University of Illinois at Chicago Faculty Prepare to Strike

This is a news release that indicate the state of play at the Chicago institution. UIC is the most recent comprehensive, major university to organise into collective bargaining under the
American Association of University Professor (A.A.U.P) and the Illinois Federation of Teachers (I.F.T.)
They have not succeeded in getting a contract through collective bargaining. One can have a union but fail to get a contract that is equitable and fair. Given the war on tenure, faculty rights, academic freedom and the right to teach our students, any direct action that advances the cause of excellence and faculty empowerment is worthy of the long tradition of labour activism in Chicago. From Haymarket to Republic Steel to Pullman, to the founding of the illustrious Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.), to the Chicago Teachers Union strike, Chicago is a city with a rich tradition of resisting corporate greed and the war on the proletariat.
 
Graphic added for historical reference by this blog not by U.I.C. press release.
Dear IFT leader,

After 18 months of bargaining, the faculty at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) is headed for a two-day strike on 
Tuesday, February 18th and Wednesday, February 19th. UIC professors did not want it to come to this, but the trustees’ proposals continue to short change both faculty and students. UIC administration continues to hike tuition to the point it has amassed hundreds of millions in profits each year and more than a billion dollars in reserves, yet refuses to pay professors what they’re worth. Many members of the faculty who teach first-year students only make $30,000 a year! 

Please join us at a number of events organized by UIC faculty to bring attention to their issues.
  • Picketing: 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18 & Wednesday, Feb.19. Warming stations will be available both days.
  • Overpass Light Brigade banner: 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday over the Racine/290 overpass. Participants will display LED lights with a message of solidarity for striking faculty to evening commuters.
  • Demonstration: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19 outside the Battle of the Deans basketball shootout at the UIC Pavilion.
Faculty hope that a strong showing of support will convince the administration to settle the contract soon, with minimal disruption to students, as opposed to the possibility of a strike near the end of the semester. 

Logistics:
  • Picketing will be mainly around the lecture centers on the East Campus — easy access through Student Center East at 750 South Halsted (just below Harrison).  Enter the east side of the building, walk through to the west side, and you’ll be on the lecture quad. There is parking right across Halsted in the Taylor Street Garage (access via Taylor and Polk, just off Halsted). Student Center East is also 1 block south of the UIC/Halsted Blue Line stop (take the far east exit).
  • On West Campus, picketers will mainly be at the School of Public Health, located at 2035 W Taylor St. (at Ashland)
  • If you get lost or have questions, call Nick Christen at 217-303-6456, or Joyce Lieberman at 312-590-1588.
If you cannot attend, please show your solidarity by following #UICStrike on Twitter and re-posting content from the local’s Facebook page.

Thank you for all you do to support your brothers and sisters and the IFT.
This message has been sent by the  Illinois Federation of Teachers. 500 Oakmont Lane Westmont, IL 60559
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