By CARL GREEN
Democratic candidate for Illinois governor JB Pritzker joined Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery and members of the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) Local 6300 on the picket line at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recently.
Pritzker is the Illinois AFL-CIO endorsed candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor in the primary election March 20.
After 11 months of bargaining and nearly 200 days without a contract, the 2,500 members of GEO Local 6300 were forced to the picket lines on Feb. 26 over the university’s demand to eliminate guaranteed tuition waivers, which student graduate workers rely in exchange for their labor. This is a long-accepted standard of graduate employee compensation at universities nationwide. If the U of I succeeds in eliminating it, other institutions will do the same.
GEO members are using their freedom to have a collective voice in a strong union to fight back –– exactly what the powerful anti-union forces behind the Janus case are arguing against in the U.S. Supreme Court.
If you’d like to support the strikers, you can make an online donation to the strike fund at gofundme.com/uiuc-geo-strike-fund, or you can mail a check to:
Graduate Employees’ Organization, Local 6300, 809 S. 5th St., McKinley Foundation, Geneva Room, Champaign, IL 61820.