Faculty and Staff rally and consider a strike as negotiations continue

Chris Weber, Phoenix Staff Writer

GSU-UPI members held a rally in the Lakeside Lounge on Thursday, Oct. 13, to gather support in the ongoing contract negotiations. The event preceded a bargaining session on Friday, Oct. 14.

The union members, made up of GSU faculty and staff, have been working without a contract in recent months. Rally organizers encouraged the union members to attend the Friday bargaining session as a show of support.  While discussing the next steps in the bargaining process, some of the faculty in attendance had questions about voting to authorize a strike. The GSU-UPI members discussed how a strike was something that they did not take lightly and would need to prepare for if/when it was necessary.

Faculty in the library told the rally goers that they have been experiencing “a toxic work environment” as the university continues to look for a new Dean of the Library. GSU has been trying to fill the position since 2019. Union members at the rally expressed that the major concerns at this point in the bargaining process are to secure salary increases and to rectify the situation in the library before either issue causes disruptions for students.

GSU-UPI members discuss issues. (Chris Weber)

According to a union representative, the Oct. 14 bargaining session did not produce any meaningful progress in the negotiations. Faculty and Staff were encouraged to attend the Friday, Oct. 21, Board of Trustees meeting to show more support for GSU-UPI members and the library faculty. GSU-UPI members were also encouraged to attend the next scheduled bargaining session for the contract negations. This meeting will be held on Friday, Oct. 28 ,at 1 pm in Engbretson Hall.