SIU strike ends as teachers, administration reach agreement

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The union representing striking workers at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale has announced the walkout has ended.

SIU Carbondale Faculty Association spokesman Dave Johnson said late Wednesday that while no tentative agreement has been reached in talks with university officials, there has been enough progress that the union is advising its members to return to work.

Johnson said union officers have the latest university proposal and will put together a package to present to Faculty Association membership.

Johnson said striking faculty members will return to classrooms on Thursday, adding "we begin working together to make the university all it can be."

"It strengthens transparency and accountability in ways that will help ensure that academic values remain paramount, while allowing the administration adequate flexibility to deal with any future financial crisis," Johnson said in a press release. "And it will help protect academic freedom. All these things will protect quality education at SIUC for years to come. We've got a few remaining issues to iron out, and some things that need to be clarified, but we're confident that we're going to end up with a tentative agreement for our members to vote on."

SIU spokesperson Rod Sievers says he anticipates working with the Faculty Association to advance the university's institutional goals.

Copyright 2011 KFVS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.