05/27/2012 10:18 am ET

UIC Worker Strike Will Begin May 30, Run For Three Days

More than 80 percent of University of Illinois Chicago medical support staff will engage in a three-day strike starting May 30 unless they reach a new contract agreement with administrators.

A group of nearly 500 university staff members has been lobbying for pay raises, but the workers' union says they have yet to receive an equitable offer, according to a release from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73.

The workers union's contracts have open for discussion with management since late 2010, but over the course of 27 bargaining sessions, workers say the university continues to cry poverty--despite a recent $285,000 payout to the departing president.

On March 21, workers demanded a federal mediator after management failed to supply a wage counter proposal, according to the SEIU. At subsequent mediated meetings with administrators on April 5 and April 19, the union says management again failed to provide a counter-offer to their initial request for pay raises.

UIC officials say they "are committed to negotiating a contract that is fair to our employees and fiscally responsible," according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

In August and October of 2010, the University faced similar pushback from employees over contract negotiations.