SRP-IMAGE-Logo

As Chicago State University faculty begins strike, other universities could follow

By ANDREW ADAMS
Capitol News Illinois
aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com

CHICAGO – Faculty at Chicago State University, a small public university on Chicago’s South Side, went on strike Monday after months of stalled negotiations with university administrators.

Faculty at Eastern Illinois University and Governors State University have also filed paperwork declaring their intent to strike, with strikes possible as early as Thursday and Friday, respectively.

All three faculties, which are part of University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100, voted to authorize a strike with a 97 percent margin of membership or higher.

Northeastern Illinois University faculty have also been in negotiations with administrators since July last year after working under a contract first approved in 2014. The NEIU faculty union has requested mediation. 

CSU’s strike has garnered messages of solidarity from union leaders in Chicago, including the heads of the Cook County College Teachers Union and the Chicago Teachers Union.

Strike leaders at CSU as well as the university’s administration have pointed to wages as a key sticking point.

In 2021, professors, lecturers and instructors at CSU made an average of $67,323, which was $17,386 lower than the average salary for those roles at other state universities, according to records from the state’s Board of Higher Education. EIU faculty made $76,244, which is $8,370 lower than the average for other universities.

“I’m really quiet and shy, but I’ve had to come out and stand up and stand out because I’m seeing so much injustice,” CSU faculty union president Valerie Goss told strikers at a Monday rally.

CSU said in a statement on Saturday that the union’s financial demands “far exceed our current economic position.”

Negotiations at EIU are also stuck on compensation.

“For months now, EIU administration has proposed to us an effective pay cut,” EIU faculty’s lead negotiator Billy Hung said in a statement last week. “And for months, we’ve said that our members will not agree to work more for less.”

EIU released a statement after the faculty authorized a strike, saying that the union’s proposal would cost the university $10 million over the contract’s four-year term.

The university cited the unclear future of international student enrollment as well as state budgeting to explain their inability to meet the union’s demands.

“Given this uncertainty and the forecasted demographic cliff facing all universities, the University needs to continue to be focused on financial stability,” the statement read.

Governors State’s faculty union president Mike Hart said disagreements over finances as well as the “overwhelming workload” that academic advisors face were the areas of disagreement that led to the strike authorization.

“No one wants to strike, but we are willing to if necessary to settle a fair contract that gives us the support required to ensure our students get the resources they need to succeed,” he said in a news release last week.

Representatives from Governors State have indicated that the sides are making progress.

“Progress is being made at the bargaining table and that is where we will be directing our energy – toward reaching an equitable new contract,” Will Davis, a spokesperson for the university, said in an email Tuesday.

University Professionals of Illinois is part of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, one of the two major teachers unions in the state. IFT President Daniel Montgomery said that the current divide between the universities and their faculty is ultimately a byproduct of years of underfunding from the state.

“This is what happens when you have 20 years of disinvestment in higher education,” Montgomery told Capitol News Illinois Monday.

Although he said faculty at Governors State and EIU won’t necessarily strike, Montgomery called the CSU strike the “tip of the spear.” 

“It’s cyclical and I think we’re in a period where people are saying ‘I’m not going to take this anymore,’” Montgomery said.

The strike authorizations follow tense bargaining at other state universities, including a January strike at the University of Illinois Chicago that lasted six days and bargaining last spring at the University of Illinois Springfield that was resolved two days before a strike would have begun.

Beyond higher education, labor rights have been the subject of significant recent debate in Illinois, with voters narrowly passing a constitutional amendment in November that guarantees the right of workers to collectively bargain. The amendment also bars the state from passing “right-to-work” laws.

While last year saw a jump in the number of major strikes nationwide, strikes are still far less common than they once were, according to data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2022, there were 26 strikes with more than 1,000 participants. While that is the highest level since 2001, it is 5.5 percent of the peak number of strikes in 1952.

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide, as well as hundreds of radio and TV stations. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Leave a Comment





Local News

Mary Stanek

Looks like March may go out like a lion

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796. . March comes in like a lamb – it goes out like a lion! A sneak peek at the weather forecast for the next 10 days does show some mild days. So, we welcome…

Kathy Headley

Weather cooperated for Marine’s return

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . After the surprising snow coming down like a blizzard for a while last Friday night, I was especially glad to see the sun Saturday morning, for Patrick Downs (St. Rita High School class of…

Peggy Zabicki

Slam the brakes on reckless drivers

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . The most popular topic of conversation in our neighborhood lately is the problem of speeding drivers. There are car accidents every single day due to drivers who break the law. I hope the city will add even more…

Hon. Koula Fornier

Fournier resigns from TTO to become judge

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Lyons Township Trustees of Schools is accepting applications for a vacancy on their board, after Trustee Koula A. Fournier resigned earlier this month after being sworn-in as a Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court. Fournier was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill the Maloney vacancy of…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Hoops Wrap | Curie, Rice and Marist among area regional champs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent The original March Madness got underway last week across Illinois, and several area teams were crowned regional champions. Teams still alive in Class 4A are Marist and Curie, and in Class 3A are Brother Rice, De La Salle, Evergreen Park and Mount Carmel.   CLASS 4A Marist (29-4) cruised…

Evergreen Park senior Tre Dowdell crosses over a Hillcrest defender during the Class 3A Evergreen Park Regional championship game on Feb. 23. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Basketball Class 3A Playoffs | Evergreen Park tops Hillcrest for first regional title since 1974

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Some Evergreen Park players have deep roots in the community, but it was a newcomer that carried the Mustangs to a monumental win. Senior guard Tre Dowdell put up a game-high 30 points and Mustangs rolled to a 74-60 win over Hillcrest in the Class 3A Evergreen Park Regional…

SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview could be the site for Northwestern football games in 2024. Photo by Jeff Vorva

College Football | Northwestern football may play at SeatGeek

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent It appears that Chicago’s Big Ten team will be Bridgeview’s Big Ten team for at least one day. Maybe more. Northwestern has released its 2024 football schedule, but where the Wildcats will play their seven home games is unknown. Their home stadium, Ryan Field in Evanston, is undergoing a…

Nazareth senior Amalia Dray fight through a Kenwood defender during the Roadrunners’ 50-37 win in the Class 4A Mother McAuley Sectional title game. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Girls Basketball | Nazareth tops Homewood-Flossmoor, heads to Illinois Final Four for fifth time in past six seasons

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Nazareth head coach Ed Stritzel has built his Roadrunners into a powerhouse program with a defense-first philosophy that is carrying the reigning Class 3A state champions through another deep postseason run. Four nights after Nazareth held Kenwood to a season-low 37 points in the Class 4A Mother McAuley Sectional…

Mount Carmel's wrestling team celebrates a Class 3A championship. Photo courtesy of Mount Carmel High School

Postseason Roundup | Mount Carmel wrestling wins fifth state title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent During the regular season, only one wrestling team from Illinois beat Mount Carmel in a dual meet. Joliet Catholic got the better of the Caravan with a 38-27 victory on Jan. 18. That came two days after Mount Carmel lost to Crown Point (Indiana). The Caravan will be unable…

St. Laurence's Kathleen Martin gets off a shot against Hinsdale South in the Class 3A St. Ignatius Sectional on Feb. 22 in Chicago. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | St. Laurence girls hoops has benchmark season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The St. Laurence girls basketball team’s historic season came to a close with a 42-29 loss to Hinsdale South at the Class 3A St. Ignatius Sectional on Feb. 22, but the Vikings hit some milestone’s in former Marist and Saint Xavier star Claire Austin’s first year as coach. The…

Neighbors

Richard Chavez, 24, of Oak Park, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Charisma Ehresman of Forest View. (Booking photo)

Oak Park man charged in Forest View woman’s murder

Spread the love

Spread the love By Carol McGowan and Bob Bong A 24-year-old Oak Park man has been arrested and charged in the strangulation death last month of 20-year-old Charisma Ehresman, of Forest View. Richard Chavez, of the 600 block of South Maple Street in Oak Park, was arrested on February 18 at Cook County Jail where…

Kathy Headley

Years later, he still takes the cake

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 In the past I’ve started columns dated Feb. 25 by giving a shout out to former Beatle George Harrison, who would have celebrated his 79th birthday today. Today is no different. He was my favorite of…

Joan Hadac

Laff-Jam coming to St. Bede, no foolin’

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joan Hadac GSWNH Columnist At-Large joan.hadac@gmail.com Once again this week, it’s my privilege and pleasure to write the Greater Southwest News-Herald’s column for Greater Ashburn (the Wrightwood, Ashburn, Parkview and Scottsdale neighborhoods). As usual, there are plenty of interesting things happening in this special, vibrant part of Chicago. St. Bede School’s athletics…

Mary Stanek

Best of all, spring is coming

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 284-7394 Mardi Gras, Paczki Day, Fat Tuesday and the start of the Lenten season all happen this coming week. But the absolute best part is, March is here. Spring is just around the corner (we can…

Peggy Zabicki

A sweet treat, right on 63rd Street

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 Hi neighbors! Today is Chocolate Covered Nuts Day. Celebrate wisely. I suggest a trip to Villa’s Nuts and Candy, 4635 W. 63rd St. They have scrumptious chocolate-covered everything and so much more. Call them for information on days and hours at (773) 581-8313.…

Olympic Silver Medalist Abbey Murphy was welcomed back to her home block on 92nd and Ridgeway Avenue in Evergreen Park Thursday night. She stands here alongside Evergreen Park Mayor Kelly Burke (left). (Photos by Kelly White)

Warm homecoming on cold, snowy night for Olympian Abbey Murphy

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Streets lined with residents welcomed back USA Olympic Silver Medalist Abbey Murphy Thursday night to Evergreen Park. The Evergreen Park community has been cheering on 19-year-old Murphy as she and Team USA battled in the women’s hockey tournament at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Countless residents have decorated their houses…

The late CPD Officer Ella French. --Supplied photo

St. Patrick’s Day parade dedicated to Officer Ella French

Spread the love

Spread the loveHeroism, sacrifice to be honored By Tim Hadac A 29-year-old woman remembered as a hero and martyr among many—in Chicago and elsewhere—will be saluted at the Archer Avenue St. Patrick’s Day parade, set for Saturday, March 12. The late Chicago Police Officer Ella French, shot to death during a traffic stop near 63rd…

CRRNH_EagleScoutCongrats_022322

Eight years later, an Eagle takes flight

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joan Hadac Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge (708) 496-0265 • joan.hadac@gmail.com Hi everyone. I want to tell you about the eight-year journey of one young man, which started in fourth grade at Kinzie School and ended just recently. His journey took him from Cub Scout Pack 3625 at Kinzie School through…

CRRNH_StDanSpiritDay_022322

A crazy fun day

Spread the love

Spread the love Dahlia Walkosz and Olivia Lopez, fifth graders at St. Daniel the Prophet School, were among many having fun during Crazy Hat Day–part of St. Dan’s efforts to promote good spirit during this year’s Catholic Schools Week. Parents looking for a school for their children for the 2022-23 school year are invited to…

Amelia Garcia

Naz teacher earns Golden Apple nomination

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports A teacher at Nazareth Academy in La Grange Park has been named a Golden Apple Award Finalist for Excellence in Teaching. Amelia García is one of just 30 finalists for the prestigious award. Hundreds of high school teachers across the state were nominated. Winners will be announced this spring—surprised individually…