Feeding a troll is never a good idea, so I hesitate to engage the feverish conspiracy theories about the Contingent Faculty Union propagated by Kurt Lichtmann in his recent letter to the editor (“Lecturer believes strike vote may be invalid,” https://theithacan.org/opinion/letter-to-the-editor-lecturer-believes-strike-vote-may-be-invalid/). But since Mr. Lichtmann seems intent on spreading false accusations of supposed malfeasance and rule-breaking, based on second hand hearsay and rumors, I feel compelled to respond. Whatever he was told by his friends or anybody else, Mr. Lichtmann is wrong when he charges that “a simple majority of all contingents” is needed for the strike vote to be legal. According to Article 10 of the bylaws of SEIU Local200United, “a strike cannot be conducted unless the affected membership votes in favor of such action at a meeting called for that purpose. Such a vote shall be conducted by secret ballot and a two-thirds (2/3) majority of THOSE VOTING shall be required in order to approve a strike.”
The union has decided not to release the total number of votes cast because we do not intend to play into the hand of the administration by helping them in their efforts to develop a contingency plan (no pun intended), should a strike occur. The administration has made clear its intention to “replace” any faculty who take part in the strike, and we have drawn the conclusion that the less they know about what to expect, the better. Suffice it to say that we were encouraged and surprised by the turnout, as we were not expecting such intensity of support and enthusiasm among our members.
Tom Schneller, Lecturer in Music Theory, History, and Composition