Tomorrow (friday) there is a massive solidarity rally at 11am at the Roddick Gates. If you’re local, go. More information at http://munacastrike.wordpress.com/, which is where you can get lots of other good MUNACA strike news.
Today I got a very nice thankyou note from a MUNACA picket captain for bringing croissants with me this morning(I always try and bring food to the picket line when I go in–it’s a good excuse to talk with people). Here’s my reply:
Many thanks for your kind note, but let’s be clear here. You and the strikers are doing the hard work. I just bought croissants at my corner bakery and wore a button.
As we discussed, I am firmly of the belief that your bargaining will be good for others. The cuts to retirement benefits affect all employees, and despite whatever ridiculousness the administration spins about professors “accepting” this or that cut, we have done no such thing. MAUT has been largely ineffectual and irrelevant, though at least some of their members are waking up to the strike now that a prof was singled out for taking their courses off campus in solidarity. And of course, the quality of work issues and pay won’t affect professors as much (except inasmuch as we want the staff to be happy) but they will be good for all the other unionized workers at the university. Although Tony Masi’s last letter tries to paint MUNACA’s position as unreasonable (and by implication greedy), I think it is eminently reasonable to want to have a secure retirement and to have a salary that keeps pace with increases to the cost of living.