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Official: Support staff contract ratified

August 29, 2018

DeKALB – Some of Northern Illinois University’s worst-pad employees are on the brink of being assured things will get better, according to their union representative.

Sara Dorner, spokeswoman for American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council Union 31, which includes the Local 963 members who serve food, clean the buildings and generally keep up the campus, said the negotiating teams ratified a new five-year contract Tuesday evening.

In late July, the NIU negotiators pulled raises off the table, Dorner said. Now they’re slated to get a nine percent raise over the next five years, Dorner said – three percent each of the next three years. The first three-percent raise is retroactive to November, Dorner said.

“We’re very pleased with the contract,” Dorner said. “You can hear the elation in my voice. These were contentious negotiations, and NIU consistently did not come to the table in good faith.”

Dorner said negotiations wrapped up Aug. 14, two weeks before the contract was ratified. She said for the first time in Union 963′s history, dating back to 1952, a federal mediator needed to intervene.

The NIU Board of Trustees must still approve the contract at its 9 a.m. Sept. 13 meeting.

“We’ll be packing the room,” Dorner said.

NIU spokesman Joe King said the universtiy can’t comment at this time.

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