Western Courier

Professors deserve better

Jason Adams, Courier Staff

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It’s almost impossible to be anywhere on campus in the past week and not hear about the potential union strike that could be looming in the near future.

After over a year of contract negotiations without any result, the local chapter of the University Professionals of Illinois here at Western voted last week to authorize a strike if negotiations still continue with no results. The professors have to wait 10 days from after the vote to strike, which puts a potential start date in the heart of dead week.

While a strike could still be avoided, the recent events have led everyone around campus to brace for what could be coming. While a strike may not affect every classroom on campus, the timing is causing many, especially seniors, to stress. Whether or not a class would continue would depend on the professor and the ability of the department to fill any vacancies.

Now let’s be honest, if it was at any other point in the year, most students probably wouldn’t care and would be happy about it. They would be able to sleep in, not worry about lectures and hopefully no homework. The fact that it’s towards the end of the semester, especially the spring semester, makes things much more complicated though. While it’s obvious it was planned at this time for a reason, it’s still putting many students on edge. Depending on how much or what percentage of the course is left, there’s a chance of receiving an incomplete for the course. While this is better than getting a zero, it prevents seniors from getting their final grades submitted, which could hurt them later. Thankfully I’m not a senior, my sympathies are with the senior class, because I know how it feels to just have to sit there and wait for something to happen. This timing provides the union with the best chance of getting the contract they want but it’s risky.

The thing is the professors do deserve to have a good wage. The faculty at Western are very knowledgeable and are more than willing to help students out when they need help or advice. Whether it’s a subject from class or just advice on life. The faculty at Western deserve the wage they’ve earned. Unfortunately with the chaos in recent years in the colosseum known as Springfield, the budget has been tight and the university has been trying to make cuts wherever they can, including salaries. The main goal is to keep the university going and running smoothly and the university hopes that everyone is willing to make sacrifices for that goal, so the students can leave with their degree and be prepared for life.

Hopefully a strike can be avoided, but it doesn’t seem like anyone has an idea of what to expect in the coming weeks. If the strike does end up happening, let’s just hope the weather stays nice, so that way students can enjoy it with an outdoor activity like a picnic or barbecue, which sounds really good to me if we’re not able to take our finals.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Professors deserve better