NIU and tenured union reach tentative agreement


Sean Reed

Kerry Ferris, UFA president and associate professor of sociology at NIU, speaks on behalf of the union members during the Board of Trustee’s Nov. 8 meeting’s public comment segment. (Sean Reed | Northern Star)

By Evan Mellon, News Reporter

DeKALB – The union for tenured faculty has reached an agreement with NIU after over a year of negotiations, granting the union members pay increases and technology upgrades.

The agreement was reached Friday and follows months of bargaining with the university since July 1, 2022, during which the tenured and tenure-track faculty were working without an agreement.

The tenured and tenure-track faculty, represented by the United Faculty Alliance (UFA) of the University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100, are expected to vote on the agreement in the following weeks before the March 23 Board of Trustees meeting.

According to the UFA, if the agreement is ratified, it will go into effect immediately and will last four years.

The agreement includes pay increases for full, associate and assistant professors. Additionally, the agreement recognizes faculty service, enhances job advancements and research opportunities and will guarantee regular technology upgrades for professors in the union.

“We’re very pleased with the agreements that we’ve reached,” said Kerry Ferris, associate professor of sociology and UFA president. “We think they (the agreements) reward and protect our faculty fairly for the work they do and have done, and we also see this contract as something that we hope will help recruit and retain even more members to our high quality and diverse faculty at NIU.”