University of Illinois graduate assistants approve contract

 
 
Posted3/12/2018 7:00 AM
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  • In this Tuesday, March 6, 2018 photo, members and supporters of the Graduate Employees Organization occupy the area outside of the University of Illinois president's office on the U of I campus in Urbana, Ill. A deal between Illinois and GEO members was announced Thursday morning after a marathon overnight bargaining session that lasted 26 hours from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. A two-day ratification vote for union members began Thursday and is to continue into Friday March 9, 2018. (Stephen Haas /The News-Gazette via AP)

    In this Tuesday, March 6, 2018 photo, members and supporters of the Graduate Employees Organization occupy the area outside of the University of Illinois president's office on the U of I campus in Urbana, Ill. A deal between Illinois and GEO members was announced Thursday morning after a marathon overnight bargaining session that lasted 26 hours from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. A two-day ratification vote for union members began Thursday and is to continue into Friday March 9, 2018. (Stephen Haas /The News-Gazette via AP) Associated Press

  • In this Tuesday, March 6, 2018 photo, members and supporters of the Graduate Employees Organization occupy the area outside of the University of Illinois president's office on the U of I campus in Urbana, Ill. A deal between Illinois and GEO members was announced Thursday morning after a marathon overnight bargaining session that lasted 26 hours from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. A two-day ratification vote for union members began Thursday and is to continue into Friday March 9, 2018. (Stephen Haas /The News-Gazette via AP)

    In this Tuesday, March 6, 2018 photo, members and supporters of the Graduate Employees Organization occupy the area outside of the University of Illinois president's office on the U of I campus in Urbana, Ill. A deal between Illinois and GEO members was announced Thursday morning after a marathon overnight bargaining session that lasted 26 hours from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. A two-day ratification vote for union members began Thursday and is to continue into Friday March 9, 2018. (Stephen Haas /The News-Gazette via AP) Associated Press

  • In this Tuesday, March 6, 2018 photo, members and supporters of the Graduate Employees Organization occupy the area outside of the University of Illinois president's office on the U of I campus in Urbana, Ill. A deal between Illinois and GEO members was announced Thursday morning after a marathon overnight bargaining session that lasted 26 hours from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. A two-day ratification vote for union members began Thursday and is to continue into Friday March 9, 2018. (Stephen Haas /The News-Gazette via AP)

    In this Tuesday, March 6, 2018 photo, members and supporters of the Graduate Employees Organization occupy the area outside of the University of Illinois president's office on the U of I campus in Urbana, Ill. A deal between Illinois and GEO members was announced Thursday morning after a marathon overnight bargaining session that lasted 26 hours from Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. A two-day ratification vote for union members began Thursday and is to continue into Friday March 9, 2018. (Stephen Haas /The News-Gazette via AP) Associated Press

URBANA, Ill. -- University of Illinois graduate assistants have voted to approve a contract agreement with the school following a strike that forced the cancellation of several hundred classes.

Graduate Employees Organization co-president Gus Wood tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette the contract was ratified Friday, ending a strike that started Feb. 26 after nearly a year of unsuccessful negotiations.

He says 98 percent of voting members were in favor. The contract now goes to the university's board of trustees for consideration.

A tentative deal between the school and the GEO members was announced last week.

Union leaders have said the five-year contract includes three years of wage increases, expanded health coverage and guaranteed tuition waivers for any teaching assistant or graduate assistant.

The union represents about 2,700 teaching assistants and administrative graduate assistants.

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Information from: The News-Gazette, http://www.news-gazette.com

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