at Harris Stowe State University in St. Louis (http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/labor-talks-stumble-at-harris-stowe/article_08e47e8b-1585-5119-9422-0f42e1b83614.html) – so it is possible in Missouri (though the article also shows that there was considerable reason to be dissatisfied, with no general raises in 6 years). He raised the question of what we need to do in order to be able to set up collective bargaining here.
3. Organizing at Truman
Marc R. noted the high response rate to our faculty survey (higher than in years past) as a sign of hope. He suggested working toward our first meeting of the next academic year, in September, to start an organizing drive. As part of this, he plans to attend the AAUP’s summer training institute in New York City. The lead up to September could start with raising awareness among faculty, and then raising our own money here by asking for voluntary donations. We’d have to have a clear plan of what to do with that money. It could be something work related such as acquiring software or library resources, or sending somebody to a meeting in Washington. Wolfgang H. suggested hiring somebody to lobby at Jefferson City – since that is where the main problem is about getting more funds for higher education or for faculty salaries specifically. This would have to be a state-wide thing – if faculty from universities across the state donate money, we might get together enough to hire a lobbyist at least part time. Discussion followed: David Robinson as state president would have to be involved with this; perhaps Richard van Glahn of Jobs with Justice who talked at our event at the University Conference last year might work as a lobbyist; Rebecca McClanahan may have useful contacts.