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AFSCME Workers Rally In Hope For Change

Written by on April 1, 2022

NORMAL, Ill.–Clean bathrooms, planted roses and rotating dining hall stations are just a part of what workers do to keep Illinois State University moving.

Monday evening outside of Hovey Hall, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) graduate student workers protested and rallied together to express their concerns.

Graduate student John Pleming explained why it is important that ISU takes notice of the current wages and contracts of Local 110 ground workers.

“I think the most important thing is meeting the AFSCME demands for higher wages. That would be the most positive thing ISU can do to show they actually respect and appreciate the work—the very important work that those service workers do,” said Pleming. “Anything short of that I think is a real disappointment and another slap in the face to some of the most important people on campus.”

Another graduate student that participated in the rally—Edzel Cintron–mentioned why he stood in solidarity.

“We value their work and we believe that they should get a fair contract because as a public institution ISU does have a lot of funding so there is no reason why they shouldn’t pay their workers better and especially a better living wage.

Pleming continues to go in depth about being a worker on the campus of Illinois State University and why workers all across the campus help the community thrive.

“As workers on this campus we recognize how important it is—the labor that we all do to make this place work. Whether we’re in the classrooms or cleaning dorms, preparing food whatever it is—without us this campus doesn’t move it doesn’t work in any way whatsoever. We want to stand united.”

Ninety-six percent voted to authorize a strike and 80% of the union voted.