CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - There are only several hours before the negotiation deadline before a strike on the Southern Illinois University Carbondale campus.
If agreements are not reached between the four campus unions by midnight, members will walk off the job.
Negotiations continued between the university and the unions on Wednesday afternoon. They went until midnight Tuesday night, and resumed early Wednesday morning.
On campus, University Spokesman Rod Sievers says they're hopeful this can be resolved without a strike. But if it happens, SIU has made arrangements for substitute professors to continue teaching, and Sievers says it'll be business as usual.
According to Sievers, attendance will be taken Thursday, so students should plan to go to class as usual.
But students say they're pretty confused by all this.
"Chancellor said it could affect our grade, and we would have subs who would count our grade and attendance," said Sophomore Charlie Voss. "However, teachers would say the opposite.
"They can't find anyone that is recommended, or has the same credentials as our professors," said Freshman Collin Lattz.
Faculty Union's Spokesman Dave Johnson says negotiations were at a standstill starting Wednesday evening.
"Negotiations will resume shortly, but so far today we've been unable to reach an agreement," said Johnson. "The faculty association bargaining team has made several proposals, several concessions frankly. But so far, we've not seen any significant movement out of the administration side. We've been unable to clinch a deal."
Johnson says the unions don't want to see an increase in tuition, but if revenues go up, they would like a share of the profits.
"We've offered to forego a salary increase over the next few years, if SIUs revenues don't go up," added Johnson. "The administration has offered us the money, and we've said no, we don't want to raise tuition. But if overall revenues go up then give us an overall share of increase in revenues, for example. We've also moved on furloughs. So, we've made some creative concessions, really. And, so far there's been no according response from the administration."
More will be known around later Wednesday evening when members of all four unions will meet for a rally. At that point, union leaders say they will know more about any progress at the bargaining table and the likelihood of a strike.