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SPews: February 25, 2011

Indiana Dems flee to C-U as ‘safety precaution’,” Daily Illini, February 23

Despite promises from Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to not call state troopers to round up legislators, Win Moses, state representative from Fort Wayne, said the Democrats fled as a safety precaution. Wednesday’s exodus marks the second time in a week neighboring legislators have fled to Illinois to avoid the passage of union-busting legislation brought forth by Republican controlled legislatures

Urbana turnout may be lowest since 1968,” News-Gazette, February 23

County records show that Tuesday’s voter turnout during the Democratic primary election was the lowest – both in terms of percentage of registered voters and the total number of ballots cast – in any twin cities election at least since 1989, and possibly as far back as 1968.

Voters cast only 53 ballots during the city council primary election in Urbana’s Ward 2 this week – 2 percent of the 2,636 voters registered in that ward. That is the lowest tally in available county records, which include all elections since 1990 and most elections since 1968.

University workers protest again as negotiations stall,” Daily Illini, February 23

Building and food service workers were joined by several other groups on campus as they continued picketing against the University. The rally took place at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC) before negotiations for a new wage contract on Wednesday morning.

In response to the stalled negotiations, Ricky Baldwin, senior field organizer of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73, said SEIU has planned to file Unfair Labor Practice Charges against the University.

“I find it a bit disturbing that the University would move towards less secure jobs, and they are really just continuing to show disrespect for its workforce,” Baldwin said.

No more waivers for kids of university employees?,” Pantagraph, February 23

State university employees would no longer get a discount on their children’s tuition under a proposal backed by a top state Republican.

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, R-Lemont, is sponsoring a measure to end the partial tuition waiver as a way to free up money for cash-strapped universities.

. . .

If an employee has worked a total of seven years at Illinois public universities, his or her children can get a 50 percent undergraduate tuition waiver at any Illinois state university.

UI lab worker was infected by cowpox,” News-Gazette, February 19

A student lab worker was infected with cowpox last year at the University of Illinois, but is fine now. This is the first U.S. case, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

. . .

The chief spokesman for the Urbana campus, Robin Kaler, said that the incident was isolated and that steps are being taken that will prevent further infection.

Kaler said privacy requirements prevented her from specifying the age or gender of the worker, who noticed an infected cut in early July 2010 that produced a small lesion.


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