News Local/State

U of Illinois-Springfield Professors’ Deal Ends Strike


University of Illinois-Springfield administrators and a union representing professors have reached a tentative contract agreement, ending a strike that started last week. The University of Illinois Springfield United Faculty union represents nearly 170 tenured and tenure-track faculty members. Representatives of the school and the union announced the deal Sunday.

The strike started last Tuesday over issues including reappointment, tenure and promotions. Contract terms aren't expected to be released until the contract is ratified. The union says that the deal establish greater transparency for the future.

Over the weekend, UIS professors and administrators spent 35 hours at the bargaining table, including a 16-hour marathon on Saturday. But Kristi Barnwell, a history professor and union officer, says the resulting contract provides the personnel policies faculty wanted, as well as some slight pay increases.  

"You know, to some extent, we're all really relieved, and the enormity of what we've accomplished will probably sink in over the next couple of days," she said.

Chancellor Susan Koch participated in the talks, and even sent pizza to the union team.

The union will vote on whether to ratify the contract sometime in the next two weeks.

The strike came during the final week of classes for the semester and the week before final exams. Those exams are expected to take place starting Monday as planned. The school says this Saturday's commencement also is expected to take place as previously scheduled.