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WIU Chapter gets an Apple for their teachers

There is no doubt that the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI), Local 4100, understands what it means when we say “stronger together.”

The Western Illinois University (WIU) chapter of Local 4100 was recently honored with the 2014 Crystal Apple award from the Illinois Education Association (IEA). The WIU chapter, led by President John Miller, was nominated for the award by the Macomb Education Association (MEA), the union representing K-12 educators and staff in that community. UPI represents the faculty and staff at WIU.
When Macomb teachers found themselves in a prolonged and contentious labor dispute last winter, UPI supported their fellow educators every step of the way. 
“They stood on the picket line with us, no matter what the weather was like, and led us in chants. They gave us signs for our yards. They wore our orange and black solidarity ribbons. They posted updates and pictures on Facebook. They wrote letters to the editor,” said Macomb teachers union President Julia Burns during the Crystal Apple Awards banquet on April 15. “The members of Local 4100 were our biggest supporters.”

Miller said the WIU Chapter was honored to receive the award from their fellow educators in the IEA. “We are proud to have stood with Macomb teachers in their fight for fairness,” he said.

“We know that to prepare students to pursue a higher education, we must first ensure they receive an excellent education in the earlier grades. That only happens when our community hires and retains outstanding PreK-12 educators. And that only happens when they get a fair contract that professionals deserve.”

With UPI lending their voice to MEA’s cause, the teachers reached a three-year agreement with the school board.

“There has been no bigger friend of education then the University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100,” Burns declared. “Even though they’re IFT and not IEA, we still think they’re pretty awesome.”





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