Governors State University staff joins 2 other Illinois colleges on picket line
UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. - Professors at three public universities in Illinois are on strike.
Chicago State, Eastern Illinois, and now Governors State University have all taken to the picket line.
The strikes follow a national trend in higher education, after years of declining state investments and record high inflation.
GSU educators walked off the job for the first time on Tuesday. Both sides failed to a reach a deal during bargaining sessions last week.
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Hundreds took to the picket line on the campus of Governor's State University.
The employees have been negotiating with the school since last June, with both workload and pay being the top sticking points.
Union leaders say it’s simple, they want a fair contract and more support for Black and brown students.
According to a letter from GSU’s administration, last week union members received the largest offer given in 15 years, including enhanced wages, a three-year contract, and a "larger one-time bonus payment."
Still, no agreement was made.
"Thursday when we were in negotiations, and they came in … they said, 'Well we're done for the day.' They knew what was on the line … I would've come in Easter Sunday to avoid this," said Mike Hart, President of the Governors State Local.
Both sides are supposed to return to the bargaining table on Wednesday.
Gov. JB Pritzker's spokesperson released a statement on Tuesday afternoon:
"Gov. Pritzker encourages productive bargaining sessions between the university administration and faculty. Through these talks, we are confident a fair contract agreement can be reached in a timely manner."