Know Your Contract

11 Jul Know Your Contract – Appointment and Reappointment

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  • Improved guidelines around appointments/reappointments means greater job security for NTT Faculty
  • New contract provides advanced letter of appointment – First notification deadline June 1, fall-back deadline July 16
  • Contract also reduces time to multi-year appointments, requires timely evaluations of faculty
  • This entry refers to Article IX of the NTT contract.
  • Rules for Tenure Track appointments can be found in the TT contract and UI Statutes

 

UIC United Faculty is keenly aware that appointment and reappointment procedures are at the core of defining job security for NTT faculty. In particular, reliable notification timelines, and multi-year appointments can give faculty peace-of-mind, while creating a more collegial atmosphere where faculty feel comfortable and secure in their positions. To maximize stability for our members, our new contract improves upon several aspects of the appointment/reappointment process.

In an effort to give faculty greater clarity on rights regarding the appointment/reappointment process, we’ve answered some of the most common questions and misunderstandings below. If you have further questions, or specific concerns about the implementation of these contractual rights, contact us ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

When Should I Be Informed That I Am Being Reappointed?
Academic units should inform NTT faculty by June 1st of each year whether you are being reappointed to your position. HOWEVER, an academic unit may choose to postpone this notice until as late as July 16th (this deadline is improved over the August 1st deadline in our previous contract). In the case of postponement, the academic unit still needs to inform you by June 1 that they have opted to postpone their decision.

If you do not receive your notice in a timely manner, contact us ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

Should I Expect A Letter Of Reappointment If I am Part Way Through a Multi-Year Appointment?
While some departments may choose to give reappointment letters to faculty in the middle of a multi-year appointment, they are not required to do so. If you are, for example, going into year 2 of a 3 year appointment, you may not get a new letter. You should still receive a Notice of Appointment from the Board of Trustees in August for the current academic year, though this notice won’t necessarily note your multi-year status.

When Am I Eligible For A Multi-Year Appointments?
The timeline to receive multi-year appointments have changed under the new contract. After four years of consecutive employment, OR upon promotion, whichever comes first, NTT faculty will get at least a two-year appointment. After six years, an NTT faculty member will get at least a three-year appointment. If the maximum appointment length changes in the UI statutes (currently three years), anyone on a three-year appointment will get the new maximum upon their next reappointment. An NTT faculty member can be offered longer appointments up to the current 3-year maximum set by university statute at any time, at the discretion of their academic unit.

These multi-year appointments cannot be withheld, nor can timelines be extended for any reason, provided that the individual is consecutively employed for the requisite number of years, and is reappointed for the new term.

While this significantly improves job security, it is not the same as tenure, and does not guarantee reappointment.

Do Title Changes Affect My Time Towards Multi-Year Appointments?
No, under the current contract, title changes do not reset the clock toward multi-year appointments or promotions. This includes conversion from a visiting to a permanent position, so time spent as a visiting faculty member will count toward your multi-year appointment and promotion timelines, per Article IX.A.4 of the NTT contract.

Am I Entitled To An Evaluation?
Yes, all full-time (51%+ appointment) faculty are entitled to a formal and transparent evaluation each year. This should give NTT faculty a clear idea of where they stand, and provide data for merit, promotion, and reappointment decisions. See our earlier Know Your Contract article on evaluations for more details on how they should work.

Where Are Reappointment Procedures Specified?
Reappointment procedures MUST be outlined in your unit bylaws under Article IX.B.1 of the new contract. If an academic unit does not currently have a written policy, it is their responsibility to develop one. Contact your department/division/college for more information about unit bylaws regarding the reappointment process. If your unit refuses to provide such policies, contact us ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

Where Can I Find This Information In My Contract?
Contractual rights regarding appointment and reappointment are described in both non-tenure track and tenure track contracts, which can be viewed on our website. Specific references to the rights described above are found in the NTT contract, Article IX: Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, Layoff, and Recall.

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

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27 Jun Know Your Contract – Work Loads

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  • Academic Units must set transparent workload policies through shared governance
  • Policies must address teaching expectations, including course load and class size
  • Job expectations can’t be changed mid-contract without the faculty member’s agreement
  • This entry refers to Articles XII of the 2018-2022 NTT contract and TT contract

 

While each of our contracts have addressed compensation issues, our new contract adds provisions to ensure that the value of your work can’t be eroded via administration unilaterally increasing course loads. In this update, we will explain how the new contract protects faculty from unexpected and uncompensated changes in job expectations. This entry is not intended to cover these topics exhaustively, and future articles will cover reduced or modified duties for life-changing events. if you have further questions or concerns about workloads, you are encouraged to contact us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

How Are Workloads/Course Loads Defined?
Per Article XII.B of the faculty contract, expectations have to “be created through transparent shared governance processes in each academic unit and made easily accessible to all faculty.” That means each academic unit has the flexibility to define workload expectations appropriate to their unique situation, but that faculty must be included in such decisions, and that expectations can’t be left vague and undefined. These expectations, once defined, should be revisited at least every three years.

This new contract provision is intended to protect faculty from changes in work expectations that could degrade the value of their labor. UICUF, therefore, strongly recommends that members familiarize themselves with existing policies where applicable, and initiate shared governance processes to define them where no policies currently exist. If you are unsure how to proceed, or have concerns about how to clearly define workload expectations, contact UICUF at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com ASAP.

What Has To Be Included In Workload Expectations?
Workload expectations are defined unit by unit, but they must include a few key points. Per the contract, “These expectations shall include a teaching statement that sets clear expectations for the teaching assignments, including course load and class size.” So faculty can specifically count on a locally defined standards for teaching loads, but expectations should be made clear for research and service duties if applicable as well. Again, all of these expectations should be defined through transparent shared governance processes, and be easily accessible to all faculty.

Can Administrators Change Work Expectations, or make Exceptions?
The contract language is designed to prevent changes in work expectations from being imposed on faculty members, so typically expectations for individuals should conform to the shared governance defined expectations of the academic unit. HOWEVER, these expectations can be changed by mutual agreement between a faculty member and their academic unit if needed. UICUF urges members to consider seeking or accepting such exceptions only with careful consideration and/or consultation with a union representative if desired.

Exceptions can also be made for faculty experiencing life-changing events such as the death of a family member or birth of a child. We will address modified duties for life-changing events in a later article.

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

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20 Jun Know Your Contract – Evaluations

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  • Faculty are entitled to a formal yearly evaluation with a defined, transparent process
  • Evaluations must be considered in major decisions including raises and promotion
  • Student feedback (SIT Scores) cannot be used in isolation as a basis for evaluation
  • Faculty have a right to review and add to their permanent file where evaluations are kept
  • This entry refers to Articles IX, XVII of the NTT contract and TT contract and Faculty Affairs Policies, Procedures and Guidelines Section 701 and Section 702

 

At UIC, evaluations play an important role in faculty members’ lives, and for that reason, ensuring that they are conducted appropriately and used in the ways they were intended is equally important to UICUF. As a faculty member, you have a right to timely and appropriate evaluations, and to having these evaluations considered in critical decisions about your employment conditions at the university.

In this update, we will explain the policies and guidelines governing evaluations, and try to answer some of the most common questions. This entry is not intended to cover these topics exhaustively, and if you have further questions or concerns about evaluations, you are encouraged to contact us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

How Often Are Evaluations Required?
Per our contract and university policy, faculty with at least 50% appointments must be evaluated annually. Since evaluations may be relevant to decisions concerning merit raises, promotion, retention and tenure, UICUF considers a failure to perform timely evaluations to be potentially harmful to faculty members’ standing and long-term career prospects at the university. We therefore highly encourage members to actively participate in their yearly evaluations, and to contact us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if you have any concern about the timeliness of your evaluation.

How Are Evaluations Performed?
As in many cases regarding procedure across diverse academic units, each department’s full evaluation process will be unique to that unit. However, per university policy FPPG Section 701 all units must allow faculty to include a self-assessment, must include an assessment by the unit’s executive officer, and must submit the final evaluation to the faculty member in writing. Further each unit must describe in writing their procedure for evaluations, which itself must be reviewed every 5-7 years with input from faculty.

This procedure should be transparent and available to faculty members, so UICUF encourages faculty to request information on these procedures from their own academic unit. If you have any trouble obtaining information on how your annual review is to be performed, or are concerned that the written process is not being followed, contact UICUF for assistance.

Can Student Evaluations Be Considered In My Evaluation?
Yes, but within limits. University policy (FPPG Section 702) states at length the concerns surrounding the reliability of such measurements. As such, student evaluations may not be used in isolation as an instrument for evaluation. Our contract further stipulates that these metrics can’t be used in isolation to make decisions regarding raises, promotions or the awarding of tenure.

What Can Evaluations Be Used For?
It is important to note that evaluations not only can be considered in decision-making, they must be considered for certain decisions. Per Article IX.D.1 of our contract:

“The purpose of the annual evaluation is to recognize and record the accomplishments of each member and to make judgments regarding the significance of these accomplishments, which judgments shall form part of the basis for assigning salary increases, recommending promotion, and the awarding of tenure.”

Faculty can and should expect their evaluations to be used for decisions regarding raises, promotion and tenure, which is why it is important that evaluations be performed in a timely and appropriate manner. Faculty who do not receive evaluations risk losing recognition for their work and accomplishments when these key employment decisions come up.

Can I See My Evaluations?
Yes, faculty are entitled to access, and to add comments to, their personnel files, which should contain the record of their annual evaluations. Faculty members can request access to these files from the campus Human Resources office.

Can I Contest Or Grieve A Bad Evaluation?
No, you can’t contest or grieve bad evaluations, though you may be able to contest or grieve an evaluation that is performed inappropriately, or a decision made without consideration of an evaluation. Essentially, you can contest process, but not outcome. If you feel your evaluation was not performed appropriately, contact UICUF at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com ASAP for assistance.

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

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13 Jun Know Your Contract – Discipline and Dismissal

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  • UICUF’s new contract strengthens due process for NTT faculty
  • Discipline must be for cause, and must follow the steps outlined in the contract
  • By law, you have the right to union representation. Don’t forget your Weingarten Rights!
  • This entry refers to Article XV of the NTT contract. TT disciplinary rules can be found in the TT contract and UI Statutes

 

In recent contract negotiations, UICUF was able to negotiate stronger and clearer protections for due process in disciplinary proceedings.  For the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on the NTT faculty rights defined in our contract, as well as the universally applicable Weingarten Right to union representation. TT faculty’s rights regarding discipline and dismissal follow the guidelines described in TT contract, and the university statutes.

While the vast majority of faculty will never have to worry about discipline and dismissal processes, UICUF strongly encourages our members to know their rights, starting with the right to representation. Below, we explain language used  in the contract, and answer some of the most common questions, however, this article is not meant to exhaustively address rights, procedures, or outcomes in disciplinary proceedings. If you are facing disciplinary action, we highly recommend you contact us ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com for assistance.  

What Should I Do If I Think I’m Being Disciplined?
The most important thing to do if you are, or think you are, being disciplined is to assert your Weingarten Rights. These rights, upheld by national labor law, assert that you are entitled to union representation in “investigatory meetings,” meaning meetings that may lead to disciplinary action. You can download a printable “Weingarten Card” with an appropriate statement to assert these rights, and keep it in your workspace if desired.

Beyond this, we recommend members keep detailed notes of any disciplinary circumstance, and contact UICUF ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

What Can and Can’t I Be Disciplined For?
Owing to the exceptional diversity in how departments are run and the nature of work conducted within each department, our contract does not explicitly address what conduct might constitute an infraction. Department bylaws, UI Statutes, state policies, etc., may inform proper and improper conduct, but whether discipline is being applied appropriately can only truly be determined on a case-by-case basis.

What Does “Positive Progressive Discipline” Mean?
Positive Progressive Discipline is now clearly defined in our contract to mean:

“discipline intended to correct deficiencies when possible… 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.”

So discipline should be “positive” meaning corrective rather than solely punitive, and it should be progressive, meaning it follows appropriate steps (see below for steps). Only in extreme cases may discipline be applied in a manner that is not positive and progressive.

What Disciplinary Steps Are My Administrators Required To Follow?
Per the new contract, your administrators must follow clearly defined steps in a disciplinary process, barring extreme circumstances. These steps are designed to protect faculty’s right to due process, and to ensure that faculty understand when discipline is being applied and why.

The steps are (1) verbal counseling, (2) letter of warning, (3) suspension, and (4) dismissal. You may assert your right to union representation at any and all of these steps by stating your Weingarten Rights and contacting the union at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

What Is “Verbal Counseling” In Disciplinary Procedure?
The first stage of progressive discipline should be verbal counseling. This counseling must include a clear statement that this conversation is disciplinary in nature, and must include a clear reason for the discipline being contemplated. You may, upon being notified that an investigatory or disciplinary meeting is taking place, assert your Weingarten Rights and contact the union for representation at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

Does Prior Discipline Affect The Process/Steps For Future Infractions?
Yes, but only within a limited timeframe. Written warnings are considered effective for up to two consecutive semesters for the purpose of continuity of the disciplinary process, so an infraction in your first year of employment cannot be used to justify immediate suspension or dismissal in your fourth year. Prior discipline can, however, be recalled to establish patterns of behavior when contemplating disciplinary action.

Can I Be Suspended/Placed On Leave During A Disciplinary Investigation?
Yes, within certain limits. It is understood that depending on the seriousness of the offense, a faculty member may be removed from their duties while an investigation takes place. Such a removal must be in the form of paid leave. You should contact the union at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com immediately if you are placed on leave pending an investigation.

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

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30 May Know Your Contract – Professional Development Funds

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  • All faculty are contractually entitled to PD funds: $600 for NTT | $900 for TT
  • All faculty may also be eligible for an additional $600 for conference travel w/pre-approval
  • Funds are in addition to, not in place of, funds provided by your college or department
  • This entry refers to Articles VI.A.1.c and VI.A.1.d of the NTT and TT faculty contracts

 

UIC United Faculty members overwhelmingly favored negotiating for greater professional development funding in our latest contract. Now that the new contract has been signed, we can happily report that we’ve delivered on this expectation. We are also aware, however, that the new provisions have raised new questions among members and administrators.

In an effort to give faculty greater clarity, we’ve sought to answer some of the most common questions and misunderstandings. If you have further questions, or specific concerns about the implementation of these contractual rights, contact us ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.  

Who Gets Professional Development Funds?
Every full-time faculty member in our bargaining unit, regardless of whether you are tenured, tenure-track, or non tenure-track, is contractually guaranteed professional development funds. You cannot be denied these funds on the basis of tenure status.

How Much Funding Am I Entitled To?
NTT faculty are entitled to $600 per year, and TT faculty are entitled to $900 per year. This has not changed from the last contract. However, all faculty may be entitled to an additional $600 per year specifically for travel to professional conferences and meetings.

What Can I Use My Funding For?
The base funds ($600 for NTT/$900 for TT) can be used for expenses related to research and/or teaching-related professional development, which should be outlined by your own department or college bylaws and policies. Typically, this money should be made available for conference registration and related travel expenses, professional associations and memberships, and subscriptions to relevant academic journals. Other uses may be approved by your department, so it’s safest to check your department guidelines or confirm with your department’s Executive Officer for pre-approval if you are uncertain that an expense will be covered.

The additional $600 won in the new contract is available to all faculty, but its use is restricted to paying for travel related to professional conferences and meetings, and requires pre-approval by your department’s Executive Officer (usually a Head/Chair) for use. Acceptance of an academic paper into a conference is not required for use of these funds.

When Can I Use These Funds/Can Funds Be Applied Retroactively?
Typically, funds can be used any time, and are renewed at the beginning of the contract year, August 16th. It is, however, advisable to apply for reimbursement/pre-approval of funds prior to the end of the university’s fiscal year, June 30th.

Since our new contract is retroactive back to August 16th, 2018, faculty are entitled to apply PD funds to past expenses in some cases. You should be able to apply your base funds ($600 NTT/$900 TT) to eligible expenses retroactively to that date. The additional $600 for conference travel, however, are unlikely to be applicable retroactively, as they would have had to be pre-approved before the money was spent. You may still take advantage of all funds in their full amounts for new expenses moving forward this year.

Can I Seek Additional Funding From My Department/Division/College?
Yes, all funding pursuant to your contractual rights are provided in addition to any funds provided by your department/college, and should not be used as a replacement for said funds. Therefore,  you may seek other funding as offered by your department to supplement these funds to which you are contractually entitled.

Are Funds Accrued Over Time Or Prorated Based On When They Are Used?
No, the amount you are entitled to is not accrued over time, nor can it be prorated by your department. You are entitled to use the full amount of funding for the year, at any time during that contract year, for eligible expenses. This includes funds applied retroactively for the 2018-2019 academic year. As explained above, however, the additional $600 for professional conference/meeting travel is unlikely to be made available retroactively, as it requires pre-approval, but you may use it in its full amount moving forward.

Can I Carry Over Funds From One Year To The Next
No, professional development funds are use-them-or-lose-them. You must spend them before the end of the contract year, August 16th.  

Where Can I Find This Information In My Contract
Contractual rights to professional development funds are described in both non-tenure track and tenure track contracts, which can be viewed on our website. Specific references to these rights are found in articles VI.A.1.c and VI.A.1.d.ii of both contracts. For your convenience, we’ve reproduced them below:

c. Professional Expense Reimbursements
Funds will be allocated each year of this Agreement so that each bargaining unit member shall receive up to $600 (NTT) or $900 (TT) 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.

d. Retroactivity
(ii) 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.

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

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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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