UI Graduate Student Employees hold emergency rally; strike still on table
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCCU) —
University of Illinois’ Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) said the university is threatening their tuition waivers. The group held an emergency rally Wednesday night after a bargaining session with university administrators earlier in the day.
The GEO has been working without a contract since August and so far, co-president, Gus Wood said a deal has not been reached. The group said during Wednesday’s bargaining session the university said if the Illinois Labor Board declares their tuition waiver optional then they can't go on strike over it.
"It's one of the most nasty, disappointing things that the University of Illinois administration bargaining team has done to graduate workers on this campus,” Wood said. “Declaring our tuition waiver is something that we cannot bargain over and possibly wiping them out of the contract altogether which of course would bust our union.”
The GEO filed the paperwork needed in order to strike last week and said going on strike is still on the table.
You can find the university’s stance on remaining bargaining points here.