Board of Trustees approves new EIU-UPI contract

Brooke Schwartz, News Editor

The Board of Trustees approved the new contract for Eastern’s chapter of university professionals of Illinois, two new multi-year contracts, a Title 9 update and an update on the Lantz Arena maintenance approved by the board last year at its first meeting Friday.

Eastern President David Glassman said the EIU-UPI contract was created in a “straight-up negotiation process,” which Glassman said was new this year.

“A tentative agreement was reached between the parties on July 27, 2018 to renew and amend various provisions of the agreement,” Glassman said. “There are approximately 393 full-time faculty in the bargaining unit, and the UPI ratified the tentative agreement Sept. 13, and I would say the vote was very favorable.”

The contract is a four-year contract and will expire on August 31, 2022.

The highlights of the contract include across-the-board pay raises in all 4 years, adjustments to merit-based increases, changes in sick leave policy and modifications in workload, according to a press release from EIU-UPI.

Glassman said the negotiations highlighted Eastern’s willingness to cooperate.   

“(The negotiation) was done collaboratively, it was done transparently with the members of the negotiation teams, it was done respectively,” he said. “When you can get that kind of collaboration from the onset, you can do wonderful things.”

Personal contracts were also approved: a four year contract extension for Athletic Director Tom Michael and a two-year, 9 ½-month contract for head softball coach Kim Schuette.

Glassman and Michael said they wanted to give Schuette a three-year contract, and they said the best way to do that would be to start when her last contract ended, which gives them the two-year, 9 ½-month contract.

Title 9 coordinator Shawn Peoples gave the board their annual Title 9 presentation.

Title 9 deals with equal rights for men and women, especially in athletics, scholarship equality and sexual harassment cases.

In accordance with a new Illinois state requirement, employees of Eastern will now have to complete sexual harassment training annually versus just when they start working.

Peoples said she saw many benefits to annually completing the training.

“It’s always good to have a refresher so we are always aware of our policies, procedures and what constitutes sexual harassment,” she said. “I think it’s always good as an educational tool and an awareness tool.”

Lantz Arena maintenance, which was approved last June with a million-dollar budget, updated the budget after it was discovered the steel in the area did not need to be replaced and could be built around.

The trash collection and disposal services budget, which was also approved last year, got approved for an additional $15,000 after the university increased the duties originally asked for, bringing the total to $1,342,000.

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].