About Us

 History of Local 698

Local 698 is one of the oldest bargaining units on the Urbana-Champaign campus, University of Illinois. Local 698 was started in 1944 by two groups, laboratory mechanics and agricultural workers.

Local 698 is a part of Council 31, which represents the Illinois bargaining units of AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

As the name suggests, the parent union AFSCME is particularly devoted to representing the needs of employees who work for governmental units. AFSCME is in turn a part of the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organization), a pillar of the labor movement.

Local 698 currently represents a diverse group of University of Illinois employees working across campus and at Allerton Park and Dixon Springs. Employees include instrument makers, laboratory mechanics, farmers, herders, animal caretakers, library specialists, theatrical stitchers, garage attendants and mechanics, aircraft mechanics, crash rescue specialists, nurses, nurse practitioners, medical technicians, histologists and radiographers.

Many groups joined years ago but periodically new groups seek representation through Local 698 and often are drawn by the same issues:

  • The desire to have a say in the important work issues that concern them.
  • The desire to have a voice in determining their wages and benefits and working conditions.
  • The desire to have someone on their side in times of conflict with supervisors or in dealing with unfair practices within the workplace.
  • The desire to be recognized as professionals and skilled workers who take pride in their work.
  • The strength that comes from joining with other like-minded individuals rather than going it alone in a large institution where workers' interests are often viewed as less important than those of students, faculty and administrators.
  • One of the most important reasons to join Local 698 is to be able to vote on the contract. Only Local Members can vote.

To exercise all union rights (contract vote, election for officers, and running for office) full membership is necessary.

For questions about membership or about Local 698 please contact one of the Local 698 officers in the CU area. (See Contacts section,
 this site)