CHICAGO (CBS)—More than 1,500 teaching and graduate assistants at UIC are without a contract and are going on strike for higher pay after the union failed to reach an agreement with university administrators.
Graduate workers will start picketing Tuesday morning around 9:30 a.m. They say they’re fed up with low pay, university fees and appointment policies.
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The UIC Graduate Employees Organization represents more than 1,500 teaching and graduate students.
The union met with administrators for the university Monday night for the 22nd time to negotiate a new contract. Union employees have been working without one since September 2018.
In a statement sent out Tuesday morning, UIC said administrators planned to meet with union representatives again on Friday and said classes would continue amid the strike period.READ MORE: Cook County Sheriff's Officer Fires Shots During Attempted Traffic Stop: Police
“All members of the university community will be expected to meet for classes as usual,” the statement reads, in part. “During a strike, the university is committed to continuing normal operations to the fullest extent possible.”
Last month, a majority of union members voted to move forward with a strike.
The union says grad workers are living on the edge of poverty. They make as little as $18,000 per year despite some employees running classes of up to 60 undergraduate students.
They believe they deserve better because the university is doing well. Enrollment is at a record high and new construction projects are in development on campus.MORE NEWS: Man Shot And Killed In Fuller Park
UIC has been contacted for comment.