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03 Oct Meeting Recap – Our Fight is Far From Over

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  • UIC United Faculty held our Fall Membership Meeting Yesterday
  • One thing seems abundantly clear: There’s plenty of work ahead to make UIC an even better place to work and learn
  • UICUF Senate Caucus will tackle issues covered by statute that weren’t addressed in the contract
  • UICUF’s new Advocacy Committee will be working to change fundamentals in system governance, like how budgets are formulated
  • UICUF COPE will continue working on legislative issues affecting faculty

 

Yesterday, UICUF held it’s Fall Membership Meeting at Hull House, and as our leadership and committee chairs sounded off, one thing seemed abundantly clear: we may have won some major improvements in our contract negotiations this past Spring, but there’s still much more to do as we seek to continue improving working and learning conditions at UIC.

To recap, our contract victory this past May ensured a variety of improvements, from increased minimum salaries and guaranteed raise pools, to appointment and due process protections for NTT faculty, and workload protection for our entire bargaining unit. However, there were plenty of things we couldn’t achieve in those negotiations, and a number of issues we won in our contract that will still take work to successfully implement.

In Your Departments
Many of our new contract victories, like workload protections, rely on shared governance to implement. Our Shared Governance committee will be spearheading the effort to inform and encourage our members to take advantage of those victories by using their powers of shared governance to the maximum potential.

In the Senate
As we reported in a previous weekly update, we have a newly formed Senate Caucus that will be discuss many of the issues our members are experiencing that have their roots in university statutes. The Senate is by most measures the strongest expression of shared governance at the university, with the purview to recommend changes to the statutes. The new Caucus was formed simply to keep our many members in the Senate informed about issues affecting faculty, and the current list is a long one. Among the top items on the agenda are granting longer term contracts (currently capped at 3 years for NTT), strengthening academic freedom protections, and addressing problematic changes to mandatory RNUA documentation.

At the Board Meetings
Our newly formed advocacy committee (look out for a profile of them in future updates), will be looking into how the university system is governed, and how we can ensure fair and just treatment for UIC within that system. In particular, funding models remain opaque, and seemingly lopsided in favor of programs in Urbana, even as UIC tends to work with students who have the greatest need for resources and support.

In the Legislature
UIC faculty are surely no strangers to how structural issues in the state legislature can affect how we work and how our students learn. UICUF isn’t helpless in this arena though. We have established a Committee on Political Education (COPE), which is addressing issues in the legislature, and lets members volunteer to pool resources in support of political campaigns that may affect UIC in the future. First on their to-do list is to get parity in treatment for our NTT faculty as compared with state college faculty, who enjoy more timely reappointment notices, and receive reasons for non-reappointment.

As you can see, even though the big contract push is over, there’s no shortage of ways we can continue to move the needle, making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

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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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26 Sep Want More Job Security for NTT faculty – Support UICUF COPE

Know Your Contract Training
Student Center West, Room 206AB, 12-1:30pm, Mon, 9/30

Fall Member Meeting
Jane Addams Hull House, 3-5pm, Wed, 10/2

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  • COPE is UICUF’s Committee on Political Education. It allows us to collect and spend money on political campaigns, make endorsements, and engage in the political process
  • COPE’s primary role is to manage political contributions collected from our members, and educate students, faculty and the public on political issues that affect faculty
  • Faculty can get involved by becoming a contributor, or by emailing Kate Floros, COPE Chair. COPE is currently looking for strong communicators with graphic design skills
  • Union dues never go toward paying for political activities

 

This week we are exploring the role of the UICUF Committee on Political Education (UICUF COPE) in supporting faculty by giving us a voice in the state political processes that affect our university.

How Will COPE Improve Working/Learning Conditions at UIC?

  1. The COPE will work with other unions representing faculty in Illinois, and allies in the state legislature to create or expand laws impacting faculty rights. First and foremost, we hope to bring state laws regarding reappointment notifications for our NTT faculty in line with existing legislation governing faculty at community colleges. Should this effort succeed, NTT faculty would receive notification of non-reappointment months earlier than they currently do, and they would have the right to receive a written explanation for the non-reappointment.
  2. The COPE will bring faculty issues into focus with our union allies and affiliates. The COPE was successful in getting a resolution placed on the agenda of the Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) convention, which, if passed, would commit the IFT to working toward passage of legislation like what is described above.
  3. The COPE intends to make its first-ever endorsements and/or contributions to a political campaign that has bearing on the health of our university ahead of the March 2020 Illinois primary elections.

 

What Is the COPE and What Else Does It Do?
The COPE has the same legal profile as a Political Action Committee, legally separate and distinct from UICUF. The distinction allows UICUF members to pool their funds/influence for endorsements and support of political/election campaigns which our union can’t otherwise participate in. This offers our members peace-of-mind knowing that union dues aren’t being used for politics, while also allowing politically-minded members a way to unite and support politicians and/or legislation important to university working conditions. The COPE is primarily focused on state and local issues and candidates, in order to most directly affect legislation related to higher education policy in Illinois.

The COPE’s other, equally important role is to educate students, faculty, and the public on faculty issues and working conditions. The committee is currently doing student outreach, and crafting a “UIC 101” one-sheet to help students understand how UIC as an institution is organized, its place within the University of Illinois System, and its status as a public research institution. There will be other educational materials about the student cost of attendance and the UIC budget later this academic year.

 

How Can Faculty Get Involved?
Faculty can get involved in the COPE initially by becoming a contributor. Union members (who are US citizens or permanent residents) can download a contribution form from our website and return it to kate.floros@gmail.com. Contributions are generally made through payroll deduction, but can be accepted in the form of a check if preferred. The COPE team strongly encourages faculty to consider becoming contributors, even if you can only afford a few dollars a month!

In the spirit of inclusiveness, each year, the COPE leadership team hosts a meeting where contributors are encouraged to help articulate COPE priorities. Additionally, the COPE team will reach out to contributors in advance of the March 17, 2020 primary election, before endorsements and/or donations are made, to elicit feedback on COPE’s endorsement plans. There are also monthly board meetings open to contributors (email Kate if you want to know the place and time of the next meeting). Lastly, some board seats become available every year, and any contributor is eligible to become a member of the board.

We hope you will take a moment to become a contributor, and get involved with our Committee on Political Education!

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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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05 Sep Union Approval on the Rise | Local Events | Health Plan Updates

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  • Despite political attacks against organized labor, Gallup Polls put union approval at 64% this year, near it’s 50 year high!
  • UICUF’s Fall Party is tonight, Thursday, 9/5/19, 5-7pm @The Ambassador Public House! RSVP to UICUFJeff@gmail.com.
  • We are cosponsoring a Panel/workshop, Why Teacher Unions Matter, next Wednesday, 9/11/19, 6-8pm at the Chicago Teachers Union offices. Free registration via eventbrite.
  • Per recent communications to university employees, health plan changes originally scheduled to go into effect in January 1, 2020, will be postponed til July 1, 2020.

 

Union Approval is Way Up!
Public approval of unions jumped to 64% this year according to Gallup Polls, putting it near its 50-year. Most commentators point to a confluence of persistently depressed wages, and the mass wave of mostly educator-led strikes over the last year, which are proving that organized labor can win on major issues. For many workers, incomes have been almost flat versus inflation since the 70’s, but seeing workplace activism rise to the dizzying heights of challenging not only local conditions, but entire state budgets, has been a shock to the system. Especially for young workers who have no experience with an active labor movement, seeing organized labor winning high profile victories across the country has renewed a belief that unions can make a difference.

Fall Party Tonight
All members are encouraged to attend the Fall Party tonight at Ambassador Public House from 5-7pm. Get to know your colleagues a little better, or bring a new colleague and introduce them to the union. Non-members can join on the spot. Appetizers provided by the union, and cash bar available. RSVP to UICUFJeff@gmail.com.

Unions For Teachers – Why They Matter
We are cosponsoring an event with the Chicago Teachers Union and others, called Unions for Teachers: Why They Matter. It is an interactive workshop aimed primarily at future teachers to explore all the questions this group might have about labor and education. The event will include a panel of Chicago area educators, table discussions, and more! Plus food! The event is free to attend, so join us at the CTU Office from 6-8pm on September 11, and share with anyone who is new to education or studying to become a teacher. You can RSVP via Eventbright.

Health Plan Updates
In case you missed it, the UI system will be postponing planned changes to your health plans that were set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2020. The planned special enrollment period to allow faculty to change their health coverage has, therefore, also been postponed. The changes will now go into effect on July 1, 2020, at the beginning of the new fiscal year. Visit our website to find our review of the changes to university health plans in greater detail.

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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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29 Aug An Important Message About Your Raises

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  • Per recent messages from the Provost, faculty should receive retroactive raises from the 2018-2019 academic year in their OCTOBER paychecks.
  • AY 2019-2020 raises are being calculated, but colleges are to notify faculty of their salaries by no later than September 9th.
  • The TT and NTT Contracts, and our earlier guidance on raises on our website.
  • UPCOMING EVENT: UICUF’s Back-To-School Social is Next Thursday, 9/5/19, 5-7pm @The Ambassador Public House. RSVP to UICUFJeff@gmail.com.

 

Revised Timeline for Retroactive Pay
After we reached a tentative agreement on our contract last Spring, we offered some guidance on raises, including expectations for implementation. Provost Poser also offered further guidance via emails this summer about when faculty could expect raises and retroactive pay. Per the Provost’s most recent email (relevant section reproduced below), these expectations have been revised. Faculty should now expect retroactive pay to be distributed in their OCTOBER pay checks (for the Sept. 16 – October 15 pay period).

Updated Pay Rates
You should already be receiving pay at rates reflecting any raise you were awarded for the 2018-2019 academic year. Pay raises for 2019-2020 academic year are reportedly being calculated now. While we do not know when the new salary will be distributed, you are to be notified of your new salary by September 9th.

Concerns Over Pay Amounts
We want to remind faculty that the specific amounts of merit and compression/equity pay each individual is awarded is at the discretion of administration, and cannot be grieved under our contract. Only failures to follow appropriate processes to reach these conclusions, such as failure to hold annual evaluations, or failure to consult using a shared governance process, are grievable.

From The Contract
You can review the exact language of our TT and NTT contracts on our website in Article VI.

Provost’s Email 8/28/19

  • Retro Pay: It is expected that retroactive pay will be provided to faculty in the October paycheck. UIC HR completed the pay updates, which appeared on paychecks in July. They are now completing the 2019-2020 merit and C/E increases. This is the next task that HR will turn to and it involves a lot of detailed work to ensure that 2018-2019 retro pay is calculated accurately.

 

  • Salary Notifications: Faculty should begin to receive notifications of their salaries for AY 2019-2020 shortly. The salaries will be uploaded to Banner next week and UIC HR instructed the colleges to notify faculty of their salaries no sooner than August 28th and no later than September 9th.

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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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23 Aug Back To School With Your Union

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  • UICUF members welcomed new and returning faculty to UIC on Wednesday.
  • Union-hosted events this Fall are an opportunity to get involved and meet your colleagues!
  • We have volunteer opportunities to fit a wide range of interests and availabilities. You are the union. Help us make UIC an even better place to work and learn!

 

As UIC gears up to get back to school next week, our union is doing likewise. On Wednesday, union officers and members met with both new and returning faculty at a variety of events, and there is a lot more still to come! Over the next month, we’ll be hosting a number of union-led events that we welcome all to attend, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved more directly as well. We won a major contract campaign last semester with the support of all our members, but there’s much more yet to do, and we’re ready to dive back in.

Welcoming (Back) Faculty
This Wednesday, new and returning faculty convened for a variety of orientations and trainings ahead of their first days of class next week, and UICUF was there to offer a hearty welcome. First, we attended the New Faculty Orientation where our President, Janet Smith, introduced the union to a whole new cohort of colleagues. Union members were also at the First Year Writing Program’s “Comp-Camp” and a targeted Know-Your-Contract training for faculty in the School of Art and Art History, to work with faculty on how the union can best support them in their own departments.

We want to remind all our members that it’s never too late to have UICUF present at a faculty meeting, or host our own meeting or training to discuss best practices with your department. If you are interested in working with us on setting something up for your department, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com

Meet Your Colleagues And Get Involved
Early Fall is always a busy part of the academic year, but we hope you’ll make some time to join your colleagues at one of our many union-sponsored events this semester:

Fall Welcome-Back Party, Sept. 5, 5-7pm, @Ambassador Public House, 310 S. Halsted: UICUF members are invited to our back-to-school gathering. New members encouraged to sign up at the door and join the fun! Please RSVP to UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

Unions For Teachers – Why They Matter, Sept. 11, 6-8pm, @Chicago Teachers Union Headquarters, 1901 West Carroll Avenue: All are invited to this free panel discussion and forum. Co-hosted by UICUF, CTU, and others.

UICUF Senate Caucus, Sept. 19, 3:30-5pm, location TBD: Union members with elected positions in the UIC Senate will be meeting to discuss critical shared governance issues and how we can move forward on items beyond the purview of our union contract.

UICUF Member Meeting, Oct. 2, 3-5pm, @Hull House, 800 S. Halsted: Learn about what your union is working on, and have your voice heard in key decisions at our membership meeting. Non-members sign up on-site when you arrive! Reception to follow.

Calling For Volunteers!
UICUF is looking for help in a variety of areas with responsibilities both large and small:

Committee on Political Education (COPE): Educate members and the public on political issues around public higher education and raise/contribute funds for candidates that support public higher ed. To join the COPE, send a completed contribution card to uicunitedfaculty@gmail.com. Contact: Kate Floros (Political Science) kate.floros@gmail.com.

Communications Committee: Develop materials to keep all members up to date on what is happening in the union, including regular email messages, videos, and broadsheets. Contact: Charitianne Williams (English) charitianne@gmail.com.

Shared Governance Committee: Oversee contract implementation at the unit level and ensure that all units are using appropriate shared governance practices. Contact: Jeff Edwards (UICUF staff): uicufjeff@gmail.com.

Board of Trustees Advocacy Committee: Work with other unions at UIC and in the U of I system to advocate for changes at the level of the Board of Trustees, including improving funding models and changing how Labor Relations interacts with unions across the system.  Contact: Janet Smith (Urban Planning & Policy) jjranch22@gmail.com.

Programming Committee: Plan educational and social events for UICUF members to get to know each other and build camaraderie across different schools. Contact: Laurie Schaffner (Sociology) schaff2012@gmail.com.

Contact Action Team: Maintain communication between union leadership and colleagues in your department by forwarding emails and having in-person conversations about important updates or events. Contact: Sophie Bauerschmidt Sweeney (UICUF staff): uicufsophie@gmail.com.

New Member Outreach: Accompany an organizer on office visits or meetings with faculty who are interested in joining UICUF. Contact: Sophie Bauerschmidt Sweeney (UICUF staff): uicufsophie@gmail.com.

University Senate Caucus: Work to strengthen collaboration between UICUF and the UIC Senate and to advocate for measures in the Senate that support faculty. Contact: Milos Zefran (Electrical & Computer Engineering) mzefran@gmail.com.

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

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02 Aug Know Your Contract – Technology

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  • Our union contract guarantees new computers for faculty every four years
  • Replacements should occur on or before August 1st
  • Computers can be chosen from ACCC supported options up to $1,500 + 3 year extended warranty (for a total 4 year warranty)
  • Faculty are also entitled to classroom technology and printing support at all hours during which courses are scheduled, starting 30 minutes before the first class of the day
  • This entry refers to Articles VII of the 2018-2022 NTT contract and TT contract
  • Help welcome new faculty to UIC, the afternoon of August 21st. Sign up here.

No matter what field you work in, technology is an inseparable part of life at a modern university. In light of this reality, we’ve negotiated in our union contract to ensure that every faculty member has access to both a personal computer for their day-to-day work, as well as robust support for technology in the classroom. In this entry, we discuss what the contract has to say about your rights regarding workplace technology.

How Does The UIC Computer Program Work?
Per article VII.E of our contract:

“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 is fairly straightforward. All faculty should be able to choose a computer which the university will provide, along with a 3 year extended warranty. To be extra-clear, the 3 year warranty is an extension over the standard 1 year warranties, so you should have a total of 4 years coverage. Also, the $1,500 limit is for the computer itself. The additional cost of extended warranties, where applicable, will be covered by the university in addition to this limit, not within it.

Can I Get A Computer If I Am A Visiting Or Adjunct Faculty Member?
Yes, as long as you are in our bargaining unit. Per the above contract language, the university must provide a computer for each position within the unit regardless of title, tenure, or performance. If your position is only in-unit intermittently because your percentage appointment is subject to change from semester-to-semester, you should still be entitled to a computer, at least during the time you are counted in the bargaining unit.

If you are unsure of your bargaining unit status, or feel you are being denied access to a computer inappropriately, contact us ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

Do I Own This Computer?
No. While the computer is provided for your exclusive use by the university, its important to recognize that it is still university property. This has a number of implications. First, if you leave the university for any reason, you do have to return the computer. Second, you should use this computer, even if it is a laptop that you take home at the end of the day, in accordance with the norms of conduct befitting a workplace.

When Can I Replace An Old Computer?
If your university-provided computer is more than 4 years old, you are entitled to a replacement. Technically, your department should have already initiated this process back in January, and you should have received your new computer on or before August 1st.

If you need to seek a replacement computer, you should start by asking within your own department. If for any reason you have trouble obtaining a new/replacement computer to which you are contractually entitled, contact us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

When Will Classroom Support Be Available?
Over the last year or two, the union has received a number of complaints that classroom support was not available throughout the day. Especially with the move to incorporate classes later in the evening, we prioritized negotiating for extended classroom support in the new contract.

Per article VII.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.”

So in short, faculty should be able to expect support during or immediately before their classes meet, regardless of how early or late the class is scheduled. Printer access is also guaranteed. If you have trouble getting service in a timely manner, you can let us know at UICUnitedFacutly@gmail.com.

What About Intellectual Property?
While this is slightly tangential to the technology support in our contract, we did seek to head off some questions regarding ownership rights in relation to third-party agreements the university has with vendors, like Blackboard. Per Article VII.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.”  

This essentially reaffirms standing rules, but the underlying context is important. The university or its agents (read: administrators) cannot use third-party agreements to appropriate your work. If you suspect that your work is being used inappropriately without your permission, you should contact the union ASAP.

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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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02 Jul Understanding the Recent Message on Health Insurance

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  • State employees’ health plans offered by UIC are changing. See our review of the impact on your health plan for details.
  • A special enrollment period will be offered by UIC this Fall, specifics TBD
  • Thanks to union (AFSCME) negotiations, state employees’ premiums have not increased over the past 5 years versus a 20% average increase in premiums nationally
  • Cost increases will average $13/month for employees, $18/month for dependents each year starting Jan 1, 2020
  • The 4% average raises secured in our contract will keep most faculty well ahead of rising health costs

 

Faculty, along with other UIC employees, will have likely just received an email from the University of Illinois Human Resources department, explaining that your health insurance plans are about to change. This email unfortunately lacked significant details about the nature of those changes, and we want to add context so that our members can continue to enjoy their summer and their 4th of July holiday without undue concern.

Most importantly, our union affiliates at IFT have supplied detailed information about the changes to your health coverage hinted at in the HR email, so that you can track exactly what will happen to your health plan. If you wish, you can use this information to opt for a new plan during the upcoming Special Enrollment Period, which UIC has pledged to offer during Fall Semester.

We also want to clarify that it is due to union negotiations, via the Association of Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), that state employees have enjoyed a period free of premium increases over the last 5 years. The increases anticipated pursuant to the ratification of their new contract will begin January 1, 2020, and will average $13/month for employees, and $18/month for dependents each year for the next 4 years. Our own negotiations this year, which will yield, on average, 4% annual raises for faculty, should keep most members’ pay well ahead of these increases, and we do retain the option to reopen our contract to negotiate on health coverage should premiums rise at unsustainable levels (Article VI.C.2).

 

We hope this information helps you better understand upcoming changes to your health care costs and options, and invite you to email us directly if you have further questions, at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

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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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21 Feb Are Faculty Naive?

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  • 120 faculty met yesterday to discuss bargaining, UIC finances, and our values.
  • Faculty proposals further UIC’s education mission at a tiny fraction of revenue surplus.
  • BARGAINING SESSION 18: Fri, 2/22, 1-4pm @SCE Tower, Rm 603
  • ORGANIZER TRAININGS: Open to all interested members, Mon, 2/25, 3-5pm and Tues, 2/26, 12-2pm @UICUF offices 1016W. Jackson Blvd.


120 union members met yesterday to discuss contract bargaining, university finances, and our shared values. For many attending, the budget figures we looked at were revelatory, as was the reality of Administration’s resistance to faculty proposals.

Admin negotiators have repeatedly asserted that faculty are acting naively at the bargaining table, that the finances are set and nothing can be changed. But if naivete means believing a better university is possible, or challenging Admin’s narrow view of what’s possible in a labor contract, the energy in the room yesterday suggests we have a whole lot of naive faculty at UIC.

Naive to Think Education is a Priority?
Our economic proposals represent less than 2% of the university’s revenue surplus this year–yet we are naive to think that education, and those who work to provide it, should be a priority in a university’s budget. Administration warns (read: threatens) tuition hikes and lay-offs if salaries rise, even though the latest financial reports describe a very healthy balance sheet for UIC. Additionally, Gov. Pritzker just proposed a 5% increase in higher education funding, and states have been reversing spending cuts for over a year now (the trend is still going strong). Admin would have us believe they need maximum flexibility in case we regress into abject austerity, recent news notwithstanding. How naive do they think we are?

A Naivete Worth Fighting For
So when Administration points to our proposals for fair salaries, for hiring faculty to keep up with enrollment, for protecting shared governance and academic freedom, and calls us naive, maybe they’re right. We believe UIC can do better. We believe education should be a funding priority. We believe faculty deserve more from a labor contract. That’s the kind of naivete worth fighting for.

No Substitute for Experience
The best way to know the truth of something is to experience it first hand. Come to our bargaining session tomorrow, Friday, 2/22/19, 1-4pm @Student Center East Tower, Room 603. Over 100 members have come to observe and caucus with the team to date, and we encourage you to join us in this eye-opening experience. If you cannot attend bargaining, consider training with the UICUF organizing team around contract action issues. Trainings will be held Monday, 2/25, from 3-5pm and Tuesday, 2/26, from 12-2pm at the UICUF offices (1016W. Jackson Blvd). RSVP to UICUFJeff@gmail.com if you are able to attend either event.

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Until we win a fair contract, we will be issuing regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and here on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we can make UIC an even better place to work and learn!

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25 Jan Tentative Movement in Negotiations, Long Journey Still Ahead

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  • UICUF and Admin teams make good-faith moves on some articles
  • Admin still seeking to curtail key proposals on shared governance
  • Admin pleads poverty over raises, new tenure lines, amidst billion-dollar expansion plans
  • TAKE ACTION: Attend the U of I BoT meeting 9:30-11:30am, 1/31/19, @SCW


Both Sides Reassert Desire for Progress
In the first negotiating session between UICUF and Administration in 2019, the Admin team returned to the table with some concessions, recognizing that faculty can and will stand firm on our principles. Despite these moves, many issues remain unaddressed or dismissed outright. Proposals to enhance shared governance in certain areas, which is of particular importance to the union, still seems contentious for Admin negotiators. Meanwhile, UICUF presented counter proposals as well, revising some of our own language to create space for dialogue.   

University Growth: It’s About More Than New Buildings
We began this process with high expectations, especially in light of all the positive developments for the University. In contrast to the backdrop of previous negotiations, UIC is currently expanding. Plans to dramatically increase enrollment are being matched with a billion-dollar plan to build new facilities. Amidst this rapid growth, it seemed like a no-brainer that the faculty would share in the prosperity, with raises to catch up from the lean austerity years, and to support a growing student body. Our proposals at the bargaining table reflected this optimism. Unfortunately, our proposals to make faculty wages competitive were not met with the same enthusiasm Administration seems to have for new buildings. Given the contemporary example of Wright State, which has pushed faculty to tighten belts while their board prioritizes other projects, we’re very wary of any similar dynamic developing at UIC.

Act Now to Support a Fair Contract
At this time, after more than six months of negotiations, we remain far from what our negotiation team considers a fair contract. With our priorities clearly on the table, and the board’s only Chicago meeting of the semester coming up on Thursday, January 31st, we are encouraging members to join us from 9:30-11:30 at Student Center WEST to demonstrate our commitment to winning a fair contract. Email UICUFJeff@gmail.com to RSVP to this event.  

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Until we win a fair contract, we will be issuing regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and here on our website. We encourage everyone to like and follow us on social media. If you want to contribute your story, pictures, video, or other content related to the activities of the union, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we can make UIC an even better place to work and learn!

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24 Jan University of Illinois at Chicago United Faculty Stands with Wright State Faculty

Dear colleagues at Wright State University,

The faculty union at UIC is in full and steadfast support of striking faculty and students at Wright State University. You are on the right side of justice in this struggle, fighting for the soul of higher education.

Your courage to withhold your labor, which we know is hard to do, is really the only thing you can do in order to protect and improve your working conditions – your students’ learning conditions – when the administration stops negotiating with you. We all know that your strike, as opposed to their reaction to it, is truly right for students and Wright State University. And, no matter what they say, the university administration and trustees are responsible for the shutdown and for ending the strike.

Stand Strong!

Solidarity forever!

You will win this!

Janet Smith, President
UIC United Faculty, Local #6456 AAUP, AFT-IFT, AFL-CIO
#Fighting4Wright
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