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CHICAGO, IL – Delores Withers, President of Local 1708 announced that a rally / protest against the “deceptive practices” of Chancellor Cheryl L. Hyman over contract negotiations of City Colleges of Chicago clerical workers will be held at 8am Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 226 W. Jackson Blvd.

Hundreds of protestors are expected to demonstrate at the corporate headquarters of City Colleges of Chicago. The rally/protest will focus on:

UNFAIR BARGAINING and 5-YEAR WAGE FREEZE: While CCC Reinvention officials are treated to lavish salaries, benefits, and perks, they have refused the clerical workers a fair bargain over the new contract since the dialogue began over a year and a half ago. CCC has frozen wages since June 30, 2010 and has proposed a 5-year wage freeze.

SKYROCKETING HEALTHCARE PREMIUMS: In addition, part-time workers can no longer afford health care coverage because the premiums have increased as much as 80%–the equivalent to one month’s paycheck for many. A good number of part-time employees are faced with having to obtain medical services from area free clinics.

Lucy Rodriguez, a part-time CCC employee with a heart condition, was forced to return this summer to her native country Colombia because she could not afford to be treated in Chicago. Mary Hernandez, another part-time employee, has been confined in a county hospital for over a month with no income and no sick time because part-time workers are not allowed “sick days.” While District officials and their family members receive free (100% covered) healthcare for life1 in an overblown benefits package that only the 1% can afford, many part-timers who need immediate healthcare cannot afford the burdensome premiums the District is now charging. Part-timers work up to 34 hours per week with no benefits, vacation or holiday pay. Full time union 1708 employees have been operating without a contract since June 30, 2010 and part-timers since June 2011.

On July 1, 1999, a City Colleges of Chicago Board of Trustees resolution allows officers of the district with less than 20 years of service free health care for life for themselves their spouse and dependents.

Reinvention undermines the integrity of the public colleges: 

 

Institutional knowledge, memory, and history is being eradicated with the replacement of longtime staff at the seven city colleges and at District Office with new hires who have no higher ed background or experience earning over $100,000 a year!

GIVE US A BREAK!! SUPPORT 1708 in MAKING A STRONG STATEMENT ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 25 IN FRONT OF DISTRICT OFFICE!! Federal mediation of our contract begins January 25, 2012. Joining the protest on Wednesday are the Illinois Federation of Teachers, American Federation of Teachers, AFLCIO, and the Chicago Federation of Labor.

For additional information or interviews contact Delores Withers at 773-520-6770 dwitherslocal1708@sbcglobal.net or Audrey Butler at 312-523-3976 – abultlerlocal1708@sbcglobal.net

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