Regents approve contracts, raises

By Vickie Snow

The Board of Regents made some union officials at Sangamon State University and Illinois State University smile Thursday when their contracts were approved.

The six months of bargaining for better salaries for SSU professors ended Thursday when the Board, which governs ISU, SSU and NIU, approved a contract providing for overall salary increases of 5 percent.

The University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100 met with SSU administrators Monday and approved the agreement, which provides for 2.3 percent across-the-board salary increases for the first year. Local 4100 represents 160 faculty members.

Through additional contract terms of promotional increments, merit pay and travel expense money, the total increase is close to 5 percent, said UPI President Mitch Vogel.

The least a professor could receive is the 2.3 percent increase and travel money, he said. The Board offered a salary increase of 2 percent in October.

Upon hearing that the board also endorsed the contract, Vogel said, “We’re very pleased this one chapter of business is closed.” SSU clerical and service workers have yet to finalize a contract.

The contract is retroactive to July 1 because it ended in June. Negotiations for second-year salary increases will begin this summer, Vogel said.

As far as a contract for the service and clerical workers, “all the fears of unsatisfactory resolution aren’t out the window,” he said.

The workers’ union filed for impasse and is waiting for a mediator, he said.

In related business, the Board approved a revision of a contract between ISU and Servicemaster, a private janitorial firm.

The firm reorganized the work of building service workers based on square footage, making workloads difficult and causing about 50 union workers to rally at the September board meeting.

The revision goes into effect Jan. 1 and on-site Servicemaster workers will be reduced from three to one by Dec. 31. The final worker will leave a year later.

The modification provides for an annual cost reduction of $180,000.

The ISU workers’ union—American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1110—represents 308 building and food service workers.

Union representative Steve Borberly said “we have taught the management they can work with us.”

The Board approved the contract’s revision without comment.