SIU to repay employees for unpaid days off

CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — Southern Illinois University Carbondale employees who were forced to take unpaid furlough days will be reimbursed nearly $2 million. SIU President Randy Dunn announced Thursday the school won’t appeal a labor board’s decision on the 2011 furlough days. Dunn says an appeal would have been costly. He says it’s better “to close the page on this difficult period” and move on. The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board last month upheld a decision that the university had bargained in bad faith after three employee unions filed a complaint. The decision affects nearly 1,500 current and former employees. University officials estimate the cost will surpass $1.7 million. Jim Wall is president of one of the unions. He tells The Southern in Carbondale that he’s relieved by the university’s decision.