NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Negotiations continued Thursday between Illinois State University (ISU) and members of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union.

AFSCME Local 1110 represents more than 300 ISU employees that work in dining, building services, and grounds maintenance.

The union and ISU started meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday morning in hopes of reaching a deal before Monday’s impending strike. This resulted in a “tentative agreement” being reached Thursday night.

Instead of the planned strike, the union will now hold a ratification meeting. Details will not be available until both parties have been presented to the members at the ratification meeting.  

“The determination and unity of these dedicated ISU employees has resulted in a tentative agreement that will make ISU not only a good place to learn, but a better place to work,” said Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch. “That’s the power of collective bargaining for the greater good.” 

Previously, union reps argued that ISU administration has only provided “pennies worth” of pay increases throughout the process. Both sides have been in negotiations since last October.

“Because of wages where they’re at, they can’t recruit and retain employees and that makes it that much harder for the ones that are deciding to stay here,” said staff representative for AFSCME Council 31Renee Nestler.

ISU employees in AFSCME Local 1110 were unsatisfied with any contract offers from ISU administration, citing “poverty wages” the university pays its staff.

WMBD decided to compare ISU’s current status wages of the dining hall, building service workers (BSWs), and grounds crew employees to other public universities in the state.

PositionInstitutionWage (hourly)
BSWISU$13.70-$20.69
BSWWIU$16.00 (+ $2.30 ISU)
BSWEIU$20.27 (+ $6.57 ISU)
BSWU of I$15.90-$20.99 (+ $2.20 ISU)
Comparisons of rates for BSWs at IL public universities
PositionInstitutionWage (hourly)
Culinary Worker IIIISU$16.93
Culinary Worker IIIWIU$11.48
Culinary Worker IIIEIU$18.68
Culinary Worker IIIU of I$16.38
Culinary Worker III (cooks) comparison

PositionInstitutionWage (hourly)
Grounds WorkerISU$19.86-$24.95
Grounds WorkerWIU$18.33
Grounds WorkerEIU$21.58
Grounds WorkerU of I$16.90-$23.07
Comparison of grounds workers