020521_GradUnionProtest_9 (copy)

The Graduate Workers Union announced that it met with Illinois State University's administration negotiators for the second time Monday since its strike authorization vote results were released in late April. 

Since announcing its members voted by 98% during its strike authorization vote, Illinois State University's Graduate Workers Union met with the federal mediator and administration negotiators for the second time. 

After the announcement went public April 22 just before its next mediation, it resulted in administration offering to reduce student fees for its graduate workers for the first time.

The proposal also included one of GWU's longstanding demands for the first time, which was raises for all teaching assistants.

According to a press release from GWU, "the reduction in fees was a disappointing 10% and across-the-board raises a disappointing 2%."

The press release also said the proposal still included administration's demand that GWU agrees to give away the legal rights of TAs when it comes to supporting other unions if they choose to strike. Union members stated that this is a deal-breaker for them.

The days following the announcement of the voting results were intense for negotiators as the union held a full membership meeting April 23 to discuss what is to come and the employer's offer.

This past Monday, GWU and administration negotiators met again.

According to the press release, GWU "presented a comprehensive counter proposal with substantial movement in major areas, including raises, fees, and health insurance, but maintained the union’s principled stance on its members’ legal rights."

It was reported that administration caucused for over two hours and provided no response at the time. 

In the press release, GWU negotiators said "they are waiting on the employer’s responses at this time, and are committed to continue negotiating in good faith to reach a collective bargaining agreement that addresses graduate worker poverty and debt without giving up legal rights."

KELLIE FOY is News Editor for The Vidette. She can be contacted at vidette_kafoy1@ilstu.edu  Follow Foy on Twitter at @kellie_foy 

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