Members of the University of Illinois-Springfield United faculty voted today to authorize a strike.
The IFT Local 4000 and the the UIS Administration have been in collective bargaining for more than a year.
According to a press release from the union, their contract with the university expired in August of last year. The union says it intends to file an intent-to-strike notice with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board tomorrow, with a possible strike beginning as early as May 2nd.
According to the union, faculty union members earn 20% less than educators at other Illinois institutions and they have not received a cost of living raise in two years. The union has also accused the administration of over hiring on administrative positions, saying the school has “bloated management.”
UIS currently receives 4% of the the University of Illinois system budget, according to the union.
UIS interim Chancellor Karen Whitney issued the following statement this evening about the notice to strike: “The University has learned that the UIS United Faculty, which represents 134 tenured and tenure-track faculty, has announced a vote to authorize a strike and plans to file an intent-to-strike notice with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) tomorrow, April 21. While we are disappointed, holding a strike authorization vote is not uncommon in the negotiation process. It gives the union the option to call for a strike, once all the legal requirements and timelines are met, but doesn’t necessarily mean a strike will occur. The University will continue to negotiate in good faith.
“We know that our students, faculty and staff are counting on us to work tirelessly to bring this to a successful conclusion as soon as possible. Our next scheduled bargaining sessions are April 22, 25 and 27, and the parties are currently discussing additional dates. We greatly value and appreciate our faculty, and we are committed to the academic success of our students. I am hopeful that we will be able to reach a fair, sustainable and fiscally responsible agreement-at the bargaining table-with which both parties can be satisfied.”
A request for comment from union representatives have not yet been returned.