SIU-E Faculty Union Certified With Bargaining Powers
The tenure track faculty union at SIU-Edwardsville has been certified to become the bargaining unit for some 400 faculty members on the campus.
SIU-E music professor Kim Archer was elected president at the Faculty Association's first members meeting last month. Archer says the order of certification from the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board gives the union legal permission to negotiate a contract with the school's administration.
"We've actually had an IEA/NEA operating local at SIU-E, for tenure line faculty, since 2000. But, we had to petition for bargaining rights."
Archer says the union's effort to receive certification was not aimed at SIU-E's administration. She says the union simply wants to have a seat at the table when difficult decisions are made in lights of the ongoing budget stalemate, which has severely hurt public universities across Illinois.
"We've depleted our cash reserves and we're having to shut down programs and shut down services. These things are going to continue to escalate as the state continues to not fully fund higher education."
Archer says SIU-E's growing enrollment and cash reserves has helped the campus avoid some of the severe cutbacks seen at other public schools, but she says her university isn't immune from the negative impacts of the budget crisis.