Dear Editor:On behalf of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, I would like to urge the SIUC administration and faculty to work together to negotiate a contract.

By Gus Bode

A faculty strike will have a devastating effect on the Carbondale business community. Not only will current SIUC students be deciding if they will return next semester, there are thousands of high school seniors currently making their decision where to attend college next fall. This semester, businesses were relieved that enrollment stabilized after many years of decline. Even talk of a strike will negate this positive step.

SIUC is the largest employer in Carbondale and the Southern Illinois region. If a strike occurs and other union members decide not to cross the picket line, work will slow down not only on the campus, but it will slow in the community as well. Coupled with a decline in enrollment and retention, that will eventually mean the loss of jobs on campus and in the community. In addition, if a strike is looming, employees and businesses reliant upon student consumers will likely spend more conservatively this holiday season and into the new year. All of these situations will have a devastating effect on our economy.

We understand there are many complex issues involved in negotiating the contract. Every business in the state of Illinois is well aware of the financial strain under which the state is operating. Hence, state universities have suffered severe cuts that will likely continue until the economy improves. On the other hand, we appreciate the expertise and talent of the SIUC faculty, and feel they should be well compensated for their work. However, we believe there is middle ground; there is room to negotiate a fair and equitable contract for both the faculty and administration. The sooner a contract agreement is reached, the less damage the threat of a strike can do to our community.


There is a lot at stake for the university, Carbondale and the Southern Illinois region. Do not let a strike occur. Work together to secure a fair and reasonable contract.

president, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce