University of Illinois-Springfield faculty union to strike

A faculty union at University of Illinois at Springfield is going on strike after lengthy negotiations over its first contract broke down late Monday.

Leaders of UIS United Faculty, which represents around 160 tenured and tenure-track professors, announced the union will strike effective Tuesday.

UIS United Faculty is a chapter of University Professionals of Illinois, IFT Local 4100, and was certified in February 2015. There are eight other unions on the Springfield campus.

History professor Kristi Barnwell said the two sides have been in contract talks for nearly two years. Members overwhelmingly voted in mid-April to authorize a strike. Barnwell said union demands include faculty protections “from capricious and arbitrary” administrative decisions on reappointments and promotions, a grievance policy and fair wages.

“We did not want it to come to this, but Chancellor (Susan J.) Koch and the U. of I. administration forced the strike by dragging its feet and playing games at the bargaining table,” Barnwell said in a statement. “Our students deserve this to be settled, and we hope that management will change course and agree to a deal that’s fair to the faculty, our students and the community.”

More negotiating sessions are planned for May 5, May 19 and May 26, according to a campus message from Melissa Mlynski, senior director of human resources.

“This is disappointing, but progress is being made in negotiations, and our campus will carry on in pursuit of our core mission,” UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp said in a statement. “Students are at the forefront of all we do, so the work to reach a satisfactory agreement must continue.”

Schnapp said it was not clear exactly how many members would walk out Tuesday, but officials previously said they expect most courses to be held as scheduled. Students were advised to attend their classes as normal and to wait at least 15 minutes before leaving a class if the instructor is not present.

“Should there be a strike, we will work to minimize the disruption of instruction and to ensure that you can continue to make timely progress towards your degrees, meet your course objectives and receive your grades in a timely fashion,” vice chancellor for student affairs Clarice Ford wrote to students April 27.

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via Home – Chicago Tribune

May 2, 2017 at 02:54AM

University of Illinois-Springfield faculty union to strike

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