Fri October 21, 2011
SIUC faculty set strike date
Reporting by WSIU's Jennifer Fuller was used in this report.
The union representing tenured and tenure-track employees at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale has set a strike date.
The SIUC Faculty Association says its members will walk off the job on Nov. 3 if they cannot reach an agreement with the university on a new contract. The last contract expired in June 2010.
The union says it remains deeply concerned about issues of academic freedom and tenure issues, including how much say faculty members will have over where and how their classes are taught. Negotiators say they're willing to discuss a conflict-of-interest and updated sexual harassment policy later, but the remaining priorities must be addressed.
University officials say they remain dedicated to negotiations, but say the new contract must deal with changes in the way education is delivered as well as ongoing budget constraints. The state of Illinois owes the university almost $8 million.
Three other unions - representing non-tenure track faculty, graduate students and clerical and support staff - have also authorized strikes. Non-tenure faculty could vote today to set an exact strike date.