Wednesday, January 09, 2008

University of St. Thomas Locks Out Faculty Union

The University of St. Thomas, a liberal arts university in New Brunswick, has locked out 160 unionized full and part time teachers, before their union had the opportunity to vote on a strike. The University's goal was to force a vote on what it called its "final contract proposal." Many issues vital to adjunct faculty are on the negotiating table here, including health benefits, salary, job security and union representation. The union is also fighting for greater control by full time faculty over hiring and promotion, and autonomy over teaching practices. Underlying this is a dispute over the character of the university, which was founded as a Catholic institution, but is now publicly funded and tightly integrated with the University of New Brunswick, with which it shares libraries, athletic programs, even the heating plant.

Here is website for the locked out union.

Coverage by the press in New Brunswick, where every paper is owned by a single family, has not been favorable. A friend of mine on the faculty recommended this article from a socialist newspaper for more information.

Here is the press release from the university, where they explain that they locked out the faculty for the sake of the students.

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