It’s the end of the spring semester 2012. Few of us would have foreseen so little progress on either the faculty or coaches contract. So, we are sitting here looking at another summer without closure on a deal.
That lack of closure leads to this piece of advice: plan accordingly. I’m not revealing much by telling you the longer we go without a negotiated agreement, the more painful reaching such an agreement is likely to become. No one wants a confrontation and potential conflagration, but the status quo will only hold for so long. Prepare accordingly. It’s standard advice of union leaders everywhere for members in this situation to warn against large purchases: appliances, cars, and homes are usually given as examples. Ponder where you want to be financially should your paycheck stop.
Also, ponder what happens financially to some of your peers should THEIR paycheck stop. I know several campuses have already begun organizing Solidarity Funds: please consider contributing to your local one if you are in a position to help out.
In March 2011, we publicly stated we would willing go a year without an across-the-board pay increase in response to the state’s budgetary condition and a request from the Governor in his budget address. That offer received public approval. Now the time period covered by that offer is over and we look for something to happen with negotiations in the next weeks.
Enjoy your summer. Relax as much as you can (I know a large percentage of us teach or run programs in the summer); prepare for the fall.