The University of Illinois (UI) has a long-standing history of being a leader in higher education across the United States. As an institution, the university has always placed a strong emphasis on ensuring that its faculty, staff, and workers are compensated and treated fairly. One way that UI has achieved this is through collective bargaining agreements.
Collective bargaining is the process of negotiation between an employer and a group of employees to establish the terms and conditions of employment. A collective bargaining agreement (CBA) is a written document that outlines the agreement reached between the employer and employees. These agreements are legally binding and cover a wide range of issues, such as wages, benefits, working hours, job security, and safety.
For UI, collective bargaining agreements are negotiated with various unions that represent the university`s employees. The main unions that represent UI employees are the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) and the Graduate Employee Organization (GEO). UPI represents approximately 3,000 employees, including faculty, staff, and graduate assistants, while GEO represents about 2,700 graduate employees.
The most recent collective bargaining agreement negotiated by UPI was for the fiscal years of 2019-2022. The agreement included a 9% increase in salaries over the three-year period, as well as improvements to healthcare benefits and additional parental leave for all employees. The agreement also included provisions to address gender and racial disparities in pay and to create a more inclusive work environment for all employees.
Similarly, the GEO has negotiated several collective bargaining agreements with UI, which have included measures to improve working conditions for graduate employees. In 2018, the GEO negotiated a contract that included a 9.5% increase in minimum stipends for graduate employees, as well as a 20% increase in childcare subsidies.
Collective bargaining agreements are an essential component of ensuring that UI employees are treated fairly and receive the compensation and benefits they deserve. By negotiating these agreements with employees` unions, the university can work to create a more equitable workplace and foster a positive work environment. In conclusion, the University of Illinois stands by its commitment to its employees and upholds the importance of collective bargaining agreements in creating a fair and safe working environment.