BOT approves AFSCME contracts


Rob Le Cates

Eastern Illinois University President Davis Glassman speaks during the Sept. 10, 2021 Board of Trustees meeting held at the Grand Ballroom at the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union. He announced his intention to reconvene the Naming Comittee during the meeting on Sept. 10.

Corryn Brock, Editor-in-Chief

Eastern’s Board of Trustees approved two contracts for members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the union that represents Eastern’s building service workers, cooks, kitchen laborers, clerical workers and technical workers.

The contracts were for building service workers, food service workers, clerical workers and technical workers.

The total estimated cost for both agreements is $300,628.

The contract for BSWs and food service workers accounts for 110 Eastern employees and will be effective from Sept. 15, 2020 to Sept. 14, 2023. Three raises will occur over the lifetime of the contract:

  • 1.5% increase effective Sept. 15, 2020
  • 1.25% increase effective Sept. 15, 2021
  • 1.25% increase effective Sept. 15, 2022

The BSW and food service workers will also each receive a lump sum of $150 separate from their raises. The cost of the raises and lump sums for those workers totals $186,590.

The contract for clerical and technical workers in AFSCME accounts for 77 employees. The contract will be effective July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023.

Similar to the BSW and food service worker contract, three raises will occur over the lifetime of the contract:

  • 1.5% increase effective July 1, 2020
  • 1.25% increase effective July 1, 2021
  • 1.25% increase effective July 1, 2022

Clerical and technical workers will also be receiving a lump sum of $150 separate from their raises, which will total $11,550. The total cost of contracts and lump sums for those workers will be $114,038.

Both agreements required assistance from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services to help resolve unsettled matters.

Some AFSCME members shared mixed feelings on the contract that took over a year for some to receive.

“I’m glad we have a contract and the negotiations are over, Eastern administration drug their feet long enough. I feel that the wage increases aren’t fair compared to administrations and to the work we do for the campus community,” AFSCME Local 981 Vice President Derek Light said. “I’m very thankful for all the support we have received from the Eastern and surrounding communities on our fight for a fair contract. Myself and other union members truly appreciate it.”

“AFSCME notified us of the ratification of the contract at the end of last week. Although I am not completely satisfied with the raise we received, I am happy that the subcontracting language was removed from the contract. Ultimately, all civil service employees are here because we support the students,” Lynn Griesemer, office manager for the Department of Academic Advising said. “We want to ensure that they are all safe, happy, and able to accomplish the goals they have set for themselves. We will continue to work hard for the students of Eastern Illinois University.”

The Board also approved the purchase of a new media production and newsroom management system for WEIU-TV. The total cost of the purchase will be $685,658.78.

According to the agenda item, the “system is a suite of software and hardware that provides WEIU staff and students with the tools needed to create much of the content that is broadcast each day. This includes writing content, editing video for productions, and controlling the playout of video and graphics.”

The initial term of the contract will cost $305,080.50, the first renewal will cost $181,227.75 and the second renewal will cost $199,350.53.

The fund source for the purchase will be grant funds.

The justification for the purchase stated that “The current system is at the end of its life and is no longer supported by the manufacturer. The equipment and software purchased will be similar to the systems that students will use in the professional workplace.”

The first reading of a proposed revision to Board Regulation ii, 7.e was given.

The revision proposes that when Juneteenth falls on a weekday all university facilities will be closed.

If approved it will also change the language of the regulation to read “Employees who are required to work on an observed holiday when facilities are closed, shall be granted, by mutual agreement between the employee and the employer, paid time away from work equivalent to the number of hours worked on the holiday.”

Currently, the section stating “when facilities are closed” is not included in the text.

The second reading will happen on Nov. 12 during the next Board meeting.

A summary of purchases ranging from $100,000 to $249,000 was given to the Board. Purchases included:

  • $481,917.40 to Mesirow Insurance Services, Inc. for university property insurance
  • $200,000 to Konica Minolta, Inc. for copiers
  • $200,000 to the Public Broadcasting Service for membership dues
  • $185,000 to the Ohio Valley Conference for funding for an Arbiter System
  • $150,000 to Quality Custom Distribution Service for edibles and non-edibles for Chick-Fil-A
  • $135,321.74 to Mythics for Oracle Enterprise maintenance
  • $132,045.18 to D2L Ltd. for D2L software licensing

The board also approved a statement on board responsibilities to intercollegiate athletes. The statement attests that:

  • “Responsibility for the administration of the athletics program has been delegated to the Chief Executive Officer of the institution.”
  • “The Chief Executive Officer has the mandate and support of the board to operate a program of integrity in full compliance with NCAA, OVC, and all other relevant rules and regulations.”
  • “The Chief Executive Officer, in conjunction with the Director of Athletics  and Faculty Athletic Representative, determines  how the institutional vote shall be cast on issues of athletics policy presented to the NCAA and the Ohio Valley Conference.”

Before a report on intercollegiate athletics and the Civil Rights Title IX report was given, University President David Glassman gave the Board an update on the potential renaming of Douglas Hall. Glassman said he will be seeking possible names to bring to the Board.

Constituencies reports were given on behalf of the Faculty Senate and Staff Senate.


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