Tuesday, September 11, 2007

(Not) On Strike

Another zero in the virtual running log today. No reason really I just wanted a break to let my body heal and reevaluate how I'm feeling. My surgery has been moved up to October 24. Between now and then I will continue running and cross-training. If I can secure an entry into the Ed Fitz I'm going to give it go. There is nothing to lose at this point. I have no expectations and if I have to drop due to injury so be it. Regardless Katie and I get to go to Duluth for the weekend so we win no matter what the outcome of the race is.

I don't know if anyone has been following the AFSCME strike at the UofM, but as an AFSCME "represented" employee I have been treated to a good deal of propaganda from both sides over the past few weeks. After following the reporting/letters to editor in the MN Daily I finally decided to provide my viewpoint (at odds with the union). The Daily published it Monday (article here) and it has been interesting to see the response, both in the comments section (positive and negative) and the personal responses I've gotten at work and by email (all positive).

I was hesitant to submit it at first, but now that it is out there I feel a great deal of pride in publicly stating what I believe. A note on the situation though: some comments suggested that I am cowardly for taking the benefits of being in the union with out making the sacrifice. The truth is the position I hold at University is mandated as an AFSCME represented position. I did not voluntary choose to join the union. Membership in AFSCME Unit 6 is a condition of employment. It provides a further example of the tyranny of the union: not only do they assert that they can determine what I'm willing to work for, but now they can also determine what job I can have so they make claim to $17 of my paycheck each pay period.

I did elect to pay the additional dues in order to gain voting rights because if I am forced to be part of the union I want every opportunity to make my voice heard (lot of good that did; I voted to accept the offer).

So, as I said, the consequences of my article have limited to a few criticisms in the student newspaper, but it may be a different story when the few people in my area who chose to strike eventually return.

We live in interesting times.


SteveQ said...

See you at the Fitz! I'll be the embarassingly slow, quickly aging guy dying half-way. Maybe I should train...

Glad to see your mood's better.

Anonymous said...

Wanted to leave you a kudos. I'm in the union too. Read your article and was happy to see it. I've been pretty outspoken in my stance about this whole thing, but it's gotten me nothing but harassment. I'm glad you're getting pats on the back =)
Then again, maybe I'd get pats too if I didn't go directly to the dictator (aka walker).
Anyways, I'm all for merit and being a positive person, vs. grumping and the 'we should because they do'. so thanks for being a voice for many of us.

crowther said...

Patrick, I like your revised plan. I was originally looking forward to seeing what you could do at Twin Cities, but that was before all the hernias surfaced. No real point in running a 2:30 or some other not-quite-on-your-game time, right? If the next World Cup 100K is your top priority (not that it should be, necessarily, but we'd love to have you; we lucked out this year with one sick guy and three healthy ones), it makes sense to give yourself a couple of shots at qualifying for that rather than waiting 'til, say, Mad City. Good luck!