There is Power in a Union

DAYS WITHOUT A CONTRACT: 398
DAYS UNTIL THE START OF THE ACADEMIC YEAR: 17

Something in the Daily Egyptian I somehow missed when it was printed:

Budget crunch eliminates bus routes
Three bus routes in town are being combined into one to save money. According to the article, low ridership helped make that decision so it’s possible this change isn’t impacting too many people but we can expect the new route to be slow. On the other hand, when “low ridership” is reported, I wonder if that’s specifically in the summer and if the number of people on those routes will jump again in the fall (especially given gas prices). The other reason why this might be important is because it’s another example of university spending priorities. Services are cut and stadiums are built. Huh.

And an interesting Capitol Report from the IEA can be found here. House leaders invited different groups in for meetings about pensions and the IEA went in on July 21. Apparently:

Regarding the pension funding reform discussion, IEA is taking the following positions: 1) Any proposed changes must be legal under the Illinois Constitution, 2) Proposed revenue options must be designed to enable the state to meet its funding obligation to the pension systems, and 3) The only changes that should be considered are those that will not diminish the stability of the pension systems.

The initial meeting concluded without any decisions or agreement. Further meetings are expected to be scheduled. Speaker Madigan asked both the Illinois House members and the public employee unions to submit lists of discussion topics relating to pension funding and pension benefits for active employees.

We (GAU) are going into bargaining this afternoon. Wish us luck at getting closer to a fair contract!

Finally, in the next couple of days you should see an archive of all the Strike Watches (or bargaining updates, whatever they might be called) from the four locals start to go up as I get them.

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