FAQ: The Issues That Divide Us

Here are questions we hear about the differences in position between the unions and the admininistration:

A. What specific issues separate the unions from the administration?

Each local has different specific priorities and issues, which it can best address separately.  Here are some central shared concerns and interests:

  • We all believe that the best way to protect quality education at SIUC is to treat the employees who serve our students fairly and with respect
  • Treating employees with respect requires:
    • Fair wages and benefits
    • An employment and appointment system that recognizes the value of our work and jobs
    • Respecting employees’ collective bargaining rights
    • Making employees partners in improving SIUC, not subordinates who must simply do as told.

All of these issues impact the quality of the education we provide.

B. How do union concerns affect the quality of the education we provide to our students?

Quality education requires quality faculty and staff. Fair wages, reasonable job security, and supportive working conditions allow SIUC to recruit and retain high quality employees.  Our members are the people who serve and teach SIUC students.  We thus have the most direct impact on the quality of the service and instruction SIUC students receive.

C. Why should you have a say in running the university?  Isn’t that the administration’s job?

Our members are professionals, and we can best serve our students when we are treated like professionals and allowed to make full use of our expertise and experience.  The administration’s unwillingness to treat us as equal partners in guiding this university is divisive and saps morale. An administration that is unwilling to learn from the knowledge and insight of faculty and staff will make poor decisions.

D. The administration says you’re trying to force non-members to pay dues.  Is that true?

Our associations have a legal obligation to fully represent members and non-members alike competently and equally.  It’s a legal obligation that we take very seriously.  Because of that, the General Assembly authorized us to negotiate a “fair share” payment from non-members for services rendered.  That is all we seek – a fair share payment from those who may, for their own reasons, choose not to join the union that bargains on their behalf.


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