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Friday, September 14, 2007

University of Minnesota Profs
Dismiss "The Children"

It's amazing how caring and compassionate so many of the University of Minnesota Professors are when it comes to "The Children." They never fail to tell us that more money allocated for the U of MN is "for the children, for the students."

"Students are our future," they tell us - over and over and over they bleat his platitude like a drum.

So, suddenly the Clerical, technical and health care workers at the U of MN enter their second week of being on strike for higher wages and the professors at the U of MN refuse to cross the picket line, holding classes off campus when U of MN policy says instructors are required to hold classes in their designated classrooms. The U of MN does little to enforce this policy, however.

Striking workers are getting support from many faculty and students who are also honoring the picket lines. Professor Paula Rabinowitz met 200 students in her English class in a church off campus. In a church? Hmmmm...something about that just doesn't seem right.

Paula Rabinowitz, Publicity Hound

Paula is quite the news and attention-seeker, or so it seems. From The Badger Herald:

    Paula Rabinowitz, chair of the English department and professor at U of M, said she chose to hold class off campus at the University Baptist Church — the strike center for the local AFSCME — because she refuses to cross the picket line.

    “As a faculty member I feel a responsibility to teach my class as part of the university,” Rabinowitz said. “But I will do it off campus because it tells the students I respect the picket line, and I refuse to cross it.” [She respects the picket line but doesn't respect the U of MN policy requiring her to hold classes on-campus, nor does she respect the taxpayers who pay her salary. What a peach she is, huh? - Drake]

    Rabinowitz said the themes in her classes can be related to the strike, and she will teach her large lecture class tomorrow from the pulpit in the sanctuary like she did four years ago.

    “The message is we are part of an institution, an institution works because workers work, and they are not exempt from the system,” Rabinowitz said. “[Students] are part of history, and they are part of producing changes and should experience this.”

Oh - and about the striking clerical, technical and health care workers? From the same Badger Herald link:

    The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union, representing more than 3,500 employees on the U of M campus, walked off the job because they failed to receive salaries which kept up with inflation.

    “The university has chosen to impoverish some of its workers,” said Barb Bezat, president of AFSCME Technical Local 3937 in a release.


    According to a release by AFSCME, this summer members overwhelmingly voted to reject the university’s offer on their wages — a 2.25 percent increase for clerical and technical workers, and a 2.5 percent increase for health care workers — and planned to authorize a strike.

I would hardly call these workers "impoverished." But when you have the taxpayers locked in a headlock, and workers are beholden to a union that by comparison makes the Mafia look like the local Girl Scout Troop, well, you have what's called a stranglehold on the public and a monopoly.

I wonder if this strike is good "for the children"? Remember this the next time a U of MN employee is at the State Capitol lobbying for more money - - - "for the students."


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