262 and CUPE 1975 Day of Action (21.11.07)
[Text of message sent to students this evening follows]
1975 has called for a day of action tomorrow, Thursday, November
22nd, calling on all members of U of S bargaining units who
have a contractual right to do so not to cross their picket
been mulling this over all evening and it has caused me a great
deal of grief. On the one hand, I've already canceled two lectures
on account of the CUPE 1975 job action and, if there is no lecture
in PHIL 265 tomorrow, it will be almost impossible for us to
make any useful headway into the chapter on social choice before
the end of the term. On the other hand, I said that if the union
specifically called on faculty to respect the picket line I
would do so. Plus, if it was a point of principle to respect
the picket line two weeks ago, I surely don't want to disrespect
with some misgivings:
Class is canceled for tomorrow, Thursday, November 22nd (only).
All students are granted a penalty-free extension on Assignment
#2 until Friday, November 23rd. You can hand in your assignment
by placing it my mailbox in Arts 619 or, if it's more convenient,
turn it in to me personally in my office (McLean Hall 126).
I'll be there on Friday between, say, 10 AM and 4:30 PM.
We will take up where we left off, with PDs and individual rationality,
including Gauthier's argument, next Tuesday. This almost certainly
means that the course will conclude with a discussion of Nash
points and bargaining games and will not extend into social
sincere apologies for the inconvenience (and sense of being
ripped off) that I sure this decision causes, but I believe
it is justified and important.
Friday, just after returning from the rally
in support of striking CUPE 1975 workers, I was copied on an
e-mail memo from the Associate Dean. The memo suggested, inter
alia, that some students had been complaining to the Associate
Dean about my decision to cancel classes last week out of respect
for the CUPE 1975 picket line.
To those students (if in fact there were any) I say: Thank you.
That's exactly how it is supposed to work. A strike is intended
to disrupt the employer's operations and typically that means
that third parties (customers, suppliers, or, in this case,
students) end up being inconvenienced. The complaints of these
third parties form part of the employer's motivation to negotiate.
So, once again, thanks for the complaints. I mean that sincerely
and hold no hard feelings. If you'd like to complain further,
I'd suggest contacting the University
Secretary and/or any or all members of the University Board
still don't want to cross a picket line without a very good
reason, but, as I've mentioned previously, addressing a situation
in which students' ability to successfully complete the course
constitutes a good reason. Accordingly classes in PHIL
265 will resume this Tuesday, November 13th.
returning and taking up the midterm exam, we will pick up were
we left off, discussing the various methods for solving games
presented in Resnik 5-3a-d.
1975 Job Action (11.03.07)
announced in class last week, I do not want (and I reckon some
students do not want) to cross a picket line. So, in view of
the CUPE 1975 strike, it is quite likely that class will be
canceled for Tuesday, November 6th. I strongly suspect that
the current job action will not continue for more than a week
or so. (Think of all the absolutely essential things that CUPE
1975 members do in science, agriculture, and engineering departments--surely
the whole place will grid to a halt within five or six days).
In today's Star-Phoenix, however, a union official
suggests that the strike may go on "until Christmas."
I might not be willing to support the union quite that far.
Which is to say, we hopefully will be back
in business soon. If things start stretching on to the point
that students' ability to complete the course becomes jeopardized,
I will look into making other arrangements.