AFSCME Airs Concerns Over Proposed NIU Wage Increases
State-employee union officials say they’re concerned about the recent news of planned wage increases for some Northern Illinois University employees.
The three-percent wage hike would apply only to NIU employees who are not in an open contract with a bargaining unit. There are about a dozen such contracts including faculty, civil service employees and food service workers.
AFSCME spokeswoman Sara Dorner said she asked Acting NIU President Lisa Freeman to offer the wage increases to all on the same basis while negotiations continue. She says NIU officials claim wage increases were a priority but haven’t shown it in negotiations with clerical employees.
“Nothing the university has put forth to us has demonstrated that one bit,” Dorner said. “In fact, the university only has a wage freeze proposal on the table.”
Dorner says union members still want to keep negotiating regardless. “They see the bigger picture and they are standing together on this,” Dorner said.
Freeman says the goal is to make the raise effective for full-time employees and graduate assistants by December.
NIU officials say the eligibility requirements weren’t meant to be exclusionary, and the university is committed to fair bargaining with all 19 NIU unions.
University officials say 960 of their employees are in unions.