DeKALB – Members of the faculty union at Northern Illinois University ratified their first union contract, and it now goes before the universities Board of Trustees for a final vote.
According to a new release from the United Faculty Alliance, which represents more than 500 tenured faculty at NIU’s six colleges and is a chapter of the University of Professionals of Illinois, faculty reached a consensus on their contract Friday. The union and trustees previously had reached a tentative agreement in September after two years of bargaining and a public appeal to the board by a standing-room-only crowd of union members Sept. 12.
The contract includes goals by the union such as “protecting a workload that allows a balance between instruction and research, preserves academic freedom and maintain faculty input in classroom-related decision making,” according to the release.
Of the 87% of union members who voted on the contract, 99% of them voted to ratify, according to the release.
“Everything we have fought for, everything in our contract, will help us give our students the high-quality education they deserve,” union vice president Mark Schuller said in the release.
In addition to pushing for a pay raise, Schuller has said goals such as academic freedom (not being fired for conducting research deemed controversial or unpopular), a transparent management process and transparent decisions about grant allocations also were priorities.
The contract will go before the board at a later meeting for final approval.