City College Workers, Supporters Gear Up For Possible Strike This Monday

More than 1,000 teachers and staff in the Chicago City Colleges may strike this coming Monday for the first time in almost 27 years if the administration doesn't offer workers a fairer contract proposal. A primary point of contention is health care costs. Management wants the union to accept cost increases that could jack up insurance prices by as much as 400% -- at the same time that top managers will continue to get free health care and other insurance for life.

The strike would put 476 full-time faculty, 200 lab instructors, computer instructors and other full time professionals, 160 part-time tutors and mentors and 500 security guards on the picket line. The workers are members of three bargaining units of the Cook County College Teachers Union who are attempting to negotiate a master agreement that to cover their three separate contracts. All would strike together -- and other bargaining units have agreed not to cross their picket lines.

The union says a strike would leave over 2,000 classes without teachers, essentially shutting the colleges down. Management has intimated that it will use scabs to break any strike. While union members have not struck Chicago's city college system in decades, their previous strikes have drawn national attention for their militancy and their commitment to winning fair terms for their membership. Full Story

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