UIC faculty to strike today

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For the first time ever, University of Illinois, Chicago faculty plan to strike Tuesday.

More than 1,100 teachers and staff are planning a two-day strike. The move could force the university to cancel hundreds of classes.

The union says it’s frustrated with the University since it hasn’t been able to agree on a contract since the group formed in 2012.

Pay is the main hurdle. The union is asking for a 4.5% pay raise for 2014, while the university is offering 3.25%. UIC Art Professor Therese Quinn said, “There are many people who have PhDs, who are full-time faculty here and I’ve heard that they’re earning $30,000 a year, which is very low for someone who’s spent so many years in school.”

UIC Spokesperson Bill Burton said, “The University values its faculty and has offered a fair contract to each of its collective bargaining units.  We will continue to bargain in good faith, now with the help of a federal mediator until a settlement is reached.”

Both sides are scheduled meet at the bargaining table again Friday.
The strike does not affect teaching or graduate assistants, who are in a separate bargaining unit.

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