• Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 16, 2009 11:33 PM GMT
    Just a quick favor if you are sympathetic.

    The graduate students at the University of Illinois are on strike. We have been fighting for a fair contract since April and the admin didn't reply until August with a regressive contract freezing our wages, reserving the right to strip tuition waivers, furloughing us, claiming the right "pay-in-kind" aka room and board, lifting any existing cap on fees for graduate students and the list goes on (absurd things like limiting maternal leave to less than a week!)

    Since August we have had rallies, peaceful protests (grade-ins, teach-ins, signs, posters, main quad rallies) that didn't work as the admin didn't budge.

    A federal mediator was called in because as a Union we deserve the right to negotiate. The admin claimed we were using stall tactics and being unreasonable, after one session the federal mediator sanctioned the university administration and demanded they reread proposals and immediately come back with a compromise and that their stall tactics were gross.

    There is a lot to know but the main issue currently is that the University still wants to reserve the right to cancel tuition waivers. This is dramatic because there are small departments (art, dance, music) who hold small appointments and will lose their tuition waivers if this passes. The admin is using rhetoric (two e-mails to the press and two to undergrads) claiming that we have no grounds to strike on this but we do in fact. The language that is written will allow them to pressure departments to turn revenue meaning the departments will have to cut a tuition waiver in order to make someone pay around $40,000k a year for masters/PhD work.

    They are using the "economic crisis" as a point however U of I received 54 million in bailout money and its endowment grew substantially from private donors during/after the "crisis".

    Note also that the Ex-chancellor White's admission fiasco cost the University $600,000 in legal fees + $250,000 for one class he is teaching this year +50,000 bonus + the new interim provost making $500,000 + the ex-chancelor's salary of $500,000. They spent more money than is needed to give each graduate a $3,000 raise!

    Please call or write the following:

    Board of Trustees:
    ph. 333-1920
    fax 244-2282

    Vice-Chancellor & Interim Provost:
    Robert Easter
    ph. 333-6677
    fax 244-5639

    (incoming) Stanley Ikenberry
    ph. 265-5409
    fax 333-3072

    (outgoing) B. Joseph White
    ph. 333-3070
    fax 333-3072

    If you have any questions or need more literature please let me know.

    Union website: http://www.uigeo.org/
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/GEO/171984109397?v=wall
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    Nov 17, 2009 1:36 AM GMT
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 17, 2009 7:03 PM GMT
    One last bump. We could use your support. Please, if you have time, call or write the people listed asking them for a fair, just contract for their working TAs, GAs, and RAs.

    I would greatly appreciate it.
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    Nov 17, 2009 7:19 PM GMT
    I would love to send an email to all those individuals. But I, like a lot of people, are lazy. If you have a form letter, a lot more people would participate.
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    Nov 18, 2009 11:24 PM GMT
    Fiddlesticks, I didn't think of that.