Strike Begins at Illinois

by E Wayne Ross on November 17, 2009

Inside Higher Ed: Strike Begins at Illinois

As graduate teaching assistants formed picket lines on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus Monday, administrators tried to assuage concerns that the university is maneuvering to end tuition waivers.

The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO), a union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, commenced a strike Monday after contract negotiations broke down over a single issue. The GEO, which represents about 2,700 student employees, agreed to strike when administrators rejected a demand for more robust protections of tuition waivers. The university put forward its own language on the issue, but GEO leaders said it fell short of ensuring that waivers for out of state students would be retained.