The Daily Eastern News

EIU-UPI members can currently vote on new contract

Corryn Brock, Staff Reporter

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Faculty and staff members who are academic service professionals and members of Eastern Illinois University’s University Professionals of Illinois are currently able to vote on a new contract that would change the way members of EIU-UPI would receive raises.

Nancy Crone, an academic adviser, said in the past, raises were based on a set percentage.

She said under the new contract, raises would be connected to enrollment. If enrollment increases, raises increase, but if enrollment decreases, raises decrease.

Jennifer Stringfellow, vice president of EIU-UPI, says this contract comes after issues between the university and the state of Illinois.

“My impression of the contract, is that is trying to rectify what two and half years of no budget did to our university, but also the economy across Illinois,” Stringfellow said.

Stringfellow said in her opinion there is not much of a negative impact coming from the contract. “I think a lot of this was readdressing what had happened in the past several years.”

She said she is hopeful the contract will be ratified.

“If (the contract) is not right and if the majority of the people do not want this contract ratified, that says something … We all have to go with that.”

EIU-UPI is currently under the previously-voted-on contract.

The membership voted to not go into negotiations and extend its current contract for a year. Negotiations for the contract currently being voted on began this summer.

Stringfellow wants to know that unions are in place to provide a better workplace for its members.

“Unions are not there to be prickly. They are there to provide equity … to make sure that there is justice in the workplace, and that’s true whether it’s a factory or a university,” said Stringfellow.

She said she believes unions are a way of bringing democracy into the workplace regardless of who said union represents.

“Without that, you have management or an administration that can do what they please, and you hope that they are benevolent in that, but they don’t have to be,” said Stringfellow.

Stringfellow said that the thing she is hoping for the most is that people vote.

“I think everyone that is eligible to vote on this contract should vote,” she said.

Ballots went out to EIU-UPI members last week, and those voting should have their ballots turned in by Wednesday.

Ballots will counted on Thursday, and if the majority of votes approve the contract, it will be voted on by Eastern’s Board of Trustees on Friday Sept. 15.

EIU-UPI President, Jeannie Ludlow, said she is hoping that after voting has concluded, the EIU-UPI and will have something to celebrate.

“We need everybody’s vote by Wednesday,” she said, “so we can count them on Thursday, so we can have a party on Friday.”

Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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EIU-UPI members can currently vote on new contract