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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Dec 6, 2013

UIC Faculty Union Votes To Authorize Strike; Contract Negotiations Continue

Union members of the University of Illinois at Chicago United Faculty (UICUF) voted this week to authorize a strike. Union officials, however, say they will continue contract negotiations with the university's administration through early January, with the help of a federal mediator, in an effort to avoid a walkout.

"We will only take strike action once every other avenue of influence has been exhausted and the bargaining team believes there is no other way to make members’ views clear," the union wrote on its website before the strike authorization vote, which occurred Monday through Thursday of this week.

About 79 percent of the union's 800 members participated in the vote this week, with over 95 percent saying they backed the option to strike, if necessary, for a fair contract, union leaders said.

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
Mon Dec 2, 2013

CPS Parents Host Fair To Promote, Support Neighborhood Schools

As Chicago’s public schools continue to struggle in the face of budget cuts, overcrowding and a city government that seems to prefer to invest in charter schools, a group of parents hosted what they say was the first fair ever to showcase public education in neighborhood schools. Calling themselves BAM, short for “Bad Ass Moms,” the group put together a “Neighborhood Schools Fair” last month as a way to connect Chicago Public Schools families with one another and highlight the accomplishments of their children’s schools.

“What better way to defend public education then by showcasing what we have to offer,” said Rousemary Vega, a CPS parent and resident of Humboldt Park. Vega, one of the founding members of BAM, said the group formed over the summer during a backyard barbeque where CPS parents discussed the massive CPS school closures and budget cuts.