BREAKING: EIU-UPI suspends strike, classes to resume


Tyriq Johnson

Tatiana Stringer, a sophomore health adminstration major, supports the faculty striking for a fair contract by joining them at the picket lines and yelling into the speaker phone Wednesday afternoon in front of Old Main.

Madelyn Kidd, Editor-in-Chief

Eastern’s chapter of University Professionals of Illinois, EIU-UPI, have announced the six-day strike has been suspended and classes will resume beginning Friday at 8 a.m.

Eastern’s administration team offered their “best and final” contract offer to EIU-UPI on Tuesday after EIU-UPI have been bargaining for a new contract since March 21, 2022 and working without a contract since Aug. 31.

EIU-UPI have not accepted Eastern’s offer and will hold a vote to ratify the proposal sometime in the next few weeks.

EIU-UPI represents roughly 450 employees on campus including professors, academic advisors, annually contracted faculty, the tenured and tenure-track faculty and academic support professionals.

EIU-UPI held a membership meeting on Thursday to go over the financial package offered by Eastern.

During the meeting, it was decided to suspend the ongoing strike and for faculty to resume classes, appointments, meetings, etc. based on a membership survey vote with over 80 percent voting to suspend the strike.

However, the strike is not officially over, only suspended.

EIU-UPI could resume striking at any time.

The administration’s final offer included an across the board raise over the next four fiscal years of 5 percent, 4 percent, 3 percent and 3 percent. The first fiscal year the raises apply to is the current fiscal year 2023.

Eastern’s offer would cost the university approximately $6.6M in total over the four year time span, according to Eastern.

Professors across campus are alerting students through email and D2L about when their class resumes and what is next for the course schedule.

EIU-UPI began their strike on April 6 after a year of bargaining.

Administration and EIU-UPI’s negotiation teams met twice during the strike on April 7 and Tuesday.

Eastern announced their final proposal offer Tuesday night.

Leading up to the strike, the union delivered an intent to strike on March 27 to Glassman’s office allowing them to strike beginning April 6.

On March 10, 97 percent of voting union members authorized the ability to strike. 

Union members delivered over 1,000 postcards addressed to the Board of Trustees in Old Main on Feb. 27. Students, faculty and members of the Charleston community signed cards to inform administration about the lack of fair contract offers.

A federal mediator was called in by the union in November after bargaining sessions had reached a “stone-wall.”

EIU-UPI delivered a grievance to Glassman’s office for not bargaining in good faith in October.

EIU-UPI have been bargaining for a new faculty contract since March 21, 2022. They have been working without a contract since Aug. 31.


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