BGSU Students Against Faculty Unionization Deliver Knock-Out Blow to BGSU Faculty Union Organizers

The BGSU faculty unionization effort populates Facebook. Public pro-union and anti-union groups are in evidence. Is one more persuasive? Let's take a look:

Hmm ... the BGSU Faculty Association group page features a nice photo gallery of images of faculty gathered around a table littered with with pens, paper, and red cups. Photo captions aren't provided, so one can only imagine what the photos depict. Perhaps these images are intended to illustrate what organizing looks like?   And why red cups? To symbolize solidarity among comrades? Support for Ohio State? Are the pictures intended to illustrate commodities undeserving of tenure?

And what is one to make of this image? Should one infer that the group has no data to support their position? That the group advocates and intends to propagate a climate of fear and intimidation? Does this image afford insight into how the group is conducting their "card campaign"? Does this image reflect a group capable of critical thought and analysis?

A wall post by David L. Jackson offers "some thoughts about the BGSU-FA, our campaign, our future, and potential costs associated with collective bargaining."  Several paragraphs of meandering prose distill to two key points:

  1.  Questions regarding what a union might do regard hypotheticals and it is "impossible to answer hypothetical questions about future decisions.
  2. A union, if deployed would require collection of dues.  The necessity of collecting dues is not regarded as a hypothetical.  The amount of dues to be collected, however, remains a hypothetical.

Absent from Mr. Jackson's "thoughts" is any reference to how unionizing the faculty will further the mission of the institution. Also absent is any indication of how students would benefit from faculty unionization.

The BGSU FA FAQ page is similarly focussed on warm fuzzies and how faculty unionization will necessitate collection of dues. The document is stunningly silent on how the mission of the institution and BGSU students might benefit. Indeed, the document is silent on how BGSU or its faculty would materially benefit from the addition of a unionized faculty beyond the impressive benefits already codified in the BGSU Academic Charter.

Collectively, these documents lead one to wonder if the BGSU faculty supporting unionization apprehend the connection between their jobs and the institutional mission of educating students and expanding knowledge.

The BGSU Students Against Unionization evidence comparative intellectual maturity.  The student group is collaboratively constructing a list of ways unionization would impact students.  I applaud the students for their open-mindedness: "Opposing viewpoints welcomed openly to comment. I believe that this should be a "marketplace of ideas" just as a university should be..  "

If these Facebook groups afford an indication, BGSU students better apprehend the purpose and culture of a university, and the impact of unionization on that culture, than do the BGSU faculty for unionization.

I'd score this a knock-out blow for the students and an embarassment for the faculty.


Cycle Werks Should Take a Page from the Ohio Department of Transportation

A friend who works for the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is proud of their mission. It is (my paraphrase):
Keep motorists motoring. 
This simple mission has had dramatic impact on how ODOT does business. For example, road construction is now scheduled at times, such as overnight, that minimize impact on traffic flow. ODOT now has motorist assist services to aid motorists experiencing a mechanical or other problem on the road way; to help stranded motorists resume their travels quickly and safely.

Today (Monday) I took my bike to Cycle Werks for service. My front dérailleur lost shifting functionality eighty-some miles into yesterday's HHH century ride (on the bright side, the chain was stuck on the small ring ... and after 21 years of use I can't complain).  So, we're talking a fairly simple repair. Most likely, the shift levers will require replacement. A 30 minute job (max) for a trained bike mechanic.

Here's what I experienced this afternoon:

"Dude, your bike will be ready by the end of the week."
"Um, what does that mean?"
"Thursday or Friday, dude."
"Um, I was hoping to ride with the group (which gathers outside your shop) Wednesday night."
"Sorry dude, with the weekend and all we're all backed up."
"Shit!" (I'm pissed and going to go blog about this) 
Let's envision an alternate scenario. How would this scenario have played out if Cycle Werks adopts as their mission: "Our job is to keep cyclists peddling":
"Bummer about the dérailleur, dude.  When do you plan to ride next?"
"Wednesday evening, with the crew that gathers here."
"No problem, dude. We'll have your 'Dale ready for you by Wednesday afternoon at the latest."  
 "Excellent. Thanks!" (imagine the resulting blog post)
 Cycle Werks the choice is yours: you can keep me peddling and blow me away with stunning service, or you can piss me off by keeping me off the road.  Your choice. Guess which I'd pay a premium for and which would increase the likelihood that I'd buy more stuff from you?