The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees gave unanimous approval to the new contract agreement with the University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100, which represents WIU faculty members.
No BoT members commented on the pact before voting on it during their quarterly meeting. But earlier in the meeting, Provost Ken Hawkinson praised both sides.
“For decades, while labor strife has been rampant at other universities in this state, the WIU administration and the WIU UPI chapter have engaged in principled and positive negotiations,” Hawkinson said.
He said the welfare of the university, its students, and all its employees was taken into consideration during the negotiations.
Hawkinson also personally thanked UPI Chapter President John Miller for his work on the contract.
The new contract covers three years beginning July 1, 2014 and eliminates the final year of the pact that was supposed to continue until June 30, 2015.
Under that deal, faculty members were supposed to receive pay raises of 4% beginning July 1, 2014. Instead, they will receive raises of 2% in each of the first two years and 1% in the final year.
Miller said the new contract also contains some important improvements, including a provision that gives release time for faculty to work on grant writing. He said that will ultimately benefit students.
The contract agreement was approved by UPI members in November.