EIU Faculty vote to accept $2M Pay Deferral

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CHARLESTON – In an update to a story WAND News brought you last week, faculty and academic support professionals of Eastern Illinois University have voted to accept a pay deferral plan to raise over $2 million for EIU’s cash flow problem as a result of the budget impasse.

This vote comes after faculty and professionals chose to reject a pay cut proposal from EIU President David Glassman. EIU’s Chapter of University Professionals of Illinois helped the academic professionals come to this decision.

This proposed deferral will be in addition to the assistance that the faculty and academic support professionals provided to EIU in August 2015 by delaying the 1.5% cost-of-living adjustment for a year.

According to an EIU-UPI spokesperson, by deferring up to 22.5% of their monthly pay, depending on their annual salary, for the remaining fiscal year, the faculty and academic support professionals will raise more money than requested in President Glassman’s pay cut plan.

They say this deferral plan will give EIU the funds it needs to finish the 2016 Fiscal Year payroll and avoid disrupting the academic progresses of the students.

EIU-UPI President Dr. Jonathan Blitz says he hopes the President will accept the faculty’s “helping hand,” as Blitz says this decision will provide the money requested while still helping students and the institution.

According to a statement released by EIU-UPI, the pay deferral plan offers protection for faculty and academic support professionals who are more at risk financially, but there are still concerns that it might impact the UPI’s “most vulnerable members.”

“This proposal provided a more equitable solution than what the administration proposed. However, those of us on annual contracts are still vulnerable to not having a job next year, so we are giving this loan to our employer with no certainty about being able to pay our own bills. It’s frustrating,” says English Instructor Lucinda Berry.

Following this vote, it is now President Glassman’s decision on whether to accept the UPI’s proposal plan to garner the cash EIU needs to fulfill payroll obligations.

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