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University of Illinois at Chicago

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:52pm
Mon Apr 7, 2014

Bangladeshi Garment Workers, UIC Students Join Forces In Call For Improved Factory Conditions

Nearly a year after the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, two organizers of the Bangladeshi labor movement encouraged University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) students to continue pressuring clothing companies to sign an important workplace safety accord.

Aleya Akter, 29, general secretary of the Bangladeshi Garment and Industrial Workers Federation, and Aklima Khanam, 20, a garment worker who survived the deadly Rana Plaza disaster, visited the university Monday.

"I want to tell university students [that] we're making clothing for you, so do you want us to be in factories like Rana Plaza … where workers are dying," Khanam asked while speaking through a translator.

The UIC's chapter of the United Students Against Sweatshops, a student run-organization active on more than 150 college campuses in North America, hosted Monday's discussion about the continued struggle for garment worker safety in Bangladesh.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:01pm
Tue Feb 18, 2014

UIC Faculty Kick Off Two-Day Strike For 'Fair, Equitable' Contract

Members of the faculty union at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) hit the picket lines Tuesday as part of a two-day strike for a "fair and equitable" contract. Progress Illinois was there for the union's morning rally. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:31pm
Mon Feb 10, 2014

Reports: Universities Lead In Transportation Strategies; Northeastern Illinois Suffers From Transit Deserts

American colleges and universities are leaders when it comes to creating new transportation models designed to reduce driving, according to a new report released by the Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund.

But while it may be easier getting around various college campuses in Illinois without a car, that is not necessarily the case in other areas of the state, shows a seperate report submitted to the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:58pm
Fri Feb 7, 2014

Economists, Health Policy Experts Weigh In On The CBO Obamacare Report

In the coming years, some Americans will voluntarily reduce their work hours or decide not to be employed at all as a result of the health coverage available under the Affordable Care Act, a report released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office shows. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the report, which has prompted strong reaction from both supporters and opponents of the health reform law.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:42pm
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 Ellyn Fortino
11:39am
Wed Dec 4, 2013

RTA Far From Achieving "World-Class" Public Transit System, Experts Say

The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has a lot of work to do if the northeastern Illinois public transit network it oversees plans on becoming a "world-class system" anytime soon, panelists said at a discussion on the topic Tuesday at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC).

The RTA is the oversight agency for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace, covering Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. The agency was created in 1974 and was reformed in 1983 and 2008.

Stephen Schlickman, who served as RTA's executive director from 2005 to 2010 and currently heads up UIC's Urban Transportation Center, said RTA's multi-agency structure "isn’t working as well as it should be." He noted that regional public transit systems in other U.S. metro areas are typically organized as one agency. The region's current transit structure has four governing boards, for the RTA, CTA, Metra and Pace, with 47 members.

"There is a serious lack of accountability when you have such a complex structure," he stressed. "We have complexities, not only in governance, but also in service overlap, in capital planning and programming, in the equities in the allocation of our finances. These topics defy public understanding."

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