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Union: Tentative contract reached; potential worker strike at ISU averted

Ralph Weisheit

The union representing building, grounds, and food service workers at Illinois State University said Thursday evening it has reached a tentative, four-year contract agreement with the university.

AFSCME Local 1110 had threatened a strike on Monday after months of negotiations failed to result in an agreement. Instead, the union said it will hold a ratification vote meeting.

The parties agreed not to release details to the public until members review the proposal, according to a union statement.

ISU's board of trustees also must approve the pact.

“The determination and unity of these dedicated ISU employees has resulted in a tentative agreement that will make ISU not only a good place to learn, but a better place to work,” said Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch. “That’s the power of collective bargaining for the greater good.”  

AFSCME Local 1110 has about 350 people in the bargaining unit, according to the university.

"ISU values the contributions of these employees and appreciates their service to the university and our students," the university stated on a website updating the status of negotiations.

The union contract expired in June 2021. There were more than 20 negotiating sessions over six months.

“We are deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support that we received from students, faculty and members of other on-campus unions, which was so essential to our ability to achieve this agreement,” said Chuck Carver, AFSCME Local 1110 Ppesident and a building service worker.  

The union filed a strike notice with the state Educational Labor Relations Board on April 7 after a 96% vote to authorize a strike; 88% of the membership voted on that question.

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WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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