Author: Tony Floriani

13 May Faculty Contracts Signed!

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As of today, May 13, 2019, UIC United Faculty’s new contracts for Tenure and Non-Tenure track faculty have been signed! Both contracts, which outline pay and working conditions for faculty from August 16, 2018 (retroactive) to August 15, 2022, are now in full effect.

You can download the two contracts here:
Non-Tenure Track System Faculty (2018-2022)
Tenure Systen Faculty (2018-2022)

We also previously published guidance on execution of the shared governance aspects of the contract, especially those related to pay raises. You can find that guidance here:

Post: everything-you-need-to-know-about-raises/

We’re very excited for the improvements over previous contracts, especially in reinforcing shared governance principles at UIC, strengthening protections for NTT faculty, and of course, guaranteeing significant raise pools (2% Merit, 2% Compression/Equity) for our members over the next 4 years!

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We issue regular updates via email, FacebookTwitterYouTube, and here 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!

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09 May Everything You Need To Know About Raises

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  • Our new contract will take effect once signed by Admin
  • Faculty have an important role to play in distribution of raises via shared governance
  • UICUF has prepared guidance on shared gov processes involved in raise distributions
  • Questions/concerns about the implementation of these processes should be directed to UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com
  • A printable PDF version of the following advisory is available here

The following is meant as friendly guidance to UICUF members and executive officers for implementing our new contract through shared governance. Wherever possible, we provide reference to Statutes, bylaws, and policy. We recognize that the University Administration will also be developing guidance for executive officers, which once published, we will review and reconcile any differences.

This document covers implementation of Article VI. Compensation, Leaves and Group Health, 1. Compensation, A. Salary Pool Increases, Salary Minimums and Professional Expense Reimbursement.

GENERAL GUIDANCE ON SHARED GOVERNANCE
The University Statutes lay out the governance structure of units within colleges including departments and schools. A common feature is the use of an elected committee made up of faculty to advise the executive officer (EO). These committees are critical to shared governance because they are expected to help shape how decisions are made that affect individual faculty and the whole. This includes policies and procedures used to determine merit raises and distribution of funds to address compression and equity concerns.

As a reminder, schools and departments with chairs have executive committees, while departments with heads have advisory committees. For more details, we recommend you read Article III and IV of the statutes. https://www.bot.uillinois.edu/governance/statutes/

SALARY POOL INCREASES
Both the Non-Tenure Track (NTT) and Tenure Track (TT) contracts include increases for 1) Merit and 2) Compression and Equity. The funds available are based on a percentage of the aggregated faculty salaries (i.e., the pool) of each bargaining unit (NTT and TT). There is no straight across-the-board increase. Instead the unit must decide how to distribute each pool through shared governance (i.e., the advisory/executive committee working with the executive officer). Below are descriptions of what each of these pools includes and  suggestions for how to determine distribution of each pool.

Effective retroactively to August 16, 2018, the following will be available for each year of the contract:

  • Merit: Pool based on 2% of total faculty salary of each bargaining unit (NTT and TT) in the department or the campus salary program, whichever is larger.
  • Compression/Equity: Pool based on 2% of total faculty salary of each bargaining unit in the department.

 

Merit: Based on a UIC memo dated January 18, 2017, “Merit pay is a salary adjustment awarded to employees as recognition of their contribution towards meeting the goals and objectives of the department, college and university during the previous year.”

  • This suggests that each department should have clearly stated goals and objectives (preferably published on their website), and some form of annual evaluation process that can be used to assess merit for each faculty member.
  • Some, but not all departments, have Merit Review policies that lay out what is “counted” and how it is counted toward merit. We strongly recommend, to meet the expectations of shared governance, that all units adopt such policies.

 

Based on consultation with a few departments, some additional considerations include:

  • Some advisory/executive committees assess merit in terms of how well each faculty member is meeting expectations, generally denoted as either “does not meet,” “meets,” or “exceeds” expectations.
  • Some advisory/executive committees may also recommend the actual amount of merit increase as either a percent or dollar amount.
  • Some recommend using a dollar amount instead of a percentage if the unit “values” merit equally. So, for example, if a unit provides a 2% increase for all who meet expectations regardless of salary, it would not be valued the same since 2% of $100,000 is $2,000, but 2% of $65,000 is $1,300. The alternative could be that each gets a fixed amount, say $1,600.
  • Some recommend looking at merit over multiple years, recognizing that books and journal articles can take over a year to get published.

Also, although not tied to merit raises in a direct way, UIC policy on teaching evaluation encourages us – and our contract now requires us – to not solely rely on teaching evaluation scores when determining merit raises. https://uofi.app.box.com/s/llo4ucj48ubmhv40l44fhfz0yfu4y00v

Compression: There is no written university guidance on compression. A 2017 article by Jonathan Rees, professor of history at Colorado State University at Pueblo, describes compression as a shrinking pay gap between new hires and senior professors, “usually because institutions have to offer higher salaries to new people in order to remain competitive with the other offers those people might get.” A related problem is “salary inversion,” which is “when new hires actually make more than senior faculty. It happens after compression lasts a long time at an institution, without any adjustment to the salaries of senior professors, and it has become increasingly common in academia after many years of near-universal budget austerity.” https://chroniclevitae.com/news/1661-we-need-to-talk-about-our-salaries

Without clear guidance or the benefit of a formal compression study (which can take considerable time and is best done when a whole unit believes that it is compressed), it is best to discuss with your colleagues as to how you can assess your unit for compression and how to address it over the course of the contract. Here are some suggestions for what to take into consideration:

  • How wide is the salary variance within each title category?
  • How far apart is each title category average or median (i.e., what is the gap?)?
  • Who was last promoted before 2012 (date of our first contract, which requires 10% minimum increase for promotion), and what was the salary increase at that promotion?

 

This AAUP article is a good reference for what the gap looks like in other Research 1 universities: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/04/11/aaups-annual-report-faculty-compensation-takes-salary-compression-and-more

The union can provide salary data for your unit, which is also publicly available through the Board of Trustees https://www.bot.uillinois.edu/resources/gray_book.

Equity: The UIC Faculty Handbook provides clear guidance on equity. Specifically, it says:

Faculty members who believe that their salary is not equitable may request a review. Because market factors can vary to a considerable degree from discipline to discipline, equity review petitioners should seek counterparts within their own discipline or, in the case of small departments, in closely related disciplines. To be acceptable for review, the petition must describe a discrepancy between the salary of the petitioner and the average of the appropriate counterparts that exceeds seven percent of the petitioner’s salary. https://facultyhandbook.uic.edu/compensation/

The review is to be initiated by the faculty member. The link above provides more details on the process once the petition is prepared. The union can help with the analysis of salary data.

All money from the Merit and Compression/Equity raise pools must be committed only to bargaining unit members (i.e., TT and full-time NTT faculty.) None of these funds may be used to increase salaries for department personnel outside our bargaining units (e.g. executive officers and staff).

SALARY MINIMUMS
The new contracts have established new salary minimums for both TT and NTT:

  • Minimum salary for TT: Assistant Professor ($65,000); Associate Professor ($71,500); Professor ($78,650).
  • Minimum salary for NTT: Instructor, Lecturer, Clinical Assistant Professor, or Research Assistant Professor ($50,000); Senior Instructor, Senior Lecturer, Clinical Associate Professor, or Research Associate Professor ($55,000); Clinical Professor or Research Professor ($60,500).

 

This dollar amount is based on a 9-month contract paid over a 12-month period. Those faculty with a different appointment will be adjusted.

An important point of process negotiated in the contract is that while the university requires any merit raise be applied first, any compression and equity will be applied after the minimum raise.

Also, for certain awards like the Teaching Recognition Program which offers an increment that is added to base salary, the increment is added after the salary minimum has been raised.

IMPLEMENTATION TIMEFRAME
Retro-pay: The contract begins August 16, 2018. The union bargained for retroactive pay raises that begin with the contract starting date. This includes merit, compression and equity, and minimum salaries. These raises should be determined as soon as possible upon the official signing of the contract. Expect that these retroactive raises will take a couple of months for payroll and HR to process, and based on the last time we had retro pay (2014 for 2 years), you can expect mistakes– especially if you have research grants or are paid from multiple sources.

Pay for 2019-2020: The administration is assuming the merit pool will be 2%; however, we have not yet received information from the UI president about the campus salary program. Based on past practices, this is announced in June.

PROFESSIONAL EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT
New to this contract is an additional $600 per faculty member for travel-related professional development including but not limited to conferences, professional meetings, and training. Specially, we now have for each year of the contract the following:

NTT: Funds will be allocated each year of this Agreement so that each bargaining unit member shall receive up to $600 for expenses related only to research and/or teaching-related professional development, to be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. In the event that a bargaining unit member has an opportunity to travel for professional meetings/conferences, specific to their employment duties, then they may be eligible for an additional $600. Pre-approval for the additional funding must be obtained from the Unit Executive Officer prior to the event and, if approved, will be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. These funds supplement departmental professional development budgets, if any, rather than replace them.

TT: Funds will be allocated each year of this Agreement so that each bargaining unit member shall receive up to $900 for expenses related only to research and/or teaching-related professional development, to be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. In the event that a bargaining unit member has an opportunity to travel for professional meetings/conferences, specific to their employment duties, then they may be eligible for an additional $600. Pre-approval for the additional funding must be obtained from the Unit Executive Officer prior to the event and, if approved, will be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. These funds supplement departmental professional development budgets, if any, rather than replace them.

These funds are eligible to be reimbursed retroactively. The “retroactivity clause” of the contracts provides for the following:

The increase to professional development expense reimbursement funds, as referenced above, shall apply retroactively only to expenses already incurred during the 2018-19 academic year up to the date this Agreement is executed.

Regarding retroactive use of these funds for 2018-19, our advice is the following:

There is going to be some gray area depending on how departments set their internal policies, but we think you should be able to spend this money up until at least the end of the fiscal year, June 30th.

HOWEVER, we strongly encourage you to get any expenditure pre-approved by your department through whatever method is normally used. If you can’t secure pre-approval for something you believe should be covered, like conference travel, let us know so that we can start cataloging rejections and reasons given for those rejections. Since there is much variability in how departments handle professional development fund distribution, we hope over time to start addressing those inconsistencies.

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02 May UICUF Members Ratify New 4 Year Contract

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  • UICUF members voted almost unanimously (99%) to ratify a new 4-year contract
  • Faculty won significant improvements on pay and working conditions
  • Contract now goes to administration for signing
  • Some issues not addressed by the contract will be brought to the Faculty Senate


Faculty Approve a New Contract
After nearly a year of bargaining, faculty and administration negotiators reached a tentative agreement on contract terms last Monday, averting a potentially disruptive strike near the end of the academic year. The agreement, hailed as a major win for faculty by our bargaining team and leadership, requires approval by all parties involved before taking full effect. This week, UICUF members gave that approval via a ratification election, in which voters signalled near-unanimous (99%) support for the deal.

Contract Highlights
The contract is a 4-year agreement, covering the 2018-19 academic year retroactively, and continuing through August, 2022. Union members will enjoy significant improvements to both pay and working conditions during its implementation. You can listen to UICUF President, Janet Smith, and Bargaining Chair, Aaron Krall, discuss the contract at length in this extended interview by UIC Radio host and faculty member Kate Floros. Here are some highlights from the agreement:

In bread-and-butter financial terms, we’ve won:

  • 4% raise pools (2% merit, 2% compression/equity) for each year of the contract
  • Increased minimum salary from $42K to $50k, and established salary floors for all ranks
  • $600 increases in professional development funds for all faculty

 

In terms of workplace rights, we’ve won:

  • Workload protections rooted in strengthened shared governance processes
  • A faster pathway to longer multi-year contracts, and earlier reappointment notifications for NTT faculty
  • Fair and transparent steps for positive progressive discipline


Next Steps
The contract will now go to the university’s administration to sign. This should be a straightforward process, but the union will monitor to ensure timely action. It is our hope that administration will act quickly to sign the agreement, so that new rules can be implemented, and retroactive raise pools can be distributed.

There are several issues we had hoped to address through the contract, but which appeared to be more appropriately brought up in the UIC Senate. These issues include:

  • The possibility for NTT faculty to apply for sabbaticals
  • Creating Teaching Professor ranks analogous to those used at UIUC
  • A transparent and actionable process for addressing academic freedom violations

 

UICUF will continue to pursue these issues in the coming weeks and months, as we simultaneously work to inform members of new rights, and ensure implementation of contract provisions by administrators. Faculty are encouraged to contact us via UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if you have any questions about the new contract!

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We issue regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and here 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!

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24 Apr Contract Synopsis and Ratification Information

Tentative Agreement
As was announced Monday afternoon, the UICUF bargaining team signed a tentative agreement with administration, effectively ending negotiations, and locking in terms that will now go to union membership for ratification. The bargaining team has secured a very good contract.

Our members received an earlier synopsis prior to the agreement being finalized. The contract we’ve tentatively agreed to does contain some additional provisions, which are detailed below. We have secured retro-pay for all and an agreement to apply any compression and equity increases for someone eligible to be raised to a minimum after rather than before. The contract period is August 16, 2018 to August 15, 2022.

Ratification Meetings and Voting
UICUF will hold meetings this week where members can see the full contract, hear from the bargaining committee, ask questions, and vote for or against the whole contract. Additional ratification voting will take place next Monday and Tuesday. Union members should plan to attend and vote at one of the following times/locations:

Thursday 4/25:
– East Campus Ratification Meeting 11-12:15 @Behavioral Sciences Bldg, Rm 145
– West Campus Ratification Meeting 3:30-5 @Student Center West, Thompson A

Friday 4/26:
– 2nd East Campus Ratification Meeting 4-5:30 @BSB 145

Monday 4/29 – Tuesday 4/30:
– Voting stations open 10-5 @University Hall, Science Engineering Offices Bldg, Public Health. Copies of the contract will be available to review at these sites.

Unfortunately, we cannot make the contract publicly available in electronic format before it is voted on (ratified). A thorough synopsis compiled by our team is below for those who can’t make the meetings.

If you want to vote by proxy, please email your proxy, CC’ing uicunitedfaculty@gmail.com with the following statement: “I hereby designate __________  as my proxy in the UICUF Contract Ratification Vote of April 25 – 30. This individual will be empowered to cast a ballot on my behalf.” Your proxy should bring a copy of this statement in print or on their phone to the polls when they vote. 

In solidarity,

Janet Smith
President
UIC United Faculty 

 

Contract Synopsis

Economic
4% raise pools in each year of the contract, with 2% in merit pools and 2% in compression and equity pools in each year. Note that if the campus salary program is bigger for merit pools we get that amount but if smaller we still get the 2%.

Raise the minimum salary for NTT faculty to $50,000 (up from $42,000) and establish minimums at three ranks for NTT and TT faculty.

  • $50,000 for Lecturers, Instructors, Clinical and Research Assistant Professors
  • $55,000 for Senior Instructors, Senior Lecturers, Clinical and Research Associate Professors
  • $60,500 for Clinical and Research Professors
  • $65,000 for Tenure-Track Assistant Professors
  • $71,500 for Tenured Associate Professors
  • $78,650 Tenured Full Professors

Increase annual professional development funds by $600, totaling $1,200 for NTT faculty and $1,500 for TT faculty.

Computer program will continue to provide new computers every four years at a cost of up to $1,500 and will now also cover the cost of extended warranties for the life of the computers.

Trigger to reopen the contract if the state unilaterally increases our health insurance premiums by more than 50% during the life of the contract (which would be equivalent to about 1% of a person’s salary).

Equity and Due Process
Transparent process for reappointment of NTT faculty in academic unit bylaws.

Citizenship status and expression of gender identity added as protected categories to non-discrimination article.

Committees to review campus lactation policy and gender-neutral restrooms.

All faculty with appointments of 51% or greater will be immediately in the bargaining unit, removing the requirement for NTT faculty to have a terminal degree or 2-year waiting period.

Shorter timeline for multi-year contracts: 2-year contract after 4 years of employment; 3-year contract after 6 years of employment.

A commitment by the Provost to bring the issue of extending the maximum length of NTT contracts to five years to the Faculty Senate (this may require changes in the statutes).

Earlier final notification of reappointment for NTT faculty, no later than July 16th (maintain June 1 as first notice).

Inclusion of Teaching Professor Ranks if Statutes revised by Faculty Senate.

Close loophole allowing the discontinuation of programs by ending admissions to the program.

Transparent steps for discipline based on just cause for NTT faculty during term of contract.

All settlements of disputes outside of the grievance process must be consistent with the terms of the contract.

Working Conditions
Written job expectations developed through shared governance at the unit level for all faculty members, including teaching load, with changes during term of contract only by mutual agreement of department and faculty member.

Commitment to annual evaluation of all NTT and TT faculty.

Student evaluation cannot be used in isolation to evaluate faculty.

Commitment to increase number of faculty to meet needs of growing student body and commitment to hiring TT faculty to maintain the university’s research mission.

Classroom support, including technology and access to printing, will be available at least 30 minutes before all scheduled classes and extended in the evening.

Intellectual property rights as provided in the UI Statutes will be subject to grievance and arbitration.

A commitment by the Provost to bring the issue of sabbaticals for NTT faculty to the Faculty Senate.

Stronger commitment to providing offices for all TT and NTT faculty members

Regular updates on campus security.

Union Rights
Process for membership cards, dues collection, and bargaining unit reporting post-Janus.

Policies to allow tabling at faculty orientation, course buyouts for union officers, and notification of exclusive representation to bargaining unit members.

Recognition of UICUF’s Committee on Political Education (COPE), and process for payroll deduction for contributions

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23 Apr Faculty to Vote on Contract After Reaching Tentative Agreement

  • UICUF reached a tentative agreement on contracts, narrowly averting a strike
  • Contract must be ratified by membership, signed by the BOT before taking effect
  • Ratification meetings and ratification voting to be held on both campuses

Faculty negotiators have been at the bargaining table with the administration for nearly a year now, trying to forge the fair contract that our members and UIC students deserve. As of Monday afternoon, we believe we have won that contract. Team members signed a tentative agreement with administration, effectively ending negotiations, and locking in terms that will now go to union membership and the UI Board of Trustees for ratification.

UICUF will hold meetings this week where members can see the full contract, hear from the bargaining committee, ask questions, and vote on ratification. Additional ratification voting will take place next Monday and Tuesday. Faculty should plan to attend and vote at one of the following times/location:

Thursday 4/25:
East Campus Ratification Meeting 11-12:15 @BSB 145
West Campus Ratification Meeting 3:30-5 @SCW Thompson A

Friday 4/26:
2nd East Campus Ratification Meeting 4-5:30 @BSB 145

Monday 4/29 – Tuesday 4/30:
Voting stations open 10-5 @UH, SEO, Public Health.

We believe we have secured the best possible contract for our members in this round of negotiations, but it has become clear that more work lies ahead. As long as the underlying funding formula for the UI system remains as it is today, UIC students and the educators who serve them will continue to be shortchanged. As we’ve seen so many times since forming this union of UIC faculty, it’s never too early to start looking at the next challenge ahead.

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23 Apr Press Release: UIC Faculty Win Contract, Avoid Strike

UIC Faculty Avoid Strike
Workplace rights and increased minimum salaries among key wins for union

CHICAGO – After nearly a year of bargaining, the union representing University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) faculty have reached a tentative contract agreement with the administration. Faculty previously authorized a strike, which would have begun tomorrow.

Aaron Krall, bargaining committee co-chair for UIC United Faculty (UICUF), said, “This contract will create an improved work environment for our faculty, and improved learning conditions for our students.”

The union secured key wins in this agreement, including increased minimum salaries and greater job protections for non-tenure track faculty.

“I am particularly excited about new policy protections for our Non-Tenure System faculty, who are integral to the teaching, research and service at UIC. This contract represents significant wins in an ongoing fight for the resources needed to fulfill UIC’s mission,” said Janet Smith, UICUF president.

The contract contains a 4 percent total raise pool per year, and includes specific funds set aside to target faculty equity and compression, which has increased in recent years due to a decade of underfunded salaries. The remainder of the pool is awarded for merit and will be distributed to faculty based on yearly performance reviews.

Kevin Whyte, bargaining committee co-chair, said, “The bargaining process has revealed systematic problems in how UIC is funded. We plan on working to correct these issues in future years.”

Over 90 percent of UIC students are Illinois residents. More than 70 percent of our students remain in Illinois after graduation, contributing to UIC’s position as an economic powerhouse in the state. UIC directly contributes $7.6 billion per year to the state economy (or 1 percent of the state’s gross product).

The UIC United Faculty (Local 6456) represents all full-time tenure and non-tenure track faculty at UIC. UICUF is affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

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18 Apr Bargaining Update 4-17-19

Dozens of members observe bargaining between UICUF and UIC Administration.Dozens of members observe bargaining between UICUF and UIC Administration.

  • UICUF negotiators win longstanding proposal strengthening progressive discipline protections
  • Merit raise figures and protections for NTT reappointment remain outstanding issues that must be settled to avert a strike next week
  • Bargaining:  Tomorrow, 2:30-5pm, at Student Center East, White Oak Room AB
  • Sign up for picket line shifts here

We cleared some issues off the table today at bargaining, including one of our earliest proposals strengthening positive progressive discipline procedure with clear steps and protections for NTT faculty. Both sides also moved closer on merit raises. UICUF negotiators proposed a 2%|4%|4% merit schedule over three years, and admin countered by moving on this issue for the first time since bargaining began, offering 2%|2%|2%.

The new willingness by admin to move on merit comes with just one scheduled bargaining session left before a potential faculty strike next week. This is a trend in the right direction, but final merit raise figures are still under serious debate, and we are also still seeking stronger reappointment protections for our NTT faculty.

Bargaining will resume tomorrow, 2:30-5pm, at Student Center East, White Oak Room AB. Again, this is the last currently scheduled session before a potential strike next week, so members are highly encouraged to attend, observe, participate in critical caucusing with the team, and make strike signs.

Lastly, with the strong possibility that a strike could be called next week, we have set up a picket sign-up form. Members should sign up for as many shifts as they are able to attend if a strike is called, in lieu of your usual work activities.

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Our strike hashtags are #UICFacultyStrike #FairContractNow #Solidarity.

Until we win a fair contract, we will be issuing regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and here 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 can make UIC an even better place to work and learn!

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17 Apr Bargaining Update 4-16-19

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In bargaining today, we came willing to move on most of the non-economic issues still left unsettled, in the hope that we could reach agreements and move closer to finishing these negotiations. For a final deal to be reached, though, administration will need to move on merit and the NTT reappointment process. On these core issues, we have seen no meaningful movement on management’s side.

Tomorrow, we will be back for another round of negotiations, and discussion of the money proposals still in play. If you haven’t been to a bargaining session, now is a great time to see the process at work. All members joining us will have the opportunity to participate in our caucuses between negotiating with the admin team.

Tomorrow’s bargaining session will be from 1-4pm, at Student Center East, Ft. Dearborn Room. The session will be followed by a guest lecture from distinguished labor activist and organizer, Jane McAlevey, 4-6pm at the UIC Institute for Humanities, 701 S Morgan St.

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Our strike hashtags are #UICFacultyStrike #FairContractNow #Solidarity.

Until we win a fair contract, we will be issuing regular updates via email, FacebookTwitterYouTube, and here 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 can make UIC an even better place to work and learn!

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11 Apr Union Members Overwhelmingly Authorize Strike

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  • With nearly ¾ of membership voting, 93% endorsed authorizing a strike
  • Wednesday’s bargaining session yielded no substantial progress on salary issues
  • Bargaining Tomorrow: Observe/caucus with our team, 12-3:30pm, 4/12 @SCE, 3rd Floor, Dearborn Room B


Contract or Strike
After 3 days of voting, nearly ¾ of UICUF members went to the polls, and the results are unambiguous. 93% voted to authorize a strike, sending our administration the message that they must offer us a fair contract, or face an indefinite work stoppage until they do.

“This vote sends a strong message from our members that they are prepared to fight for a contract that recognizes their contributions to the core missions of the university,” said Aaron Krall, UICUF executive vice president and co-chair of bargaining.

No Money For Salaries
As UIC grows, we believe the administration should invest in our exceptional faculty to ensure that providing students with a high quality education remains the university’s top priority. Our negotiators have been very clear that our members need a compensation plan that goes further, so that they can focus on their students without worrying about losing ground as the cost of living rises in Chicago. We’re seeking a plan that makes up for stagnant salaries in the lean years of the budget crisis, gives meritorious faculty raises above cost of living, and offsets rising healthcare costs. Administration’s response yesterday is unfortunately a familiar chorus by now: There is no money for that.

“The administration admitted they don’t have a plan to invest in faculty for the sake of our students, now, or in the future” said Janet Smith, UICUF president. “Our faculty clearly think it’s time to address that.”

Bargaining Power
It is critical, now more than ever, for UICUF members to show the administration our resolve, and we have an immediate opportunity to do so. There will be another bargaining session, tomorrow, Friday, 4/12, from 12-3:30pm, at Student Center East, Third Floor, Dearborn Room B.

Packing the bargaining room with members is the best way to show that faculty will not stand down from demanding a high quality working and learning environment at UIC. We also hope that filling the room with members to observe firsthand the administration’s attitude toward faculty will help to change the dynamics at the table we have seen so far.

Strike Resources
It’s important to be prepared in the event of a strike, and many of you will have questions, or have questions asked of you. We’ve put together a couple of FAQ’s for our members as we make ourselves strike ready.

Faculty FAQ
FAQ for Talking to Students

Further questions should be directed to UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com or to your College Representative.

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Our strike hashtags are #UICFacultyStrike #FairContractNow #Solidarity.

Until we win a fair contract, we will be issuing regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and here 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 can make UIC an even better place to work and learn!

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11 Apr Strike Authorization Press Release

 

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UIC Faculty Authorize Strike
UIC’s top priority must be to ensure students receive a world class education

CHICAGO- More than 93 percent of voting University of Illinois-Chicago United Faculty (UICUF) members have voted to authorize a strike, if necessary, to secure a fair and equitable contract.

“This vote sends a strong message from our members that they are prepared to fight for a contract that recognizes their contributions to the core missions of the university,” said Aaron Krall, UICUF executive vice president and co-chair of bargaining.

UIC is growing, and enrollment is at a record high. To accommodate this growth, UICUF believes the administration should invest in our exceptional faculty to ensure that providing students with a world-class education remains the university’s top priority.

“The administration admitted they don’t have a plan to invest in faculty for the sake of our students,” said Janet Smith, UICUF president. “Our faculty clearly think it’s time to address that.”

Faculty have sacrificed during lean times. Now that the university has record enrollment and a $1 billion infrastructure plan is in place for the U of I system, faculty deserve a fair compensation package.

UICUF has been bargaining for nearly a year, but the administration refuses to adequately address the issues of compensation. While enrollment has increased 24 percent over the last five years, new faculty have not been hired to keep up with it. At the same time, salaries have not kept up with inflation, so some faculty members can’t afford to live in the city where they teach.

“Now is the time for the administration to show its commitment to and value of the very people responsible for executing the academic mission of the university,” said Jeffrey Kessler, UICUF member.

If a fair agreement is not reached, faculty members may strike later this month.

The UIC United Faculty (Local 6456) represents all full-time tenure and non-tenure track faculty at UIC. UICUF is affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and American Association of University Professors.

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