Tell UIC: #HeroesWorkHere means #FairContractNow

University of Illinois Board of Trustees

Staff_deaths_at_uic
UIC workers at a vigil to honor their co-workers who have died from COVID-19 contracted in the workplace. As of May 15, four workers had died and 190 workers had been infected.

Sign the letter below to urge the University of Illinois-Chicago trustees to bargain with the Illinois Nurses Association and SEIU Local 73 for a #FairContractNow.

Since the onset of the pandemic, hundreds of workers and their families have been infected with COVID-19. Two INA members and two SEIU Local 73 members have died from COVID contracted in their workplace. These workforces are overwhelmingly made up of women and people of color; by refusing to provide create safe working conditions, UI Health is needlessly exposing these workers to a deadly virus.

Sign this petition to tell the UIC trustees that essential workers are truly essential--not disposable--and to bargain in good faith for a #FairContractNow.

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To: University of Illinois Board of Trustees
From: [Your Name]

“Heroes Work Here.” That’s what UI Health told our community when the pandemic hit.

If UI Health truly believes that heroes work here, they should bargain in good faith with 1,400 Illinois Nurses Association members and 4,000 SEIU 73 members for a contract that keeps them safe and honors their work.

Since the onset of the pandemic, hundreds of workers and their families have been infected with COVID-19. Two members of the Illinois Nurses Association and two members of SEIU Local 73 have died from COVID contracted in their workplace. These workers died because the University did not prioritize their safety. Instead, UI Health criticized employees for wearing masks because they did not want to upset patients and visitors.

This is a fight for racial and gender justice. Building service workers, who clean COVID hospital rooms, are a 76% Black workforce. For this, their starting pay is $12.65 an hour with no hazard pay and insufficient PPE. By contrast, their majority-white counterparts at the University of Illinois-Champaign Urbana make several dollars more per hour than the majority-Black workforce in Chicago. The nursing staff at UIC is more than 90% women, and over half of them are women of color. By refusing to negotiate for safe working conditions, UIC is needlessly exposing these women and people of color to fatally dangerous workplaces.

We stand with the INA as they fight for safe staffing through Safe Patient Limits, a staffing model that caps the number of patients a nurse is responsible for, allowing for secure and dedicated care to our most vulnerable patients. We stand with SEIU 73 as they fight for protections from privatization, safe staffing, universal PPE, and dignity and respect for all workers.

If UIC believes that heroes work here, then UIC must bargain in good faith for a fair contract now. We are ready to walk the picket lines with the members of the Illinois Nurses Association and SEIU Local 73 because we believe that the heroes who work at UIC deserve a #FairContractNow.