An union member leading the picket in chants

by Kyle Gibbons

Following through on a previously reported promise, Local 1708 – the clerical and technical workers union at City Colleges – has gone on strike today across all campuses of the system.

Outside Truman, a group of picketers circles someone calling out various union chants such as “If we don’t get it? Shut it down!” and “Salgado has to go!” Teresa Walker, 1708’s treasurer, said the union is “asking for a fair contract … for respect.”

The picketers expect to be there most of the day. Water and chairs are set up, and the occasional union member can be seen eating some food, around midday, before getting back in the picket line and chanting again.


Picketers underneath a City Colleges banner, outside Truman

Former Truman student and current employee Peihua Wen seems hopeful about the strike. She told The Exchange that she isn’t anticipating the strike needing to last very long.

The strike is over stalled contract negotiations, primarily over pay. City Colleges offered the union a 3% annual raise, along with a longevity raise for full-time union members, and an offer to match the city’s minimum wage for part-time members. The union rejected this offer, setting the strike into motion.

Various passerby stop to watch the picketers, some pulling out their phones to record the event. At times people offer their support, either by joining the picket line or by honking as they pass by.


The picket outside Truman’s main doors