Even amidst all the other activity, it was hard to miss the bright red T-shirts and the chants of “We are the union, the mighty mighty union” that resonated across the Diag yesterday.
Members of the Lecturers’ Employee Organization staged an informational picket to protest what they said are increases in workload without extra pay. The group has not decided to strike as they have in the past.
The alleged violations are mainly in the Comprehensive Studies Program, a unit of LSA that provides academic support and instruction to disadvantaged students.
Academic advisors in CSP teach classes during the summer while performing advising duties and administrating the Summer Bridge Program.
The advisors claim the University will not compensate them for the extra teaching duties this summer, unlike in past years.
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said LSA technically eliminated extra pay years ago, but CSP previously continued to make exceptions by granting additional pay
Peterson said the University reduced the administrative duties of CSP advisors during this past school year so that they could teach more without a boost in pay.
CSP advisors allege that this has not been the case and that their duties remain the same.
LEO and the University have been negotiating, but no resolution has been reached. The grievances are now moving to arbitration with an independent negotiator.
At the picket, lecturers carried signs urging the administration to “support affirmative action, settle CSP” in light of developing problems in CSP that they call into question the University’s commitment to affirmative action.
About 85 percent of CSP students are minorities.
The University has may eliminate CSP 100 for the fall term. CSP 100 is a reading seminar aimed at helping students develop cognitive and critical thinking skills.
CSP advisor Elzora Holland said she thinks the class was eliminated in retaliation to the grievances she and five other advisors filed. She said teaching assignments for the summer courses have been put on hold and the University may bring in outsiders to teach the course instead.
LEO President Bonnie Halloran said this would violate the portion of the LEO contract that states the University cannot replace current instructors with new hires.
“There is no cancellation of the course per se,” Peterson said. “The course has been put on hold because teaching assignments have not been made.”
Peterson said the University will make decisions about teaching assignments when it has a better grasp on the progress of the grievances.
Holland said she wants the course reinstated because its elimination will hurt students and their academic development.
Students and graduate student instructors joined the picket line yesterday in a show of solidarity, while others cheered and chanted with the protesting lecturers.
LSA senior Sheyonna Manns marched alongside the lecturers and advisors she has worked with. Manns was a peer advisor last summer for CSP.
“It’s ridiculous because of the amount of work they do,” she said. “They should be compensated equally.”