Debate over status of some UI employees headed for controversy

Debate over status of some UI employees headed for controversy

URBANA — The debate over who decides whether a university employee should be an academic professional or civil service employee is expected to heat up in the coming months.

A bill introduced last year which proposed to take exemption authority away from state universities, requiring them to seek approval from a state board before hiring academic professionals, was tabled. But a proposed rule change that would effectively do the same thing is now pending before a state committee.

Groups on both sides of the issue — University of Illinois administrators, faculty and academic professionals oppose the rule change while unions like the Service Employees International Union support it — are organizing in advance of the State Universities Civil Service System Merit Board's meeting next month.

In the words of Tom Morelock, director of the civil service system, "it'll be controversial before it's all over."

The Urbana-based State Universities Civil Service System, or SUCSS, per state statutes, helps administer the hiring of university employees except in the case of presidents, vice presidents, faculty and some other employees. But since the 1990s, the agency has allowed universities to hire a type of employee called an academic professional without having to seek permission from the agency. The condition was the agency would periodically review such positions.

After several years of audits, the agency found an increase of academic professionals and decrease in civil service employees on the campuses of state universities, Morelock said. A few years ago, the agency found that 75 percent of the positions audited on the UI Chicago campus should be reclassified from academic professional to civil service. And a recent audit on the Urbana campus found 60 percent of audited positions such as finance and human resources specialist, events coordinator, operations manager and digital media coordinator, should also move from the academic professional to civil service category.

"When you look at that mid-management level, that's a huge gray area. It's easier to employ someone through the open-ended employment process. But when you do that, there's lot of potential for nepotism, political favoritism. We look at positions, not people," Morelock said.

In Chicago, Remzi Jaos, director of the higher education division at SEIU Local 73, said for about a 10- to 15-year period his union members watched as new people were hired as academic professionals while civil service employees performed similar job duties, a move he interpreted as administrators attempting to break the union, which represents clerical employees on the Chicago campus.

Since the union raised questions a few years ago, the university has been reclassifying many of these employees on the Chicago campus, though not at the speed Jaos would like to see, he said.

The audit mechanism is in place, and there will be issues that come up in audits, but because of the audits, the university can then review those positions and work with the civil service system position by position, said Kostas Yfantis, an academic professional with the UI's Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES) and an officer with the Council of Academic Professionals.

"I trust the HR professionals of the University of Illinois to make the best hiring decisions. SUCSS should give us the tools, not make the decision for us," Yfantis said. "We can't jeopardize our ability to recruit the best talent with more bureaucracy," he said.

Added Nicholas Burbules, UI professor and chair of the University Senates Conference: "The ability to define and search for positions is crucial to your ability to respond quickly and flexibly" to opportunities in research, teaching and outreach, he said.

On Monday the Urbana Academic Senate of faculty and students is expected to reaffirm a resolution in support of academic professionals and the university maintaining its exemption authority. The group initially endorsed the resolution last year in response to the proposed legislation. The senates conference also may take up the issue, according to Burbules.

At issue for the university is recruiting the best candidates for a position, said Maureen Parks, the UI's executive director for human resources. The university needs flexibility in hiring, she said.

Losing the exemption authority would be "very, very negative in terms of our ability to quickly hire the employees we need to fill critical positions," Parks said.

"We are just very afraid this could be a protracted and bureaucratic process," she said.

Moving control of exemptions to the merit board, Morelock said, isn't about requiring more regulation or adding more bureaucracy to hiring. It's about "proper management" of a large institution's personnel plan, he said.

Morelock also said his agency, though small with a staff of around 13, is nimble in its ability to change titles and specifications of civil service jobs. Some categories are broad and open-ended allowing for the employer to determine what qualifications fit that position.

"It's not like the old civil service system," he said. "In my opinion, it's difficult to find a job duty that doesn't fit in our structure."

The proposed rule change was submitted to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, the state bipartisan legislative review committee, and published in the Illinois Register in March. The first comment period was held; however, before moving the proposed rule change into the second comment period, Morelock said, he is revising the language to include more specific guidelines on the review process. And he may bring the new language to the merit board's next meeting on Nov. 14.

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Bulldogmojo wrote on October 06, 2012 at 3:10 pm

This University certainly deludes itself with a lot of fantasies. The U of I will never get the kind of private donor financial traction to be run like a private entity out of the light of public scrutiny where they daydream about being. They would love to remove every union out of the University by doing an end run around the hiring language and by attrition. They have replaced three civil service positions with fewer academic professionals in my department in the last year. In essence they change the job description wording to make it academic professional but the jobs are the same. Their duties easily handled by those civil servants. They want to remove positions, pay, benefits, even working conditions wording in the union contracts to advance this. They have been doing this for DECADES. I assure you this is all part of a bigger plan for University administration to exact as much control over the rights of University employees if they be civil service, academic professionals, or academics and to consolidate control.

They want to show some agility in hiring people but they don't have a gameplan in place for preventing people from leaving in the first place. They don't recognize the academics leaving here for whatever reasons are also demonstrating a vote of no confidence in the U of I and the state as a viable employer.

Now ask yourself, do we want this University to operate in an environment that goes unchecked? If you are not sure then you should Google "University of Illinois Scandals". The University administration has damaged the reputation of this University internationally and our failure to appear even in the top 20 donor Universities in the country should put that into focus for you.

When does the manipulation end? Clearly we have more housecleaning to do in the upper management ranks.

moderndaycowboy wrote on October 06, 2012 at 5:10 pm

This is nothing more than a union trying to raise their numbers. Ridiculous!

Bulldogmojo wrote on October 06, 2012 at 6:10 pm

The unions aren't the ones advancing these agendas to encroach on Civil service regulations, the State of Illinois legal constitutional protections of pensions, the contracts with state labor and vendors and commiting unfair labor practices.

The university administration mockingly tells its employees they are the U of I's most "valuable" resource. What do they do when they get in a jam? They sell off its "valuables" through attrition and rewriting HR policy to compensate for their inability manage within the bounds of the law and to operate ethically.

If you feel strongly about giving the benefit of the doubt to these charlatans running this university without holding them to task for their motivations when they have proven time and time again they cannot be trusted, feel free.

moderndaycowboy wrote on October 06, 2012 at 6:10 pm

This isn't just a U of I thing, it's statewide. There's a push for it where I work. It is a union thing. It's a push by these unions to get more numbers, nothing more. Believe what youw ant, but that's what it is. Oh, and by the way, when I did work as an A/P at the U of I, I never felt as though I was threatened, in any way. Maybe it's because I was really, really, good at my job.

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 06, 2012 at 7:10 pm

It allows for nepotism.  You, and I both know departments where brother-in-laws, friends, and even children of those in the departments were hired with no oversight.  Now, the A/Ps are unionizing.  So nothing except for the union name has changed.  Get over your anti-union, elite attitude.  I have no doubt that you were "really, really, good" at your job.  You know yourself better than others.

sanjuan wrote on October 07, 2012 at 8:10 am

If you or Mr. Morelock have actual evidence of nepotism or inappropriate political hiring, you are obligated by the state ethics policies to report it.  Otherwise, it is unfair to the vast majority of APs who earned their positions by gaining the appropriate education and experience to paint them with such a broad brush.

Bulldogmojo wrote on October 08, 2012 at 9:10 am

I am aware fo a case where a department head hired her daughter and was reported to the ethics office and HR. They simply named a non relative supervisor for her to answer to and the matter was then disregarded by the ethics office. Yeah the ethics office, that's the answer

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 09, 2012 at 10:10 am

sanjuan;  You must be new to the university.  No one is knocking APs.  The classification of the position is being questioned on whether it is a Civil Service position, or an Academic Professional position.  The university years ago started filling positions that required expertise which did not fit into the existing Civil Service classifications.  It became advantageous to use APs in other classifications because they could be released from employment easier than Civil Service employees.  A nurse / AP who was felt to cause problems could be given an empty office in an isolated location to do "research" until her contract expired.  Over the years; the classifications such as clerical positions blurred with Civil Service being replaced by Academic Professionals.  Academic department heads were impressed with higher education credentials that were not required for the classifications.  An example might be an interpreter who is a native speaker, and grew up in the specific culture of that language versus degreed interpreters who are not native speakers, and only learned the culture in a classroom.  The use of APs has become a replacement for Civil Service positions.  There are classifications where Civil Service is secure such as glaciers, locksmiths, and other trades.  Nepotism does happen all the time on campus with the increasing exception of Civil Service positions.  I no longer am required to follow the state ethics policies fortunately due to retirement.  Learn more about the issue before getting your back up.  Look at Mr. Morelock's website.  Look at the classifications, and the position descriptions; and look around your work site, and others.

Mike wrote on October 09, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Hi Sid! You didn't really think I was going to stay out of this discussion, did you? 

I have a different take on things. 

Years and years ago there were lots of professors, and lots of secretaries. Every professor had their own secretary to "take a letter" and send faxes and do other such things. Over the years these secretaries were needed less and less as professors started doing such things for themselves--mostly by sending e-mail and typing their own papers and things using computers and the campus network and servers and things. 

When that started to happen, educated information technology professionals became more and more desired by the University, and there was less of a demand for (mostly uneducated) secretaries. 

So the ranks of civil servants started to slide, and the ranks of academic professionals started to grow. The civil service systems specifically states how positions are to be hired--a group of people take a test, and the person or unit needing to fill a position is required to hire one of the top three test-takers. Oh, and all the test-takers must be from the state of Illinois. Because there is no expertise outside of our state that we need. 

It becomes apparent that the unions start to feel threatened when their numbers are decreasing while the numbers of educated APs is growing. What to do? Pressure the state to remove the exemption authority from the University? Well, that's what is happening.

This situation is PURELY being driven by unnecessary unions who are threatened that their numbers are decreasing. 

As an AP I have a year-to-year contract and can be let go at any time. Once a union member gets past probation it takes an act of congress for them to lose their job. Sounds like a good deal, right? I, and every single AP I know, have NO DESIRE to become members of a union, and less of a desire to become civil servants. Why on earth would any of us choose to have a year-to-year contract where we could be fired based on our performance instead of a union position that guarantees us a job for the rest of our lives, even if we don't do anything? 

Someone tell me. Please. Because at the end of the day, that's part of the heart of this argument. I don't want to be a civil servant, even though their system allows everyone to keep their job no matter how well they do it. Yet their unions WANT me to give up my not-guaranteed job to be a part of their group.

And before the mowing the yard thing starts--my son mows my yard. I have never, nor will I ever, leave work to go home and mow my yard. 

We don't want to be part of AFSCME or SEIU. Explain to me, then, why on earth they are so adament that we lose are status as APs to be forced to become part of their union(s)? It makes no logical sense. 

Bulldogmojo wrote on October 09, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Mike, you sound like you have some serious contempt for the, as you say, "mostly uneducated" secretaries in your current and/or past departments. I encourage you to be a brave person and using your advanced post doctoral computer skills and advanced intellect, dispatch an email to everyone in your department describing your contempt for the indigenous staff.

Having been a union steward myself, I will correct you on one point. It takes just three disciplinary meetings to dismiss a union represented civil service person as it does for anyone else per HR regulations. The sad fact is that the person bringing the allegations is usually proven to be making false or exaggerated accusations wrought from the same baseless contempt you are demonstrating in your postings. 

I would suggest you take advantage of your perennially renewed one year probation period and search for a job that has employees with a value more akin to your exalted self perception. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 10, 2012 at 7:10 am

Mike;  Good to hear from you again.  Correct me if I am wrong; but APs do have a union of sorts for bargaining with the university.  No one is talking about decreasing the "educated" (rather snobbish comment) APs.  The question is whether positions that have job descriptions for Civil Service (lacking a four year degree in any area) are being filled by APs.  I doubt that an AP would accept a Grounds Keeper position; but would they accept an
Administrative Aide position?  There are many good APs in positions that have specialized skills.  There are, also, many good APs in positions that do not have specialized skills.  The reason for hiring APs in the first place has slowly disappeared in some classifications.  The oversight to prevent nepotism has eroded.  Your making it a union, and anti-union issue.  It is not that.  Do you really believe that Human Resources at each individual university blocks nepotism when the person requesting it has high regard on campus?  ISU got busted only a few years ago for rampant nepotism allowed by their Human Resources Office.  SUCSS is the oversight authority.  They have been openly disregarded by the state universities human resources offices for years now.  This matter has been looked at by the state legislature for some time.  It is not a union conspiracy.  It is an attempt to regain oversight on hiring qualified staff in each classification based on the specific job description.

Glad your son is old enough now to mow your yard instead of you having to juggle time to do it. :)  Take care, Mike. 

read the DI wrote on October 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm

In fact, professors had departmental secretaries, which were shared, not personal secretaries.

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

read the DI;  Good point.  I wonder who makes their coffee, and cleans the table following meetings for them now?  It always amazed me in the past when the secretaries worked outside of their job descriptions as food service employees.  However, it was expected "other assigned duties" in their departments.  I remarked about it one time.  The response I received from the faculty members in the meeting was: "Who does it for you?"  I had to explain that state employees made their own coffee; or took turns making it.  Do APs make coffee for the faculty?

read the DI wrote on October 10, 2012 at 8:10 pm

First one in the door makes the coffee now. If you want it, you make it.

Mike wrote on October 11, 2012 at 8:10 am

A couple more thoughts....

Sorry that I pointed out that APs must have an academic degree of some sort to be qualified as an AP and that civil service people don't. I don't think that's an issue with anyone in either category, and I hardly think pointing that out was contemptuous. I have plenty of good friends who are civil servants at the University and I have nothing but respect for each of them and the jobs that they do. 

What I don't have respect for is THEIR UNIONS pressuring the state to take away my status as an AP.

And yes, it is about the unions. Ask yourselves, why would the state exemption authority care one way or the other how many civil servants there are, and how many APs there are? It's not like the state makes money on civil servants. You know who does? That's right, their UNION. And when their union starts to lose members, they start to buy lots of t-shirts and hoot and hollar and complain that something is unfair. This IS a union issue. They are behind this whole situation. 

And no, the APs are not in a union. The "visiting" APs have a union. The visiting APs are a very small subset of the larger group. I can explain all of that if anyone cares, but no, for the most part, the marjority of APs are not unionized and have year-to-year contracts.

Yes, civil servants have to be reprimanded a number of times before they can be fired. APs do not. All it takes it the supervisor to hand you a piece of paper in August telling you your contract hasn't been renewed. There is no due process like there is (thankfully) for civil servants. And I say thankfully because I'm good friends with a very hard-working civil servant who was targeted by one of the most awful APs on campus, and thankfully, the whole lengthy process allowed her time to find another job where she is actually respected and doing well. 

As far as departmental secretaries, yes, that was the case in that the department paid for them. But years ago there were secretaries for small handfuls of professors, and over the years those positions started to go away with retirements as the departments looked for cost-cutting measures, and the secretarial services became more and more centralized and now fewer and fewer secretaries help out more and more professors. The professors don't like it, and they're told that if they want a personal secretary that THEY need to come up with funds for it, and that the department will not pay for it. Some come up with funds. Some don't and still complain that they don't have "personalized service" anymore. 

But back to my entire point. I don't see any logical reason that SUCSS or the state or the exemption board or WHOEVER would care that the numbers of civil servants are declining while the number of APs are growing. Fewer people that they have to keep track of and worry about. Even if the University were breaking the rules and hiring APs into civil service jobs, who cares? Oh, the unions do. Because it is their revenue that drops. The state doesn't lose a thing. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 11, 2012 at 11:10 am

Mike;  It is about nepotism.  It is about state oversight versus each university human resource department doing whatever they want, and not following state hiring policy.  There is no conspiracy between SUCCS, and the unions.  If you ever sat down with Tom Morelock, and discussed it; you would understand it better.  I am sorry about your anti-union feelings; but it has nothing to do with unions.  People do care about the universities breaking the rules..

ClearVision wrote on October 11, 2012 at 9:10 pm

This has everything to do with unions. The article itself states that unions want more members, for the sole purpose of getting more money, and more power.

Tell me this. Why do primary school unions go on and on about the importance of local control, yet when we get to secondary education all of a sudden we need some distant state bozo deciding who and how people get hired? Who knows best what talents and skills are needed for local positions? Forget the red herring of nepotism (sounds a lot like the whole nonexistent right-wing voter fraud noise), how about some honest facts that aren't simple-minded union cheerleading?

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 12, 2012 at 9:10 am

ClearVison;  Who wrote the article?  The News Gazette works anti-union views into any article that they can use to incite you.  There is no connection between the State University Civil Service System, and the unions.  Your using "apples, and oranges" logic comparing primary school unions to this issue.  The state legislature created the "state bozo" as you call it to prevent skirting laws, and rules in hiring state university employees.  

Gee, I hope you do not teach at the university.  Your rant has no logical base.

Bulldogmojo wrote on October 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

There are actually quite a large number of union represented civil service positons that require a degree. If you go to the civil service website and look through some of the descriptions you would know this. Let me give you an obvious one...


Bulldogmojo wrote on October 08, 2012 at 9:10 am

You may have been excellent at your job but University administration is only interested in your replacement being paid at the bottom of that payscale. If they were concerend about the quality of your work they would have made you an offer that would keep you. I certainly hope the unions are wanting to increase their ranks that is their job. Speaking of jobs there have been over 700,000 public sector jobs lost since the economic collapse which is not counted in the unemployment percentage...7.8% ? its more like 11% Paul Krugman will tell you that

bmwest wrote on October 06, 2012 at 11:10 pm
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Rather than have a separate employee classification because the Civil Service system lacks the features that the University believes it needs, I've always thought that it would make more sense to work to improve the Civil Service system so that it met the need.  Faculty (tenure and non-tenure), Academic Professionals (regular and visiting), Civil Service (Exempt and non-Exempt), Academic Hourly, Extra Help, Graduate Assistants, Student Employees...I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to administer all these different classification types.

wayward wrote on October 11, 2012 at 9:10 am

One big concern that some units might have about employees being moved from AP to civil service is whether the system would allow them to hire and keep people with the skills they need.  Imagine one of the research units has a big grant and has to show significant progress to get it renewed.  They're not going to want to have a key employee "bumped" by someone else getting laid off who has more seniority but not the specific skills needed to deliver on that project in a short time frame.  For example, maybe Susie is classified as a "Programmer/Analyst III" and knows a lot about high-performance computing with Linux.  Bob, who's been at UI longer than Susie, has spent a lot of years working with Windows and Visual Basic.  If Bob gets laid off, there's a risk that he could "bump" Susie, and that project team could end up with someone who not only knows nothing about that project, but may lack the skills to do the work.

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

wayward;  That is why the AP position was created.  It is a valid point to have Suzie classified as an AP.  However to use a few positions as the rationale is throwing out the baby with the bath water.  In the Suzie versus Bob scenario; the department, university human services, and SUCCS can make the accomodation for Suzie to remain in her job.  The matter does not really involve the Suzie, and Bob scenario.  It is a matter of the employer, the State of Illinois, having oversight on the hiring within state universities rather than each university hiring who ever they want with no regard to existing policies, laws, and rules in the State of Illinois. 

Fedupwithstatereps wrote on October 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Over and over  I've seen Civil Service try to fit a round peg in a square hole. They ALWAYS think that their, in most cases uneducated, group of candidates who can pass a test are more qualified for positions that require a professional with a degree.  AND they require that in order to apply for said position(s) the applicants MUST live in Illinois, which on the surface looks like a good thing, but it does not give the best candidate pool.  My point is simply that flexibility is important and who can say that the civil service union(s) are flexible?

I've used both classifications for position and the civil service channel is BY FAR the most tedious, slow, drawn out, flawed system. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 11, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Fedupwithstatereps;  It would be easier for you to be able to hire whoever you wanted to hire simply by telling the university human service who you want to hire.  I am sure that you personally have never hired a brother-in-law, a neighbor, or an associate's offspring.  You can be trusted to do the right thing, and not resort to nepotism.  However, the public who fund the universities do care about laws, and rules being followed.

Once again, it is not a union conspiracy.  It is an oversight issue between the employer's (the State of Illinois) hiring, and oversight agency for universities versus each individual university's human resources office.  ISU's human resource office was busted a few years ago for nepotism.  Do you really think that the U. of I. with it's scandal ridden past is any different?  Sorry that it takes you longer to get someone hired; but it is worth it for all in the long run.

By the way; the "in most cases uneducated" comment does not serve you well.  It goes to the heart of the problem.  What does the position require?  Does it require an advanced degree, or not?  Does a veteran with the essential skills to do the job get shoved aside because an applicant with an advanced degree, which is not needed for the job, is preferred based on a relationship of some sort?  Educated employers make unethical decisions all of the time.  Remember ethics?  The U. of I., and ethics?

asparagus wrote on October 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Promoting unions as protectors of fairness and ethics is pretty funny.  Do you really believe this? I would trust the ten most corrupt administrators at U of I more than most any union leadership in existence (and I've seen some really nasty corruption at U of I).  Giving the government unions more control in this system would be a huge step backwards ethically and financially.

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 12, 2012 at 9:10 am

asparagus;  What does it take for you, and the others to understand that this issue has nothing to do with unions?  It is an issue between the State of Illinois State University Civil Service System, and the state universities use of Academic Professionals.  It is about what is required to do a job.  It is about following existing laws, and rules as established by the State of Illinois.  It is about the prevention of nepotism, favoritism, and discrimination in employment.  It is about State of Illinois oversight in university employment.  All the News Gazette needs to do is insert the word "unions" into any article; and you guys come out howling.

If the News Gazette wanted to clarify the issue; it would interview the U. of I. head of Human Resources, and Tom Morelock with the State University Civil Service System.  It has nothing to do with unions.

Illini AP wrote on October 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Everyone figure out Mr. Morelock's got an alter ego here, right? He's just wonderful. That's why his ever-so-nimble auditors lied to University HR at their exit interview after the last audit and told them they had a good audit and were doing things right. Then took 16 months more to game the numbers to reach Mr. Morelock's desired conclusion.

Then targeted employees have just a couple of months to sort this out before, you guessed it, time to start the next audit. Where they'll violate the University again for failure to act on their extremely LATE audit findings. Oh we've got enough staff to get this all done. Oh, would you mind supporting my request for a big budget increase to get done the stuff I've publicly said I could do w/ existing staff?

Only in SUCCS-land is the U.S. Constitution suspended---that pesky provision that the government shall make no ex post facto laws. Well, SUCCS does it all the time! You were hired 20 years ago or 10 years ago or 5 years ago; SUCCS makes a classification yesterday that targets you, and guess what?! You're in violation. The University's in violation. You need to be 'reclassified.'  Translation: Fired. And if lucky, offered a civil service job back with no seniority. Anyone else laid off in that classification shortly thereafter bumps down the line and takes your job.

And everyone who falls into that category is considered by SUCCS as proof of a 'pattern' of not doing things right. See--now we need to take away that exemption authority and reclassify more APs.

And APs are the nepotists? Seriously?! Anyone catch that first DI salary guide w/ all the people with the same last names working as civil service employees in U of I facilities and services. Every time he tries to make a case, he trots out one unsubstantiated tall tale after another. Never backs it up, though. No siree.

Please. In 2009 one of the genius SUCCS auditors tried to reclassify an AP for work responsibilities actually done by OTHER PEOPLE IN HER DEPARTMENT. How many others did that particular auditor screw up? Why, no one knows. Mr. Morelock's never corrected the errors or looked into it.

Well guess what, Mr. Morelock? Where's your oversight? When are you going to comply with the Illinois Open Meetings Act? (Try to attend a SUCCS meeting. They fill up all the chairs w/ their employees knitting/twiddling their thumbs on the state dime so members of the public can't get into the room. Sometimes they just put fake 'reserved' signs on the chairs. How unfortunate that it all rather inconveniently happens to be illegal.)

Morelock and the unions egg each other on, both regularly demonizing APs. I was once at my desk and a work crew of 4 people in the building trades were working on a project in my building. I thought we were friendly, plenty of cordial chit-chat, nice day out, stuff when I saw them. Until their senior starts harassing me: "Oh SHE's an ACADEMIC PROFESSIONAL," in a sing-song voice. (Evidently I didn't cover up that scarlet 'A' on my forehead that day.)

Mr. Morelock's problem is he sees all of us as positions and not people. The labor unions fawn over Morelock. In the grand tradition of Illinois politics, there's obviously some serious back-scratching going on.

Personally I'd plow the whole SUCCS budget into the pension fund where it could do some good. They are serious haters!

asparagus wrote on October 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Seriously!!!?  Nothing to do with unions??? GET A CLUE. It is not "what is required to do a job". It is "what increases union membership".

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 12, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Oh, asparagus....  You see union conspiracies everywhere.  The lefty boogeyman is out to get you.  Only the right-wing will save you.  You know it to be true because you saw it on Fox News.  What an easy way to view life.  

It may increase union membership; but that is not the reason the issue is being addressed.  SUCSS has nothing to do with a union conspiracy.  Neither does this Presidential election.  However, you will cling to make believe because anything that remotely has any affect on unions confirms your boogeyman theory.  Better throw out your dictionary because the word "union" is in it.   

asparagus wrote on October 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Sid, your heart doth bleed over-much.  Unions were captured by thugs and the militant left a long time ago.  Not every union everywhere, but most.  They are largely tools of self-interest that support anyone or anything that can increase their own power. There may once have been a noble purpose at their core but those days are long gone. I'm not against unions.  I'm against corrupt unions.  Unions in this state are largely corrupt at their highest levels and have become embedded in the state machine.  If you want to argue against that blatant reality then it is you that is clinging to make believe.


Bulldogmojo wrote on October 13, 2012 at 12:10 am

I want my union to be large, powerful and ominous! 

We need to keep an eye on those at this University and state wide who seek to do harm to our pensions, our pay and our health care. So our activist imposition into the political, state contract auditing and ethics processes involved in administering those resources and benefits goes to protect everyone else as a whole, retirees included. The anti-union contrarians are getting equal representation in those matters free of charge on the union membership's dime.

There is a sinister game of musical chairs going on at the U of I for the remaining payroll and benefit dollars and I for one have no interest in being left without a seat when the music stops...Jeer all you like