NIU reaches tentative agreement with union after 2-year impasse

DeKALB – A tentative agreement Monday between Northern Illinois University and a union representing about 600 clerical and administrative workers could end more than two years of negotiations, according to a statement from the university.

Both union members and the NIU Board of Trustees must ratify the contract for it to take effect. Those votes are expected in May.

“Both the university and the union are pleased with the agreement and look forward to the continued dedication of all parties involved,” a joint statement from NIU and union officials said.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1890, has been negotiating with the university for its first contract since February 2016, which has been a turbulent process at times.

In September, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board ruled that NIU had violated state statutes by increasing parking fees for employees before that matter had been negotiated to agreement with the union.

After reviewing the situation, the board ordered NIU to rescind the parking fee changes for union members and pay back the increased parking amount plus 7 percent interest.

AFSCME Council 31 spokeswoman Sara Dorner said she was grateful an agreement was reached after such a long impasse.

“We’ve got what we believe is an agreement that will benefit employees, the university, students and the community,” Dorner said. “We’re excited about what will hopefully be a collaborative relationship with the university moving forward.”

Dorner said union members will vote to ratify the agreement
May 1. NIU will have a ratification vote May 10.