The Campus Faculty Association (CFA) expresses its strong support for the building and services workers of SEIU in their strike for a fair contract. SEIU has negotiated in good faith with the university administration for more than nine months. Take home pay for workers keeps going down due to inflation. Health care and pension costs keep going up. Many are working additional jobs just to get by. These essential campus workers deserve a living wage.
The SEIU has called for a three-day strike. During this time, they encourage allies to use the campus buildings, continue teaching classes, and demand the essential services these workers normally provide. If you are asked to participate in cleaning your own building during these days, we ask that you please not do so. It is important that everyone on campus takes time to register that the loss of these services are a consequence of the failure in university HR practices.
CFA pledges its financial, moral, and practical support for SEIU. We urge our members to join SEIU on the picket line across campus and especially at our designated location at the Illinois St. Residence Halls (across from Levis Faculty Center).
You can also show support in small ways by wearing purple or putting up a SEIU poster on your door.
More substantially, we have initiated a food drive for the nearly 800 SEIU workers and their families. More than $500 in food has already been donated. There are drop boxes at the Campus YMCA (1001 S. Wright St.) and Common Ground Food Co-op (in the Flatlander Classroom). Checks can be written to the Campus Faculty Association and left in the CFA mailbox at the Campus Y.
We urge the campus administration to settle on a fair agreement with the union and to stop bringing in non-union food service workers, as this will heighten tensions on campus. We also call for stopping the use other campus staff, who themselves are often overworked, to perform the duties of striking workers.
We offer all our support for the working poor here on our own campus―those building and service workers whose families may be facing a long strike in defense of their living standards.
Jim Barrett, CFA President