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University Professionals of Illinois

WIU Supporters Deliver "Buy Into Western" Petition; Governor Responds

Mar 15, 2019
Photo of the group taken in the Rotunda / Austin Thompson with TnT Video

Supporters of Western Illinois University traveled to Springfield Thursday to hand deliver a petition to the governor's office. The governor was out of town at the time, but he did address it and the university during a visit to Quincy.

WIU Rally: "Stand Up, Fight Back"

Mar 7, 2019
Emily Boyer / Tri States Public Radio

A large crowd gathered late Wednesday afternoon in front of Western Illinois University's main administrative building on the Macomb campus.

Faculty, students, staff, and community members huddled on the steps of Sherman Hall in the cold, chanting, and waving signs with messages such as "Faculty is committed to WIU,"  "Teaching makes admin jobs possible," and "Fight for our families." The group was there for a rally in support of the 132 employees who received layoff notices on March 1.

Courtesy WIU

Organizers of the Buy into Western Illinois University petition drive feel their effort has taken on greater urgency in the aftermath of the latest round of layoffs at the institution.  Western sent 132 layoff notices to faculty and staff from across the university on March 1. 

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas has delayed an announcement on budget cuts.  But he is warning that deep cuts are still necessary.

Rich Egger

The University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) has asked the McDonough County State's Attorney's office to conduct a criminal investigation of the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees, University President Jack Thomas, and other officers of the institution.

Another Year of Change Ahead for WIU

Aug 16, 2018
TSPR Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University’s president used his State of the University address during Thursday's University Assembly to say this will be a year of change at the institution.

Rich Egger

Leaders at Western Illinois University said they will unveil details about the school's realignment plans on July 16.  They said everything is being evaluated so it's too soon to discuss what might be included in the plans.

By the Numbers: A Look at WIU's Faculty Layoffs

Jul 2, 2018
TSPR

A few details are emerging about the layoffs at Western Illinois University, which were authorized by the Board of Trustees during a special meeting late last week. A total of two dozen faculty members and two other employees in academic affairs are losing their jobs.

Rich Egger

Two dozen faculty members at Western Illinois University will lose their jobs as the university contends with declines in student enrollment and state financial support.  During a special meeting of Western's Board of Trustees on Thursday, Chair Cathy Early said the university is repositioning itself while remaining fiscally responsible.

Tri States Public Radio

Faculty and staff at Western Illinois University have voted to ratify a new employment contract. Western's Board of Trustees is scheduled to consider the agreement during a special meeting Friday.

Screen capture from Boise State University's website

Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas was in Idaho Thursday for a job interview. He is a finalist in the search for the next president of Boise State University.

WIU and UPI Move Closer to Deal as Strike Looms

Apr 25, 2018
TSPR Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University and the union representing the university's faculty and staff released a joint statement Tuesday night regarding their ongoing contract talks. The two sides said they are close to a reaching a tentative agreement following Monday's mediation session.

The union representing faculty and staff at Western Illinois University marched through the heart of campus Monday afternoon demanding a fair contract from the administration.

Western's UPI Chapter Votes to Authorize a Strike

Apr 18, 2018
TSPR Emily Boyer

Faculty and staff at Western Illinois University have voted to authorize a strike. 

Courtesy WIU

Members of the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) Local 4100 will hold a strike authorization vote on the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses as contract talks with the administration drag on. The union represents faculty, advisors, admissions counselors, and other counselors, according to Chapter President Bill Thompson.

Union Pickets for 'Fair Contract'

Feb 9, 2018
TSPR Emily Boyer

More than 150 Western Illinois University faculty, staff, and union supporters picketed in downtown Macomb Thursday. They want a fair contract for  Western's chapter of the University Professionals of Illinois.

TSPR Emily Boyer

During mediation, members of the union representing faculty and staff gather in one room and the administration is in another. The federal mediator goes back and forth between them. Much of what's discussed during mediation is confidential.

Rich Egger

Teachers and some staff at Western Illinois University will begin the new year without a new contract.  They're in mediation with the administration and are working under terms of the previous contract, which expired over the summer.

Preserve Minima to Discourage Salary Inequities

Oct 26, 2017
Rich Egger

A recent report on Tri States Public Radio cited the current impasse in salary negotiations between the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) and the Western Illinois University (WIU) administration.  According to the report, there are several issues that have stood in the way of an agreement.  Among other issues, the administration asks to reduce compensation, increase furlough days, and eliminate the current contract use of "minima."

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University's strategic plan, Higher Values in Higher Education, states, "Western Illinois University's highest priority is to increase faculty and staff salaries to meet and exceed the mean of peer institutions."  Faculty members reminded the school's Board of Trustees of that goal during the Board's most recent meeting.

TSPR

The Western Illinois University administration and the union representing teachers and staff are headed to mediation after almost a year of contract negotiations.  The university's contract with the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) expired over the summer so both sides continue to operate under the old agreement.

WIU Renews Non-Tenure Track Teacher Contracts

Jul 28, 2017
TSPR's Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University has renewed the teaching contracts of more than 100 associate faculty members for the upcoming school year.

Western Faculty Take Photo in Solidarity

Jul 3, 2017

A few dozen faculty members from Western Illinois University gathered on the steps of Sherman Hall for a group photo on Friday, the eve of Illinois entering a third fiscal year without a state budget. The gathering was organized in an effort to show solidarity and support for the union's  Unit B faculty.

WIU Delays Decisions About Fall Staffing Levels

Jun 1, 2017
Rich Egger

Western Illinois University is taking a wait-and-see approach to renewing the contracts of some of its professors for the fall semester. The decision follows the Illinois Legislature adjourning the spring legislative session without passing a state budget. Illinois is wrapping up the second fiscal year without a comprehensive spending plan.

College professors across Illinois will step away from their classrooms to rally in Springfield on Thursday, April 27. The event called Teach Out for Illinois Higher Education is in response to the state budget stalemate.

Rich Egger

John Miller, President of the University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100, said the six month spending plan passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor was poorly done and is not even a true budget. And he said it amounts to another cut for higher education.

TSPR

Just a few weeks remain in the fiscal year and Western Illinois University is preparing to wrap up the books without much financial support from the state.

The university received only about 30% of its regular state appropriations. When that round of funding was announced in April, there was hope more money would soon follow.  But, Illinois lawmakers wrapped up the spring legislative session without passing a state spending plan for this year or next.

School Year Ends But Cash Needs Continue at WIU

May 17, 2016
Rich Egger

Even though the school year is over at Western Illinois University, the Macomb community is still rallying for higher education funding.  About 50 people -- including Western faculty, staff and a few students -- gathered alongside members of the community for a demonstration that started in Chandler Park.

Unionized Faculty at Western Agree to Pay Cut

May 9, 2016
Emily Boyer

Members of the University Professionals of Illinois chapter at Western Illinois University voted overwhelmingly to defer 3% of their compensation for the next two years. They also agreed to pass up a negotiated 1% salary increase.

Rich Egger

147 employees are losing their jobs as WIU grapples with a drastic decrease in state support for the current fiscal year and uncertain funding for the coming year.

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