Author: Tony Floriani

15 Jan UI Holds Back Yet Another Union Contract

**Visiting Faculty are invited to join our first meeting of the Visiting Faculty Caucus**
**10-11:30am, Friday, 1/24/20 @UICUF Offices, 1016 W. Jackson Blvd**
**to discuss and address issues specific to visiting titles at UIC**

uicufwebB

  • ACTION: UICUF Faculty are invited to join a demonstration at the Board of Trustees meeting TOMORROW – 10:15, Thursday, 1/16/20 @Lobby of Student Center West.
  • SEIU is negotiating several contracts, seeking to address chronic understaffing which has led to safety concerns and contributed to the death of a union member.
  • UI Labor Relations are once again holding back an agreement on a fair contract.
  • The UI System has a history of unproductive bargaining practices that have led to at least 18 strike authorizations and 9 actual work stoppages in the last 10 years.

 

The Semester has barely begun, but UI Labor Relations seems determined to start the year with their signature intransigence in negotiating labor contracts, this time with our fellow workers in SEIU Local 73. SEIU is currently bargaining for four different units of support staff, including civil service professionals, clerical staff, and service, maintenance, and technical staff.

Among other issues, SEIU is seeking to ameliorate chronic understaffing, which they report as being as low as 2/3rds of minimum requirements in some units. The low staffing levels seem to be symptomatic of what even HR acknowledges as substandard compensation. Even more concerning, understaffing has contributed to unsafe working conditions which in turn may have contributed to the death of an SEIU union member. Needless to say, if unsafe conditions killed a faculty member, we would have little patience for counterproductive negotiating tactics at the bargaining table.

To push back, SEIU members and allies, including faculty members, will be holding a rally at the Board of Trustees meeting at Student Center West this Thursday, 1/16/20. The UI system’s Labor Relations department has an unenviable record of pursuing negotiating tactics that court conflict with the university’s unions, and we will demand, once again, that the Board of Trustees take notice. Labor Relations represent the Board of Trustees in their dealings with UIC’s unions, and we hope to make it clear to the Board that their problematic stance toward organized labor must change.

Other Issues to Watch for at the BoT Meeting
Among other things, we expect the Board to announce that President Killeen will be offered a 40% raise and a 4-year contract extension. That is roughly what it would cost to hire 5 new full-time faculty, or pay for 18,000 hours of wages for security guards or other badly needed support staff. The Board will also be discussing tuition rates, which we expect will remain flat this year, virtually guaranteeing that UIC will raise fees. We’ll return to these issues in much greater detail in next week’s update.

Setting a Positive Example
Meanwhile, UICUF is proud to announce that we are trying to set our own good example for labor negotiations, as we can now report the signing of our first ever staff union contract! Unlike the grinding year-long process of negotiating with UI Labor Relations, negotiations with our newly unionized staff was acknowledge by both sides to be efficient and fair. We are particularly pleased with anti-bullying language that we’ve jointly crafted, which we hope will be a benchmark for other contracts in the future. Full disclosure: both staff and UICUF members contributed to this weekly message.

A Caucus for Visiting Faculty
Over the years, UICUF has noted an increasing prevalence of visiting faculty at our university, and we recognize that members with visiting titles have their own issues and concerns that may not affect others in the same ways. To dive into these issues, we are convening a Visiting Faculty Caucus, and encouraging our members with visiting titles to attend. Through discussing shared experiences and concerns, we can start to organize around what really matters to visiting faculty! You can join us from 10-11:30am NEXT FRIDAY, 1/24/20 @the UICUF office, 1016 W. Jackson Blvd. Please RSVP or send any questions to UICUFSophie@gmail.com.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

09 Jan Spring Semester Solidarity

uicufwebB

  • UICUF wants to welcome all our members back for Spring Semester!
  • We will continue focusing on Shared Governance with a university-wide survey, and ongoing trainings on contract implementation
  • IFT is hosting candidate forums for local primaries RIGHT NOW, and our Committee on Political Education (COPE) will be keeping you informed throughout the year on elections and issues.
  • We will also be holding our own elections this semester for Executive Board and Representative Assembly.

 

First, UIC United Faculty wants to extend a warm welcome back to all our members as we begin a new year and our Spring Semester! Looking back, we accomplished so much last year, and we intend to carry forward with a strong program this year as well. This Spring, we will continue our focus on shared governance at the academic unit level, and give our members plenty of opportunities to engage with union efforts, and particularly with the political process in this important election year.

Shared Governance Transparency and Implementation
We’ve written a lot about shared governance this academic year, especially in light of the many new provisions we won in our contract that clearly state where faculty input is required. We’ve done several know-your-contract trainings by unit, and will continue offering tailored workshops to help your academic unit (school/department/division) fully take advantage of these new rights. If you would like to hold a training in your unit, please reach out to Jeff at uicufjeff@gmail.com or Sophie at uicufsophie@gmail.com.

We will also be conducting a shared governance survey open to all faculty this semester to better identify issues in need of further consideration, attention or education across the university. We will be relying on our members not only to respond to the survey, but to encourage colleagues to give their honest input as well, so keep an eye out for notifications by email letting you know the survey dates!

Political Engagement and Our Committee On Political Education
You may recall that we created an official Committee on Political Education in June 2018, with the purview to educate faculty and the community about political issues affecting higher education. They also have the power to raise money (separate from union dues which are never used for political campaigns), and endorse/contribute to local political candidates that prioritize support for public higher education in Illinois.

While our local’s COPE will remain tightly focused on local political races that could have a direct impact on UIC, our state and national affiliates, IFT, AFT, and AAUP will all be working at various levels to keep members engaged and informed on the political process in this important election year. IFT is holding candidate forums RIGHT NOW for state House and Senate primaries which will take place on March 17, and we encourage you to attend in your legislative district if you are able.

UICUF Elections
In addition to it being a major year for state and national elections, UICUF will be demonstrating our democratic values as a union by holding our own elections at the end of April. This is your opportunity to vote (or run) for positions on the Executive Board and Representative Assembly, which lead our union. We will be convening an elections committee shortly to set up and manage the election, and we’ll need volunteers to help! If you aren’t planning on running for other offices, we highly encourage you to contact us about getting involved as an election committee member!

2019 was a busy and successful year for faculty at UIC, and we’re looking forward to working with all of you in making 2020 even better! If you have questions, want to set up a shared governance workshop for your department, or want to get involved with UICUF’s COPE, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

12 Dec Decisions Subject to Shared Governance

uicufwebB

  • Some decisions at the academic unit level MUST be subject to shared governance per our union contract.
  • In addition to review by an Advisory or Executive committee and/or vote of the full faculty, many of these policies must comply with specific standards across the university.
  • UICUF leaders and staff are available to work with members on understanding and applying shared governance rights in your units. Contact UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if interested.

 

Last week we discussed some of the rudimentary structures of shared governance at the academic unit level, such as the requirements that all units have accessible bylaws and elected advisory or executive committees. This week we will consider the types of decisions our latest contract mandates be subject to shared governance at the academic unit level, and what guidelines those processes must follow.

Our contract, as well as university statutes, have always indicated situations in which shared governance MUST be applied, like the curriculum, faculty hiring, and standards for tenure, and promotion. Other decision making processes commonly incorporate shared governance by tradition if not contractual obligation. To ensure that faculty are able to get the most out of their right to participate in shared governance, we highlight three new issues below.

Defining Workloads
Per the new UIC United Faculty contract, every academic unit is REQUIRED to set a workload policy through shared governance processes. This is something university negotiators strongly resisted, and we had proposed this precisely because we had seen areas where administrators had been imposing increased teaching loads unilaterally. In some areas this will take assertive action, and UICUF leadership and staff stand prepared to assist you with implementation. Specifically, per Article XII.B of the faculty contract, these policies must “include a teaching statement that sets clear expectations for the teaching assignments, including course load and class size.” Moreover, these expectations can’t be changed without review via shared governance, so they can’t be updated unilaterally by administration without consultation.

Evaluation Criteria
Annual evaluations are another area for shared governance that units need to (re)visit in light of our latest contract. Our contract reiterates prior university policy that there be “a formal process that is open and equitable,”  and goes on to establish that “student evaluation data shall not be considered in isolation….” The specific criteria included in teaching evaluations in your unit will depend upon what you determine through the shared governance process, though its important to remember that UIC does have guidelines on evaluations that must be followed.

NTT Reappointment
New to our contract this year is the requirement that all units have procedures written into their bylaws that govern the reappointment of non-tenure track faculty. We have seen some cases in the past where a lone administrator made what appeared to us an arbitrary decision to not reappoint a faculty member. This decision making ought to be guided by clear policies, and be accountable to faculty.

But isn’t it All “Merely Advisory”?
The exact nature of the shared governance process will differ from unit to unit, based on what faculty think they need, but must ultimately involve decisions/recommendations being made by a vote of the full faculty, or by an elected Executive/Advisory Committee. Processes and resulting policies must be transparent and accessible to faculty. As the above matters are contractual obligations for university administration, failure to set such policies through appropriate shared governance principles is a contract violation which could be grieved by the union.

We understand that being “advisory” does not assure an executive officer for a unit will follow what faculty develop. However, we believe that the fact that the administration resisted contract language requiring shared governance in setting workload policy indicates that they do take it seriously. And we know that for most units on our campus, these things in fact do matter to many administrators. It is our responsibility to bring forward these requirements and self-organize our faculty to get them implemented. We have seen how the shared governance process can be an effective means for organizing your colleagues, and UICUF leaders and staff can help advise and support you around the specifics of your issues and processes.

If you have questions about how assert your rights to shared governance driven decision-making, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

05 Dec Shared Governance is Your Right! What Shared Governance Should Look Like

uicufwebB

  • Shared governance is a pillar of our university’s policy-making processes, but to fully benefit, you need to exercise your rights!
  • Each academic unit should have clear, accessible bylaws, and an elected Advisory or Executive Committee, so that faculty can participate in the governance of their work
  • UICUF Staff are available to work with members on understanding and applying shared governance rights in your units. Contact UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if interested.

 

Shared governance is one of academia’s most cherished principles, giving faculty a voice in decision-making at all levels of the university. It is also one of UIC United Faculty’s core commitments as a union to make the promise of shared governance a reality by backing it with the power of collective bargaining. We’ve delivered on that commitment by enshrining many shared governance principles in our union contract, ensuring that your rights are enforceable.

To get the full benefit out of shared governance, however, faculty need to understand their rights in the university’s decision-making processes, and work to develop a culture of engagement in those processes. Today, we’re exploring how shared governance at the unit level should function, based on the UICUF contract and university statutes.

Clear and Accessible Bylaws
Unit bylaws can have a significant effect on how your work is defined, and how you are treated as an educator, researcher, and employee in your academic unit. These bylaws should be clearly written, and readily accessible to you. Your unit head or office administrator should be able to help you get a copy of them.

We strongly recommend familiarizing yourself with your unit bylaws, or at least having a copy handy. Bylaws typically will describe how a unit’s shared governance structure works, and per our union contract, they must include certain explanations and definitions, such as workload expectations and reappointment processes for NTT faculty. These explanations and definitions, in turn, must be created with input from faculty via shared governance.

Executive and Advisory Committees
Every unit must have either an Executive Committee (if your academic unit has a Chair) or an Advisory Committee (if your academic unit has a Head or Director). These committees are the backbone of shared governance for faculty at the unit level. They must be elected by faculty, and should be consulted by unit executive officers on changes to bylaws and the development of other policies. In particular, units must develop certain standards in consultation with these committees. Having a functional shared governance infrastructure, in which faculty regularly participate, is critical to ensuring your rights are enforced.

UICUF Shared Governance Workshops
Educating faculty members on their rights plays an important role in how UICUF enforces our union contract. To that end, we are continually offering trainings and workshops to help faculty better understand their contractual rights, and to help each academic unit address issues specific to their situation. UICUF staff are available to help you understand how shared governance should work, and to assist you in improving these processes for your academic unit.

If you have questions about how to obtain your unit bylaws, whether your bylaws and committees meet contractual requirements, or would like to arrange a discussion about shared governance with a union representative, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

21 Nov What To Do If You Think You Have A Grievance 

uicufwebB

  • While every workplace issue is unique, the UICUF grievance committee can offer advice and support.
  • Don’t wait to address it: The longer you wait, the harder it may be to deal with it, especially if it requires filing an official grievance.
  • Notify UICUF:  Most issues UICUF intervenes in are solved without formal grievance procedures, and your privacy is always a priority.
  • Write it all down: Keeping notes of the events that led you to contact your union can help you compose your thoughts, and serve as a reliable record during the grievance process.

 

Last week, we went into some detail about our new Grievance Committee and how it operates. This week, faculty were invited to attend grievance trainings to help members understand what a grievance is, and how the process works. Today we’re going to offer advice on how to proceed if you think you have grounds for a grievance.

Filing a grievance is a formal process for addressing a violation of the faculty contract. It is useful to know, however, that our grievance team commonly assists with issues that don’t rise to the level of a formal grievance. This leads us to our first and most important piece of advice.

Don’t Wait to Address the Issue
We’ve said this many times in communications in the past, and are repeating it here because it may be the single most important thing to remember when you’re facing a workplace issue: DON’T WAIT!

There are myriad practical reasons not to let a workplace issue linger unaddressed, from allowing bad behavior to become normalized, to risking further harm in the meantime. From a grievance standpoint, a failure to address an issue in a timely manner may mean sacrificing the option to file an official grievance at all.

Per our current contract, you have 30 days from when you should reasonably have known about an issue to file a grievance, and it is best to consider such an undertaking well ahead of that deadline when possible. The best thing to do if you’re experiencing a workplace issue is to get in touch with a union representative or email us at UICUnitedfaculty@gmail.com.

Notify UICUF
UICUF’s Grievance Committee, College Representatives, and trained staff, are all here for the express purpose of assisting faculty with workplace issues. We can advise and guide you in seeking informal solutions on your own, help organize a response with other colleagues experiencing similar problems, or intervene directly as appropriate.

We understand that considering taking this step can be daunting, and may bring up a lot of questions. For your peace of mind, we want our members to know first and foremost that we will always respect your confidentiality, and will work with you to develop a plan of action that you are comfortable with. With a team made up primarily of fellow faculty members, we are sensitive to concerns about hierarchical positions within the university, and the need to maintain relationships with colleagues long term. We work to resolve concerns informally where possible, and our team will not pursue an official grievance on your behalf without your knowledge and consent.

Keep Notes
If you are experiencing a workplace issue, we highly encourage you to take some notes on what happened/is happening. We’ve consistently found that simply writing things down helps members organize their thoughts and explain the situation in a clear and focused way. Especially in cases that do enter the official grievance process, notes can also provide a durable account of what happened, even if hearings take place weeks or months later. Taking a few minutes to write down your thoughts, and maintaining a record of related communications, can be tremendously useful!

A Few Words About Disciplinary Cases
While we actually have a whole other article about disciplinary issues, many of our most serious grievances come from cases of inappropriate discipline, so we wanted to cover a couple of basics here.

First, remember your Weingarten Rights. In short, these are your rights to have a union representative at any disciplinary meeting, including any meeting you think may lead to discipline. You’re also within your rights to stop a meeting in progress if you feel it has become disciplinary in nature. Critically, you must assert this right (simply stating you are asserting your Weingarten Rights to representation is sufficient), or you forfeit it.

Second, discipline may not be arbitrary and must be proportionate to the supposed infraction.. The disciplinary process should be positive and progressive in nature, meaning that its goal is to provide a path for improvement. The discipline should follow steps of increasing severity, but only if the issue isn’t resolved.

As always, if you have questions, or you think you may have a workplace issue that you want to discuss with a union representative, you can email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

 

Read More

15 Nov Always Someone To Talk To – UICUF Grievance Committee 

uicufwebB

  • There is always someone to talk to if you have a concern at work; don’t wait, contact your union if you think you need a hand!
  • UICUF’s Grievance Team has evolved since the union’s founding from a small, ad-hoc group of problem solvers, into a full committee with a grassroots structure.
  • If you’re interested in helping with grievance work, consider becoming a College Rep: some positions remain open, and there are elections coming in April 2020.
  • All members are invited to attend one of two 90-minute grievance training next week in UH2028 – 3:30-5pm, Tuesday, 11/19/19 OR 3-4:30pm, Wednesday, 11/20/19.

 

Did you know that the union has a committee dedicated to helping our members resolve situations in the workplace, like improper discipline, or failure to follow procedures around evaluations, discipline or pay determinations? UICUF’s Grievance Committee is always available to discuss your questions or concerns, and the absolute first thing we want you to know is this: DON’T WAIT!

If you are experiencing a problem at work, contact us ASAP. Even if it’s not an official grievance, the union may be able to help with advice or other informal problem-solving. If you do bring an issue to UICUF’s attention, we are committed to honoring confidentiality for our members, and will work with you at your discretion to find the best solution to the problems at hand.

What Is The Grievance Committee
UICUF’s Grievance Committee is a group of faculty dedicated to solving members’ issues, whether they ultimately result in a grievance, or can be resolved informally. The team is led by our Chief Steward, Robert Johnston, who has been working with members on their issues with the support of professional union staff since the union was formed.

This team couldn’t function, however, without the ground-up support of our College Representatives, each of whom is legally a Steward of the union, empowered to consult on issues with members. They provide a local voice and perspective on issues in their own Colleges, and act as an accessible link between the grievance team and individual members. You can visit our website to find your College Representatives if you ever need to contact them.

What Is The Grievance Committee Currently Working On
The Grievance Committee is, in some sense, always working to enforce our contract. This is often a matter of discussing contractual rights with faculty members, and informally working out solutions with program and departmental-level administrators. Over the last year, however, we have had a massive surge in grievance inquiries, including many that are serious infractions of the contract.

To address this influx, UICUF has recently revisited the role of the Grievance Committee in our bylaws, expanding it to include additional members so that they can handle the increased caseload. We are also holding more trainings for our College Representative so that they can be better Stewards at the local level and provide a more grass-roots response when issues affect more than just an individual.

Getting Involved
The best way to get involved with grievance support is to become a College Representative. There are currently open seats in some Colleges, and we will also be holding elections this coming Spring.

Want to learn more? We are holding grievance trainings for College Reps next week, and all UICUF members are welcome to join one of these sessions, to be held in University Hall 2028: 3:30-5pm, Tuesday, Nov, 19, and 3-4:30pm, Wednesday, Nov 20. Please RSVP with Jeff Edwards, UICUFJeff@gmail.com.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

 

 

Read More

07 Nov Advocating for UIC in the UI System and State Legislature

uicufwebB

  • UICUF’s newly formed Advocacy Committee will look into budgets, funding formulas and other structural issues affecting education at UIC.
  • UI Board of Trustees to meet NEXT THURSDAY, 9am @Student Center West
  • Faculty Advisory Committee is open to new nominees. Submit your nominating petition by November 11 if you wish to be considered.

 

UICUF’s New Advocacy Committee
During contract negotiations last Spring we won many important victories for faculty, students, and the UIC community at large. However, it also became glaringly obvious that not everything we wanted to accomplish was going to be addressed at the bargaining table. Bigger issues, like state higher-education budgets, funding formulas that determine how those budgets are distributed, and other structural issues, are still determined largely in a black box, without meaningful transparency or accountability.

This realization inspired the creation of a new committee of UICUF members interested in digging into deeper issues of power and equity that affect the lives of faculty and students at UIC. Chief among these concerns are the mounting structural deficit that the UI Board has created through long-term tuition freezes, covered by the problematic stop-gap of raising campus fees and differentials that de facto continue increasing costs for students. This committee will also pursue greater transparency in how UofI’s budget is distributed amongst campuses.

If you’re interested in getting involved, contact Janet Smith. No financial or budgetary experience is necessary, as we will be building a broad coalition of faculty and students to push for greater transparency at the Board and State Legislative levels.

BoT Meets in Chicago Next Week
Whether you want to get more involved or just learn about how high level decisions for the UI system get made, going to next week’s Board of Trustees meeting is a great first step. Members who have attended in the past have described these proceedings as eye-opening, especially in how little attention is paid to one of the university’s primary functions, education. The meeting will be held here in Chicago, on UIC’s West Campus, in Student Center West, from 9am, Thursday, 11/14. If you are interested in joining other faculty going to the meeting, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

UIC Faculty Advisory Committee
Now is also the time if you want to get involved in a long-running UIC institution, the Faculty Advisory Committee (unrelated to the union’s Advocacy Committee described above), which directly advises the administration on issues affecting the university. Interested faculty need to submit a nominating petition by November 11th. Instructions are listed on the petition form, but only 3 signatures of colleagues are required for a nomination, and the completed form must be filed in the Senate office in UH. We hope some of our intrepid UICUF members will take an interest in serving on this important committee!

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

31 Oct Retro Pay | COPE Info Session | Strike Updates

uicufwebB

  • Reminder: retro pay for the 2018-2019 school year should have appeared in October paychecks. We encourage you to double-check the amounts for accuracy.
  • UICUF COPE holding info session on IFT endorsement process next Thursday, 11/7
  • Strike updates: SEIU won tentative agreement | CTU has TA and will return to work tomorrow | Decatur teaching assistants currently on strike | Triton College workers announce 11/6 strike date

 

Retro Pay
We want to start this week’s message by reminding faculty to check your pay stubs from October. UIC previously stated that retroactive raises would be included in this month’s paycheck, and past experience tells us that despite best efforts, there are likely to be some errors. UICUF encourages our members to double check to ensure that their retro pay is present and accurately calculated. If you think there is an error in your retro pay, we recommend first speaking with your unit or college HR contact, but if this does not resolve the problem, you can contact us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

COPE Info Session on IFT Endorsements
Next week, UICUF’s Committee on Political Education will host Illinois Federation of Teachers Legislative Director John Cusick, who will provide information about how the IFT’s candidate endorsement process works. As affiliates of the IFT, our members have a voice in this process, and we encourage faculty to attend the meeting and get involved.

What:  Information Session on the IFT Endorsement Process
When: Thursday, Nov. 7, 1:00 – 2:30pm
Where: Rm. 950, University Hall (in the Hist Dept).
Background: Beginning in December and extending through early February, the IFT will conduct a series of meetings with candidates for Illinois office, including but not restricted to the Illinois State Senate and House of Representatives. The purpose of these meetings is for IFT members to ask candidates their positions on a host of issues, including, though not restricted to, educational matters and policies. The meetings are open to all IFT members, and participation by UICUF members in the past has been highly appreciated.

Strike Updates
In other news from around the city, it’s been an eventful few weeks for Chicago’s education and organized labor communities. Chicago teachers and school support staff were forced to go on strike for fair contracts, and a third strike by City Parks District employees was averted at the 11th hour with an agreement they call “the best deal we have ever gotten.” In higher ed, Governors State University faculty and staff won a contract this month, and Triton College workers have announced a November 6 strike date if they do not have a fair contract in hand by that time. Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants have also been on strike for a fair contract.

As of this afternoon, we’ve learned that all unions involved in the CPS strikes, including support staff and teachers, have reached tentative agreements and will be returning to work tomorrow, 11/1/19. SEIU won a contract earlier this week, but continued to honor picket lines pending an agreement on teacher contracts. Last night, the Chicago Teachers Union reached a tentative agreement on their contract, and today, they reached a return-to-work agreement with Mayor Lightfoot which includes making up five instructional days to cover days lost during the strike.

By all reports, the new contracts are a win for workers at Chicago Public Schools, and we will share more about the specifics of each on our social media channels as we learn more.

***

We issue regular updates via email, FacebookTwitterYouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

21 Oct CPS Strike Week 2 Update

uicufwebB

 

As of today, Monday, 10/21/19, the mass strike of CPS Teachers and school employees is continuing. Some progress has been made in negotiations, but its clear that we still need to keep the pressure on city officials if we hope to see a fair contract for Chicago’s teachers, school employees, and the students they serve.

The day began with pickets (which will continue every day from 6:30-10:30am) and demonstrations, and there will be another mass rally at Union Park at 2pm.

Tuesday’s events will include solidarity actions for the many other workers, including higher ed workers, who are fighting for fair contracts in and around Chicago. In particular, workers at Triton College will hold a rally to announce their own strike for a fair contract from 12-1pm (2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL, 60171) and NEIU workers will rally 2-3pm after going 450 days without a contract (5500 N St Louis Ave, Chicago, IL 60625).

Wednesday’s events have not been made public yet, but expect major actions to be announced around the Mayor’s Budget Address and the Chicago Board of Education meeting at 10:30am (42 W. Madison Street, Garden Level, Board Room).

As before, we want to remind you to support our colleagues in CPS and other educational institutions around the city and state, in any way you can. UICUF stands in solidarity with the strikers, and will continue to do so until they win fair contracts that improve conditions in our city schools for workers, students and their communities.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

16 Oct CPS Strike is Imminent Tomorrow

uicufwebB

  • A mass strike of Chicago teachers and school staff appears imminent TOMORROW, Thursday, 10/17/19
  • School pickets from 6:30am | UIC Solidarity Rally 11-Noon | Downtown Rally 1:30-5pm
  • Support the Strike: Don’t cross pickets | Join job actions and community events | Call the Mayor (312)-744-3300
  • Follow on Facebook: UICUF | CTU | SEIU | Solidarity Campaign
  • Other social media: Twitter | Instagram
  • Help feed students who may miss school-provided meals: Bread for Ed

 

At the time of this writing, a mass strike of Chicago teachers and school support staff appears imminent, with the bargaining teams saying they are still far from an agreement on a fair contract. We are awaiting final guidance from our fellow union workers in CTU/SEIU this evening, but we anticipate that strike activities will begin TOMORROW, Thursday, 10/17/19.

Sweeping changes have been proposed by Mayor Lightfoot, but not backed up in writing. Teachers and support staff have demanded that the City make good on promises concerning enforceable class size limits and fully staffing ALL schools with nurses, librarians, counselors and special ed teachers.

UIC United Faculty stands in full solidarity with striking workers at Chicago Public Schools, and we strongly encourage our members to do what they can to show support individually. There are many ways to support the strike and put pressure on City negotiators to offer workers, and the students and families they serve, a fair contract.

  • Honor Picket Lines: Pickets will begin at local schools from 6:30am tomorrow. Don’t cross them, and if you’re able, join them!
  • Attend Solidarity Events: A UIC Solidarity Rally is scheduled for 11-noon in the Quad tomorrow, and a downtown rally is scheduled for 1:30-5pm at the Chicago Board of Education (corner of Dearborn and Madison).
  • Call Mayor Lightfoot at 312-744-3300 and ask her to put her promises in writing in an enforceable contract!
  • Donate to Bread For Ed: Help feed children who will miss out on school-provided meals during the strike.

 

We will send periodic updates to keep you informed about the strike, but you can follow everything in real time via social media:

 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

***

We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

 

 

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More