August 10,  2010

SEIU Local 73 workers at UIC filed an intent to strike notice on Friday, August 6 after a year of contract negotiation. Below is a letter of support UIC-GEO leadership sent to SEIU workers to show our solidarity with them.

To SEIU Local 73 Workers:

The UIC GEO would like to offer our full support for SEIU workers who are considering a strike after a full year of contract negotiations with no progress.

We stand in solidarity with our fellow workers at UIC, who do the important work of keeping UIC running on a day-to-day basis. Last academic year, the university argued that they hadn’t been paid what they were owed by the state, which put them in a financial crisis and necessitated salary freezes and other draconian measures. As skeptical as we were last year about these excuses, we are even less willing to accept such a narrative this year, when the university has received all of the money they were owed for the prior fiscal year, as well as 80% of the money they are owed for this year. We refuse to accept the excuse that the university has no money for some of its most essential workers when the new president will earn $170,000 more this year than the president did last year.

There is no reason why the university can’t support SEIU workers by giving them a fair contract that offers financial security. We implore the university to treat SEIU workers with the respect they deserve by offering them a fair contract during one of their upcoming mediation sessions. Should the university fail to do so, we will support SEIU workers in their right to strike.

In Solidarity,

The Leadership of UIC-GEO