Author: UICUF staff

28 Jul Bargaining Update: Comprehensive Counter-Proposal Expected Soon

  • UICUF Bargaining team met with UIC admin for 7th session: Discussion at the table focused on personnel files, the Office for Access and Equity, and fine-tuning the process for responding to student academic grievances.
  • Get to know your contract: Article VII. Institutional Commitments outlines the resources UIC must provide faculty for work-related duties and activities.

Bargaining Update

On Monday (7.25), we met with the UIC Administration team for our 7th bargaining session since June. UICUF passed along our proposals on Article II. Recognition, Article VII. Institutional Commitments, Article VIII. Union Membership and Activity, Article XIII. Health and Safety, and Article XXIII. Duration. This means administration now has all UICUF contract proposals with the exception of Article VI. Compensation, Leave, and Benefits. Past experience at the table has taught the bargaining team that once economic issues are introduced, conversation on all other workplace concerns is muted. We chose to introduce our economic proposals last to force negotiation and discussion on the other important workplace issues that have emerged in the years since our 2018 contract was ratified. As stated in our bargaining platform, our new proposals focus on three main priorities: 

  • Investing in Support & Security for Faculty
  • Prioritizing Accountability & Care in the Workplace
  • Amplifying Faculty Voice in Shared Governance

Our next bargaining session is August 8, 10am-1:30pm via Zoom. At this meeting, we will be introducing our economic proposals for the next contract, and setting the schedule for bargaining in the fall. UICUF has proposed that sessions be held in-person, on campus, and on a weekly basis until the contract is settled. After the 8th, the administrative team will have the full proposed contract, with almost 20 hours of discussion over the content. We hope to see a comprehensive response to our proposals soon. 

Members are encouraged to come and observe the August 8 session, and discuss negotiations with the team during caucus! Please contact the UICUF staff at UICUnitedfaculty@gmail.com if you have any questions, or simply join the session here.

Get to know your contract

Article VII. Institutional Commitments 
A. A well supported working environment promotes effective and sustainable teaching, learning,  service, and research. Therefore, within the limits of available resources and within the  University’s discretion, the University acknowledges its commitment to provide libraries,  technology, classroom assignments, and faculty support responsive to the needs of students and  faculty to meet the research mission and instructional/pedagogical needs of the departments,  consistent with high quality research and teaching at a nationally recognized research university. 

B. When faculty are required to travel on approved University business, the University will reimburse  for such travel. The University’s Business and Financial Policies and Procedures provide complete  guidelines for these reimbursements. Travel for University related business should be conducted as  economically as possible. 

C. Faculty performing employment duties are provided legal coverage as set forth in and under the  terms of the University of Illinois Liability Self-Insurance Plan, as that plan may be amended from  time to time. 

D. Faculty may request health-related accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or otherwise by contacting the Office of Access and Equity to request such  accommodations.

E. The University will provide each bargaining unit position a new computer not to exceed $1,500 (plus the cost of a three-year extended warranty) to be chosen from a set of available and  supported configurations from the campus office of Academic Computing and Communications  Center (ACCC). This program for provision of new computers will extend through August 15,  2022, and computers will be replaced if an existing computer is more than four years old during  the term of this Collective Bargaining Agreement. The University will provide hardware support  during the time the computer is covered by warranty and is assigned to the original bargaining  unit position. In accord with the State of Illinois and University procurement rules, the assigned  computer remains property of the University and assigned to the department. Computer use is  subject to the applicable Acceptable Usage Policy promulgated by ACCC, as such policy may be  amended from time to time. The process for replacing computers that will be more than four years old during the following academic year will be initiated every year of this agreement on or  before January 15th, and computers should be received no later than August 1st of each year. 

F. The University shall provide classroom support during all hours in which courses are scheduled,  including access to printers and technology support for classrooms with sufficient on-campus  staff to facilitate timely support. This support shall commence at least a half hour before courses  are scheduled. 

G. In accordance with the University of Illinois Statutes and General Rules Concerning University  Organization and Procedures, faculty members shall retain ownership rights to traditional  academic copyrightable work.  

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Institutional Commitments discusses resources necessary to teach, learn, and research at UIC. Our contract currently codifies reimbursement  for work-related activities; classroom and technology support; rights to accommodation and access; and provision of  a functioning and up-to-date computer.

The University-provided computer program (E.) is the most widely utilized guaranteed institutional commitment amongst members. This program became available through the UICUF 2015-2018 contract. All faculty within the UICUF bargaining units are entitled to a $1,500 computer and a 3-year extended warranty — the 3 year warranty is an extension over the standard 1 year warranties – so faculty should have a total of 4 years coverage, after which you are entitled to a new computer. The additional cost of extended warranties, where applicable, will be covered by the university in addition to the $1,500 limit.

In addition to the computer program, Article VII. addresses intellectual property rights for faculty. In recent years, concerns over faculty rights to materials posted and distributed via third-party contracts–such as Blackboard–or other online teaching materials produced during periods of remote learning have risen. Per the contract, all materials produced during the normal course of teaching and learning remain the author’s intellectual property. The only exception is if a faculty member was paid expressly for the production of materials above and beyond what would be a part of their normal workload/salary. Such agreements should be documented via a faculty member’s appointment letter for the term that the materials would be created. 

If you feel you are being inappropriately denied a university-issued laptop, intellectual property rights, appropriate accommodation, or effective classroom support, please contact your UICUF Representative Assembly member, or email UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. UICUF representation has a successful track record in supporting faculty denied the resources necessary to maintain UIC’s extraordinary academic environment. 

In Solidarity,
The UIC UF Bargaining team

Xochitl Bada (Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies) | Aaron Krall (Senior Lecturer, English) | Andy Baker (Clinical Assistant Professor, Music) | Anna Kornbluh (Professor, English) | Becky Bonarek (Lecturer, Tutorium in Intensive English) | Charitianne Williams (Senior Lecturer, English) | Gosia Fidelis (Associate Professor, History)  | Ian Collins (Clinical Assistant Professor, Daley Library) | Jim Drown (Senior Lecturer, English) | Jeff Gore (Senior Lecturer, English)  | Jennifer Rupert (Senior Lecturer, English, Gender and Women’s Studies) | Kate Floros (Clinical Assistant Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

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14 Jul UICUF Contract Negotiation: Bargaining Update

  • UICUF Bargaining team met with UIC admin for 6th session: No articles were TA’d, but important needs were discussed, and both sides agreed to bring in experts to discuss the finer points of ongoing issues.
  • Get to know your contract: Article XII of our contract discusses processes related to faculty discipline.
  • Honoring Janet Smith’s Legacy: Consider contributing to the Janet Lynn Smith Practitioner in Residence fund today, Thursday, July 14th. 

Contract Bargaining continues

The UICUF bargaining team met via Zoom with the administration bargaining team for a sixth session on Monday. In this session, conversation focused on UICUF’s counter proposal on Article IV. Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment, and administration’s counter proposals on three articles, Article X. Academic Freedom; Article XIV. Physical Conditions; Article XVII. Access to Personnel File. At stake in these conversations is the bargaining team’s belief that current university policies need to be made known, transparent, and accountable. In recent history, although university policies and processes exist in cases of harassment, academic freedom, and personal files, they have not always been adhered to; in some cases, policies concerning documentation of complaints and investigations have remained opaque or unknown. Our goals in Articles IV, X, and XVII all focus on making current university policies transparent and accountable. 

The next bargaining session will be held on July 25th at 10am via Zoom. Members are encouraged to come and observe the session, although we ask that only members of the bargaining team talk during the main session with the administration team–members opinions are very important to us, however, during caucus! Please contact the UICUF staff at UICUnitedfaculty@gmail.com to receive the invitation link.

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Get To Know Your Contract

UIC UF Faculty Contract (2018-2022)
Article XII. Hours of Work and Commitment (Non-Tenure and Tenure Contracts) 

A. Bargaining unit members covered herein are expected to maintain work hours and commitment to the University required by the terms of their appointment. Bargaining unit members shall comply  with the University of Illinois Policy on Conflicts of Commitment and Interest and related State  of Illinois laws such as the University Faculty Research and Consulting Act, 110 ILCS § 100 and  the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, 5 ILCS § 430. 

B. Expectations for all non-tenure system faculty ranks or categories of faculty positions, including expectations for teaching, research, and service, shall be created through transparent shared governance processes in each academic unit and made easily accessible to all faculty. These expectations shall include a teaching statement that sets clear expectations for the teaching  assignments, including course load and class size. Job expectations shall be updated and/or re-ratified by the academic unit at a minimum of every three years.

C. Should a change to job expectations be needed during the course of a bargaining unit member’s  contract, the unit and the non-tenure track system faculty member shall mutually agree upon said  change(s). Such changes will conform with the terms of this Agreement. 

Most important for UICUF faculty members to note is that all programs and departments are required to publish workload descriptions and expectations and make them available to faculty. These expectations should be produced through faculty shared governance and updated, again through shared governance, every three years. This update is intended to recognize how technology and changing institutional priorities are affecting faculty work, as well as to control expectation creep which devalues faculty labor. Our contract does not currently outline what workload policies should include, which is the focus of our proposals for this article for the new contract. The bargaining team believes that workload policies should discuss all three pillars of academic work–teaching, research, and service–although it is clear that faculty positions differ in their priorities. We have also proposed a requirement that if an individual member’s workload deviates from the norm, that deviation should be negotiated between the member and their supervisor–and mutually agreed to. 

As a UIC faculty member, you should currently have access to written workload policies for your position within your academic unit. We encourage all members to locate your program’s policies and stay informed. If your unit does not have a workload policy that is freely accessible, you are encouraged to reach out to your unit’s Representative Assembly member or email UICUnitedfaculty@gmail.com.

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Honoring Janet Smith by Supporting UIC’s Voorhees Center

UIC’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs has created this fund to support a rotating “Practitioner in Residence Program” to bring experienced community leaders to CUPPA and maintain the work with Chicago’s underserved communities that Janet spent her career working with and advocating for. 

You can click here to honor Janet’s life and continue her important work making Chicago a more just and equitable city. 

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