UIS Faculty Votes To Unionize
Faculty at the University of Illinois Springfield will be unionized for the first time in two decades.
The campus last had a faculty union when it was known as Sangamon State University. But that was disbanded when it became part of the University of Illinois in the mid 90's.
137 faculty members voted in favor of a new union which will negotiate issues from wages and benefits to shared governance. A final vote total was unavailable.
"The desire to form a faculty union came about organically from the faculty on the campus over a period of many years," said Professor Lynn Fisher. "We're excited about our success in forming a new union."
Fisher says she hopes negotiations with the university can begin soon. "The faculty at UIS are interested in changing the direction of the university on issues of transparency, especially in the budget, and also really advocating for our students."
A spokesman for UIS says the school will engage in bargaining as it does now with other unions already on the campus, which represent a variety positions. UIS released the following statement:
“We respect the fact that faculty members have a right to decide whether or not to be represented by a labor union. The union will have the power to act and speak for faculty in required group-level negotiations on wages, hours, and conditions of work. UIS has contracts with a number of labor unions, and the campus would engage in bargaining as we do now with all of the other labor unions we deal with.”
Faculty at the campuses in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago have recently added faculty unions. The UIS faculty union will be affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers.