CHICAGO - University of Illinois - Chicago faculty initiated a two-day strike this morning to show the administration how unhappy they are with current labor conditions. Negotiations with the UIC United Faculty (UF) Local 6456 have been non-productive, SocialistWorker.org reports.
Despite having been organizers at Occupy Now protests against "the 1 percent" in Chicago and throughout the nation, Socialist Workers is sympathetic to the UIC faculty complaints.
Stagnant pay, lack of job security and opportunities for career advancement, and the need for many faculty to find a second job to make ends meet have produced a high turnover rate and an increasingly unhappy workforce.
"Right now, we are trying to negotiate a contract that promotes transparency, gives faculty voice and respect, and allocates funds to resolve the serious problems that handicap both learning and research," Scott McFarland, executive vice president of the union at UIC, told SocialistWorker.org.
The UIC faculty is being joined by the UIC Graduate Employees Organization and students, along with line Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Illinois Nurses Association. SEIU is in contract negotiations at UIC as well, with the key issue being the withholding of pay increases.
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