The Crusader Newspaper Group

Faculty and staff union at Governors State University (GSU) ratify new contract

Governors State University

Photo caption: Governors State University campus

97% voted to accept the agreement.

Faculty and staff who are members of GSU University Professionals of Illinois (GSU UPI, IFT Local 4100) voted to ratify their new contract this week. 97% of voting members voted to accept the agreement, which was settled after employees were forced to strike for five days.

GSU UPI President Mike Hart announced the results after the voting window closed Wednesday night, saying, “Our new contract is a step in the right direction for our members, GSU students, and the future of this institution. Because of our solidarity and the support we received from our students, we were able to sustain a five-day strike to achieve a fair contract that invests in the people who teach and support GSU students every day. We also now have a solution with administration to address the excessive workload issues faced by our advisors, who have been stretched thin trying to serve overwhelming numbers of students every day. They’ll now have the necessary time to give our students the support they need.”GSU is a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) and emerging Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), with many first-generation and low-income students on campus. The university also serves a large commuter population and those continuing their education later in life. The faculty and staff at GSU have had stagnant salaries for years because of Governor Rauner’s budget impasse and overall disinvestment in higher education. Employees sacrificed raises then because of their dedication to the institution’s mission to provide affordable higher education, especially to students who are usually underrepresented.Hart continued, “The contract ratified this week begins to make up for the sacrifices we made under Governor Rauner, and it shows us that the university administration recognizes the high-quality faculty and staff who work at GSU. I’m proud of the work done at the table to get us here and of all of our members who stood together on the strike lines. When we fight, we win for our profession and for our students.”

Faculty and staff will earn a 14% raise over three years. In addition to pay and workload solutions, the union also fought for paid parental leave, resulting in five weeks paid leave for new parents, including in cases of adoption and foster care. Previously, the university offered only limited paid leave for new parents.

The Governors State University chapter of the University Professionals of Illinois (GSU-UPI, IFT Local 4100) represents about 280 tenured and tenure-track faculty, not-tenure track lecturers, and academic support professionals at Governors State University. They are affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and American Federation of Teachers.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees. 

Recent News

Scroll to Top