What students should know about the EIU-UPI contract negotiations

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

Students should know about what to do as far as the Eastern University Professionals of Illinois, EIU-UPI, contract negotiations. (Rob Le Cates)

Eastern’s chapter of University Professionals of Illinois, EIU-UPI, have been negotiating contracts with the university for the last year.

Those involved with EIU-UPI have been protesting for over a year, exactly a year on March 21, 2023, and the university is not giving them new contracts.

They have been working without a contract since Aug. 31.

With the lack of contracts given to EIU-UPI, the union has voted to authorize the ability to call for a strike.

The union has to have a 10 day wait period before actually having the strike.

This does not mean that the union will strike, but they are authorized to do so, if they choose to.

The final negotiation meeting will take place on April 3 at 9 a.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union and will last someone walks out or they go until they reach a consensus.

According to current Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Jay Gatrell, the university must fulfill other obligations such as building maintenance, supporting student development and academic services that benefit students as well as composing contracts that are fair to everyone.

If the union chooses to strike, it will follow the meeting.

Instructors and professors involved with the union, must go on strike, meaning that classes will be canceled.

Gatrell sent an email March 13 informing students on what they should do if their professors cancel class.

“If you’re enrolled in an online course or an online element of a hybrid course, make sure to participate in online activities and complete the coursework as scheduled in the course outline,” Gatrell said.

For face-to-face courses and classroom elements of a hybrid course, Gatrell communicated what students should do.

“Attend all scheduled lectures, labs and studios even if an instructor indicates that the class may not meet during a potential strike,” Gatrell said.

For student teaching, internships and clinicals, Gatrell said to continute participating and attending in off-campus academic affairs.

Gatrell said to ask questions for professors and instructors if anyone has questions.

Graduating students should contact teachers immediately around the time the strike happens (if it does happen) to understand what to do as far as graduating.

Professors and instructors who are not a part of the Union may also cancel class for numerous reasons as well as participating in the event or to make it easier for students to just cancel the class.


Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].