Photos from this afternoon’s rally and march around UIC’s campus. Faculty are on strike for two days demanding better wages and better governance regarding the university’s resources.
"The negotiations have been dragging on almost interminably,” professor Joseph Persky, president of the union,told the Chicago Tribune. “I never thought we would get to the point where we had to strike to get a contract. It is time to deal with this.” The faculty hasn’t seen a raise since the union formed in 2011. A federal mediator stepped in during November to help arbitrate.
The striking teachers are seeking a minimum salary of $45,000 for full time lecturers and multi-year contracts, along with a 3.5 percent raise for all faculty. The administration for the university has offered to increase minimum salary to $36,000 by 2016. Faculty at the school’s flagship campus in Champaign-Urbana received 4.15 percent to 4.65 percent raises this year. John Casey, a UIC graduate and English professor with a PhD making $30,000 a year told the Tribune:
“I am living off of my credit cards. It is not a position that someone should be in regardless of education, but particularly when you have a doctoral degree and spent all the time and money earning that degree. If I am teaching courses seen as being that important, you would think the paycheck would reflect that.”
Some quick photos from the beginning of today’s faculty strike at the University of Chicago. After 18 months of negotiation and bargaining sessions, UIC United Faculty (which represents more than 1,100 teachers) has been unable to come to an agreement with the administration. Hundreds rallied in the quad this morning and will be picketing throughout the campus today and tomorrow.