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Hidden with code "Submitted as Feature"
News :: Education : Human Rights : Labor : Social Welfare
The Emerson Student Strike
21 Apr 2005
Last week, Emerson students boycotted classes on Wednesday and Thursday in support of thier teachers and the teachers union. Last week was also April preview week, the week when all perspective incoming students visit campus.
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the Emerson Student Strike
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the Emerson Student Strike
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the Emerson Student Strike
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the Emerson Student Strike
Last Wednesday and Thursday, Emerson students went on strike in support of our faculty union, struggling to keep their union contracts and shared governance. The professors have had a union for thirty years, but now as the administration takes steps to move the college towards becoming more of a corporation and less of a place of education, the administration is trying to bust the union. On Wednesday and Thursday, a large portion of the Emerson student body boycotted class. We had a march and rally of about 300 on Wednssday, and slightly more on Thursday. From what I've been able to figure most of the student population went on strike, but there's really no way of knowing exactly how many did, as a lot of teachers didn't mark boycotting students absent.

Jackie Lebergot, the school's president, was once one of the main organizers and promoters of the union. Now that she is rich and in power, however, she will do anything she can to break the union in the name of her own profit. She is refusing to negotiate with the union, or to agree to legally binding 3rd party arbitration. On Thursday, as the march dwindled down, about 70 or more people stormed the Tufte building on Boylston Street, marched up to the 6th floor, suprising, beseiging, and severely embarrassing the school's union-busting president. She had to be escorted out by the campus police, and she ducked out a back alley (we were blocking the main entrances) and we got photos of her running out of the alley across Tremont Street. No one was arrested, as the security gaurds did nothing to stop us and the real police never even entered the building.

On Friday, we did an informational picket of sorts pretty much all day, as a ton of perspective students were on campus. Last year, the faculty, just handing out fliers, caused the lowest rate of accepted students who decided to attend Emerson College in decades. We handed out fliers at registration (from 8 until about 11) and covered just about everyone. Later, during our visually catching informational picket (complete with a 10 foot orange puppet) we talked to a ton of really concerned mothers. We hope this year we made an effect on the economics of the school, as money is the only thing the administration cares about or will listen to. Now we wait for the reaction of the administration. This dispute is far from over. The faculty have vowed to escalate their tactics as time goes by if the union-busting administration continues to refuse to negotiate or arbitrate. The students will continue to stand with the faculty and their union. We will not let Jackie degrade our school with this union busting nonsense.
No justice, no peace

-Jake

This work is in the public domain