SIU union vote likely on Monday

Saturday, February 1, 2003

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Members of Southern Illinois University's faculty union will be at their jobs Monday morning, but that doesn't mean they won't call a strike later that day in a dispute over pay and working conditions, union officials said Friday.

The 400-member union is considering what university officials call the university's "last and best" contract offer. The offer includes a 7.5 percent raise over the four-year proposal, among other things.

Union members have threatened to "shut the university down" with a strike if their demands for better pay and more input into hiring decisions aren't met.

School officials say they're doing all they can in a time of budget cuts and deficits.

The union represents 688 tenured and tenure-track professors on the Carbondale campus, but does not represent faculty at the university's Edwardsville location or its law and medical schools.

The SIUC professors average $60,200 a year. Public university professors in Illinois average about $66,000 per year.

The union's governing body will meet on Sunday to decide whether to submit the latest offer to the full membership for a vote on Monday afternoon, said union president Morteza Daneshdoost.

If such a vote takes place and union members reject the offer, Daneshdoost would call a strike immediately, he said.

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