The Illinois State University Faculty Association (FA) is a union of tenured and tenure-track employees at Illinois State University, affiliated with the Illinois Education Association (IEA), part of the National Education Association (NEA). The FA is founded upon the following principles:

  • The FA, in coalition with our students, other campus educators, other campus workers, and the general public, will fight to ensure the future of accessible, affordable public higher education, the vital foundation for a healthy and just democratic society, while also promoting the economic and general welfare of tenured and tenure-track faculty at Illinois State University.

  • The FA supports the pillars of ISU’s strategic plan, Educating Illinois, by fostering a holistic university experience for all of our students of all colleges, in all disciplines. We value the importance of a liberal arts-based general education foundation, and we will defend best practices in education and work to secure the resources necessary to implement them.

  • The FA values faculty participation in truly shared governance of the university. The FA will support any measure ratified by the FA membership to ensure real decision-making power for the faculty as concerns budgetary and hiring as well as tenure and promotion cases.

  • The FA will defend academic freedom and the right to criticize without reprisal. We will protect the interests of community members at risk as a result of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national origin, political ideology, or citizenship.

  • The FA will protect and improve the working conditions of all tenured and tenure-track faculty at ISU through the process of collective bargaining, the only proven strategy for protecting and advancing the rights of employees in relation to management. The FA will work in collaboration with other faculty and staff unions to promote the best possible working conditions for all university employees.

  • Through its affiliation with the IEA-NEA, the FA will support lobbying efforts on behalf of public education and across party lines in Springfield and in Washington.

  • IEA-NEA will provide legal support and guidance to the local FA. The FA will be an autonomous and democratic organization in which members determine both collective bargaining demands and the organization and procedures to guide effectively shared governance of the university.

For more information on the benefits of affiliation with IEA, see https://ieanea.org

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In 1984, enabling legislation patterned after the private sector National Labor Relations Act took effect as the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act (IELRA). This law not only prescribes the method by which public education employees in the state can legally and in a wholly protected procedure form a union, it also lays out enforceable provisions for employers and employee organizations alike to bargain collectively in good faith all policies covering “wages, benefits and terms and conditions of employment.”  The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) is the impartial state agency created by the Act to ensure and protect your rights to organize without fear of retaliation and to elect a bargaining agent to assist you in creating a legally binding document which holds both you and your employer accountable to all policies and procedures therein.


Additionally the IELRA guarantees and requires that every collective bargaining agreement automatically contains binding arbitration by a neutral third-party as the final avenue of appeal in a grievance procedure. (This fact itself means many potential grievances are settled informally!) Through bargaining, the grievance procedure we are subject now can itself be greatly improved to give a grievant longer timelines to file, impose a favorable decision for the grievant if an employer misses prescribed deadlines, and institute standard procedures of due process missing from the university’s present in-house grievance mechanism.


A similarly sized university to ISU is SIU Carbondale where the SIUC Faculty Association (SIUC FA) has represented 700 tenured and tenure-track faculty since 1996.  While ISU is not Carbondale – it is a Carnegie II Research Institution – and we see many of our concerns as a faculty addressed in their contract, and in their standing on campus as equals in decision-making non-existent on the ISU campus.  The SIUC FA website is http://siucfa.org 


Join our activist core!  Assist with our all faculty outreach efforts!  We provide guides to effective one-on-one’s to identify fellow supporters and activists.   Contact us to help out!

 To become a member:

Contact IEA Organizer David Vitoff dave.vitoff@ieanea.org

or call the Bloomington IEA Office at 309/663-6400


Use contact info immediately above if you have other questions for which you do not find the answers.