So here I've moved 2500 miles to start a new job and the colleges won't settle on a new contract. This means the union is now on strike.
My heart goes out to the students caught up in this whole mess. Especially because..
A: Although students have already paid their money to get an education and even though the teachers are not getting paid it looks like the college isn't about to give the money they're saving back to the students. (bogus!)
B: The students have a limited voice in the whole affair, and yet they're the whole reason the colleges exist in the first place. It's certainly why I show up in the morning.
I wish I knew what the answer was here. Maybe if there was enough student outcry, the college negotiators would come back to the bargaining table with the union? If there was a lot of noise, maybe students would get some of their money back? I know if I paid for a service and didn't get what was promised I'd expect a refund.
All I can do is wait, walk the picket line, try to inform the public about what's going on and put up with the hecklers. I don't blame the handful of folks shouting insults at me: I'm frustrated by this too. I really hope a resolution is around the corner and that I can get back to my students.
What folks out there can do is go to http://www.collegefaculty.org/ and check the links that let you connect with the parties entangled in this negotiation. Let them know what you think. Please be sure to read up on the issues in this dispute: there are a couple of items of particular interest to students.
As for me, I'm heading back to the line.