President’s Message: Administration Planning for a Long Strike Rather Than Negotiations

Much of the university community will have heard by now that interim Provost and Vice President Neil Bose informed the public on Tuesday, January 31, that a two-week strike will be easy for the administration to handle – that it’s similar to “Snowmageddon.”

Of course, the administration can easily afford the strike — having already forced students to pay tuition, the deadline for full refunds has now passed. Thus it has no negative impact on university’s finances. Bear in mind that the strike does not have repercussion to senior administrators’ pay. Additionally, they save money by not paying salaries to the instructors on strike.

For students and their families this must be disappointing news.

The students now face the prospect of a severely disrupted semester. MUNFA is concerned that the administration has not thought through how extending the semester impacts students and their finances. But we are not surprised. Concerns like that rarely emerge in meetings of senior administrators.

For instructors, the message is clear. Rather than “sharpening their pencils” and coming back to the negotiating table, administration is intent on holding the entire university community hostage.

We remain positive — we will get the agreement we need from the administration. Dr. Bose’s comments are intended to divide the community and get the spotlight off the problems with administration at Memorial.

But Dr. Bose has not been to the picket lines. As everyone who has been to those lines knows, students, their family members, and the broader community have been so supportive — it’s overwhelming! We understand how hard this is for students and we remain committed to fixing the problems at the university.

Students’ support has been a powerful reminder of what this university could be if we could worked together.

The weather is awful this week, but this isn’t another “Snowmageddon” — it’s an administration-made crisis, and we will fight on.

Students and Teachers United!
Ash Hossain
President, MUNFA