By STEVE HORRELL
Edwardsville IL – The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Faculty Association has ratified its first contract with the administration, a four-year agreement that provides workload and overload protections for the 420 employees in the bargaining unit, Faculty Association President Kim Archer, professor of music, says.
The agreement calls for a “not-quite cost-of-living raise of about two percent,” in addition to a one percent bump in raises tied to promotions, Archer said.
“We got about a million and a half dollars for equity to bring people up to a closer level with our peers,” she said.
Union members unanimously approved the contract Aug. 16 following two days of ratification meetings. The contract took three years to negotiate and is retroactive, covering the period from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2022.
GOOD, BUT NOT PERFECT
Archer characterized the new agreement as good, but not perfect.
“No contract is ever perfect,” she said. “But there is something in there for everybody in our very diverse bargaining unit.”
The contract applies to the tenured and tenure-track faculty in Library and Information Services, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Schools of Business, Engineering, Nursing, and Education, Health and Human Behavior.
FRAMEWORK FOR EMPLOYMENT ISSUES
The contract provides a new framework for most employment issues, such as hours, wages, and terms and conditions of employment, but does not address curricular issues, such as academic programs and courses.
“With this historic, first comprehensive union contract now in place, the SIUE Faculty Association and the SIUE administration start a new chapter of cooperation, with both parties beginning to implement the new, mutually agreed-upon policies,” Archer said.
“I want to thank the administrative and faculty negotiating team members and all who contributed to the successful agreement,” said SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook.
“SIUE’s national reputation rests upon the excellent level of instruction provided by our faculty, as well as the research and artistic activity they contribute to their disciplines. The environment created at SIUE has prepared so many students for career success and will continue to do so.”
SIUE has nearly 20 bargaining units on campus. More than 50 members of various units attended a pre-Labor Day picnic Aug. 22 at The Gardens botanical garden on campus.
Unions and bargaining units represented included:
- Faculty Association (Illinois Education Association – IEA).
- Non-Tenure Track Faculty Association (IEA).
- Professional Staff Association (IEA).
- Cafeteria Workers Local 73 (Service Employees International Union – SEIU).
- Graduate/Teaching Assistants Local 73 (SEIU).
- Clerical Staff Local 2887 (American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees – AFSCME).
- Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 553.
- Teamsters Local 360.
Archer said the family-friendly picnic brought together union members with different roles on campus in a way that highlighted their shared goals “to create and maintain policies, pay and working conditions that befit those servicing on the front lines of one of the largest employers in the Metro East.”