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Local

Official: NIU support staff contract ratified

Workers to get 9 percent raise over next 5 years

Sara Dorner, representative for AFSCME Council 31
Sara Dorner, representative for AFSCME Council 31

DeKALB – Some of Northern Illinois University’s worst-paid employees are on the brink of being assured of better days, according to their union representative.

Sara Dorner, spokeswoman for American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council Union 31, which includes the Local 963 members who serve food, clean the buildings and generally maintain the campus, said the negotiating teams ratified a new five-year contract Tuesday evening.

In July, the NIU negotiators pulled raises off the table, Dorner said. Now they’re slated to get a 9 percent raise over the next five years, Dorner said –
3 percent each of the next three years. The first 3 percent raise is retroactive to November, Dorner said.

“We’re very pleased with the contract,” Dorner said. “You can hear the elation in my voice. These were contentious negotiations, and NIU consistently did not come to the table in good faith.”

Dorner said negotiations wrapped up
Aug. 14, two weeks before the contract was ratified. She said that for the first time in
Local 963’s history, dating back to 1952, a federal mediator needed to intervene.

The NIU Board of Trustees still must approve the contract at its 9 a.m.
Sept. 13 meeting.

“We’ll be packing the room,” Dorner said.

NIU spokesman Joe King said the university can’t comment at this time.

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