Tenured union and NIU continue negotiations Friday


Sean Reed

Members of the UFA, consisting of tenured and tenure-track NIU faculty, gather to protest at the beginning of the Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 8 in Altgeld Hall, Room 315. The demonstration consisted of the union members holding up paper plates with phrases relating to the ongoing negotiation for the union’s contract. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

By Evan Mellon and Bridgette Fox

DeKALB – The union for tenured faculty and NIU will continue negotiating a new contract this week. The union has been working without a contract since July 1.

On Friday, the unions will have its first negotiations back on campus since Dec. 15.

The United Faculty Alliance (UFA) of the University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100, which represents NIU tenured and tenure-track NIU faculty, is negotiating a new contract with the university.

“I think a lot of people think about salaries when they think about labor negotiations, but there’s all kinds of other stuff that we’ve been bargaining on and reaching some tentative agreements on as well over the course of these negotiations,” said Kerry Ferris, associate professor of sociology and UFA president.

The new contract will replace the previous contract, and will be retroactively implemented once finalized and approved.

“We look forward to continuing negotiations towards a fair contract with this faculty bargaining unit,” NIU said in a statement to the Northern Star.

Ferris said that, if negotiations conclude Friday, the UFA could implement the new contract in six to eight weeks.

“We really hope things go well, and we really want to reach an agreement,” Ferris said. “And we want to emphasize that the conditions under which we labor are the conditions under which students learn.”

At the Dec. 8 Board of Trustees meeting, the UFA demonstrated, voicing frustrations over the negotiation process.