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ISU Faculty to Launch Union Organizing Drive with Campus Rally

"We're Uniting for a Stronger ISU!"

BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL, IL – The tenured and tenure-line faculty at Illinois State University (ISU) will launch a major union organizing drive with a campus rally tomorrow.

WHAT: “We’re Uniting for a Stronger ISU!”

Organizing kick-off rally with speakers

WHO: ISU professors, students, and allies, including members and

leaders of the University Professionals of Illinois

(UPI, Local 4100)

Rally speakers will include: UPI President John Miller,

ISU faculty members who are leading the unionization

effort, and supporters


WHERE: Old Main Bell Monument, Main Quad (North end)

Illinois State University, W. College Avenue, Normal, IL


(Paid parking is available in the Bone Student Center lot -

walk south to Quad)

The rally will highlight the reasons why professors are organizing at ISU, including ensuring faculty have a more powerful voice on campus to advocate for student and faculty needs.

“We love our students,” said Xiaoying Zhao, an assistant professor of teaching and learning. “Through a strong faculty union, we will be better positioned to advocate for mental health, wellness, and support services that will enable all our students to learn and thrive.”

Dave Kopsell, a professor of agriculture, added, “Our faculty are dedicated to upholding ISU’s mission. To do so, we must have safe, fair, equitable, and dignified working conditions. We believe that these conditions can only be achieved through the collective power of a member-driven, faculty union. We’re seeing a lot of enthusiasm around organizing and are excited to get the effort underway.”

ISU currently employs about 640 tenured or tenure-line faculty. To officially organize as the United Faculty of ISU, a majority must sign authorization cards expressing their desire to join the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI, Local 4100) and Illinois Federation of Teachers.

“Once organized, ISU faculty will join thousands of UPI members at the seven other Illinois public universities who have already unionized,” said UPI President John Miller. “We’ve seen how harnessing our collective power on these campuses benefits students, professionals, and communities across Illinois. We’re proud that the outstanding faculty at ISU are seeking to join us and look forward to helping them create a stronger university.”

University Professionals of Illinois (UPI, IFT Local 4100) represents nearly 3,000 faculty and professional staff at seven of Illinois’ 12 public universities. UPI is affiliated with the 103,000-member Illinois Federation of Teachers, the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers, and the AFL-CIO.


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