University employees to rally outside of Swanlund Administration building

By Daily Illini Staff Report

The employees will rally outside of the Swanlund Administration Building at 12:15 p.m. and at the Child Development Laboratory at 4:30 p.mMD.

AFSCME staff representative Dave Beck said negotiations have been stalled for 16 months. The organization is urging Interim Chancellor Barbara Wilson and Interim Provost Edward Feser to address the pay negotiations.

“I want the Chancellor and Provost to decide that they’re going to continue to reward employees for their experience and loyalty to the University,” Beck said. “The University wants these folks to accept a 2-year pay freeze and force them to stay in these poverty wages with no opportunity to increase their wages as they gain experience to do that.”

Beck said negotiations concern more than just wages of the workers in Child Development.

“Sometimes negotiations take a long time, and they’re not just pay, they’re about the working conditions, the benefits, a whole host of things,” he said.

The first rally is meant to address Wilson and Feser. The second is aimed at spreading awareness about the issue to students and families. Participants in the rally will be handing out balloons to families picking up children outside of the Child Development Laboratory and talking to parents about the negotiations. Parents will also be urged to contact the chancellor to help them in their efforts.

Along with help from the parents, they hope this will grab the attention of the students of the University Beck said that AFSCME will have negotiations next week and hope the chancellor and provost will recognize employees and reward the pursuit of higher degrees.

“They are not just babysitters,” said Beck. “They are the heart and soul of the childhood development labs.”

Robin Kaler, campus spokeswoman, could not be immediately reached.

Vivienne Henning and Dixita Limbachia contributed to this report.

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