The Graduate Employees Organization (Local 6297, IFT/AFT, AFL-CIO) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC GEO) stands in solidarity with the East St. Louis Federation of Teachers, Local 1220 in their strike for a fair contract. Members voted overwhelmingly to reject the latest contract proposal from the school board, which would decrease the pay of new teachers and staff over the entire course of their careers. They have been in negotiations for three years, and have gone without raises during that time, as the district has pushed across proposals that attack their livelihoods and the long term viability of public education. The members of Local 1220 are standing strong and united in their demands that the district come back to the bargaining table to make a genuine effort to negotiate a contract that honors the essential work of the teachers and staff of East St. Louis schools. UIC GEO stands with the members of Local 1220 as they fight to defend the rights of workers and protect the institution of public education in their community.