Watch now: Illinois State University graduate student workers seek mediation in contract talks | Local Education |

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Isabel Samuel, left, Trevor Rickerd and Steven Lazaroff, a member of the Illinois State University Graduate Union, spoke at the Normal University Bone Student Center on Friday to discuss the issues that graduate teaching assistants face in contract negotiations with ISU.

Rickerd clarified the most important issues facing teaching assistants, such as living expenses.

Isabel Samuel, a 73-year-old member of the local SEIU graduate student union, discussed issues critical to graduate teaching assistants at the Orthopedics Center at Illinois State University on Friday, January 15, 2021.

Normal-The Graduate Workers Union of Illinois State University formally requested on Friday that the mediator be brought into the ongoing negotiations, which have been going on for more than a year.

The postgraduate teaching assistant union is part of the local 73 of the "International Service Employees Association".

A year later, the first bargaining meeting was held with the university. 

"They have been procrastinating," said Steven Lazaroff, a doctoral student in the English department involved in the negotiations. "The response of their negotiators to our economic problems is either the status quo or the announced growth."

So far, the union has characterized the university's response as "no offer."

ISU spokesperson Eric Jome (Eric Jome) said in a statement that the university “does not agree with the graduate union’s latest description of ISU and the entire negotiation process. The university respects the union’s right to request mediation and will conduct mediation Continue to cooperate sincerely with the union in the process."

According to state law, if one party refuses to agree to the other party's request for mediation after the start of the course, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board may conduct mediation. The ISU course starts on Monday.


To teach for them, reduce or waive mandatory fees, and expand health insurance to include vision and dental insurance. The Support Unit has approximately 430 postgraduate teaching assistants. They also negotiate non-economic issues, such as protection from discrimination by graduate teaching assistants based on immigration status.

Qiao Mei refused to respond to the specific circumstances of the trade union's position. He said: "Negotiations are internal matters. The details of the negotiations are best resolved at the negotiating table rather than through an open forum."

He added: "We are optimistic that the two sides will be able to reach an agreement that balances the interests of graduate teaching assistants and the university."

Lazarov pointed out that the two sides are far apart on economic issues. The union is seeking to provide a minimum subsidy of US$20,000 for graduate teaching students with a nine-month contract, while the university provides a minimum subsidy of US$9,000.

The amount paid to graduate teaching assistants varies from department to department. They received a tuition waiver, but had to pay mandatory fees.

Qiao Mei said that during the fall semester, each graduate teaching assistant worked an average of 16.2 hours a week. In general, they work 10 to 28 hours a week. He said the average stipend for these graduate assistants is $1,049 per month, or $9,441 for a nine-month academic year.

Biology PhD candidate Trevor Rickerd (Trevor Rickerd) said that many graduate students have difficulty making a living on salary.

Rickett has been

Isabel Samuel, a master's student in drama and dance, said: "Life alone is not enough." "We are just looking for what we need to survive."

He said that the mandatory fee for graduate students to take at least 9 credits is $1,300, and if students use the payment plan, they must pay additional fees.

1978: Illinois State University's record-breaking mile relay team is heading to Detroit for the national indoor championship. From the left are Stan Hawkins, Eli Thomas, Dennis Duckworth and Vince Jones.

1957: The new Illinois State University Student Union Building was originally scheduled to be dedicated on Founders’ Day and will be put into use on May 18. It was built with bond income after 2,300 alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends donated $150,000 to start the project. project. These bonds will be refunded through student fees within a few years. 

1964: Neither team scored in the first quarter of a basketball game at Horton Fieldhouse, but Stephen Decatur Reds, wearing a white uniform, scored 71- in the Reds. 40 matches with Colfax Octavia (Colfax Octavia). Penalty lanes, center circles and court boundaries are painted red. 

1983: In the Illinois State University basketball game, Redgie mascot. 

1990: Illinois guards Van der Harris (69 years old), Tom Newbury (25 years old), Hester Williams (73 years old) and Tony Jones (46 years old) stop in Eastern Illinois Celebrate after the offense. 

1984: Artist's conception of the planned dome of the Illinois State University Gymnasium. The arena can accommodate 10,500 people for basketball, volleyball and concerts. When the board of directors approved the project, with the approval of the Higher Education Committee, the processing procedure took a step closer to reality.

1964: This is the new Houghton Stadium of Illinois State University, where Stephen Decatur High School participates in a divisional basketball game by Colfax Ottavia. The live room can accommodate 5645 Illinois sports director Burton O'Connor to view the layout. In the past, regional competitions in the area were usually held at the Reds'Kintner Stadium. 

1979: Established contact with Decatur: The golf team at Illinois State University has the flavor of Decatur. From left, Jim Bailey of MacArthur, Randy Kurt of Stephen Decatur, Tim Lawson of MacArthur, and Scott Shelton of MacArthur. 

1970: A group of construction workers defeated Illinois State University’s security police twice and raised the flag, which was reduced to half on the Tuesday of Malcolm X’s birthday. 

1979: James D. Bailey donated this $1,240 Dynamax portable telescope to the Illinois State University Foundation and explained its use to Dr. Harold J., head of the ISU Physics Department. Physics students will use this instrument to observe stars and planets. 

1966: This is an aerial view of Illinois State University’s new $8 million East Campus. Two 18-storey student dormitories can accommodate 1,592 students.

Please call Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota

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