The University of Illinois Administration is threatening to remove tuition waivers from the contracts of Teaching Assistants and Graduate Assistants. Tuition waivers are a fundamental part of graduate education at every major university and especially at the University of Illinois since it is a public institution. Waivers are how universities, like U of I, are able to attract top qualified graduate students, support diversity, and keep the overall cost of higher education in check. Less graduate students means more work for professors, higher costs for students.
The Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) at the University of Illinois has been negotiating for a new contract since April 2012, meeting with the administration over twenty-one times so far. The GEO contract expired in August 2012. This means that more than 2,400 TAs and GAs on campus go to work each day with uncertainty about their future wages, health care, and the security of their tuition waivers.
The administration does not want to guarantee protection of tuition waivers into the new contract. Please sign our petition to show your support in the GEO’s efforts to guarantee tuition waivers. By signing this petition, you will show the administration that your higher education is important to you, show your solidarity for the GEO’s efforts, and that you believe TAs and GAs are essential to ensuring you have the best quality higher education here at the University of Illinois.
We, the undersigned, value our higher education, support the GEO’s position, and call on the University of Illinois to reconsider legally securing tuition waivers in the new contract.
If you wish to directly call the Board of Trustees and help us prevent the possibility of a work-action, in addition to signing this petition, you can also directly call them at 217-333-1920
Here is their contact information:
Board of Trustees Office
352 Henry Administration Building, MC-350
506 South Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801, USA