Labor Charge Against U of I Prompted by VAP’s Not Getting Raise

November 18, 2011

An unfair labor practice charge has been filed against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and the Association of Academic Professionals.

A few months ago, the university began offering a 3 percent raise to its employees, which included about 3,000 academic professionals. The Association of Academic Professionals said the U of I withheld those raises from about 300 visiting academic professionals (VAP), who are in the middle of contract negotiations. Association spokesman Alan Bilansky said that was a violation of an existing agreement that the two sides already hashed out.

Bilansky said the most recent VAP contract doesn't expire until a new contract is in place, and he said the previous agreement allows those employees to participate in the campus salary program.

"Everyone is getting an across the board raise, and the VAPs should be sharing in that," Bilansky said. "We're trying to not let resentment get in the way of negotiating a fair deal, and we are making progress....but there are grumblings from every VAP that I talk to."

Officials representing the university and the visiting academic professionals have been in talks over a new contract for the last several months.

U of I spokeswoman Robin Kaler said the previous contract for visiting academic professionals had no pay schedule for annual step increases. She also noted that the university did not guarantee that the recent 3 percent pay increase would apply to all employees.

"Pay rates differ among employees in different departments," Kaler said. "Pay adjustments are decided at the department level and may vary.

Story source: WILL