EIU-UPI vs. Adminstration


​​The beautiful, castle-like, Eastern Illinois University (EIU). Photo via EIU.

Elyse Jenkins, Redacted

On March 21, 2022, Eastern Illinois University- University Professionals of Illinois (EIU-UPI) started to negotiate a new contract since their current one was getting ready to expire on Aug 31, 2022. They have been without a contract since it expired in Aug of last year and are preparing to strike if needed to receive a contract. David Glassman, president of Eastern Illinois University (EIU), was awarded an excellent contract while EIU-UPI is not even being offered the bare minimum according to Jennifer Stringfellow, the president of EIU-UPI. Glassman only has to teach one class while other faculty have to teach at least three classes, he received teach aid status, merit status, roughly two-three months of paid leave, he will be paid to prep his next semester courses while no one else gets paid for that and he will also be paid to do research while any other research done on campus is unpaid and Glassman’s pay is extremely high while everyone else is getting nothing. 


“I don’t understand their [admin] obsession with saving money,” Joe Eichman, office administrator said about the possible strike that could happen. “I would be surprised if they didn’t [go on strike].”


EIU-UPI has 400 members and on March 8, 75 percent of those members went ahead and voted on an authorization for a strike. 97 percent of that 75 percent voted yes they would strike if needed. On March 9, there was a scheduled bargaining meeting and EIU-UPI could just not accept the offer the admin had given them.


The EIU-UPI does not want to strike, but they will if they need to since the administration is just showing and demonstrating a lack of respect towards them. EIU-UPI thought that they had a good relationship with the admin, but this negotiation has shown them that it may not have been as good as it seemed to be. EIU is a regional comprehension college and in Illinois there are about 6 regional comprehension universities. Chicago State and Governors State University is also in the process of possibly going onto a strike as well for the same reason, being offered the bare minimum with an intense workload. 


A lot of EIU students are very much in support of the EIU-UPI going strike since they believe the administration should be able to offer them more pay and a decent workload. A lot of students have also expressed concern about this strike due to many classes being canceled and what that could mean for when they graduate, especially seniors. EIU-UPI also have those concerns and do not want to make things harder for students, but both parties understand that this is possible and students are definitely supporting the possible strike. 


EIU-UPI plans to be loud and put tons of pressure onto the administration, so they can get their contract, a fair contract. All EIU-UPI wants is value and equity in their contract, and equity does not mean equal to Dr. Glassman’s contract. They cannot keep working the way they are with basically no pay. “If you know, you don’t have to worry when the price of eggs goes up, you’re good,” Eichman declared.

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