Organized workers at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford continued their strike this week as contract negotiations continue.
Carmen Garcia has worked for the UIC division of specialized child care for more than 20 years. She says she and her coworkers just want a fair contract like other staff are already getting.
“We're not even asking for extra, we're asking to be recognized and treated equally," she said. "And we're not.” Garcia said that part of the problem is that some workers don’t have guaranteed step increases in their contracts, which means that some workers can work for years without any kind of raise.
Members of Service Employees International Union Local 73 at the Rockford campus and the UI Health L.P. Johnson Family Health Center are in their second week on strike.
They’ve been calling for improved personal protective equipment as well as fair wages.Teamsters Local 325 said it stands with the SEIU workers. They said their members won’t cross the picket line, and they won’t pick up any waste at the UIC strike locations until further notice.
- Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.