GSU Faculty and Staff Prepare to Strike on Tuesday


Chris Weber

“Paul” by Tony Tasset. A sculpture on the GSU campus.

Chris Weber, Phoenix Staff Writer

After months of bargaining, members of the GSU chapter of Union Professionals of Illinois (GSU-UPI) are ready to increase the volume and call more attention to their efforts. GSU-UPI members have scheduled a rally and are prepared to join two other Illinois Universities in a labor strike this week.

A rally is scheduled for Tuesday, Apr. 11, at noon outside of the G-building at GSU. Speakers at the event will include Mike Hart (president of GSU-UPI) and the union presidents from Chicago State University and Eastern Illinois University. CSU and EIU are also part of UPI and began striking last week. 

According to a press release from the Illinois Federation of Teachers: “Union presidents, faculty members, and students from Chicago State, Eastern Illinois, and Governors State Universities will call on administrations to bargain seriously and end these strikes.” 

GSU-UPI members discuss the negotiation process.

Faculty, staff, and possibly some students are planning to picket at the entrances of GSU Tuesday from 10 am to 6 pm to call more attention to the negotiations and gain support for GSU-UPI. 

While the bargaining team for the GSU administration has been receptive to some of the GSU-UPI’s contract terms, there are still some major sticking points being discussed in bargaining sessions. In addition to salaries that will help GSU-UPI members survive the recent cost of living increases, the union is fighting for advisors at the university to have a manageable workload. Advisors at GSU reportedly have more students under their supervision than they can adequately serve.

The GSU administration has published a note on its website along with a list of FAQs that should help students and community members navigate this period. According to the note, “The University is steadfast in its commitment to reach a fair, equitable agreement with its faculty that is fiscally responsible to the students and the People of Illinois.” 

Read more about possible disruptions here.