Statement of Solidarity with Loyola Workers’ Coalition
We, the Graduate Employees Organization at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign IFT/AFT Local 6300 AFL-CIO express our solidarity with our fellow graduate workers of the Loyola Workers’ Coalition and demand that the Loyola University Chicago administration meet them at the bargaining table to negotiate a fair contract.
Despite the fact that Loyola graduate workers voted overwhelmingly to unionize in 2017 and are recognized by the National Labor Relations Board, the Loyola administration has not only refused to bargain with them, but refuses to even acknowledge that grad workers are, in fact, workers. Graduate workers teach classes, do research, grade papers, and perform other invaluable labor necessary to keep a university like Loyola running. To say that they are not employees is both inaccurate and insulting. As a prominent Jesuit university, Loyola should follow the Catholic Social Teaching it claims to uphold by recognizing the right of all workers to organize and unionize for fair and just working conditions.
This, unfortunately, is part of a larger pattern of the Loyola administration failing its workers. On April 4th, 2018, non-tenure track faculty at Loyola were forced out on strike after the administration refused to agree to a fair contract after nearly two years of bargaining.
On April 15th, 2019, seven Loyola Workers’ Coalition members and supporters were arrested while peacefully demonstrating in front of Loyola President Rooney’s office. The Loyola Workers’ Coalition has now called for a walkout of graduate and undergraduate students on April 24th if the Loyola administration does not agree to bargain.
We applaud Loyola Workers’ Coalition for their solidarity and bravery in standing together to demand a fair contract. It’s time for the Loyola administration to do the right thing. #BargainLUC #WeAreWorkers
The Graduate Employees’ Organization, AFT/IFT Local 6300, AFL-CIO, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, represents approximately 2,700 Teaching and Graduate Assistants on the UIUC Campus. In November 2009 and in February 2018, over 1,000 GEO members and allies participated in a strike to secure a fair contract and more accessible UIUC campus. With an active presence in the community, the GEO continues to work for high-quality and accessible public education in Illinois.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can also be found on GEO’s website at www.uiucgeo.org.