UIUC Members Rally for a Fair Contract

Building Service and Food Service Workers will continue their fight for a fair contract and against several other issues the university has created the past two weeks with a rally Tuesday.

The rally, scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Henry Administration Building, is yet another message to university management how vital the 800 Building Service and Food Service Workers are to the university’s daily operations.

Building Service and Food Service Workers will continue their fight for a fair contract and against several other issues the university has created the past two weeks with a rally Tuesday.

The rally, scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Henry Administration Building, is yet another message to university management how vital the 800 Building Service and Food Service Workers are to the university’s daily operations.

The rally will protest several of the university’s latest tactics to avoid offering a fair contract.

Last week, Building Service and Food Service workers received a letter in the mail from university management in an attempt to persuade them to accept their latest contract offer. This letter calculates wage increases in the University’s proposal and adds the supposed value of benefits, but fails to mention deductions for retirement, healthcare and other benefits have risen drastically and net pay for workers has decreased every year for the past six years for the lowest-earning workers on campus.

The University has also blocked workers from joining the Union they belong in. During the interview application process, four dining service workers were told they would have full Union rights under the collective bargaining agreement with SEIU Local 73 and their hourly wage would be more than $12 an hour. However, the university has lied about this so far and these four workers are currently making $9 an hour and being blocked from joining the Union.

There has also been several cases of retaliation, harassment and discipline against workers who walked the picket line earlier this month. The Union has learned of more than 8 cases of members being retaliated, harassed, or disciplined after returning to work following the strike. These threats include management demanding a doctor’s note from a worker who called in sick following the strike when previous practice never warranted a note, and a probationary employee being fired for striking and not reporting to work, when no previous discipline warranted a termination.

These claims are currently being investigated by the Union and legal charges will be fired if deemed necessary.

A full-day session of negotiations is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 27. A statement on the status of those negotiations will be available Thursday morning.

Rally for a Fair Contract
4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26
Henry Administration Building
506 S. Wright Street, Urbana

UIUC Issues Suspension of Civil Service RulesThe University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign declared a suspension of civil service rules to the State University Civil Service Board.Under this statute, this only applies in a “emergent or catastrophic situation.” The University promised its students, staff, and community there would be no interruption of services.  After several reports of undercooked and inedible food as well as overflowing trash containers throughout campus, this clearly shows the University cannot work without Building Service and Food Service Workers.

The university’s chief negotiator and human resources staff are currently in work clothes doing service employee work. Had the university brought a fair proposal that maintained a fair cost of living increase to negotiations last week, this would have never been an issue and the university would not be entrenched in an emergent or catastrophic situation.

The Union continues to be prepared to meet at anytime to continue negotiations.

 

WCIA – UI Workers Vote Against Contract

Thank you to International President Mary Kay Henry for the following statement in support of the strike: 

WASHINGTON, DC – After food and building service workers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign voted to strike today, Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement:

“The 2.1 million members of SEIU are standing in solidarity with the building and food service workers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign who are standing up for good jobs that all families need. We join them in calling for the University to act consistently with its reputation as an institution striving for excellence. That means settling a fair contract that guarantees its workers have a paycheck that can support their families and ensuring that every worker has respect and dignity on the job.”

More than 700 workers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will begin a three-day strike at midnight after university management failed to deliver a fair contract proposal.

Building Service and Food Service workers represented by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 voted the last three days to reject university management’s latest proposal. Negotiations began in May 2012, but talks broke down over the past few weeks over wages, retaliatory discipline and contracting out.

With the support of several other Unions and campus groups, the strike will severely cripple the University for the next 72 hours. No food service will be available for students or university catered affairs, classrooms and dorms will not be cleaned, and campus mail will not be delivered. Also, many groups, Unions, staff, and students have pledged not to cross the picket line in support of the strike.

There are three main locations for picketing. The main location will be in front of the UIUC Physical Plant at the corner of Kirby and Oak. Other major picket locations include in front of the Illini Union (1401 W. Green St.) and the Ikenberry Buliding on Gregory.

The strike will continue until midnight Thursday, March 14. There are currently no new negotiations scheduled.

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