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Northern Illinois University Faculty Form AAUP Union

On April 27, 2016, tenured and tenure-track faculty at Northern Illinois University filed with the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board to form a new union affiliated with the AAUP. It will represent more than six hundred faculty members at NIU.

A union will allow the faculty to negotiate ways to improve NIU and work with the administration to find solutions to budget issues. Currently, many faculty are concerned that the administration makes decisions without input from the faculty who carry them out. Resources for the university’s core mission of teaching and research have dwindled, while tuition costs and student loan debt have ballooned.

Faculty have experienced several years of wage freezes, a gender pay gap, and a shift from tenured positions to adjunct and graduate student labor.

“Faculty work with students every day to help them succeed,” said Rosemary Feurer, associate professor of history at NIU. “We are the heart of the university, and a union gives us a greater voice to improve NIU, for the benefit of our students and the community.”

The new union, called the United Faculty Alliance of Northern Illinois, is also affiliated with the University Professionals of Illinois, Illinois Federation of Teachers, and the American Federation of Teachers.