Home Local Faculty and staff unions plan to strike at Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University

Faculty and staff unions plan to strike at Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University

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Staff and faculty at Chicago State University and Eastern Illinois University filed intent to strike notices Thursday after inadequate progress at their respective bargaining tables.

The CSU chapter of the University Professionals of Illinois, which represents about 160 faculty lecturers, academic support professionals and technical support staff could go on strike next month as they continue negotiations over a new labor agreement.


After members overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike March 10, the unit filed its 10-day notice Thursday with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, which could begin a work stoppage as early as April 3.

“A strike is always a last resort, but CSU administration has pushed us to that point,” associate chemistry professor and union President Valerie Goss said in a statement. “We have been meeting for nearly one year, yet CSU administration still hasn’t once come to the table with a viable offer. We will continue to demand the support we need to give our students the education they deserve.”


According to union officials, additional bargaining sessions are scheduled for March 27 and 30.

At Eastern Illinois University, 450 faculty and staff notified the administration Thursday that they plan to strike following months of negotiating for better wages.

“For months now, EIU administration has proposed to us an effective pay cut,” said Billy Hung, lead negotiator for EIU University Professionals of Illinois’ and associate professor of biological sciences. “And for months, we’ve said that our members will not agree to work more for less. So this filing should not come as a surprise.”

If a deal is not reached at the remaining bargaining session, the union plans to walk out April 6, EIU UPI officials said in a statement.

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“When staff workloads are so high that students can’t get an appointment with their adviser, we need to find a solution,” Hung said. “When faculty are required to increase the number of courses yet have no time to lead research or to offer students reasonable office hours, we need to find a solution. And if the EIU administration doesn’t work with us to come up with these solutions, I’m afraid our members will look for a better job elsewhere.”

Members of the union are planning to rally at noon Monday outside the Old Main, at Lincoln Avenue and 6th Street on EIU’s campus in Charleston, before delivering the intent to strike to EIU administration.

EIU UPI members said they will host a “teach-in” for students Tuesday to share the status of negotiations and explain how a potential strike would affect their classes and coursework.


“Sadly, we’re seeing these situations on campuses across the state,” CSU UPI President John Miller said in a statement. “From CSU to Governors State University to Eastern Illinois University, campus presidents are refusing to do the right thing for their students, faculty and staff. They can afford to provide critical resources but are choosing not to. Just like the brave faculty who were recently forced to strike at UIC, our members are committed to their students and campuses. They will do what is necessary to fight for them both.”

Officials from Chicago State University and Eastern Illinois University were not immediately available for comment.


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