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YSU makes contingency plans in case of a nonfaculty union strike



Published: Thu, August 11, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Picketing would be limited to sidewalks and strikers would not be permitted in university buildings.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Critical operations at Youngstown State University would continue with professional employees reassigned to other duties if nonfaculty members go on strike next week.

Those are among numerous items listed in a draft of a strike contingency plan developed last week by 14 high-level YSU officials in case the university's 400-member Association of Classified Employees union hits the picket line Tuesday. The union's contract expires Monday.

The YSU contingency plan outlines how the university will handle campus events from Tuesday through Aug. 29, the start of the fall semester. A new plan would be developed if the strike goes past that date, the report reads.

The five-page plan would require all professional employees and those in other bargaining units to report to work. The 380-member YSU faculty union is negotiating with the university but has set an Aug. 23 strike date if no deal is in place.

The university would restrict all picketing to city sidewalks, and wouldn't permit ACE members to enter campus buildings. Also, all benefits to ACE members would be halted.

Continued functions

If the strike occurs, the report states, planned vacations and conference travel for non-ACE members between Tuesday and Aug. 29 would be canceled, and any future travel would be determined on a case-by-case basis, largely depending on factors such as need and cost. Non-ACE members who incur financial penalties for canceling vacations would be reimbursed.

The Aug. 20 summer commencement would be held and diplomas mailed to students. Employees would be reassigned to assist with the preparation of commencement and processing student records for graduation. Also, YSU would hire police and additional security "to ensure that the commencement ceremony is not disrupted."

YSU's plan for the Aug. 28 freshman scholar tribute event is essentially the same as summer commencement.

YSU would have a location at Kilcawley Center to address questions and issues by students, and an information sheet would be distributed to the university's board of trustees, YSU employees not on strike, the media, key community leaders, the Presidents Council and student leadership.

Personnel surveillance

As for telephone service, YSU plans to use students, exempt employees or voice mail to answer phone calls. There would be no switchboard operation or technical support, and recorded informational messages on two of the university's main extensions. Also, a "suggested script for voice mail messages will be developed," the plan reads.

Mail would be picked up at the post office, and students and exempt employees would sort and deliver it.

The university would also disconnect modems and stop incoming e-mail under this plan.

Student employees would have the option of working if supervision is available, and no new student employees would be hired.

Department heads would collect and tag keys of ACE employees under their supervision, extra security would be assigned to select locations, and locks would be changed in designated areas.

Academic departments and college offices as well as the library would remain open. However, the computer laboratory, the Office of Student Activities and Diversity Programs, and Student Health Services would close if a strike occurs. Also, Kilcawley would close early, and hours at the YSU bookstore may be curtailed.

skolnick@vindy.com




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