URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Service workers at the University of Illinois are set to vote over the next week-and-a-half on whether to authorize a strike.

Hundreds of members of Service Employees International Union Local 73 signed a petition calling for the vote as negotiations between the UI Board of Trustees and bear little progress. The contract between the union and Board of Trustees is set to expire in August.

Union leaders said the vote is in response to the stalled negotiations and unfair wages and conditions. They hope the vote alone will send their message of frustration to the university.

“The strike authorization is an important message to the university, basically saying ‘We’re fed up. We’re essential workers. You cannot operate this university without us and these decisions that have been handed down and the disrespect and the lies, enough is enough,'” said Mike Lindley, service worker and Union Steward of SEIU Local 73.

“Their work is valuable so the people who do the work should also be valued,” said Ricky Baldwin, Assistant Director of the State Division of SEIU Local 73.

If a strike is authorized, it will not happen right away, but it would move the union one step closer to a walkout when the contract expires. It would be the first strike by university service employees since 2013, and that strike prompted the university to declare its first-ever civil service emergency.

If a strike were to occur, campus trash cans would not be emptied, bathrooms in university buildings would not be cleaned and food in dining halls would not be made.