Union to vote on agreement in two weeks

By Gus Bode

The Faculty Association and the administration signed a tentative agreement five days after the union called off a week-long strike.

Dave Johnson, FA spokesman, said the agreement was reached Monday afternoon. He said the union’s Departmental Representatives Council — the governing body — will vote Thursday on the contract and the full membership will vote Nov. 28.

The three Illinois Education Association unions that did not go on strike — the Association of Civil Service Employees, Graduate Assistants United and the Non-Tenure Track Faculty Association — will vote within the next two weeks on the tentative agreements they reached early Nov. 3, the day the FA strike began.

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The ACSE members will meet today, and the bargaining team will present the contracts and members will vote on the agreement, said ACSE President Cyndi Kessler-Criswell. She said she is glad bargaining is finished and looks forward reaching a long-term agreement.

The House of Delegates — the governing body for the NTTFA — will meet tonight to vote on the agreement. If it is approved, NTTFA President Anita Stoner said mail-in ballots will be accepted for two weeks and those on campus will vote shortly after.

“In theory and in principal, we have agreed,” she said.

GAU President Jim Podesva said members of GAU will meet Monday to vote. He said they have had a series of meetings to inform members of what is in the tentative agreement.

“We think it is the best deal we could get,” he said.

Tenured and tenure-track faculty went on strike for the first time in the university’s history between Nov. 3 and Nov. 10, leaving many classrooms with substitute teachers.

Hundreds of pickets including students and other supporters were at 16 locations around campus with signs stating they wanted fair contracts for the FA. Students organized three rallies in support of their teachers, urging them to come back to the classrooms with contracts.

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“The faculty who were on strike are glad to be back to work and are eager to work with the administration,” Johnson said. “Hopefully this is a step toward improving faculty and administration relationships and the campus climate.”

 

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