Faculty members rally for third time this year

This is the third protest or rally that faculty, supporters have organized this year.


Mingda Wu

NIU Faculty members marching from Altgeld Hall to Founders Memorial Library Thursday Sept. 8. This was the third protest organized by faculty members in the past year, all with the goal of securing more equitable contracts for NIU faculty. (Mingda Wu | Northern Star).

By Colin Kempsell

DeKALB — Dozens of faculty members gathered on Thursday in front of the Founders Memorial Library in their most recent rally for equitable income and better contracts from NIU.

Organized by the United Faculty Alliance of Northern Illinois University, the faculty members represented their union for tenured and tenure-track faculty at NIU.

As the NIU faculty initially gathered in front of Altgeld Hall, Andy Bruno, associate professor and director of graduate studies for NIU’s Department of History, spoke words of solidarity with a megaphone in hand.

Chants like “Hey, hey, NIU, we need a contract too!” and “Union strong, union proud!” resonated among the faculty as Bruno marched them toward the Founders Memorial Library where they held their rally.

Members of the alliance have been working without a bargaining agreement since it expired in June, and have been consistently protesting since April of this year alongside the union for non-tenured faculty at NIU.

“This is a statewide struggle and we are fighting for fair and equitable compensation,” Bruno said. Bruno and other faculty members gathered peacefully in front of a large crowd outside the library, handing out flyers to students walking by with information for their cause.

“We wouldn’t be doing this if we had a contract,” said Joanna Kot, a professor of world languages and cultures for over 30 years at NIU. Kot expressed that summer negotiations couldn’t be finished, but the voices of the United Faculty Alliance members are far from being heard out.

Faculty members of UPI, the union for non-tenured faculty at NIU, last gathered in late July, seeking the same demands after their collective bargaining offer was not met. Bruno, along with other faculty members, expressed that they hope to reach an agreement with NIU over salaries and other benefits in the near future.