Protest signs

AFSCME Council 31 union workers protest outside of Felmley Hall this morning asking for fair pay and fair contracts.

More than 40 Illinois State University employees gathered on campus Wednesday urging for contract negotiations to be finalized.

Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1110 and 3236 Clerical unions employed at ISU have been under contract negotiations since June 2018.

The 2018 contract was intended to be a temporary one-year contract. Since it expired, negotiations have slowed but the previous contract remains in effect.

Office Support Specialist at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology Trish Gudeman said employees are hoping for a fair contract.

“We have been out of contract since July 1 and we need progress. Hopefully we will get a fair contract where we are all happy, both ISU and us, but it’s just nothing right now,” Gudeman said.

AFSCME represents more than 500 ISU employees including building services workers, office specialists, nurses, campus dining workers and groundskeepers.

Since the contract negotiations began, the state minumum wage has risen and there are several members that are making less than 15 dollars an hour.

“We currently have 70 members being paid under the 15-dollar-an-hour mark. We are trying to get them raised up, we are trying to get respect and we want a fair contract for everybody here,” Building Service Worker at East Campus Cody Key said.

“Students come in contact, whether they know it or not, with so many of us out here on campus. We do a lot for this university and we would just like to see some of that return to us.”

Illinois State University’s Director of Media Relations Eric Jome said they expect a contract resolution in the near future.

“We are expecting that we are getting closer to finalizing an agreement that is going to be good for everyone,” Jome said.

“These are complicated contracts and there is obviously a lot of moving parts and a number of issues to discuss and so it’s not something that’s often a very quick process. Things have been ongoing for a while but we do expect in the near future we will see a contract resolution.”

CINDY HERNANDEZ is News Editor for The Vidette. She can be reached at vidette_cherna9@ilstu.eduFollow her on Twitter at @Cindylu_7 

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