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Article updated: 11/16/2012 6:09 PM

U of I's graduate employees authorize strike

By

CHAMPAIGN -- Graduate employees at the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign have overwhelmingly approved a strike authorization vote.

The Graduate Employees Organization said Friday that the strike authorization vote passed by 86.7 percent. The vote means the organization will form a 23-person strike committee, which has the authority to call a strike.

The union and the university have been negotiating a new contract since August. A federal mediator recently joined negotiations. The next negotiation session is scheduled for the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Graduate employees are upset with the university's policy on tuition waivers. About 1,000 members of the union went on strike in 2009 in an effort to protect tuition waivers.

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