State of Illinois
92nd General Assembly

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 1                          HOUSE RESOLUTION

 2        WHEREAS,  The  University  of  Illinois   is   a   public
 3    institution,  is  accountable to the citizens of the State of
 4    Illinois, and has a responsibility to maintain stability  and
 5    a high level of quality at our prized State institution; and

 6        WHEREAS,  The  more  than 5,000 graduate employees at the
 7    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are  indispensable
 8    members  of  the  University as they teach nearly half of all
 9    introductory level courses, run laboratories  and  libraries,
10    perform   essential   research   that   has  established  and
11    maintained the University's excellent reputation, and perform
12    many other services vital to the University  and  the  State;
13    and

14        WHEREAS,  Graduate students employed by the University as
15    teaching  assistants,  research  assistants,   and   graduate
16    assistants  formed the Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO)
17    to provide a  voice  for  graduate  employees  in  employment
18    policies   through   union   representation   and  collective
19    bargaining; and

20        WHEREAS,  Graduate  employees  at  the  University   have
21    demonstrated  overwhelming  support for union representation,
22    with 3,226  graduate  employees  signing  petitions  in  1996
23    requesting  the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board to
24    conduct a union  election  and  64%  of  those  voting  in  a
25    representation  election conducted in 1997 by local religious
26    leaders   voting   for   the   GEO   as   their    bargaining
27    representative; and

28        WHEREAS,   The   University   administration  refuses  to
29    recognize  the  results  of   this   election,   refuses   to
30    voluntarily  recognize  the  GEO,  and  has spent hundreds of
31    thousands of public tax dollars fighting  a  legally  binding
32    election  to  allow  graduate students to decide whether they
                            -2-                LRB9211008NTpk
 1    want union representation; and

 2        WHEREAS, The Illinois Appellate Court  and  the  Illinois
 3    Supreme  Court  both affirmed the right of graduate employees
 4    to choose union representation; and

 5        WHEREAS, Five years after  filing  a  petition  with  the
 6    labor  board  seeking  the right to vote on whether they want
 7    union representation, graduate employees still have  not  had
 8    an  election  and  the University administration continues to
 9    engage in  costly  legal  maneuvers  designed  to  deny  most
10    graduate employees this fundamental right; and

11        WHEREAS,  The  GEO has exhausted all legal and diplomatic
12    channels to improve their working conditions and secure union
13    recognition, and, as a result, graduate employees have  voted
14    to withhold their labor from the University; and

15        WHEREAS,   A   work  stoppage  will  disrupt  the  normal
16    operations of the University and will have a negative  impact
17    on  undergraduate  and  graduate  students,  faculty, and the
18    University as a whole; and

19        WHEREAS, Respecting  the  freedom  to  form  a  union  is
20    essential  to establishing a cooperative, mutually beneficial
21    relationship between the administration of the University and
22    its graduate employees; therefore, be it

25    we  urge  the  University  of Illinois administration and the
26    Board of Trustees to respect the right of graduate  employees
27    to organize and bargain collectively; and be it further

28        RESOLVED,  That we urge the University administration and
29    the Board of Trustees to remain neutral and comply  with  the
30    decision   of   their   graduate  employees  regarding  union
31    representation and to refrain from engaging in  an  activity,
                            -3-                LRB9211008NTpk
 1    written or verbal, designed to interfere with the free choice
 2    to join a union; and be it further

 3        RESOLVED, That we call upon the Board of Trustees and the
 4    Graduate  Employees'  Organization  to  meet  immediately and
 5    reach  agreement  on  the  terms  of  collective  bargaining,
 6    including, but not limited to, the parameters of a collective
 7    bargaining unit and the scope of issues to be dealt with; and
 8    be it further

 9        RESOLVED, That we urge the University administration, the
10    Board of Trustees, and the Graduate  Employees'  Organization
11    to  bargain  in  good  faith  and  in  the  best interests of
12    graduate employees and the university as a whole; and  be  it
13    further

14        RESOLVED,  That  suitable  copies  of  this resolution be
15    delivered  to   the   University   of   Illinois   President,
16    Chancellor, and Board of Trustees and the Graduate Employees'
17    Organization.

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