ACsE, University expect speedy agreement

By Gus Bode

The Association for Civil Service Employees is negotiating a new contract with the University, and the bargaining process is proceeding smoothly.

“The group from ACsE has come to the table with the same intentions as the University – reaching an agreement as quickly as possible,” said Brent Patton, director of labor and employee relations at SIUC.

The University will not offer details about its agenda because talks are still ongoing, but Patton said both economic and non-economic issues have proceeded as he expected.


“I think negotiations are progressing,” Patton said. “At this point things are progressing just as I expected. I’m not displeased at all.”

Talks began last week, at which time both sides expressed a wish to reach an agreement. Ruth Pommier heads the civil service union, and preemptively laid out her group’s goals.

“The goal is to strengthen our contract language and to embrace the benefits of our employees,” Pommier said before talks began.

If everything continues to go smoothly, an agreement could be reached as early as the beginning of the fall semester, Patton said.

In reaching that agreement, it is important for civil servants to protect themselves, Pommier said.

“At this point it has been very congenial,” Pommier said. “We are not making unreasonable demands.”

Items Pommier is looking to address include adjusting the salaries of the lowest paid civil servants so they reflect those of peers at other universities, obtaining overload pay so workers covering for other employee’s vacation time are compensated and changing rules about parking fees.


University policy forces employees making more than $20,000 a year to pay a $60 parking fee – $20 more than other employees earning less. Some civil servants have recently had their salary raised to $20,050 and as a result they can no longer pay the $40 fee they are used to, Pommier said.

The jobs performed by civil servants are invaluable to the University, and reaching an agreement peaceably and quickly would benefit everyone involved, Patton said.

The civil servants association has a membership of about 450, including many receptionists and administrative assistants.

“Civil service is not just the backbone of this university,” Pommier said. “They’re the bone and the muscle.”

Reporter Zack Quaintance can be reached at [email protected].