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Chicago State University administration continues to stonewall as strike enters second week

Union members at CSU will join striking colleagues from around the state on the picket lines tomorrow at Governors State University

Unproductive bargaining with the Chicago State University (CSU) administration continued again this afternoon, even as the ongoing strike entered the second week today and Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson made a stop on the picket lines to visit striking faculty and staff. This is the fifth bargaining session since the strike began on April 3, yet the administration continues to reject new union proposals and has offered nothing different in return. The 160 faculty and staff members in the Chicago State University chapter of the University Professionals of Illinois (CSU UPI Local 4100) were forced to the picket lines last week after nearly one year of bargaining. Members will join their striking colleagues from Eastern Illinois and Governors State Universities to picket and rally tomorrow on Day 7 of the CSU UPI strike. (See below.) They will return to picket on the CSU campus on Wednesday.

“After yet another bargaining session that has resulted in no agreement, our members are seriously left to question this administration’s true agenda,” said Dr. Valerie Goss, president of CSU UPI and a CSU alumni. “Over the last several sessions, our union team has offered multiple creative proposals that provided clear paths to an agreement. We continue to encounter their disrespect towards our faculty and staff and a perpetual ‘wall of NO’ at every turn. It seems they want this strike to continue because they are giving us no other choice. Sadly, despite their public rhetoric, it’s very clear that our students are not their top priority or this could have been settled days ago.”

After more than two dozen bargaining sessions, the union and administration have yet to resolve critical issues of workload and compensation. CSU faculty and staff are among the lowest paid professionals in the state compared to peer institutions. At the same time, CSU President Scott’s contract makes her one of the highest paid university leaders in Illinois, with a total salary package of nearly half a million dollars per year and benefits that include a free university car and a President’s Mansion.President Scott has still not attended a single bargaining session since negotiations began. “More than anything,” added Goss, “our members want to get back into our classrooms to do what we love – teaching our incredible students. We are so proud to instruct, guide, and support students at this Predominantly Black Institution, but our members are demanding to be respected for the outstanding work we do. We cannot return until the administration works with us to reach a fair agreement that invests in our students by investing in the faculty who serve them.”Tomorrow, CSU UPI members will join their striking colleagues from Eastern Illinois and Governors State Universities (GSU) to picket and rally on GSU campus. WHAT: CSU Faculty and Staff Join Striking Colleagues from EIU and GSUWHO: Union members, students, supporters and guest speakers from CSU, EIU and GSU union chapters of the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI Local 4100)WHEN: TOMORROW – TUESDAY, APRIL 11 – Picketing at 10 AM, rally at 12 PM (noon)WHERE: Governor’s State University (GSU) campus, 1 University Drive, University Park, IL Picketing: Intersection of University Parkway (Stuenkel Road) and University Drive (before and after the rally)Rally: Outside the south entrance of the G Building(Parking is available on campus.)  Faculty and staff at Eastern Illinois University went on strike on April 6; their colleagues at GSU will be on strike beginning tomorrow (April 11). “This is an unprecedented situation,” said John Miller, president of the University Professionals of Illinois, the local union for the CSU, EIU, and GSU chapters. “The fact that administrators at all three campuses are failing miserably to prioritize their students, faculty, and staff is frustrating and disheartening. These universities have the available resources to settle these contracts and provide what students, faculty and staff need. It’s unconscionable that they continue to stonewall. Our members are stepping up to do the right thing for their students and the future of their campuses. We urge these university leaders to do the same and settle these agreements now.”Bargaining is scheduled to resume at CSU on Wednesday (April 12) at 3:30 PM.The Chicago State University chapter of the University Professionals of Illinois (IFT Local 4100) represents about 160 faculty, instructors, academic support professionals and technical support staff at Chicago State University. They are affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

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