Sitting for Justice: BSU Faculty Protest
By Holly Pearson
Last Wednesday, October 24th, faculty and librarians took part in a sit-in/work-in at Boyden Hall between 10AM and 12PM, and between 2PM and 4PM. The frustrated staff acted to protest the MA Board of Higher Education stalling their contract. Faculty and librarians have been working without a contract for 500 days and are urging administration to pressure political leaders such as governor Charlie Baker to pass the bargained contract. Faculty lined the hallways in their brilliantly blue Massachusetts State College Association shirts, supporting each other and the work they deserve to be recognized for. Neon posters were crafted with various slogans such as “Take care of the faculty who take care of the students” and “#ThisisBSU.” This peaceful yet powerful protest provides an immaculate example of how to have your voice be heard in a respectful manner.
Maura Rosenthal, BSU faculty member, explained when reaching out to The Comment, “We are part of the Massachusetts State College Association union and the state is acting illegally in stalling our contract. Right now the Board of Higher Ed are meeting at Bunker Hill Community College, we have colleagues there doing informational picketing as well.”
Faculty members wish for Fred Clark to publicly support them in this manner to get their message of change across. Fred Clark was contacted by The Comment on this issue and he explained, “There are actually two contracts: day and evening, but the evening contract is resolved and already funded.”
In terms of support, Clark expressed his respect and support for all faculty members on campus when he said, “Additionally, regarding the general ‘work to rule’ and the ‘teach-in’ efforts, as the son of a union electrician and the husband of an Massachusetts Teachers Association(MTA) member, I deeply respect and appreciate the right of faculty and librarians to engage in work-to-rule and other advocacy activities both on and off campus.”
Resolution to this tension among staff is still up in the air, questions are left unanswered and faculty won’t give up until they are heard by officials.
Holly Pearson is the Editor-in-Chief of The Comment.