Members of SEIU Local 73 at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) came together this Thursday to stand united for a fair contract with UIC administration. Members have been building power for over a year and a half to beat back the threats of Janus vs. AFSCME and an attempt by former governor Rauner to radically increase what public employees pay for health care. In the process, many hundreds have signed member cards and many more members have newly stepped up as stewards and activists. In the current contract campaign with UIC, members have been meeting since December to participate in putting together a bargaining survey, and an unprecedented number have filled one out to determine priorities for improvement in the contract based on their everyday experience at work. Members have now chosen a large, representative bargaining committee of fellow coworkers and they are demanding that negotiations get underway promptly.
Local 73 members representing Professional, Technical, Service and Maintenance, and Clerical staff at UIC presented themselves to the Human Resources office. They were joined by members of the Graduate Employees Union at UIC, Local 73 Vice President Jeff Howard, and Local 73 President Dian Palmer. Local 73 member Monica Jones stepped up to personally deliver a letter stating members’ intention to bargain a fair and just contract. Members were greeted by the Assciate Director of Labor Relations, Andrew Slobodien, who stated they looked forward to negotiations.
This is the first of more activity to come. Members can still turn in their bargaining survey. Talk to your steward, a Local 73 organizer, or call the MAC to get a copy. Members should also be on the lookout for an announcement of bargaining dates. All members not serving on the bargaining committee can attend bargaining as observers before or after work, and during breaks.