SEIU serves strike notice in Illinois

Clerical and administrative employees who have worked without a contract for 17 months at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford have voted to strike for three days if a fair deal is not reached soon.

The strike would affect more than 100 employees at the Rockford campus, 1601 Parkview Ave., said Jeff Dexter, higher education director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73. Employees at the University of Illinois’ Chicago and Peoria campuses also would strike.

They would not strike before Feb. 6, when a federal mediation session is scheduled between management and workers at the Chicago campus, Dexter said.

“We’re going to see what comes out of the Feb. 6 talks,” he said. “We’re hoping those talks are successful.”

Sticking points in the bargaining sessions are wages, job security and sliding scale of parking fees.

University officials issued a statement today, saying they also hope next week’s bargaining session will be positive. If a strike happens, it will be the first on Rockford’s campus, said Erin Werthman, the local campus’ public relations coordinator.

“The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford strives to maintain good relationships with the labor unions representing our employees,” the statement read.
“Each of our employees is critical to the college’s mission of education, innovation and service. Along with our parent campus, the University of Illinois at Chicago, we strive to retain a competitive employment culture. We will continue conversation in good faith at the negotiating table, and we look forward to reaching agreement on the union contract.”


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