We have not sent out any information on the imposed Spring Break “furloughs” because NEIU/UPI does not sanction the administration’s unilateral action. This plan is in no way ours to comment on. The imposition of furloughs violates the contract and labor law, and we filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board when the imposition was announced.
Currently, our avenues of response are legal, through negotiation, and political. No matter what happens along the first two paths we will have to continue to be mobilized in response to Rauner’s inability to govern the State of Illinois and provide funding for higher education.
During Spring Break, we met and negotiated with NEIU’s administration on Wednesday 3/22 and Thursday 3/23. Our next session will be Monday 3/27.
We have scheduled a Membership Meeting for Thursday, 3/30 at 3:00 to report on negotiations (room TBA). We do not at this time have a proposal to bring forward for you to vote on. I’m sorry for the uncertainty and delay on all of this. The survey data you provided has been invaluable and we are crafting our position to reflect what you are most committed to us achieving.
On all fronts, we have greatly benefited from the support of IFT, the American Federation of Teachers, and our own Local 4100. I want to thank them for their work on our behalf thus far and share the AFT report on the situation at NEIU.
Follow this link that includes the quote below from AFT President Randi Weingarten http://www.aft.org/news/budget-crisis-forces-illinois-university-close-week
“For years, Gov. Rauner has engineered fiscal crises to justify austerity budgets that slash public spending and lower taxes for his billionaire friends,” says AFT President Randi Weingarten. “It’s a vicious cycle, and today we’re seeing the consequences play out.
“This shutdown will deny students the ability to learn and will fire part-time student workers who depend on a regular salary to survive. Contingent faculty will be hit especially hard. We want the school to join our fight for a new budget in Springfield, but only if it is committed to advocating for students and to stabilizing the state college system that educates tens of thousands of Illinoisans.”