Teachers ‘work out’ shows how much work is put in


Rob Le Cates

Melissa Ames, an English professor, does schoolwork during the Eastern Illinois University chapter of the University Professionals of Illinois Work Out event protesting the current status of the union’s contract negotiations in the Union Wednesday afternoon. Ames said she chose to protest because she believes in showing how important faculty and staff are to the University. “It’s been a very long road, and I’m hopeful that we’ll come to a positive resolution very soon,” Ames said.

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

Eastern’s chapter of University Professions of Illinois, EIU-UPI, negotiations have been ongoing for over a year.

With the lack of a resolutions to Union members obtaining a contract, teachers did their work at the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Teachers titled this event as ‘work out’ suggesting that teachers worked out in public for students and those in passing to see how much work they do when students are not in the classroom.

Teachers sat at booths with signs that signs reading ‘WORK OUT.’

Before entering that part of the MLK Union, there was a table with green ribbons for people to pick up to show support of the Union members.

Todd Bruns, a professor and head of scholarly communications, is not a member of the Union, but was giving the ribbons out.

“The idea of the workout is that our faculty would be coming and working with you to show demonstrate the work that our students value that is of value to our university, and that we deserve fair compensation,” Bruns said.

Bruns also said a hashtag, “#ISTANDWITHTEACHERS”, started on Yik Yik by students for them to show support for the teachers.

Bruns said that the community is very supportive and thinks that it will be apparent to the administration.

Steve Scher, a psychology professor, was one of the teachers at the work out and talked about his reasoning for being involved.

“We’re trying to just show the administration and everyone else in the university that we’re kind of here and what we do and that we’re ready to do what we need to do in order to really get the administration to offer us a fair deal,” Scher said. “So, this week, one of the things that we’re doing a lot of things is faculty are coming to the food court to work instead of what usually we’re sitting in our offices or we’re not in a classroom, doing the same kind of thing here, but it’s important for people to know and see the kind of work that we do.”

Devin Frank, a philosophy instructor, was another teacher at the workout.

Frank also talked about the purpose of the event and said that teachers are constantly working, and while explaining, Frank was eating lunch as he was grading papers.

“I and other colleagues don’t really have time to take true lunch breaks,” Frank said. “We’re often just working morning to night and so we want to make that visible because we’re often working in our offices or at our homes.”

Frank also said that the support from teachers is appreciated and that it could help the cause.

“As faculty, [we] can’t emphasize enough just how much we appreciate the support from all the students,” Frank said. “I know it is visible administration and so, we’re very appreciative for anyone that’s sort of recognize the situation.”

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