Faculty members from 2 Illinois universities on strike; 3rd university set to strike Tuesday
CHICAGO - A strike among faculty and staff at Chicago State University is reaching its second week.
The union and CSU Administration returned to the bargaining table Monday.
Union leaders claim Chicago State faculty members are among the lowest paid in the state and are demanding a fair contract that includes wage increases to fit the cost of living.
The university says over the weekend it offered counterproposals with pay hikes but has not yet received a response from the union.
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Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson joined more than 100 striking faculty and staff on the picket line Monday afternoon.
"I'm here to demonstrate and show solidarity with you all today, and prepare to collaborate with all of the stakeholders to make sure that you all get a fair contract and that the services the Chicago State University provides, that those services are delivered," said Johnson.
CSU is not alone. Faculty at Eastern Illinois University walked off the job last Thursday and professors at Governors State University plan to strike at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
"It’s terrible like this is our last year. We don’t know what’s going to happen," said GSU senior Brittenay Maxey.
According to a letter from GSU’s administration, 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.
"I’d love for teachers to get paid more. They work hard and are really dedicated to us," said graduate student Sean Suits.
Altogether, the three schools have bargained for a contract for several months.
UPI Local 4100 includes at least 3,000 educators.
GSU leaders say they have appropriate contingency plans in place during the strike, including dining and health services. They intend to resume class schedules as normal.
Chicago Teachers Union President Stacey Davis -Gates is scheduled to speak during Tuesday’s rally along with the presidents of all three schools.