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To Save Jobs of Adjuncts, FT Faculty Put Off Guaranteed Salary Hikes

Different tiers of faculty don’t always fight with each other over money and control.

At Eastern Illinois University, which is suffering from a steep enrollment drop and reduced state support, tenured and tenure-track faculty just put off a negotiated 1.5-percent raise for a year, Inside Higher Ed reports.

They did so to temporarily save the jobs of more than two dozen adjunct faculty, who were notified a month ago that their positions were either being eliminated or drastically pared back:

Now those faculty members will be able to teach for at least one semester. All faculty at the university are represented by the University Professionals of Illinois, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers. …

[EIU chapter President Jonathan] Blitz said that faculty members were more than willing to give up the pay raise if it meant saving the annual contract positions and that roughly 80 percent voted in favor of extending the contract and delaying the raise.

“When I approached the president with this, he looked at me and said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? You’re going to get strung out,’” Blitz said. “I told him it wouldn’t likely be a problem.”

The new president of the school and first-timer to faculty union negotiations, David Glassman, praised the tenured and tenure-track faculty for their sacrifice.

He told university employees in a memo that suggesting the delayed raise “is a testament to their support of their colleagues and willingness to be part of the solution in the vital budget adjustments taking place on campus,” Inside Higher Ed said.

It’s not quite as pure a happy ending as you’d think, though:

If the contract faculty had not had their letters of intent reinstated, Blitz said the union would have filed a grievance against the university.

Read the story.

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