URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — The University of Illinois and the union representing its service workers reached a critical milestone over the weekend in their negotiations for a new contract.
Service Employees International Union Local 73 announced that after the resumption of negotiations on Friday, its bargaining committee reached a tentative agreement with the university on a new contract to replace the one that expired on Monday. Although the union celebrated the “massive victories at the negotiating table,” the proposed contract has yet to be ratified and a strike is still possible.
The more-than-800 union members will be voting on the proposed contract between Aug. 24 and 29, with a simple majority needed to ratify it. Before that happens, however, the union will deliver a 15-day strike notice to the university as the previous contract expired without a new one ratified to replace it.
If the proposed contract is not ratified, union members will have the ability to go on strike at some point after Monday, Sept. 5
“Some of the gains we see in this potential new contract are unprecedented. Wages have been the most important part of negotiations, and the bargaining committee is proud to say that across-the-board increases will be 7-8% for most workers,” said Dena Gary, Union Chapter President and Food Service Worker. “Ultimately, however, it is up to our membership to ratify the contract. If they vote yes, they’ll have a new contract for the next two years. If they vote against ratification, we’ll be ready to hit the picket lines.”