Students, staff march for higher ed

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EASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY — Students and staff are holding a rally on campus. They’re demanding lawmakers pass a budget as the university continues to suffer. Almost 300 workers have been, or will be, laid off. Now, there’s another blow. Those who are still there will have to take a pay cut.

EIU’s president says they’re running out of options. The union says the president made it clear: If workers can’t agree to a pay cut, the university can’t keep the doors open. It’s one reason staff, faculty, students, laid-off workers and their families marched on campus Wednesday.

Exactly 261 red flags have been planted; one for each laid off worker. They placed the same number at the courthouse. The union of university employees will vote Friday on the president’s proposal for pay cuts. Union leaders say it is not being warmly received, but they may not have any other choice.

The march was not the first demonstration on campus this semester. Those participating say they’re growing frustrated fighting for their school while nothing seems to be getting done in Springfield.

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