March 5, 1990: Volume 1, Number 8
“Faculty Action Imminent: Special Report on March 2nd Emergency FWC Meeting” [by Mariann Regan]
Presentation and Discussion of Negotiations:
…Ray Poincelot, Chair of the Salary Committee, led the item-by-item summary of the negotiations, and he emphasized that the Salary Committee at this point was looking for “further instructions” from the faculty. Each item was made available for questions and discussion, and several were discussed at length. The strong consensus that emerged from the meeting, combining the presentation and the accompanying discussion, can be summarized as follows:
The Economic Issues:
This part is hopeful…
Issues of Principle: The Non-Economic Issues:
This part is unfortunate…
The Legal Preamble to the Contract
…When the administration still remained tentative about acceptance of the preamble, the Salary Committee offered the suggestion that our counsel, Alan Neigher, could meet with the administration’s attorney to discuss these matters directly, since this is how such disputes are routinely resolved….The administration proposed instead a curious process by which the two lawyers would be allowed to communicate only through intermediaries; this process was judged by our Salary Committee to be, at best, unproductive. The assembled faculty members expressed extreme frustration at the administration’s refusal to work directly and cooperatively toward resolution of the issue of our contract status.
Payroll Deduction of AAUP Chapter Dues
…The Salary Committee reported that they have answered every objection to the payroll deduction issue that the administration has made. There were three specific difficulties advanced by the administration: Our salary team took measures to resolve two of these difficulties, and corrected the misinformation on which the third difficulty was based. They have also shown the administration a list of approximately 250 colleges and universities that grant payroll deduction for AAUP chapter dues. This list includes many schools similar in size and character to Fairfield. Nevertheless, the administration remains opposed to our request.
The Result: The Action Vote
After this presentation and discussion of the state of negotiations, the Salary Committee was given a warm and prolonged round of applause, for their untiring efforts and long hours on behalf of the faculty.
Ray Poincelot then reported that the administration had recently threatened to withdraw their offers from the negotiating table—items on which agreement had already been reached through months of work by both sides—if the faculty voted at this meeting to take any actions. It was pointed out by the group, in response, that in formal collective bargaining such a threat constitutes an illegal act as bad faith bargaining; moreover, the mere fact that in our particular situation this threat is not illegal does not mean this threat is a good faith bargaining technique.
The faculty then voted the following actions, as proposed by our Action Committee, to express our determination to preserve our professional principles. These actions manifest the faculty’s further instructions to the Salary Committee, to remain firm on the two outstanding non-economic issues of principle.
Until the administration responds favorable to the faculty demands in negotiations with the Salary Committee, the Faculty Welfare Committee authorizes its Action Committee to pursue the following actions at the times stated:
1. Set up procedures to begin informational picketing as of March 12.
2. Set up procedures to establish contacts with the media as of March 19.
3. Call for the General Faculty to hold off elections for the Long-Range Planning Committee at the March 16 General Faculty meeting.
4. Encourage those faculty members involved in preparing for the visit of the Phi Beta Kappa Qualifications Team to cease participation
5. Encourage those faculty members engaged in the freshman advisory program to give immediate notice of their refusal to continue in
the program in Fall 1990.
This resolution passed resoundingly with a vote of 89 to 1, including proxies.
Out of consideration for our students, the Faculty Welfare Committee does not intend to take any actions that directly and adversely affect the education of students currently enrolled at the university.
This resolution passed unanimously, 90 to 0, including proxies.
The group was reminded that these resolutions did not preclude the ongoing discussion and vote of further possible actions at future meetings. In addition, several faculty members at the meeting declared their intention to withdraw their contribution by payroll deduction to the University’s capital campaign, until such time as the administration also accepts payroll deductions for AAUP dues.
…The Communications Committee outlined its plans for handouts, signs, and instructions for the pickets, as well as plans for press releases, press conferences, and contacts with the media beginning March 19, or earlier—if events require it.
…A large number of faculty members signed up to be pickets or picket captains, and an equally large number signed up as support staff for the pickets. Pickets will begin on Monday, March 12, and will escalate to increasing numbers of buildings during the week. Preparations will continue during spring break. All remaining faculty who wish to participate should contact the officers.
The meeting adjourned in a spirit of dignity and high resolve.