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YSU professors suggest work 'slow down'

Published: Thu, September 15, 2011 @ 6:12 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — Two Youngstown State University professors are encouraging fellow faculty to withhold their participation in departmental meetings and abstain from additional work, should the administration impose a contract.

The YSU-Ohio Education Association’s Crisis Committee distributed to members a four-page report, “Use Your Own Sense of Justice and Fairness.” The committee consists of John B. Russo, coordinator of the labor studies program and co-director of the Center for Working-Class Studies, and Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez, director of the ethics center.

Russo and Palmer-Fernandez via email each referred questions to Sherry Linkon, faculty union spokeswoman.

Linkon in an email said the crisis committee “operates as part of the leadership of the union, though they function independently.”

She said that union leadership does not review the crisis committee reports before they are sent out, describing it as discussing “ways that faculty could reasonably express their perspective, within the contract, on the administration’s actions.”

Ron Cole, YSU spokesman, said in an email that it’s unfortunate the union leadership would send out such a letter.

For the complete story, read Friday's Vindicator and Vindy.com


1taxpayer1001(274 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Keep up this kind of crap and the faculty can not only be blamed for decreased enrollment, but also for pushing more people to vote YES for SB5. Grow up people

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2southsidedave(5166 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

There is no end in sight!

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3mark(60 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I still don't see how the administration thinks they can impose a contract. If they do, the union can simply strike. SB5 isn't law, and if the union is smart they will stop letting the administration string them along until the SB5 vote in November, and just strike to get the job done.

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4AtownAugie(823 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

And the "Linkon-Russo Debacle" enters a new and much more marxist phase. (John and your wife Sherry: you *do* know how the faculty and staff feel about your grandstanding, do you not? Please stop feeding your egos by seeking the spotlight -- your shadow puppetry is making a mockery of a fine university.)

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5northsideperson(366 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

And what is wrong with "work to rule"? They are working to what is in the contract - but no more.

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6northsideperson(366 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I am not convinced a strike will be productive for multiple reasons. It will justify SB5, it won't have community support, and what if the University leaves them on the picket lines indefinitely?

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7UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Once again people can see why SB5 is good for Ohio. These so called greedy and selfish YSU professors on a work slow down. Support SB5 with your YES vote in November and tell them where they can stick their work slow downs in the future.

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8Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Isn't it obvious that this newspaper's editors are interested in pursuing and persecuting individuals like John Russo, who they are constantly attacking, rather than pursuing information like how the university administration has been lying to the public via the Vindicator about how much the cuts in salary actually are for the faculty based on their final offer? They report around 1000 dollars in cuts, but in fact its several times that amount and more when cost of living adjustments are factored in. Furthermore, they sent the faculty an excel calculator, so the faculty could tabulate their own individual losses in this deal, and even the calculator they supplied showed a far greater loss for faculty members than the administration is reporting publicly. Where's that story, Mr. Sweetwood, Brown, Franko, and others? Where's that story? No, it's not for public consumption, because you have axes to grind with John Russo.

This newspaper is nothing but a propaganda machine.

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9Veleuk(18 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago


"lying to the public via the Vindicator about how much the cuts in salary actually are for the faculty based on their final offer? "

Their salary would only be reduced by the less than SB5 would mandate health care costs and the lack of raises. That falls within the administration's estimates.

Their pay beyond salary, ie summer pay, would be reduced by 20%. That is not a part of salary as it is not a fixed payment, but rather extra pay.

What we need to investigate is how much of the state's resources are spent on sending non-union sanctioned emails as using a state resource for personal gain is criminal.

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10Rockyroad(149 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Of course the faculty gets pilloried for telling the truth...they do put in many extra hours that are never figured into salary and benefits. The lunatics out there who critcize them would never stay one minute more at work if they weren't paid for it.

No matter, it is what it is. But the students at YSU have a dog in this fight and they should wake up because all of this anti-union sentiment throughout the country will affect their future earning power. UNIONS HELP SET THE BAR FOR THE WAGES OF EVERYONE, REGARDLESS OF IF THEY BELONG TO UNIONS OR NOT. The current economic climate of givebacks and painting workers as evil greedy, devils is a race to the bottom for all salaries, especially the student salaries of the future. "How you gonna pay those loans back, brothers and sisters???" The evil, greedy devils are the folks on Wall Street and in Banking who caused every bit of the crisis we are in, but suffer no consequences.

The students at YSU should take a page from the "Arab Spring" in the Middle East and use their technology advantages (Twitter, Faceboodk, Texts) to stage protests at the businesses of the members of the YSU Board of Trustees. The Board Members are pulling the strings with absolutely no consequences being felt at their place of business. They are poisoning the atmosphere at YSU while helping to lower wages and benefits that go beyond just the faculty at YSU.

YSU faculty have been very accomodating in these negotiations and they are getting rail-roaded. YSU students, wake up, use your organizational skills, protest, boycott and make yourself a part of the process. Make the Board of Trustees feel your concern. Stop the race to the bottom...IT IS YOUR FUTURE YOU WILL BE FIGHTING FOR!

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11db(280 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

If YSU professors worked any slower they'd go into hibernation. $121,000 a year for teaching 6 hours a week in the classroom, having every summer off, working only 9 months out of 12, having a solid gold benefit package, an incredible retirement plan, and they still aren't happy?!? Just another example of bloated Government Services Unions ripping off Ohio taxpayers. We need SB5 for protection against these clowns.

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12Spiderlegs(159 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Departmental and committee meetings are part of a faculty person's job, so this is definitely a call for a work slow down. I am not convinced that this is advisable, since it is through these vehicles that the faculty have input in the curriculum and the environment of the university.

We need to remember that the real issue here is that the state pulled $7 million in funding for YSU this year, and if YSU had this money, this discussion would not be happening. If this is a one-time event, it is probably not a big deal, but there is clearly an anti-intellectual strain rising in our society (and especially among Republicans, who once upon a time were strong advocates for common education) that devalues formal education at a level we have never seen in decades, and if this trend continues, all of us need to be concerned. With all its warts, a strength of our nation has been our public education system. In this sense, the YSU faculty are right to draw a line on behalf of all of us.

The dispute seems to center around how much money YSU will have this year, of which there are different conclusions from well informed sources. We are, after all, talking about a proposed budget, not money actually in the coffers, and this can be hard to predict in this environment. A simple compromise might be to grant the faculty a concession on the "best case" scenario of the independent report but for the administration to claim the option of furloughing faculty and staff for a set number of days if the money does not materialize. Note: Faculty and staff--the administration gets furloughed, too, which encourages them to find budget solutions. In universities, where people don't work set hours and faculty have pride in their work, furloughs are essentially pay reductions because most faculty are driven by a sense of personal achievement and fairness that results in them doing the work anyways.

If DB wanted real reform, s/he would pick on faculty in public institutions where faculty are paid more than YSU faculty and where faculty have lower teaching loads. DB also needs to get the facts straight and continues to misuse the numbers in the Ohio report.

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13paulparks(235 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

What a bunch of crybabies! The faculty has it made, even with the concessions, and they know it.

And these fools want the support of the students - who have to pay for the teacher perks and bennies through tuition.

Go back to your cushy jobs and quit whining!

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14piak(508 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

If they "slowdown", maybe their paychecks should slowdown. Like maybe screech to a halt.

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