UIS United Faculty votes for potential strike
After nearly 20 months of negotiations, faculty union approves the ability for leadership to call a strike
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News broke on April 14 that UIS Faculty United voted for the ability to call strike. While this vote does not immediately implement a strike, it provides union leaders the option.
The vote comes after 19 months of contract negotiations. In a press release, Lynn Fisher, union president and associate professor of anthropology, said, “Two years is enough. A settled contract would bring much-needed stability to our faculty and students, especially in a time when Governor Rauner’s budget cuts to higher education are already creating so much uncertainty.”
The university’s official statement said, “While negotiations have been underway for some time, the university received UIS United Faculty’s first proposal on salary and wages just this Wednesday via email. It is now under review and everyone involved is committed to reaching a fair initial contract as soon as possible.”
“It’s a slow process,” Chancellor Susan Koch said at the March 24 campus senate meeting. “It’s not going as fast as any of us would like. I am in close contact with the administrative side of this, and I feel really hopeful that we’re going to be able to settle a union contract just as soon as possible.”
Koch continued, “I really do believe that people are bargaining in good faith.”
The contract currently under negotiation will be the first contract for this union. While there was a faculty union for Sangamon State University, is was dissolved when the local school became part of the University of Illinois system in 1995.
UIS faculty officially unionized in February 2015, and negotiations began at the start of the 2015-2016 academic year.