There are a number of labor actions either happening or ongoing this week. We are also nearing the election, which will have serious consequences on Illinois unions. Here’s a brief list of what’s happening and where you can learn more

UIC Nurses on Strike

The INA reached a tentative agreement with the University last night, so no picket lines today!

On Tuesday, at 7AM UIC nurses will hold a one-day strike. They are in protracted negotiations with the university over layoffs, union protection for flex-time personnel, and annual wages. They will have picket lines at 1740 W. Taylor from 7AM Tuesday until 6:59AM Wednesday morning. Please stop by and show your support.

Waukegan Teachers’ Strike

The Waukegan Teachers have been out on strike for 10 days now! Please support them by either participating in the Twitter Storm (Monday, 7-9PM, #WaukeganStrong) or by swinging up north and saying hello. Despite a budget surplus, administrators have rejected the union’s requests for wage increases and won’t meet the teachers at the bargaining table. 10 days is long time for teachers and students to be out of school; we need to show the teachers we support them.

Gubernatorial Election

Election day is November 4th! The IFT (our parent union) had endorsed incumbent Pat Quinn, in large part because of Bruce Rauner’s desire to do away with public employee unions and move to more privatized education. If you are interested in phone banking, doing door-to-door visits, or otherwise helping IFT get out the word about Rauner, please contact out staff at geo@uic-geo.net. There’s more information about the walks and phone banks here. Raise Illinois, the group fighting to increase minimum wage statewide, is offering paid election day positions. Election day canvassers will go to unlikely voters’ doors and convince them to vote. Hours are 9AM – 7PM, and canvassers will be paid $100 for the day. For more information, contact Erik Martinez at Erik@RaiseIllinoisAction.com.

The UIC Graduate Employees Organization (Local 6297, IFT/AFT, AFL-CIO) calls on the Waukegan Board of Education to negotiate in good faith with the Waukegan Teachers’ Council to come to a quick resolution of their on-going contract negotiations. Waukegan teachers have been without a contract since June and this is the fourth year in a row that teachers have started the school year without a contract. The district has a budget surplus, yet has denied teachers salary increases while demanding that they work more, cut their health care benefits, and eliminated clear procedures for teacher evaluation. How does the Board and Superintendent expect to settle a contract when they refuse to meet the teachers at the bargaining table? As president of the Lake County Federation of Teachers, Mike McGue states, “All these things always boil down to one thing: Respect.”


We are in solidarity with our union brothers and sisters in the Waukegan Teachers’ Council as they stand everyday on the picket line to fight for better working and learning conditions in Waukegan schools. Respect teachers! Respect workers! Fair Contract Now!

GEO members who want to join in actions, gatherings, and workshops in Ferguson, MO this weekend and contribute to the fight for justice for Mike Brown and larger fight for racial justice, go to http://fergusonoctober.com/ for information and for carpooling/housing information.
The AFL-CIO is sponsoring two buses of labor activists to go down the Ferguson for the day on Saturday, leaving early in the morning and returning later that night. If you can only make it down for one day, please contact Jocelyn Woodards at the AFL-CIO, at jwoodards@aflcio.org, or click here to reserve a spot on one of their buses.
Any questions? Contact our Outreach Committee chair Jes Cook at jesdcook@gmail.com