We’re excited to announce that 332 graduate teaching assistants at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville have filed to form a union with majority support. The teaching assistants will become members of Local 73, joining 700 graduate assistants at Loyola Chicago and Illinois State.
General assistants at SIU-E continue to organize to join the TAs in the union. Despite the fact that research assistants are excluded from the labor act, SIU-E RAs are organizing as well. They will be ready to hold incoming Governor Pritzker accountable to the promise he made to sign a bill supporting RAs’ right to unionize.
OITs Tyler Camp and Eric Holmberg led the worker organizing and developed a strong organizing committee. OITs Alejandra Avila, Molly Hudgens, Ryan Miller, & Hannah Bott each made important contributions towards the final push to majority.
Workers in their own voices:
“We are founding a graduate worker union here at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville,” said Sean Ritter, a Teaching Assistant in Chemistry. “We will be striving for the benefit of current and future workers at this institution by addressing key issues we are facing, such as low stipends and high fees.”
“All graduate workers make an essential contribution to our colleges and universities. It’s time those contributions are recognized,” said Jen Yoder, Teaching Assistant in English. “Graduate workers shouldn’t be forced to skip meals or doctor’s appointments, because of low wages and lack of benefits. That’s why we’re coming together at SIUE and across the country to change things for our colleagues and for our students. We all deserve a voice.”