The aftermath of EIU’s strike


EIU’s strike lasted for six days. Photo via Eastern Daily News.​​

Elyse Jenkins, Reporter

On April 6, Eastern Illinois University (EIU)  faced total chaos as that was their first day of the strike. The strike lasted a total of 5 days and students were able to return to classes on April 14. On April 12, students and other community members had been becoming a part of the strike as well as EIU-UPI. As of today, EIU-UPI is negotiating on a contract, but still does not have an active, fair contract. EIU-UPI members will have a ratification vote some time within the next week or two to officially decide on if they accept the contract administration has sent them. 


EIU-UPI did not want to strike, but felt like they had to receive a better contract since all the other offers were not even the bare minimum or barely the bare minimum. “If you know, you don’t have to worry when the price of eggs goes up, you’re good,” Joe Eichman, office administrator, had said. EIU-UPI members definitely felt the worry about prices increasing and not making enough money. 


EIU-UPI has been negotiating for a new contract since March 21, 2022 and just now are being handed a possible contract they can accept, a little over a year it has taken for them to get this offer. Jennifer Stringfellow, president of EIU-UPI, felt like the administration and the union had a good relationship until it came time to get a new contract everything changed. EIU-UPI members feel like they have been disrespected and thought they had a good relationship that now definitely needs to be repaired after the strike. 


Students have been in favor of the EIU-UPI members and not administration, even though they could not go to class, seniors had fears of if they would graduate, how will this affect campus and just also their college experience. Even though graduating is more important to students than anything else when it is right around the corner, students had basically put EIU-UPI members beforehand to some degree. Students were more worried about how they were being treated, paid and work load, but EIU-UPI were also more worried about the students. Both parties were worried about each other and did their best to help support themselves before, during and after the strike. 


“I don’t understand their [administration’s] obsession with saving money,” Joe Eichman said about the strike before it had happened, “I would be surprised if they didn’t [go on strike].” 


Most people who had been aware of the negotiations figured this would happen, but the admin seemed to just show everyone, specifically EIU-UPI, that they did not care until the striked happened. One year of negotiating before a strike versus a 5 day strike and finally offering something that EIU-UPI may take just shows their relationship. Glassman received an amazing contract extremely fast and even though EIU-UPI was not asking for a contract like that, they just want a fair contract in a fast manner. 


EIU-UPI planned to be loud and put pressure on the admin during the strike and the strike ended within 5 days. EIU-UPI had succeeded in that aspect. 

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