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  2. As someone who does NOT support the GEO strike, I would trust the GEO’s conclusions more if they didn’t abuse statistics. For example, this article states that “our salaries draw only 6.5% of state funding” and then goes to discuss salaries to faculty including all funding sources, not just the state funding. You cannot compare the state funding for your salaries with the total salaries for faculty. To make an accurate comparison, compare the state funding fraction for TAs and for Faculty. In fact, provide a nice pie chart showing who gets what.

    Your bad statistics make me not trust anything you are saying. Can’t you make a decent argument without abusing statistics? Or is there no substance behind your claims?

  3. Isaac,

    We state the difference that you mention – we say that faculty salaries draw 55% of the University budget. The comparison is meant ONLY to show that graduate employee contributions to teaching are relatively cheap in terms of cost vs. production. I don’t really understand how we are misleading in this, especially as we indicate that the first percentage is from state funding and the second from the total university budget.

  4. If some felt that the GEO’s argument wasn’t “decent” beyond the statistics and lack of pie charts, in all honesty, there probably was a pretty nonexistent probability that they would trust information from an organization they didn’t support in the first place. The salary funding is clearly indicated, as you and I both read and understood the differences between the two.
    As someone who is not even involved with the GEO, I understand that the comparison between student and faculty wages is not even the goal of the statistics provided- it’s the negligible amount students receive from state funding (6.5%) that is important, especially when a crucial argument from administration is the nationwide recession (insufficient state funding). The percentage regarding faculty is given to support the idea that faculty wages draw greatly from the university budget (55%).

    The statistical information is provided with the assumption that one had read the preceding arguments in the article.
    It really comes down to the ability to derive meaning from statistics that matters, not the skill with which one can pick out irrelevancies out of context.


  5. It’s interesting how you present this as a struggle between union and adminsitration. In the end, the students will have to pay higher tuition. It is the students who should be allowed to decide what aspects of their UIUC experience they value. That includes the wage GEO members are allowed to earn.

  6. >>an overwhelming 92% of participating GEO members

    I think this is misleading: what does “participating” mean? Why not just tell us how many people voted, and how many of those vote to authorize the strike?

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  8. John,

    We’ve told the press this as well: 777 participated in the vote. For higher education unions, this is a very large number. To put it in context, federal labor law requires that 30% of the bargaining unit participate in a vote to unionize.

  9. OK, you’re right. I still believe that something like this should have been in the press release.

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