EIU-UPI delivers grievance to Glassman last Friday


Luke Taylor

EIU-UPI President Jennifer Stringfellow hands grievance form to Judith Garrell, the secretary for University President David Glassman’s office. Glassman was unavailable at the time the grievance were delivered.

Madelyn Kidd, News Editor

On Oct. 14, Eastern’s chapter of the University Professionals of Illinois, EIU-UPI, delivered a grievance to University President David Glassman’s office for not bargaining in good faith during the ongoing negotiations.

EIU-UPI represents a large variety of employees on campus including professors, academic advisors, annually contracted faculty, the tenured and tenure-track faculty and academic support professionals.

EIU-UPI have been negotiating since March and have had multiple meetings for their next four-year contract. 

However, the last contract expired on Aug. 31 meaning all employees under the EIU-UPI umbrella are working without a new contract.

On Oct. 14, Jennifer Stringfellow, the president of EIU-UPI and a professor of special education, delivered a grievance to Glassman’s office along with faculty members of the union.

The reason behind the grievance was Eastern’s administration withholding the compensation increases for employees within EIU-UPI earned during the 2022 fiscal year from the Sept. 30 paycheck. 

The sought remedy to the grievance is for Eastern to include all 2022 fiscal year compensation increases to be added to the Oct. 31 paycheck and future paychecks. While adding the missing compensation from the Sept. 30 paycheck to the Oct. 31 paycheck along with a late payment fee of 10 percent.

If the compensation increases continue not to be added to future paychecks, EIU-UPI remedy requests a cumulative 10 percent late payment fee.

Currently, the negotiation meetings are still ongoing and there was a meeting on Thursday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., with the next meeting will be on Nov. 2 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Both meetings are in the Arcola/Tuscola Rooms in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

In an email to everyone within EIU-UPI, Jeannie Ludlow, a professor of English, urged members to help show administration support and actively participate in the ongoing negotiations.

EIU-UPI is asking all members to attend these meetings where they will only sit and watch silently while taking notes to show visible strength, according to Ludlow.

There have also been EIU Labor Council button pins and EIU-UPI signs passed out and displayed on campus and around Charleston to show support for EIU-UPI. Union members have also been asked to help get the signs and pins to everyone who wants them.

EIU-UPI has used events to spread information about the ongoing negotiations as well.

On Sept. 8, EIU-UPI hosted a Teach Out, which provided information and speakers about labor laws and unions.

On Spet. 9, Stringfellow spoke during the Board of Trustees meeting as well.

On Oct. 15 during the Homecoming Parade, EIU-UPI were in the parade after spending the week getting as many “EIU-UPI working without a contract” and “Students stand with EIU-UPI” signs in building windows along the parade route.

Billy Hung, a professor of biology and EIU-UPI negotiator and vice president of the executive board, said the Teach Out was a success in informing the campus about what is going on.

“I think the Teach Out was a great success in getting the campus to be more aware of the bargaining process, as well as what labor unions do for work conditions,” Hung said. “I was very excited to see so many of our students participating and learning about the importance of advocating for their own work conditions.”

Before the Teach Out, there were not any more negotiation meetings scheduled, but following Eastern’s administration reached out to the bargaining team to continue negotiation meetings.

Prior, EIU-UPI had reached a standstill, which they were not pleased with the current proposals by administration.

At that first meeting on Sept. 22, Hung said EIU-UPI some process was made on a portion of the work condition proposals for academic support professionals.


Madelyn Kidd can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].