In Support of SEIU Local 73

Photo courtesy of Ricky Baldwin

Our colleagues in SEIU Local 73, Food Service Workers and Building Service Workers, do some of the most essential work on campus. They have been trying to bargain a new contract with the University for eight months, with little progress.  Over this time, they have faced retaliation, as the University has fired some bargaining team members for participating in bargaining, and disciplined and docked the pay of others.

A strike authorization vote is looming for Local 73.

As part of its negotiating stance, the Administration proposes that campus mail workers agree to give up major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It also demands very low to no pay raises for Local 73’s already low-paid workers.  Despite an explicit 2011 contract agreement prohibiting giving union jobs to outside contractors, Local 73 members have documented thirty-five examples of contracting-out in the last two years.

SEIU Local 73 has filed unfair labor practice complaints with the ILRB, and federal mediators are involved. There will be one more meeting with the mediator on January 24th.

We call on the University to at long last bargain promptly and in good faith, and to agree to a fair contract. with SEIU 73.

Published by Susan Davis

I teach in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois.

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