UIC Campus Unions Rally in Solidarity with Striking Faculty


UIC United Faculty members, on day three of their strike, rallied on the Main Quad to show the UIC administration that they are ready to fight with the support of their fellow campus workers and students.

Faculty members have been working without a contract since last August. They have been bargaining with UIC administrators for 10 months, demanding fair pay, job security, mental health services, and resources for people with disabilities.

The high-spirited crowd, unfazed by the cold and dreary weather, stood together and yelled chants that echoed throughout the Quad. Campus union members showed their support by wearing hats and jackets from their locals, showing our unity to the UIC administration.

“When the pandemic started, a lot of our coworkers were nervous. We were hoping that we didn’t have to strike, but we did. A lot of our coworkers got sick, some died, and the University had no remorse. To see GEO going through this, to see what the faculty is going through, and seeing what Local 73 civil service workers went through – it should not be this way. This university would not survive without us,” said Local 73 steward and Senior Library Specialist Dante Williams.

“UIC Administration did nothing for two weeks at the beginning of the pandemic until J.B. Pritzker shut down the campus. Management told hospital workers not to wear a mask to avoid scaring the patients. They let us die, but we paid them back in time. We went on strike that fall – 4,000 Local 73 members and 13,000 nurses – and we shut down the center of their profits. A victory for one is a victory for all,” said Retiree Joe Iosbaker.

Illinois State Representatives Will Guzzardi, Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, Kevin Olickal, and Hoan Huynh; State Senator Mike Simmons; and Alderperson Daniel LaSpata also offered words of solidarity with striking faculty members.

“We are here because this is fundamentally about who has power in the city of Chicago and whether working people deserve the right to stand together and to fight for better conditions on the job. In the state legislature, city council, county government, all the way to Washington, you have allies who are standing with you and making sure you get the contract you deserve,” said Rep Guzzardi.

Striking faculty will walk the picket lines daily between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m., and noon rallies on the quad. East campus pickets are at University Hall, Science and Engineering South, the Lecture Centers. West campus picket is in front of the College of Nursing. Click here to read the latest updates from UICUF.