By CARL GREEN
Normal IL – After nearly two years at the bargaining table with Illinois State University, members of AFSCME Local 3236 have reached a four-year agreement with the university.
Local 3236 represents around 185 members who provide clerical support to various departments and administration at the university, but they had to fight hard to win the contract, which includes annual raises and starts rewarding longtime employees for their experience and dedication.
Bargaining team member and office support specialist Trish Gudeman said it was challenging to rally the local after years of being brushed aside by the administration. But rally they did, with the entire campus on their side.
“We rallied support from students, faculty and other staff,” Gudeman said. “They became outraged and came out with us, sending emails, rallying, causing a scene. Our members felt stronger when they saw the support from so many others at the university behind them.”
It was Gudeman’s first contract negotiations, and she was surprised by how difficult it was to get the university to listen to the employees’ concerns and ideas.
AFSCME Local 1110, which represents building service, groundskeepers and food service, supported their fellow AFSCME members, along with the new graduate student union and non-tenure track faculty union. They have formed a new solidarity group on campus.