Students, teachers voice opinions on the potential union strike


Karyne Allen

Todd Bruns (left) and Jennifer Stringfellow (right) talking to Connor Mellott, a sophomore interpersonal communications major at Booth Library at Eastern Illinois University.

Karyne Allen, Reporter

Editors Note: Article has been corrected.

With the potential union strike in the near future, students are concerned about how it could affect their peers and what would happen to their classes.

Alonna Baisden, a television video production major at Eastern said she supports the professors.

“I feel that it’s unfair that you have professors that do so much…like some professors that are not just professors but are advisers and they do a lot,” Baisden said.

She also wanted to know if only the professors who were part of the union were the only ones this strike would benefit, or would it help all the staff that Easten has.

Emma Lee an elementary education major on campus said she supports the strike too.

“As a future teacher it’s important to me that I get enough money, I know that’s always a problem with teachers,” Lee said.

She also thinks that the pay that professors get also depends on their qualifications and that inflation does make it harder to have a livable wage. Another elementary education major, Hallie Niemerg, said she supports the professors in getting an increase and said that everyone deserves a living wage, so it is not unreasonable for professors to want higher salaries.

Cori More, an assistant professor in special education, is a union member and said professors make sacrifices for their students but also need to make sure they don’t neglect their own needs.

“We are at a unique point in time in public education where public education is under attack, and for a long time across the board have sacrificed some of our well-being for the benefit of our communities, our schools, and of course for the benefit of our students for whom we would not be here without,” More said.

She also shared her thoughts on how professors should get at least paid enough to cover the cost of living and that paychecks should go up every year or stay the same but not go down.

Marita Gronnvoll is part of the communications department and is also a part of the union.

Gronnvoll said that Union members would rather not strike, but feels that the administration is giving them no choice. She also said that the raise they are being offered does not cover the cost of living or take into account inflation and she said several faculty don’t even make minimum wage.

She said that the rise that they are asking for is reasonable, but she doubts that they will get the amount that they want.

“We have gone years and years without appropriate raise,” Gronnvoll said. “…We want to do everything we can to make sure that we minimize the damage that students would experience.”

She also said that Eastern could afford to give them a raise and it would not affect the students.

Drew Britton is a part of the Communications and Journalism department. He is not part of the union, but he does support what they are doing. He said that he finds the strike interesting, but he is grateful for where he is right now. He also said that he understands why they are striking because he can understand their frustration.

Richard Jones, a professor in communications studies, is also a part of the union. He said that he also does not want to strike but that it is up to administrators to give them fair pay.

Jones said, “We have gotten more responsibilities and asked to do more but for administration to offer what is essentially a pay cut for our next contract is not acceptable.”

He also said that Union members want higher pay so that they can also serve their students better. Both students and faculty have always had each other’s backs in times of need.

”I don’t think administration realizes that…I think they expect the strike, if [it] happens, to last a day or two and for people to give up but there are a lot of personal feelings involved and people who really care about their jobs and their students and that will be a motivating thing.”


Karyne Allen can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].