Faculty Association continues to use headquarters

By Gus Bode

a href=”https://www.dailyegyptian.com/contactus.html”bDE Staff Reporter/b/abrspan class=”realsmall”bDaily Egyptian/b/span

Lease runs out in March

The Faculty Association has no plans to close up shop despite the union’s overwhelming approval of Chancellor Walter Wendler’s final offer Friday.

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With a year of negotiations behind them, Faculty Association President Morteza Daneshdoost said the union will continue to operate out of its headquarters on Highway 51 across from campus – at least until the 90-day lease expires.

“You don’t just turn off the lights and leave,” he said. “There are many things that need to be done.”

The association began renting the building, 825 S. Illinois Ave., formerly Plaza Records, in January as an information center as well as a preparation office for a possible walkout.

Daneshdoost said he is unsure whether the association will renew its lease in March. That decision will be left to union members. He said that outside of negotiations, the organization still needs a building where community members and students can go to give feedback about various union matters.

James Kelly, association spokesman, said the office could be a place to conduct union matters, such as meetings in the coming days.

The association requested an on-campus office during negotiations in 1998, but the provision was not included in the final contract. He said that while an on-campus locale would be preferred, the position of the headquarters, directly across from campus, could serve as a good place of business.

Daneshdoost said it is essential for his organization to have a place to function, especially now that the union is in the final stages of completing a contract.

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Randy Hughes, association treasurer, said it would be premature to determine how the building, originally coined a crisis headquarters, will be utilized because no one knows what the coming months will bring.

“This is something that will take some time to figure out what will work best,” he said.

Daneshdoost said once both the union and the board sign the tentative agreement, things should return to the relative tranquility of more than a year ago.

“We still have to dot the i’s and cross the t’s, and do many other functions,” he said. “But hopefully things will go back to the way they were before negotiations started.”

Reporter Katie Davis can be reached at [email protected]

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