After sidebar sessions between lead negotiators last week, the 12th session once again began with the University’s Bargaining Team presenting their counter on the final three articles: Article VIII: Wages, Article XVIII: Dues Deduction, and Article XXVII: Duration.
So, we are still discussing Pay + Length of the Contract.
We were disappointed in their initial offer, but positive movement was made during the session. At one point, it actually looked as if we were headed towards a final tentative agreement. In fact, we were so close that both bargaining teams agreed to stay late in order to make this happen.
However, despite all of the movement made from both sides, when their bargaining team called the Provost’s Office, they said the university will not fund a merit salary increase for Specialized Faculty higher than 2%.
Because of a likely 1% increase in health insurance costs, and a definite 2% increase in cost of living, many NTFC members would effectively receive a pay cut without at least a 3% salary increase.
During the Rauner budget impasse, the Provost’s Office might have been able to claim hardship in order to justify this stance. But, as has been recently reported, the University of Illinois System just received “the biggest increase in operating funds, 4.6 percent, in nearly two decades.”
Why is the university asking its Specialized Faculty to effectively take a pay cut when it has been allocated a budget that President Killeen himself called “a very significant number” ?
If this is a question you’d like answered, come to the next bargaining session.
Friday, June 21st
9:00am – 12:00pm (you can arrive and leave at-will)
Illinois Fire Service Institute (Digital signs within the building will alert you to the room.)
Until then, we will be contacting members to gather feedback. But, if you are reading this and have specific questions about where the numbers currently stand, or about how to get involved in bargaining in any way, you should contact our Lead Negotiator, Kay Emmert ake153[@]hotmail.com. You can also reach out to us through our website.