Contract Bargaining

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 to receive the invitation link.


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


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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24 Jun Support the Bargaining Team at the Table & Remember to Vote on Tuesday

  • Next Bargaining Session is Monday, June 27: UICUF’s Bargaining Committee invites union members to observe all bargaining sessions with the university’s administration.
  • Illinois Primary Election is Tuesday, June 28: Don’t forget to vote if you are eligible, and you can make use of the Illinois Federation of Teachers’ endorsement list to identify strong pro-public education and pro-union candidates.
  • Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) Opportunities: You can pitch in to support proven allies of public education who are in tough election fights.

Dear Colleagues,

Monday, June 27th Bargaining Session, 10 am to noon.

The UICUF Bargaining Committee will be introducing new proposals regarding three articles of our current contract: 

  • Article IX. Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, Layoff and Recall 
  • Article XII. Hours of Work and Commitment
  • Article XIV. Physical Conditions 

We will also be presenting counter proposals on four other articles: 

  • Article IV. Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment
  • Article X. Academic Freedom
  • Article XI. Governance
  • Article XVI. Labor Management Meetings

We are expecting counter proposals from the administration on: 

  • Article XV. Discipline and Dismissal
  • Article XVII. Access to Personnel File
  • Article XVIII. Grievance and Arbitration

Members may observe via zoom, and join conversations with colleagues during caucus sessions. Please do not speak during the live bargaining between our team and the administration.

Tuesday, June 28th Illinois Primary Election

UICUF leadership encourages our members who are eligible voters to participate in the Illinois primary election. The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) has vetted candidates seeking IFT endorsement and have made endorsements in selected races where they think there is a clear preference based on candidate legislative records and stated positions on public education and unions. Members of UICUF’s Committee on Political Education participated in IFT’s endorsement process. You can find those endorsements here.

GOTV Opportunities

We have strong public education allies who serve in the Illinois legislature who are in contested races and have requested help. They have frequently sponsored and/or voted for bills that advocate for investment in higher education, K-12 schools, and protection of retirement benefits for public workers. They serve on important House and Senate committees and always take into consideration the impact legislation will have on working people. The opposition to their election or re-election in these races comes from the Fraternal Order of Police, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCs), and/or corporate interests. Because these districts overlap, a coordinated campaign is being waged to support all of them together.

Delia Ramirez – running for the newly drawn 3rd US Congressional District, which covers much of the NW side and suburbs, and includes West Town, Humboldt Park, Hermosa, Avondale, parts of Albany Park, and extending towards Elgin.  Delia is endorsed by Chuy Garcia, Elizabeth Warren, Jan Schakowsky, and Bernie Sanders. She currently serves as an assistant majority leader in the Illinois House 4th district.
Omar Aquino – Senate, 2nd district
Rob Martwick – Senate, 10th district
Lillian Jimenez – Illinois House, 4th district (running for the seat that Delia Ramirez holds).
Lindsey LaPointe – Illinois House, 19th district

Can you help us elect these allies of the public good? Contact John Cusick (, 773-759-6120). 


UIC United Faculty Leadership

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08 Jun Contract Bargaining Continues: Get to Know Your Contract!

  • U of I System announces 2022 salary program: Similar to past practice, administration refuses to grant merit-based salary raise pool to UICUF members.
  • UICUF Bargaining team met with UIC admin for 4th session: The power of GEO’s strike continues, as admin accepted Article IV revisions that mirror the new GEO contract and rejected our attempts to take their wins farther.
  • Get to know your contract: Article XV of our faculty contract discusses processes in matters of faculty Discipline.

University-wide 2022 salary program announced

On May 31 System President Tim Killeen announced a 3.5% merit-based raise pool for the U of I system. In line with past practice, the announcement stated that members of collective bargaining units would not be a part of this pool until contract negotiations were concluded. 

Withholding campus salary raises from the bargaining unit is not a necessary part of the contract negotiation process.  Without a doubt it is a choice made by the administration as a part of their negotiation tactics. We are particularly concerned that this decision, this year, shows a great disrespect for faculty, given our struggles with inflation and, even more, our substantial collective sacrifices during the pandemic. 

That said, we wish to remind members that in the past our contracts have always used the salary program as a baseline for our raise pool–which we will demand be applied retroactively to faculty salaries upon the completion of the new contract

Contract Bargaining Updates

The UICUF bargaining team met with the administration bargaining team for a fourth session on Monday. Last session we submitted five articles for consideration: 

  • Article IV. Non-Discrimination
  • Article XV. Discipline and Dismissal
  • Article XVI. Labor Management Meetings
  • Article XVII. Access to Personnel File
  • Article XVIII. Grievance and Arbitration 

Our proposals for Article IV. Non-Discrimination mirrors the language of the current GEO contract with a few important changes. Thanks to the incredible work of our GEO colleagues who struck for eight days to win significant protections for survivors, the administration team offered us nearly everything that GEO won in their last contract. However, they rejected our additional proposals, including timely notification of faculty who are the subject of an OAE complaint, a clearer definition of and condemnation of workplace bullying, and removal of the “responsible employee” designation for faculty to support survivors’ right to decide when and how to report misconduct. 

 We also continued to discuss Article XVI (Labor Management Meetings), Article X (Academic Freedom) and Article XI (Governance). A central issue in all of these articles is increasing our ability to collaborate with the administration through greater faculty and union representation in important decision-making committees and direct access to top administrators. While we did not resolve our disagreements on these issues, we had a productive discussion. 

Get To Know Your Contract
UIC UF Faculty Contract (2018-2022)
Article XV. Discipline and Dismissal (NTT Version)

A. The University may discipline, suspend, or dismiss a non-tenure track system bargaining unit member prior to the end of their appointment term for just cause. 

B. The University and Union agree with the principle of positive progressive discipline intended to correct deficiencies when possible, and that a reasonable process under the circumstances is required to impose discipline for just cause. Progressive discipline is based on the idea that as offenses occur appropriate discipline will be administered in a progressive manner.  The parties acknowledge that discipline might not be progressive if the offense is sufficiently serious.  

C. The levels of progressive discipline for bargaining unit members are (1) verbal counseling, (2) letter of warning, (3) suspension, and (4) dismissal.

D. In cases of disciplinary verbal counseling the unit head must inform the non-tenure track system bargaining unit member that they are receiving a verbal counseling and must provide the reasons for the verbal counseling. 

E. A unit head shall convene a pre-disciplinary meeting if discipline other than a verbal counseling is contemplated, and notify the non-tenure track system bargaining unit member in writing of the purpose of the meeting at least two (2) days in advance of the meeting. The non-tenure track system bargaining unit member shall be given the opportunity at or before the meeting to rebut the reasons for the contemplated discipline.

F. Non-tenure track system bargaining unit members have the right to Union representation throughout the disciplinary process, including during any investigatory interview that may reasonably lead to discipline.

G. Except for purposes of determining a pattern of behavior, letters of warning will remain in effect for purposes of progressive discipline for only two full consecutive semesters.

H. Situations in which a faculty member is placed on paid leave pending the conclusion of an investigation shall not be considered discipline.

I. A non-tenure track system bargaining unit member may utilize the Grievance and Arbitration procedure set forth in this Agreement to appeal any discipline, suspension or dismissal issued under this Article.  If the arbitrator fails to sustain the University’s action, they may not award any remedy (e.g., compensation, reinstatement, reappointment) for time beyond the terminal date of the appointment during which the non-tenure track system bargaining unit member was disciplined, suspended or dismissed.  Any award of back pay shall not exceed the amount the faculty member would have earned from the date of suspension or dismissal to the end of the term of appointment. 

This article from the non-tenure track contract establishes a protocol for positive progressive discipline in disputes between faculty and administrators related to perceived deficiencies in faculty workplace performance. Positive progressive discipline is a formative process that is intended to correct deficiencies and give faculty opportunities to develop before discipline resulting in professional harm occurs. Letters D through H articulate what each of the 5 levels of action entails.

When an issue with faculty performance is identified by an administrator, the administrator must first address the issue verbally with the faculty member. This does not mean an informal elevator conversation. Verbal counseling must begin with a statement by the administrator that the conversation is a part of the formal progressive disciplinary process, as well as an explanation of the cause for the counseling and a recommended action for resolution. Upon the receipt of a verbal counsel, faculty should contact union representation–all faculty have the right for union representation at any and all stages of the disciplinary process. If the deficiencies are perceived to continue, the faculty member, a union representative of their choosing, and the supervisor must meet so that the faculty member has an opportunity to rebut or question the perception of deficiency. A written letter of warning enumerating the problems must be provided at least two days before the meeting, giving the faculty member the chance to understand the complaints and gather information. 

If the situation escalates, and a faculty member is placed on suspension, the suspension itself cannot be considered punishment and should be paid pending the outcome of a formal investigation presumably following university policy. It is only after these steps have been observed that dismissal is a potential outcome of faculty disciplinary processes. 

Our proposals for this article in the new contract include further articulation of these steps and protections. We hope to ensure that in cases where non-faculty entities, such as the Office of Access and Equity, are part of the process that the faculty member is included in all communications between that entity and their supervisors and that these entities cannot determine punishment of faculty. Our final and most important proposal for this article is to include this language in the Tenure-Track version of our contract. Right now there is no specific protocol for tenure-track faculty in disciplinary situations. For pre-tenure faculty, the lack of a clear process for normative development and progressive discipline is not only a clear danger, but an oversight in regards to the mentorship and support of junior faculty. The university and its executive officers have the responsibility to mentor and develop faculty in meaningful ways, and we envision this policy as a way to ensure faculty have the opportunities to develop when problems arise. 

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) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

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20 May UICUF Contract Negotiation: Bargaining Update 

  • UIC UF Bargaining team met with UIC admin for 3rd session: UICUF presented 5 articles for discussion
  • Get to know your contract: Article X of our faculty contract discusses processes in matters of faculty Academic Freedom.

Bargaining Updates
The UIC UF Bargaining Team met with the Administration team yesterday. We presented proposals developing Article IV. Non-Discrimination; Article XV. Discipline and Dismissal; Article XVI. Labor Management Meetings; Article XVII. Access to Personnel File; and Article XVIII. Grievance and Arbitration. Administration is expected to respond to our proposals at our next meeting in approximately 3 weeks.

Contract bargaining is currently taking place on Zoom, but we do hope to meet for in-person sessions soon. Union members are invited to observe sessions and collaborate with the bargaining team during caucuses. You can find out about upcoming sessions and other union events by following the UICUF calendar here or emailing

Get To Know Your Contract
UIC UF Faculty Contract (2018-2022)

Article X, Academic Freedom

  1. It is the policy of the University to maintain and encourage full freedom within the law of inquiry, discourse, teaching, research, and publication and to protect any member of the (tenure/non-tenure) track system bargaining unit against influences, from within or without the University, which would restrict the member’s exercise of these freedoms in the member’s area of scholarly research and interest. 
  2. As a citizen, a faculty member may exercise the same freedoms as other citizens without institutional censorship or discipline. A faculty member should be mindful, however, that accuracy, forthrightness, and dignity befit association with the University and a person of learning, and that the public may judge that person’s profession and the University by the individual’s conduct and utterances.
  3. A faculty member who believes that they do not enjoy the academic freedom which is the policy of the University to maintain and encourage shall be entitled to a hearing on written request before the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the campus Senate.  Such hearing shall be conducted in accordance with established rules of procedure.  The Committee shall make findings of facts and recommendations to the President and, at its discretion, may make an appropriate report to the Senate.  The several committees may from time to time establish their own rules of procedure.
  4. Any substantive dispute under this Article shall be resolved under Article X, Section 2 (d), of the University of Illinois Statutes
  5. Any procedural dispute under this Article under the control of a party to this Agreement shall be resolved under the Grievance and Arbitration procedure in this Agreement, and any such grievance decision thereunder shall be limited to providing a remedy correcting a process error.

Our union contract does not debate what constitutes a violation of academic freedom–that matter is handled by University Policy, U of I System Statutes, and most directly, the UIC Senate. Instead, this article makes clear that faculty do have academic freedom in matters of scholarship and teaching.

In cases where faculty feel their academic freedoms have been violated, members should immediately contact their union representative or email, for advice and support in submitting a written request to the UIC Senate Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

Our proposals for this article intend to make violations in the handling of academic freedom cases–such as discipline occurring prior to a UIC Senate hearing–fully contestable and grievable. While university policies exist, we have observed a wide range of administrative responses that are not consistent with those policies. Currently, bargaining unit members have no recourse when university policies are not followed. Therefore, we are pushing to include the language of those policies, including the UIC Student Academic Grievance Policy in Article X, in order to make the failure to follow policy fully grievable through the Union. So far, the administration’s bargaining team has refused to acknowledge the importance of holding UIC accountable to its own policies in this way.

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) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

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06 May Bargaining for New Faculty Contract Begins

UICUF Bargaining: Get to Know Your Contract

  • Bargaining is in full swing: UICUF and Administration TA 7 articles.
  • Get to know your contract: Article I of our faculty contract outlines scope and purpose.
  • Only members of UICUF vote to ratify the faculty contract: Join the union to make your voice heard.

Join UIC United Faculty 
We would like to notify all UIC faculty that bargaining for the next faculty contract has begun. Continued updates concerning bargaining will be sent to UIC UF members only–you can join today and take part in this important process. Membership in the faculty union allows you to attend bargaining sessions, share input with the Bargaining Committee, and ultimately vote on whether to accept the contract they bargain. You may sign up here, or contact us at

Bargaining for our next faculty contract
The UICUF and UIC administrative bargaining teams met for the second time this week. The beginning of the season is often uncontroversial as both sides work to determine a process for moving forward and describe their goals for the next contract. As outlined in our bargaining platform available on the UICUF website, our proposals emphasize:

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

One important item accomplished at this past meeting was reaching Tentative Agreements on 7 articles. Tentative Agreements (TA) are a mechanism in the process where both sides agree to accept the article under discussion. Discussion on that article is then assumed to be closed, and generally can’t be reopened. 

Bargaining is currently taking place on Zoom, but we do hope to meet for in-person sessions soon. Union members are invited to observe sessions and collaborate with the bargaining team during caucuses. You can find out about upcoming sessions and other union events by following the UICUF calendar here.  

Get to Know Your Contract
We would like to focus our communications this summer bargaining season on UIC faculty workplace rights as outlined in our contract and discuss changes to the current contract your bargaining team is proposing. To this end, there is nowhere like the beginning for a place to start. Article I, Purpose is one of the articles TA’d this week:

UIC UF Faculty Contract (2018-2022)
Article I. Purpose
The purpose and intent of this Agreement is to provide for an orderly collective bargaining relationship and the promotion of sound and mutually beneficial relations between the Union, on behalf of bargaining unit employees, and the University.  This Agreement is intended to establish and make clear the wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment of bargaining unit employees and to provide a procedure for the equitable resolution of grievances as required by terms of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act.

While this text could be considered boilerplate, it is a legitimate articulation of what our union contract is to accomplish. The contract represents an agreement between the membership and the administration, but also a plan for all members of the UIC community to handle workplace scenarios in a fair, transparent, and consistent manner. Contracts are certainly a protection for faculty, but ours also provides protocols and guidance for how workplace disagreements should be handled by supervisors and upper-level administrators.

Our contract connects us with a larger system of justice and protection, explicitly the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act, which recognizes the unique situation of education workers and the impact their working conditions have upon the Illinois public. In Fall 2021, 81% of UIC’s 34,199 students were permanent residents of Illinois–our working conditions are their learning conditions, which makes our contract an important part of maintaining the intellectual, cultural, and economic future of Illinois. 

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) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

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25 Jun Bargaining Team to Consult Members on Compensation Proposal


  • Impact Bargaining Resumes: Impact bargaining began in March, but admin did not take it seriously until we issued Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs) against them. Last week, per our demand, admin finally returned to the table.
  • Admin Puts Money On the Table: After ongoing pressure from union members around unpaid labor, there is now money on the table(!), BUT their proposal would compensate under 30% of faculty, and at only a fractional rate.
  • Compensatory Time for Course Development: We initially proposed that all faculty who are developing online courses for the Fall should get 1 compensatory course release, usable in the next two years.
  • Member Meeting Called Wed 7/1: UICUF will hold a virtual member meeting NEXT WEDNESDAY, 7/1, from 3:30-5pm, to solicit input on admin’s comp proposal, and other bargaining priorities. All members will receive login details early next week.


A Renewed Effort on Impact Bargaining
Admin has, until now, pursued a strategy of meeting with the union, then doing whatever they want. We’ve since called out this practice in a series of Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) charges, filed concurrently with our demand to resume bargaining. As we shift from crisis management to Fall planning, there is no excuse for the administration to avoid timely and meaningful negotiations with faculty.

Addressing Unpaid Labor This Summer
One of our core demands has been for the administration to compensate faculty working mostly off-contract this Summer to prepare remote Fall classes. Union members have been pressuring the administration over presumptions of unpaid labor for weeks, especially since the announcement that some will be expected to spend nearly 100 hours this Summer on these preparations.

In our most recent negotiations, we proposed compensation in the form of a course release to be used by faculty sometime over the next two years. We believe this would be an appropriate compromise between adequate compensation for the extra labor of developing online-ready classes, and flexibility for departments and the administration to plan and budget.

In an unusual turn, however, the administration actually came with a response in hand, putting money on the table to address the issue of unpaid labor. Their offer as it is currently formulated would compensate less than 30% of faculty, and at only a fraction of the value of a single course release, but it is a move in the right direction in response to ongoing pressure from our members.

Consulting Our Members
Given the implications of the administration’s current offer, and the urgency of other imminent deadlines on renewals and campus safety decisions, our Bargaining Team plans to solicit input from our full membership NEXT WEDNESDAY, 7/1, from 3:30-5pm. Members will receive a link to participate in a virtual meeting early next week. The Bargaining Team will share their experiences thus far, but our goal is to open the process up for member participation in considering where to go from here. You must be a member to attend, and current non-members can join by following the application instructions on our website.

As ever, if you have any questions, you can email us at


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 With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

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29 May UIC Admin Has a Responsibility to Bargain


Many faculty received notices today deferring a decision on their reappointment to July 15th. This notice is contractually required only if your academic unit is unable or unwilling to make a renewal decision by June 1st, and nothing in the union contract prevents units from reappointing faculty before this deadline. Deferral of a decision does not imply non-renewal. Please let us know if you received a deferral letter today so we can have a better understanding of what’s happening in various units.

It remains UIC United Faculty’s position to advocate through impact bargaining for immediate renewal of all full-time faculty appointments.


  • Demand Action on Bargaining: Please click here to send an email demanding that UIC Admin return to the bargaining table with all of its campus unions for meaningful and productive negotiations
  • Failure to Bargain in Good Faith: The UIC Administration has a legal responsibility to bargain impacts of COVID-19, but has consistently chosen to act without union input, and to treat bargaining as an informal advisory rather than a serious legal obligation.
  • Unfair Labor Practice Filed: UICUF will be filing Unfair Labor Practices regarding admin’s failure to bargaining in good faith over changes sweeping the university due to COVID-19.

A Legal Obligation to Bargain
UIC’s administration has a legal obligation to bargain over changes to working conditions (yes, we’ll say it again!). This principle holds true even when changes come as a result of events beyond either party’s control. The process is called impact bargaining, and it is not optional.

UICUF called for impact bargaining back in March, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in earnest. Unfortunately, from the start, top administrators did not even acknowledge our meetings as formal bargaining, choosing instead to waste time while they continued doing whatever they wanted. And while we can draw clear lines from our proposals to actions later taken by the administration, like extending professional development fund deadlines, university officials refused to formalize even these agreements. Ultimately, the administration outright told us they had no intention of discussing further “contract enhancements.” This is not how healthy negotiations work.

Unfair Labor Practices
By failing to respect a formal bargaining process, enacting changes to working conditions without formal agreements, and refusing to discuss further impacts to our contract, the UIC administration has been committing unfair labor practices. We have therefore decided that, in order to best protect the rights of our members, we must file an official notice of violations with the Illinois Board of Labor. We hope this action highlights the gravity of the administration’s choice to pursue a strategy of obstruction and unilateralism rather than bargain in good faith with its faculty.

A Fresh Push for Negotiations
Despite taking this action to call out unproductive practices by our counterparts, we still sincerely believe that we can work together with the administration during this unprecedented crisis. Faculty bring both substantial expertise and rich perspectives to the table as we consider the future of working and learning at UIC. Everyone–including the administration–will benefit from our sustained participation in all formal dialogues relating to the university’s future, but our administration cannot acknowledge us only when it is convenient.

We are therefore reconstituting our remarkable bargaining team, once again drawing on faculty from every college in our bargaining unit, to restart the impact bargaining process. We are also calling on all faculty members to click here to send an email demanding that the administration return to productive bargaining immediately. If needed, the committee will also advise on further escalating pressure on our administration counterparts to bargain fairly. We will keep faculty informed as this process continues. Of course, if you have questions or want to highlight particular issues, email us here at


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 With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

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06 May Victory on PD Funds, Admin Declines to Negotiate on Other Issues


  • UICUF has won a victory on Professional Development funds – Admin agreed in writing to release travel funds for other uses, and to roll over unused travel funds into the 20-21 Academic Year!
  • Labor Relations is now saying they will not move on any other impact bargaining issues, perhaps closing the door to further productive negotiations.
  • UICUF is committed to continuing a productive dialogue if possible, and escalation remains an option if meaningful negotiations are not forthcoming.


Union Victory on Professional Development Funds
UICUF has been negotiating around professional development funds since March, primarily asking that the funds earmarked for travel be released for broad PD use, and that unused funds be rolled over for use in future academic years. We have now received notice that the Administration has agreed to both of these demands. Per Provost Poser, the following has been posted to the university’s somewhat buried COVID-19 page on policy changes, and will be communicated to Heads and Deans:

According to the contract, the amounts provided for research and/or professional development are $900 for TT and $600 for NTT faculty. Faculty may seek reimbursement for professional development expenses that involve purchasing equipment, particularly to allow them to teach online more effectively. I have told the deans this and asked them to ensure their department heads and chairs are aware. The other question that has come up is the use of travel funds for both TT and NTT faculty. There are 2 issues:

  1. Because of the pandemic and the inability to travel, some faculty want the option to use travel funds for professional development related to online teaching, whether that is for equipment or something else.
  2. If there are travel funds left over from FY20, faculty are requesting that they can carry over any remaining travel funds to next year, since travel is impossible right now.


In light of the unique situation we find ourselves in, we are approving these uses of travel funds on a one-time basis. Thus, for example, the ability to carry over travel funds will only be allowed this one time (from FY20 to FY21) and may be used for professional development expenses as stated above through June 30, 2021On July 1, 2021, we will revert to the provisions of the contract as written, i.e. travel funds may not be carried forward and can only be used for travel, as stated in the contract.

In short, you can now keep your $600 travel funds to apply toward expenses in the 2020-2021 academic year, and all PD funds will be opened to broad professional development and remote teaching enhancement uses until June 30th, 2021. Please check with your department for pre-approval of funds to ensure your intended use is covered, and we encourage you to contact us at if you encounter any problems using your PD funds. That said, we will also continue to push the administration to cover the cost of all expenses related to online teaching–that is an administrative expense, not one related to professional development.

Admin Refuses to Make Any Further Agreements
While Labor Relations has avoided language directly stating they won’t negotiate further, they have said that they will not make further changes concerning our impact bargaining issues. This isn’t surprising from an administration that only recently acknowledged their obligation to bargain. They continue to ignore the fact that they are making changes affecting our contracts that legally must be bargained over, and instead prefer to label our proposals as unearned “enhancements.”

This dismissive attitude leaves key questions on the table, notably on issues of faculty retention and union representation in decision-making. On the former, they have chosen to prevaricate or provocatively hint at slashing budgets, outright rejecting any concern for NTT faculty whose contracts are expiring on May 15th and who may soon thereafter be cut off from health insurance. On the latter, they have indicated that they do not at this time intend to add a union representative to the campus committee handling COVID-19 issues. These are not satisfactory responses, and we are now considering options away from the bargaining table to encourage the Administration to negotiate productively.

If you are interested in getting involved with planning and promoting actions around impact bargaining and the many critical issues facing us during this crisis, please email us at

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 With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

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10 Apr Impact Bargaining: NTT Retention and a Seat at the Table


  • UICUF sat down for a second meeting with the Administration this Thursday to bargain the impact of COVID19 on faculty working conditions.
  • We’ve already won some victories over the last several weeks since bringing our demands to the Administration, and have new movement on other items, like reaffirming  intellectual property rights.
  • Despite some additional agreements around items like extending tenure clocks, we are still advocating for a broad commitment to faculty retention and for a seat at the table on decisions affecting faculty.


A Good Start
UIC United Faculty sat down via Zoom for our second session with the Administration Thursday, to bargain over the impact of COVID-19 on faculty working conditions. Over the weeks since we presented our demands, the Administration has updated policies or changed direction on a number of issues. Some examples include closing the library after union faculty organized against reopening under unsafe conditions, and clamping down on questionable work-from-home agreements that were being demanded by some departments.

New Agreements and Understandings
Today we secured some additional agreements and confirmed understandings on issues we’d been advocating on over the last few weeks:

  • Provost Poser agreed to proactively remind Deans of faculty members’ exclusive intellectual property rights to course content, including classes made for online delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Provost said that equipment and technology purchased to aid in online course presentation are reimbursable under the new CARE Act. If you have made such purchases, we recommend submitting those expenses to your unit head or business office ASAP with a note that they are related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Nancy Freitag welcomed suggestions from us on some alternative ways contractually mandated professional development (PD) funds  may be used while conference travel remains disrupted. If you have ideas to contribute, please send them to
  • Probationary faculty can now opt-in to extend their promotion and tenure clocks by up to a year. We’ve also confirmed that this will NOT impact a faculty member’s options for roll-back or hold of their clocks for future interruptions. IMPORTANT NOTE: the first deadline for filing your extension paperwork is May 15th. Please check the above link to see if the May 15th deadline applies to you!


Faculty Retention
We still have a number of significant issues to work out, the most important of which is a broad commitment to faculty retention. UICUF has asked that the administration commit to re-appointing NTT faculty for the next academic year, both to protect the jobs of faculty members in this time of uncertainty, and to ensure UIC is prepared to meet student needs in the fall and beyond.

We understand that the university is in a place of great uncertainty around budgets and enrollment, but fulfilling UIC’s educational mission by retaining excellent faculty must be a top priority. Beyond protecting faculty jobs, we believe it’s critically important to plan for a future in which enrollment may rebound or even surge. The Administration should demonstrate its commitment to teaching by protecting UIC’s most precarious faculty members, many of whom teach first year classes. It is also possible that in-person courses may resume under new social distancing guidelines, necessitating more sections for the same number of students. Since the administration has expressed the importance of returning to physical classrooms and in-person, hands-on education in the future, it seems counter-intuitive not to prioritize retention of our exceptional faculty now.

A Seat at the Table
We appreciate that the Administration has had to move quickly to make important decisions in the context of the covid-19 pandemic, and that it will need to continue to do so as conditions continue to change. At the same time, UICUF leadership has conveyed to the Administration our need to be involved in that decision making in a proactive manner, so that we are not left simply reacting to their decisions, as happened with their initial decision to reopen the Library after spring break. Union representatives will bring the perspectives of front-line faculty, and they are uniquely suited to understand how changes in working conditions interact with the terms of our collective bargaining agreement. Any administrative decision affecting our working conditions or other terms of our contract must be formally bargained, but proactive consultation with UICUF before decisions are made will make that process much smoother.

We have not set a return date for bargaining, but will continue to advocate for faculty, and keep you informed of your rights.


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 With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

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23 May Members Won This Contract – Join the Union Today


  • Our new contract will benefit just about every faculty member via Raises, PD Funds, Job Security, Workload Protections, and much more.
  • Active union membership won this contract and protects these gains.
  • Joining the union makes your voice heard. Our union works because faculty step up!


Our New Union Contract: Everyone Wins
Our new union contract, won through vigorous and sustained engagement by UICUF members, has something in it for everyone. Whether you are being brought up to the new minimum salaries for your rank, benefitting from merit raises, or receiving compression/equity adjustments, nearly every faculty member will get a meaningful salary increase. Everyone will also enjoy access to new PD funds, and real protections against workload increases without pay increases. Many NTT faculty will enjoy greater job security in the form of longer contracts and augmented due process protections. In short, there are benefits in this contract that will touch every faculty member in our bargaining unit. You can review more of these in summary, or in full at your leisure.

Our Union Works (Because Faculty Step Up)!
Faculty will enjoy the benefits of a robust contract over the next several years because so many chose to join the union as members and work for a better outcome. Administration’s opening offer, which they clung to for nearly half-a-year, was to give faculty nothing. No guaranteed raises, no improved job security, no workload protections, nothing. Our members fought to change that paradigm – and won!

Our members also allow us to effectively enforce the contract we’ve won. Union members are the alarm when administrators violate or try to work around contract provisions, and members’ dues provide the resources for union staff and legal counsel to fight back. Even after the contract is won, a strong membership ensures that administration actually abides by the agreements they’ve made.

There is No Better Time to Join the Union
For faculty who are not union members, there is no better time to join. Salary increases  from just the first year of the contract (retroactive to the ‘18-’19 academic year), will easily cover the 1% union dues in perpetuity, while your salary will continue to grow. Even though contract negotiation is over, it takes a robust network of members to participate in productive and effective contract implementation. And of course we will be back at the bargaining table in just three years!

Please consider joining the union as a member today, so that we can continue building on the strength that won us our latest contract. Our website has information about membership, and a downloadable application which you can print/sign/scan and send back to us at You can also contact faculty representatives from each college if you have questions.


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 With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

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