The union and university met on Tuesday with a federal mediator. At the meeting, the university presented what it has said is its "last, best and final offer." The university also updated its negotiations website with the offer, which includes raised stipend amounts and agreeing to the union's proposed no-strike clause.
In the press release, the union said the hunger strike is meant to draw attention to the poverty conditions of graduate workers. The hunger strike started Wednesday and does not have a set end date. On Monday, the union has planned to start a vote to either ratify the contract or strike.
The union is asking for solidarity from the public through sunrise to sunset fasts, donations to the School Street Food Pantry and sharing the union's stories.
The four people participating in the hunger strike are Ismail Cem Addemir, a master's student in communications, Sayanti Mondal, a doctorate student in English, Trevor Rickerd, a doctorate student in biology, and Steven Lazaroff, a doctorate student in English.
Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the hunger strike would end on Monday. The participants have not set an end date.
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Illinois State University graduate workers protest Thursday, Sept. 23, outside Hovey Hall as they attempted to catch the attention of administrators. The union, part of Service Employees International Union Local 73, plans a ratify or strike vote on Monday, Oct. 4. Four members will be participating in a hunger strike.