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Tentative Deal with University, Visiting Academic Professionals

By Jeff Bossert

After more than a year of talks, Visiting Academic Professionals have reached a tentative agreement with the University of Illinois.

Chief negotiator Alan Bilansky says the 4-year agreement didn’t include everything the union wanted, but it includes the most important things, including a 3-percent raise, retroactive to last August. 

The VAP’s worked the past academic year without a contract. The plan also includes merit pay for another two years. 

But Bilansky says he doesn’t have an answer as to why the raises weren’t granted a year ago.

"Occasionally we talk among the different unions, and we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what it is exactly the university wants," he said.  "And we don't entirely understand it.  If the goal is essentially just to delay it as long as possible, that kind of explains some of the behavior.  If the university wants an agreement as quickly as we do, then it's kind of confusing."

U of I spokeswoman Robin Kaler says the university is ‘thrilled’ with the agreement reached following Thursday’s negotiations.

Bilansky is urging all 300 members of the union to ratify the agreement, which will occur by mail over the next 30 days.

The U of I’s Board of Trustees would also have to approve the contract.  Its next meeting will be in Urbana September 14th.

Categories: Business, Economics