The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Faculty ready signs for picketing

Signs that stated, “We already bleed blue, do we need to bleed red, too?” were spread throughout the Effingham Room of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Union on Monday.

Members of the Eastern chapter of University Professionals of Illinois gathered to create protest signs in support of the faculty and staff during the ongoing UPI/EIU and administration negotiations.

The demonstration, which will happen on the north end of Booth Library on Thursday, will take place in conjunction with the first visit from the federal mediator. This will be the first time that both sides will meet with the federal mediator since they first agreed a mediator was needed on Oct. 5.

Negotiations with UPI/EIU and the administration have come to a standstill over concerns dealing with furloughs, credit units and use of the tuition recovery model.

John Allison, English professor and UPI/EIU Chapter President, said faculty and staff felt this was a necessary measure because of the crucial point of negotiations that has been reached.

“We want to support our team’s effort to get an agreement before the end of semester,” Allison said. “It is not good for anyone to have a contract up in the air as the spring semester will soon be underway.”

Robert Wayland, chief negotiator for the administration, was not available for comment.

Fern Kory, English professor and chair of the Contract Campaign Committee of UPI/EIU, was primarily responsible for organizing the demonstration, Allison said.

“We’re not protesting. We’re advocating a speedy and successful negotiation,” Allison said.

Allison said organizing a meeting time with the federal mediator has been a difficult process. Whereas UPI/EIU has agreed to eight of the 10 meeting times put forth by the negotiator, the administration has only agreed to two.

To clarify, Wayland currently resides out of state, which may make it difficult for scheduling purposes.

Allison said the administration has only taken “Nano movements” towards an agreement.

Carol Jean Dudley, an English professor, plans to be a part of the demonstration because the administration needs to know how unified the faculty is during this effort.

“I’m hoping we’ll make some progress. It’s the beginning of the new segment of our negotiations,” Jean Dudley said. “I hope we can come to a reasonable agreement as soon as possible.”

Janet Carpenter, assistant professor of early elementary education, believes that there is strength in numbers.

“The more people we have coming out to show our dissatisfaction, the better,” Carpenter said. “We can’t just have a few people speaking on our behalf – numbers show support.”

Sace Elder, history professor, supports UPI/EIU’s decision to protest in order to make progress during the negotiations.

“I believe (UPI needs) a strong contract that prioritizes the condition of our work because it affects the students’ learning,” Elder said. “We’re concerned about the quality.”

Jose Deustua, a history professor, believes that the contract needs to be meaningful not only for the faculty and staff but for the students.

“We need to continue doing the good work we’ve been doing on campus,” Deustua said. “With a menial contract, we cannot have meaningful work.”

Shelley Holmgren can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected].

Faculty ready signs for picketing

Faculty ready signs for picketing

Janet Carpenter, assistant professor in early childhood education, writes up protest signs in the Effingham Room of the Martin Luther King, Jr. University Union on Monday. The protest signs are for the upcoming Eastern chapter of University Professionals


Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

Commenting on the Daily Eastern News web site is a privilege, not a right. We reserve the right to remove comments that contain obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language. Also, comments containing personal attacks or threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
All The Daily Eastern News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest