In case you haven’t already heard, the membership has voted to conduct a strike authorization vote. The vote has begun and will continue through the week and until the end of our next bargaining session. Please make sure that you take a moment to let your voice be heard.
There will be a polling station located in the Port Center Cafe on the second floor of University Hall today from 11am-4pm.
There will be additional locations on East and West campus on Friday and Monday. Solidarity!
GRADUATE EMPLOYEES ORGANIZATION
“UIC Works Because We Do”
For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Jessi Holzman
April 17, 2013
Strike Vote Looming for UIC Graduate Workers
Union Ready for Action Pending Negotiation Outcome
CHICAGO – The Graduate Employees Organization at the University of Illinois at Chicago will convene a press conference at 11 a.m. today in the African American Center Library in the Addams Hall Building on UIC’s campus to announce a pending strike vote.
Today the GEO will be in its final negotiation session with the university before a strike may be called following11 months of slow bargaining with a reluctant administration. The GEO formally filed its intent to strike on April 5.
Negotiations are scheduled from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. At 6 p.m. union members will meet to decide whether they will accept the University’s offer or move forward with a strike vote.
“We are fighting for a living wage, which according to the university’s office of financial aid is $17k.” “We are fighting for better access to healthcare for our members,” notes Jessi Holzman, a Graduate worker and doctoral student.
Some graduate workers make as little as $14,000 per year, and, after considering the increasing costs of living in Chicago as well as fees, books, materials, and other life expenses, graduate workers earn below the poverty line in an increasingly competitive market.
“We’ve made significant movement in this process and the university has made very little. Our members are frustrated by the university’s unwillingness to move on these issues that are key to our ability to live and work in Chicago,” says a graduate employee.
Graduate workers teach approximately 60 percent of all classes at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which is a university that focuses on research as well as education. Many graduate workers feel that the University is unwilling to invest more in their teachers and are fed up with what they see as a lack of investment in education.
The GEO has received wide support from other unions such as the Chicago Teachers Union, SEIU, and various students and student organizations at UIC and other campuses.