NORMAL — An Illinois State University union local representing around more than 300 employees has filed an intent to strike, starting the 10-day notice period before a strike could begin.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1110 issued a press release on Thursday saying it had filed the notice with the state. A strike could begin April 18 if a contract agreement is not reached.
University officials were not immediately available to respond to the announcement and have generally been directing questions about negotiations to a website with negotiation updates. The website had not been updated as of 5 p.m. Thursday.
Local 1110, which is part of AFSCME Council 31, has been in negotiations with the university since October after its contract expired in June 2021. The local represents more than 300 employees in dining, grounds and building service positions.
The local voted on March 25 to allow its bargaining team to call a strike. The vote passed with 96% support, with 80% of the union voting.
Negotiating sessions with a federal mediator started Thursday. Another negotiating session is scheduled for Friday. Wages have been the main sticking point of the negotiations.
Under wage rates listed on the university website as effective Jan. 1, Local 1110 bargaining unit members make between $12.30 an hour for some intern positions up to $25.32 an hour for grounds equipment mechanics, nursery workers and tree surgeons.
Local 1110 President Chuck Carver previously has said that someone coming in new to his division would be making $13.70 an hour and that with 10 years of experience, he was making just a bit over $20 an hour.
“We were stunned that management barely moved in bargaining today. They seem totally indifferent to the potential disruption of a strike," Carver said in Thursday’s press release.
State law requires a 10-day notice before a union at an educational institution can lawfully start a strike. It also requires that parties attempt mediation before a strike can begin.
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Contact Connor Wood at (309)820-3240. Follow Connor on Twitter: @connorkwood
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April 7, 2022 at 05:53PM