Chicago University teachers on strike


Chicago : Teachers at the University of Chicago in Illinois (UIC) have gone on strike protesting low wages and other conditions.

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A group of 400 teachers and students claimed the central quad of the university for a rally in support of the striking professors Wednesday, Xinhua reported.

Joseph Persky, a UIC economics professor and union president, explained the importance of the strike on a national level.

“State universities are being pushed into this very different mode… acting like a business. Obviously somebody has to watch the books but right now in our university, we have a budget of $1.7-1.8 billion. The faculty we are talking about that do all the teaching in the university and research, are paid $100 million. Where is all that money going? And that’s the message not just for this university but for other universities as well.”

“Right now the university has a huge reserve that’s been stored up, we’re making $200 million in profit every year, more than the University of Phoenix, a for-profit institution. It’s time to take some of that cash and put it to work: in the classroom, academics which is the soul of the university,” said Persky.

The union also said professors have received no raises in two years and three years ago professors were given a pay cut.

Xue Hua Xiang, professor of linguistics, told Xinhua: “There hasn’t been an agreement, the administration has not consented on the terms of increasing the wage to a minimum survival rate… many faculties have to work two jobs to make ends meet.”