GAU and ACsE at SIUC Call for Pay Raises

Apr 19, 2018

Two unions at SIU-Carbondale say they are owed contractually required pay raises.

The Association of Civil-service Employees and Graduate Assistants United say they honored an agreement not to seek raises during the two-year Illinois budget impasse. But, both unions say the administration agreed to give members pay raises awarded to non-unionized workers in the School of Medicine, which the unions say happened on March 1st.

Civil service union president Amy Ruffing says the minimum wage for her workers is ten-50 an hour.
 
"We have a number of civil service employees who are working here full-time and who still qualify for food stamps...that's kind of shameful. We've had no raises for going on five years now and we're the lowest paid people and we really feel like we need a two percent raise."

GAU president Dianah McGreehan says she believes her union may soon have leverage.
 
"I know from the horse's mouth, based on a meeting I attended with the chancellor recently, that at the July Board of Trustees meeting he is going to propose a 1% raise across the board, across campus. He was primarily articulating faculty members."
 
McGreehan says she is curious to see if Chancellor Montemagno includes the graduate assistants and civil service workers in the pay hike request.

Communication Studies graduate student Anna Wilcoxen says she makes 985-dollars per month and a two percent raise would mean an extra 250 dollars annually. Wilcoxen says she and other grad students work extremely hard - in part - to keep their minds off the obstacles they face.
 
"Work harder so that we can suppress some of the psychological burden of some of the financial issues that we face, right? Because if you're just working all the time you don't have much time to think about it."
 
GAU's dispute is going to an arbitrator.

ACsE has filed a grievance in hopes of getting the money.

The University says it is willing to listen to arbitrations from the Graduate Assistants Union and Association of Civil Service Employees.

In a statement from SIU spokeswoman Rae Goldsmith, she says the Chancellor has indicated plans to take a proposal to the board of Trustees in July recognizing the role of collective bargaining of various unions.

She did say - however - there is no current contractual requirement to provide pay increases to either union at this time