The University of Illinois at Chicago and its faculty union executed their first contract Friday, welcoming higher salaries and benefits.
This deal comes after professors went on a two-day strike in February seeking pay raises. Some nontenured teachers were making just $30,000 a year. The faculty was set to go on strike again in mid-April when the two sides agreed on the tentative deal.
The three-year contract provides retroactive pay increases of nearly seven percent over the last two years. That brings the base salary to $37,500. Faculty will also receive other benefits, such as money for research and professional development.
The faculty union, UIC United Faculty, has been working toward a deal for two years. It still wants to see more progress, starting with a salary increase to at least $45,000.
About 98 percent of the union members voted to ratify the contract, according to the union. There are also efforts to organize faculty at the flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign.