Strike threat seen as option as ISU and hundreds of union workers quarrel on wages

Illinois State University
Illinois State University(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Mar. 18, 2022 at 12:14 AM CDT
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NORMAL (25 NEWS) - A strike vote is being considered by the union representing hundreds of workers at Illinois State University as 19 negotiating sessions so far have not produced a new contract.

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1110 represents about 300 employees who work for building services, campus dining, and grounds maintenance at ISU. They’re working under terms of a contract that expired in June of last year.

AFSCME spokesperson Anders Lindall said the university has made “very little movement at the table, especially on wages.”

He said a strike is a last resort, but it is one of the union’s options. Union leaders have not set a date for a strike authorization vote, but they’re distributing fliers about six informational meetings to be held at various campus locations next Monday and Tuesday.

“AFSCME representatives will be present to discuss the status of contract negotiations and what it will take to win a fair contract, including your right to strike,” the fliers said.

Lindall said low pay is making it harder for ISU to retain and recruit staff, and he claims the university is losing employees at a rate of about four people a month because low wages.

The university set up a web page about the status of negotiations. It said four negotiation sessions are scheduled through April 1, with the next session scheduled on Tuesday.

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