SEIU Pickets UIUC for Second Time in 2 Weeks

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Champaign- SEIU workers took the University of Illinois Campus to picket stalled contract negotiations for the second time in 2 weeks.

The union held a previous picket on September 30th, to let the university know that they want a fair contract now. The union has been working without a contract since the end of July. The union says they recently met with the university to discuss their contract, but are still unable to reach a compromise.

"We know what is looming for us, which is a possible 100% increase in our healthcare costs, so we have made a responsible proposal to them to address that concern, and they have responded with proposal that seek to cut out our overtime opportunity and not addressing the issues of staffing levels." said Aaron Ammons, President of Local SEIU 73.

Ammons, also says that the union often feels unappreciated by the university administration, "It's important for the public to see that the working people here at the university, the building service workers, who we are basically janitors, custodian, food service workers, we are the ones who are the essential workers here at the university." he said. "But when it comes down to making sure that we get a fair contract then there is always some reason why we don't deserve that, but when the campus is full of snow, or there are thousands of students who need to be fed, or rooms to be cleaned, then suddenly we are essential. But when it comes to discussing fair compensation suddenly we are not so essential anymore."

There are over 700 SEIU workers on campus who include food and building service workers.

The last contract with the university was in 2013, after a three day strike.

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