FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: UIUC GRADUATE EMPLOYEES’ ORGANIZATION TO STRIKE OVER TUITION WAIVER SECURITY
ADMINISTRATION’S PROPOSALS ON ALL OTHER ISSUES, INCLUDING WAGES, DEEMED ACCEPTABLE
URBANA-CHAMPAIGN (November 15): The strike committee of the Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO), American Federation of Teachers/Illinois Federation of Teachers Local 6300, AFL-CIO, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), has authorized a strike against the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois to begin at 8am on Monday morning. After six hours of negotiation on Saturday afternoon, the GEO and administration bargaining teams managed to reach mutually agreeable terms on all aspects of the GEO contract except tuition waiver security. The administration’s refusal to guarantee the continuation of its current tuition waiver practice not only means that the majority of graduate employees could be forced to pay thousands of dollars in additional tuition charges, but also indicates its plans to implement such a change. By making graduate education untenable for all but the most affluent students, the administration is abandoning its responsibility to ensure access to the highest level of public education for all. This is contrary to the University of Illinois’ mission as a public land grant institution. By calling a strike, the Graduate Employees’ Organization is holding the University of Illinois administration accountable to its stated commitment to excellent and accessible higher education.
The GEO is a labor union representing all teaching and graduate assistants (TAs and GAs) on the UIUC campus. With over 2600 GEO members, and over 2600 graduate employees represented in the bargaining unit, the GEO is one of the largest higher education union locals in the United States. Over the course of a three day vote, an overwhelming 92% of participating UIUC GEO members voted last week to authorize a strike against the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Peter Campbell, GEO Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 253-222-5861, or the GEO office at email@example.com, 217-344-8283, 1001 S. Wright Street, Champaign, IL, 61820. Information about the GEO can also be found on our website at www.uigeo.org.