LETTER: Faculty Association not only union in contract negotiations
I’m writing to the campus community to raise awareness for the Supervisory-Technicals (STs) on campus.
The STs are an employee group of about 100 members. Like CMU’s Faculty Association, we are currently in contract negotiations.
We have been working on an expired contract for the past 14 months.
You might work with an ST and not even realize it. Some of us work in science labs, or as office managers or press operators. We occupy positions on campus that are often one of a kind and serve an important role in furthering the mission of the university.
Our jobs often require more than a high school diploma, and in many cases, require a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in our field of employment as well as prior experience in similar positions.
Independently of each other, both the Faculty Association and the STs have come to many of the same conclusions during negotiations, and have many of the same concerns.
This is significant, as these conclusions were reached by two entirely different teams of individuals coming to the table with the administration.
Two of the issues we are currently trying to resolve in our negotiations (as are the faculty) are compensation, and benefits.
It’s a plain fact.
Now on the surface, it would appear that contract negotiations are just about money.
But there is also something that both the faculty and the STs are bargaining for, something we do not feel should be on the bargaining table but which has arisen as a result of our negotiations.
Respect is more than both sides talking calmly to each other at the bargaining table. It’s more than giving a little to get what you want. And it is even more than civility.
Many a leader has been civil face to face as they prepared their agendas behind closed doors.
But what we want, what we need, is respect.
Respect for the resources it took for us to learn the skills necessary to do our jobs.
Respect for the thankless tasks we all do that never make the press.
Respect as human beings who are more important than any building, any donation, any tangible thing on this campus.
It is said that when one door closes, another opens. Whether we close the door on respect and open the door into the grand darkness that is Big Business, is up to all of us, here and now.
Carol Hebert Supervisor, Music Resources