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IU faculty members hold tense pre-meeting on labor dispute with IU graduate students 

The meeting is in anticipation of faculty meeting at 3:30 p.m. this evening where the labor dispute between striking graduate student employees and the IU administration will be discussed and voted on.

(Devan Ridgway, WTIU/WFIU News)

A pre-meeting Monday afternoon for all IU Bloomington faculty, sponsored by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), set strategy regarding a later meeting that filled the IU Auditorium about the graduate workers’ strike.  

Professor of History and Gender Studies Maria Bucur said the pre-meeting at the Fine Arts Auditorium was designed to solidify where faculty stands on issues that will be discussed and answer questions faculty members have regarding the vote.  

Bucur said several issues came up at the pre-meeting.  

“We [will] have a diplomatic, if passionate conversation,” Bucur said. “Just like smart people who are in academia do and that we come out with in favor of resolutions 1 and 3B, these are my votes.” 

READ MORE: Graduate workers unhappy with IU Task Force, strike to continue into the next week 

Resolution 1 focuses on reestablishing faculty members shared governance on campus, says William Winecoff, associate professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Political Science department. The rights of initiating and creating policy should not solely be up to the provost’s office, Winecoff notes.  

Winecoff emphasized the importance of resolution 3B, and why most faculty are for it.  

“We want to be very clear. This is not grounds for termination of these graduate student workers,” Winecoff said. “The only reason why they're participating in a strike at all is because it's the last resort. No one from senior administration has been willing to speak with them for over three years and we want to recognize their existence.” 

The meeting preceded the full faculty meeting in which the labor dispute between striking graduate student employees and the IU administration would be discussed and actions could be taken. Media members were not allowed in that meeting. 

This is the first time since November 2005 that faculty members petitioned the executive committee of the Bloomington Faculty Council to convene the full Bloomington faculty for a meeting. 

The Graduate Workers Coalition holds another vote on extending the strike this evening from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. There will also be a general assembly meeting prior to the vote at 7 p.m. in Ballantine Hall.  

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