UPDATE: ISU union workers authorize bargaining to call a strike

A majority of members of AFSCME 1110 authorize a strike Monday.
A majority of members of AFSCME 1110 authorize a strike Monday.(25 News/Heart of Illinois ABC)
Published: Mar. 28, 2022 at 5:13 PM CDT
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UPDATE (6 p.m.) - University administrators released a statement after American State County and Municipal Employees Union Local 1110 voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.

The university released the statement on its website:

“Today, March 28, 2022, ISU learned AFSCME Local 1110 announced its membership voted in favor of a strike authorization. While we are disappointed, this is not an unexpected development, as holding a strike authorization vote is often a normal part of the negotiation process. It gives the union bargaining team the option to call for a strike, once all legal requirements and timelines are met, but doesn’t necessarily mean a strike will occur. The parties have two negotiation sessions scheduled for the week of March 28 and have agreed to engage in mediation if an agreement has not been reached by the end of the April 1 negotiation session.

While the University remains committed to negotiating in good faith and optimistic that the parties will reach agreement without the need for a strike, the University has initiated contingency planning activities to ensure its ability to minimize disruption to University operations should a strike occur.

We recognize and respect the important contributions of our employees represented by AFSCME Local 1110 and reiterate our commitment to ongoing good-faith negotiations. ISU has and will continue to work diligently to reach a fair and fiscally responsible contract agreement that addresses concerns raised by AFSCME 1110 without disruption to the teaching and learning environment and without disruption to general campus operations at ISU. Our next negotiation session is scheduled for Wednesday, March 30.”

NORMAL (WEEK) - 96% of AFSCME Local 1110 members at Illinois State University have voted to authorize a strike.

AFSCME Local 1110 represents about 350 building services, dining and grounds maintenance employees at at ISU.

ISU said on its website, created to offer administrators’ view of negotiations, said the two sides plan to meet again March 30 and April 1, and they’ve agreed to have a mediator step in if there’s no agreement by then.

If they do strike, the union president believes it would shut down ISU.

“No grass is getting cut, no food’s getting dished out, no bathrooms are getting cleaned, no classrooms are getting cleaned, no gymnasiums are getting cleaned. It is not happening if we’re not here,” said Chuck Carver, AFSCME Local 1110 President.

The union says they do not want to strike, but are prepared to do so.

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