Urbana TV station WCIA covers our strike authorization vote!
“SPRINGFIELD — Professors at the University of Illinois-Springfield campus now have the power to strike.This doesn’t guarantee they will, but last week’s vote now allows them to do it.
Frustration for instructors like Kristi Barnwell are growing more each day as the United Faculty Union goes without a new contract. Its been 19 months since they began negotiations fighting for better wages and more promises to keep people like herself around.
“What determines which targets were supposed to hit on the way to promotion and order to determine whether or not will be able to stay here so the personnel policy is a key part of what we’re trying to accomplish through negotiations,” said Kristi Barnwell, Associate Professor of History and Vice President of UIS United Faculty.
While the lack of a budget is not directly impacted from these negotiations, Barnwell believes it can be a reason why UIS is not participating as much as the union would like.
“The insecurity of economic system statewide, but also because people are being told different things from what they heard when I first came here.”
Some students understand if a strike occurs it’s for a good reason.
“My understanding that the average professor here on campus makes less than the average high school teacher here in town which I I think it’s just wrong,” said John Burns, a UIS sophomore.
The University says they just received the Union’s first request on salary and wages. University leaders say they are looking it over and say they’re committed to reaching a fair contract.
“I just think that it’s time we need to step forward and both parties need to get something done,” said Burns.
University officials say they would like to avoid a strike if possible. Last week they received the unions first contract negotiation via email.
The unions bargaining team did meet this afternoon for the first time in over month.
This isn’t the first time a U Of I campus had the option to strike. Almost 500 non-tenure U of I professors in Urbana-Champaign went on strike almost a year ago this month. That lasted only a few days. They eventually agreed to a new five year contract.”