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Campus workers in Chicago will take strike vote

By staff |
March 27, 2014
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Chicago, IL - 3000 workers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) have gone without a contract, and without a contract raise, for over a year. In response, the Joint Bargaining Committee of Clerical, Service and Maintenance, and Technical units at UIC has called for a strike authorization vote.

The workers are represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73. The voting will take place from Monday, March 31 through Thursday, April 3.

Fight Back! interviewed Joe Iosbaker, a clerical worker at UIC who chairs the joint committee.

“In negotiations with management, their chief negotiator Steve Katz said, ‘None of your members are underpaid.’ In other words, management is saying, ‘just be glad you have a job and stop expecting raises.’

“Now management is threatening us that the politicians in Springfield want to cut 12.5% of the university’s budget for next year. They say it's because the state will lose that much revenue when the temporary income tax increase ends on Jan. 1, 2015. Management wants us to give up any hope of a fair contract.

“The three bargaining committees met and agreed to fight on both fronts. Our message to Springfield: No pension cuts! No budget cuts! Make the rich pay their share of taxes! We adopted a resolution to send a message to the politicians.

“And our message to management: We’re prepared to fight, and even strike if we have to. Salaries for top management have exploded while we have struggled to keep up with the cost of living, with no hope of getting ahead.

“We are asking all union members to come out to vote Yes! to authorize our committees to call a 3 day strike.”

Below is the resolution adopted unanimously by the joint meeting of bargaining committees (Clerical and Administrative, Service and Maintenance, and Technical units) of the Service Employees International Union Local 73 at the University of Illinois at Chicago:

Tax the Rich!

Resolution adopted unanimously by the joint meeting of bargaining committees (Clerical and Administrative, Service and Maintenance, and Technical units) of the Service Employees International Union Local 73 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, representing 3000 workers.

The State of Illinois has an unfair tax system. Wealthy people don’t pay their share. In Illinois, the rich pay less in taxes that 42 other states.

Many major corporations located in Illinois pay little or no taxes. Take for example the Boeing Company. They are the second largest arms manufacturer, and get most of their contracts from the federal government. From 2003 through 2012, Boeing had $35 billion in profits, but paid zero in state taxes.

Now the politicians in Illinois want to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the higher education budget, and billions from other programs that benefit working class people.

We shouldn’t pay for this crisis! The politicians have been raiding our pension funds for 30 years because they don’t tax the rich enough. Illinois state workers have met our obligation by paying into our pension fund from each paycheck. Our pensions are under attack already. Now we’re being threatened with this 12.5% budget cut.

No pension cuts! No budget cuts! Make the rich pay their share of taxes!

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