Uncategorized

30 Nov UICUF Bargaining Team Calls Strike for January 17 if Necessary

  • Member meeting update: UICUF members agree to set strike date for January 17
  • Please volunteer to be a picket captain or join the organizing committee
  • 3 more bargaining sessions this semester: Dec 6, Dec 9, Dec 12. 

Strike Readiness meeting update

After a well-attended and lively member meeting Monday evening, the UICUF Bargaining Committee has set January 17, 2023, as the tentative start to an indefinite strike if we are unable to secure a fair contract before then. We have all been working without a contract for almost a full semester now, and are committed to not let that continue into the spring. 

Pulling off a strong strike takes input from everyone. We’re asking union members to sign up to be picket captains and to join an organizing committee that will help plan actions each day of a potential strike. These are crucial roles to help union leaders and staff prepare for a strike and to help mobilize other union members to participate. 

Bargaining Update

With three more sessions scheduled before the end of the current semester, we remain far apart from management on a number of issues crucial to making UIC an excellent place to work and learn. 

  • We seek raises that reward merit and address compression and equity, on top of keeping up with inflation. The standing offer from the administration would constitute an effective pay cut, given inflation. What they are offering for the next two years wouldn’t make up for the inflation of the past year.
  • We seek greater job security and support for NTT faculty–now nearly half of UIC’s faculty–including earlier notice of reappointment, rolling contracts, protections against workload creep, and access to professional leaves. The administration will not entertain any of this.
  • We seek a system of progressive discipline for tenured and tenure-track faculty that NTT faculty already enjoy. The administration has rejected our efforts to specify due process rights for tenured and tenure-track faculty. 
  • We want to require that administrators who ignore faculty votes in the shared governance process explain their rationale for rejecting faculty advice. The administration does not think that faculty deserve to know why their advice was not followed.
  • We seek a minimum level of mental health care for our students, as well as access for UIC students to the same free evaluation for learning disabilities that students at UIUC enjoy. The administration doesn’t think such things belong in our contract, and hasn’t committed to realizing these support systems through other means.

Please join the bargaining team at our remaining three sessions and make your voice heard!

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 Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

Read More

24 Nov Strike-Readiness member meeting Monday, November 28, 5pm, Hull House and on Zoom

With Gratitude and Thanks

During this short fall break, we want to depart from our usual messaging to offer something more personal. We have been sending bargaining updates for over seven months, usually without good news. Looking back, it would be easy to feel like the work many UIC faculty engage in remains invisible or unappreciated. We would like to ask that everyone reading this message take a moment and acknowledge the amazing service we as a faculty provide the UIC campus, its students, and its communities. It would be easy to feel overlooked by what has been offered at the table. But the phenomenal work you do, the extra mile you walk, and the intellectual joy and empathy with which you serve your students and communities is not invisible–your work is viewed by your community with gratitude. Your students and your colleagues are thankful for you. The bargaining committee has been listening, and we hope to offer you a contract soon that matches the value of your labor, or fight by your side to make that happen.


Status of Negotiations

On Tuesday, management presented a proposal for a two-year contract that, given the current rate of inflation, would effectively cut faculty pay. We remain far apart on NTT job security, TT progressive discipline, and institutional commitments to provide essential support for faculty work. We have had some positive convergence on language regarding bullying, shared governance, and workload policies, but those issues remain unsettled.

We invite all members to deliberate the next steps at a Strike Readiness meeting Monday, November 28th 5pm at Hull House or via Zoom. We will settle on benchmarks for declaring a strike, form a strike organizing committee, and kick off recruitment of strike captains. 


Attend Bargaining!

Attending bargaining allows you to see for yourself what is going on, allows you to provide input to our team during caucuses, and demonstrates to our team and to the administration that our bargaining team has faculty support. You can always attend via zoom, or in person. 

Upcoming sessions:

  • Monday, November 28, 10-1, SCE White Oak Room (Please plan to attend this important session and then follow up at the Strike-Readiness meeting with your thoughts.)
  • Tuesday, December 6, 12:30-2:30, SCE White Oak Room
  • Monday, December 12, 10-1, SCW 206

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 Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

Read More

09 Nov Strike Authorization Vote Next Monday & Tuesday

  • Remember to cast your vote online or in-person Monday, Nov 14 or Tuesday, Nov 15.
  • Analysis of UIC financial resources this Thursday 11.10–both UICUF members and nonmembers are encouraged to attend.

***

On Monday, November 14 and Tuesday, November 15, we will be holding a vote for union members to decide whether to authorize the bargaining committee to call a strike if they think it’s necessary to reach a fair contract. It is important to note that even if you have committed to vote for strike authorization, you will still need to cast your ballot on Monday or Tuesday. Vote commitments are a way to get the word out and assess member support, but they do not count as an actual vote. Voting will take place online and in person on both days. All votes are confidential; union staff and volunteers will know whether you voted, but not how you voted. 

Online Voting

Online voting will be through the website ElectionRunner.com. On Monday, look out for an email from Election Runner that will contain a personalized link to vote, as well as a unique Voter ID and Voter Key to sign into the website. 

Online voting will be open for 48 hours from Monday at 12:01am to Tuesday at 11:59pm. 

In-Person Voting

We will also have in-person voting locations both days. UICUF members will be in the lobbies of the following buildings from 9am to 3pm: 

Monday, Nov 14: 

  • University Hall (601 S. Morgan St.) 
  • Science and Engineering Offices (851 S. Morgan St.) 
  • Student Center West (828 S. Wolcott Ave.) 

Tuesday, Nov 15:

  • University Hall (601 S. Morgan St.) 
  • Engineering Research Facility (824 W. Taylor St.) 
  • School of Public Health (1603 W. Taylor St.)

If you would like to volunteer to help staff one of these voting stations, let us know at uicunitedfaculty@gmail.com

Presentation on University Finances this Thursday

Join us this Thursday, Nov 10 from 3:30-4:30pm for a presentation on UIC finances by Howard Bunsis, Professor of Accounting at Eastern Michigan University. Professor Bunsis analysis of University finances is crucial to help us understand the larger context of discussions about faculty salaries and other economic issues at the bargaining table and beyond. We encourage all members of the UIC community to attend and learn about UIC’s financial situation.  Bunsis’s compelling, deeply empirical argument: the university has many more financial resources than the administration is willing to admit.  Please feel free to invite your colleagues.

The presentation will take place in Lecture Center D, Room 5 and via zoom. Bunsis will be presenting a more thorough version of the analysis he shared at our UICUF member meeting in September and responding to questions and comments.

Read More

02 Nov Negotiations Enter New Phase

  • You can read management’s proposals on raises and reappointment here. Union proposals are in red and crossed out. Management proposals are in blue. Agreed-upon language is green. 
  • Our next scheduled session is Monday, November 7 from 10am-1pm in Student Center East White Oak room and via zoom.
  • We need members to commit now to voting for strike authorization to give the bargaining committee the leverage we need to make movement at the table. Tell us when and where you plan to vote.

Mediation

On Monday, contract bargaining entered the new stage of third party mediation prompted by  recognition on both sides that conversations have reached a point needing facilitation. Mediation represents a necessary legal step as our union moves towards a strike authorization vote and potential strike. While we are hopeful that mediation will help us reach more agreements, we also need our colleagues’ support for strike authorization so we will be ready to take action–if that proves necessary. 

The mediator stressed the need for respect in the mediation process and asked both sides to  show restraint by not broadcasting any discussions observed at the table on social media in order to promote an honest and transparent exchange during negotiations.


Updates on proposals
During the session, the UICUF bargaining team and the management team reached tentative agreements on Article X. Academic Freedom and Article XVII. Access to Personnel File. 

The UICUF team also passed new counters on five non-economic articles now in management’s court. In these articles, we reasserted some previous positions, and conceded others to management. While some of the issues we conceded remain very important to us, we understand that bargaining requires concessions on both sides. We chose to let some things in these articles go to be able to fight harder for the remaining issues, including: protections against bullying, greater access to and transparency in shared governance processes, a clear progressive discipline process for all faculty, greater transparency around the Office for Access and Equity, paid release time for key union officers, and a grievance process that provides real protections to our members.

We also responded to management’s side letter asking for our agreement to suspend the raises given to Bridge to Faculty members by countering with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) asserting our belief that the raises should not only be continued for B2F faculty, but that all bargaining members be granted access to the 3.5% campus wage raise pool. 


Attend the next session
Our next scheduled session is Monday, November 7 from 10am-1pm in Student Center East White Oak room and via zoom. The UICUF team will bring our responses to management’s counter proposals on compensation and reappointment. We ask that everyone who is able to please join and observe the session to stay informed as we move towards a strike authorization vote. Per the mediator’s request, we ask that members not record or post on social media about the negotiating sessions; it is important during this stage that we focus on the positions and issues at stake in this contract.

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 Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)
Read More

26 Oct Strike Authorization Vote November 14-15

We knew before yesterday’s bargaining session that the UIC administration will provide nothing without serious pressure from union members. The initial proposals on compensation and reappointment that management presented yesterday only confirm that UICUF members will need to show we are willing to strike before we can achieve a fair contract. Union members will have the opportunity to vote on November 14 and 15 to authorize the bargaining committee to call a strike if it proves necessary. We know from past contracts and other unions’ experiences that this is unfortunately a standard part of the way that university administration handles all contract bargaining at UIC.
The time has now come upon us.

We need members to commit now to voting for strike authorization.
Tell us when and where you plan to vote by clicking here. 

UIC management asserts the need to “hold the line

Bargaining Update

UIC faculty say in exit interviews and surveys that they leave UIC to join other universities because of “better offers,” “family commitments,” and “financial security.” Yesterday, the management team showed unwillingness to make any effort to remedy or rectify those problems. 

The next session is Monday, October 31 at the White Oak Room, Student Center East from 10-1pm and via zoom. Please plan to attend if you are able.

Compensation

UIC management expressed the need to “hold the line” on faculty salaries for the next four years and “no interest” in a pay increase to address historic inflation. The management team also offered meager pools for compression and equity because they believe these issues have been remedied as a result of past contracts. 

The counter they brought on compensation is significantly lower than our proposals, and lower than the economic compensation package in our contract four years ago. We have asked for a 23% increase in raise pools over three years, and management returned with an offer of a 14%  increase over four years. In our last contract, raise pools totaled 16% over four years. Our members have experienced historic inflation. Agreeing to their counter proposal, or anything close to it, would result in a real pay cut each year for the next four years. A tenure-track assistant professor told us during caucus that she will no longer be able to afford daycare unless she gets a more realistic raise. She mentioned that she depends on daycare to be able to produce the quality scholarship and teaching that is expected from her at UIC. Management’s compensation proposal would not only fail to help people in situations like hers, but would make things worse as inflation continues.

When the 3.5% campus wage program was announced for this academic year, management made the conscious decision–according to labor relations lawyer Hubert Thompson–to withhold these wage pools from bargaining unit members while the contract was being negotiated, though this is by no means required by law. Despite submitting all of our proposals before our previous contract expired, bargaining unit members have been working without a contract, and without a raise, since August 16. 

Management also introduced a side letter regarding the suspension of raises that were “inadvertently” given to Bridge to Faculty (B2F) members this semester due to the administration’s delay in implementing a labor board decision that added B2F scholars to our bargaining unit. Management asked the union to agree that the current pay of B2F faculty be cut starting in November and revert to pre-August rates. It is the position of the union that ALL bargaining unit members should already be receiving campus wage increases, and that additional raise pools won in the faculty contract be applied on top of campus wage (retroactively) after contract ratification. To suggest that we instead agree to cut the pay of some of our most junior faculty shows that management is far removed from the realities faculty are living with. 

Job Security

Management also brought their first counter on reappointment and held the line on maintaining flexibility for administrators at the expense of insecurity for NTT faculty. Benjamin Superfine, a new addition to the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, also explained that the administration will not agree to any sort of expectation of reappointment for faculty on multi-year contracts or earlier notice of reappointment. They want colleges to be able to ensure all classes are the maximum size by making late summer personnel decisions, regardless of the costs such last-minute appointments bring to faculty and their families.

Sabbaticals and Leaves

Beyond their shocking offers regarding pay, UIC management fully rejected the possibility of professional leave for non-tenure track faculty, who constitute more than 45% of the total faculty. The administration’s position is to continue the practice of denying NTT faculty access to sabbaticals–a crucial part of professional development. Many NTT faculty have worked at UIC for 15 years or more, and they’ve never had (and will never have, if management has its way) the opportunity to take a paid leave to reinvigorate their teaching or focus on research pursuits. Furthermore, the management team suggested that even a faculty member who has been at UIC for decades is ultimately no more than a contract employee here for 3 years at a time and therefore does not merit professional leave. The management team also rejected all of our proposals for bringing parental leave in line with peer institutions and clarifying the policies around modified duties. Instead, they replaced it with a vague and unenforceable statement about “creating a family/life/friendly work environment.”

Between denying faculty the dignity of a salary that reflects the value they add to the university, and refusing NTT faculty greater job security or the opportunity to apply for professional leave, UIC management is sending a clear signal to bargaining unit members about our perceived worth. It’s time to respond with a clear signal of our own. Commit today to vote “yes” to empower the bargaining committee to call for a strike if management continues to fail to agree to the contract we deserve. 

Tell us when and where you plan to vote: https://airtable.com/shru2zxLMtGoEws9t.

You can read the details of all the proposals management presented today here. Union proposals are in red and crossed out. Management proposals are in blue. Agreed-upon language is green.

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 Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

Read More

13 Oct UICUF Bargaining for the Common Good

Silence on Salary

At bargaining session 15 earlier this week, UIC management returned four articles to us, with nearly everything we had proposed crossed out, while continuing to sit on our salary proposal, which they have had since August 8. They have offered no explanation for their delay, and no explanation for why they will not allocate the 3.5% merit raise pool that non-unionized University of Illinois employees have already received. Many faculty are hearing from unit heads and deans that “union negotiations” are holding up the allocation of the merit money, but there is no legal reason for the University to do so. Management stalls at the bargaining table, while inflation effectively delivers us all pay cuts.


Supporting Our Students

Among the proposals that the administration flat-out refuses to discuss are things that would benefit the entire University community, especially our students. We have proposed a modest expansion of on-campus counseling services for students, staff, and faculty so that everyone in need would be guaranteed at least four counseling sessions per semester. We have also proposed that our students have access to free learning disability assessment, just like students at UIUC already have. The administration asserts that services for students don’t belong in a faculty labor contract, but our members tell us that they are seeing an increasing need for emotional support for their students that exceed faculty members’ own time limits and professional abilities. Because we are concerned for our students’ well-being, and because this growing phenomenon is in fact an important part of our own working conditions, these common-sense proposals belong in our labor contract. 

We have also proposed that faculty no longer be designated “mandatory reporters” of sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination, but instead leave it to survivors to have the autonomy to determine who is told about their experiences. The University administration currently mandates that faculty report, within 24 hours, to the Office for Access and Equity (OAE) any information they receive from a survivor about their experiences. OAE is an investigatory entity accountable only to the Chancellor, and inevitably tied up with questions of University legal liability. Not every survivor wants to share with OAE: not immediately after an incident, and sometimes not ever. For this reason, the bargaining committee would like to focus faculty responses to disclosures of abuse on survivor support and agency. We have an excellent Campus Advocacy Network that is an actual advocate for survivors, not an unaccountable investigative entity. 

Finally, we have proposed a process for identifying and addressing deficiencies in availability of gender-inclusive restrooms, and to make dedicated refrigeration available to those expressing and storing milk.


Let’s Take Action and Get This Done!

If we want to see management movement on these common good agenda items, as well as on our other proposals, UICUF members and allies need to show their support. You can do that by showing up for the next bargaining session on Monday the 17th,10am-1pm, SCW 206, or via zoom. You are welcome to come and go as you are able, and to join discussions with other UICUF members during caucus sessions and in the post-bargaining debrief. 

Also, we are holding our first rally of the semester to help people learn more about our common good agenda items, and to show support for them. Join us Thursday, October 20, noon, outside Grant Hall. Please indicate here your commitment to attend.

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 Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

Read More

04 Oct “No” is not Negotiation

  • UIC UF bargaining team raises possibility of mediation
  • Management team resists, stating “No is a resolution.”
  • Attend the next bargaining session on Tuesday, October 11th@12:30pm via Zoom or in-person SCE605

***

At bargaining session 14, UIC management brought a number of articles for which they stated there was no more forward movement possible from their side. These articles included Article IV. Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment; Article VIII. Union Membership and Activity; Article XI. Governance; Article XII. Hours of Work and Commitment; Article XV. Discipline and Dismissal; and Article XVIII. Grievance and Arbitration. 

They did not return with a counter proposal on either of our economic proposals, Article VI. Compensation, Leaves and Group Health, which they have had since August 8, nor Article IX: Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure, which they have had since July 25. We were told they should have a response to these proposals “by the end of the month.”

After some back and forth, the UICUF team felt that there was actually some possible movement left in Article XII. Hours of Work and Commitment–at least from our side, in response to management’s stated concerns–but we could not simply agree to management’s ultimatums on the other articles. After caucus, we asked again if there was truly no more negotiation from their side on the remaining articles, and were, again, told there was not. We asked if it was their intention to stop discussing these articles, and asked if there would be value in the bargaining team bringing counters to the next session? We were told there was not. Bargaining Co-chair Xóchitl Bada then raised 3rd party mediation (a common labor practice that has been used in all our prior rounds of contract bargaining with the management) as a possible source of resolution. Management’s response?

“We already resolved things. No is a resolution.”

That is not how bargaining works. 

Bargaining session 15 will be held on Tuesday, October 11 from 12:30pm-2:30 pm. The administration team will be meeting with us via Zoom; members of the bargaining committee will be meeting both in-person in Student Center East room 605 and via Zoom. We encourage every UICUF member to witness the bargaining sessions for themselves, and share their insights with the team during caucus. It is understandable that members cannot stay for an entire session–feel free to drop in as you are able. But please plan to attend via Zoom or in-person next Tuesday to show that faculty have grown tired of management’s stalling and refusal to negotiate on key issues–and we have grown tired of working without a contract.

We want a fair contract NOW.

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 Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

Read More

23 Sep Contract Bargaining: Present and Future

  • On Monday, the UICUF bargaining team returned all articles in our court to the management team; Management returned three, mostly just crossing out all of our proposals. 
  • Management is still sitting on our key economic proposals with no response for six weeks.
  • All members are encouraged to attend the next bargaining session, Thursday, September 29, 12:30-2:30, Student Center West 206 and on zoom.

***

Bargaining Update

Our proposals on articles dealing with compensation, appointment, and reappointment are still sitting unanswered by the management team, even though they received our compensation proposal six weeks ago, and our appointment and reappointment proposal three months ago. On Tuesday our team presented counter proposals on all articles that had been in our court. It is up to management to move the negotiation process forward.

We did receive three counter proposals from the management team. While we are finding some common ground on physical conditions, they reject clarification of shared governance rights and intellectual property rights as well as inclusion of guarantees of mental health services to students, staff, and faculty. 

They insist that the administration is already doing what it can regarding mental health, and insist that the issue of student and staff well-being doesn’t belong in a faculty labor contract. Our position is that the mental health of students and staff is part of faculty working conditions: when students’ mental health needs are not met by the counseling center, the work falls upon faculty in a variety of ways. We believe that UIC students are entitled to all the services currently available to students at UIUC, which is not currently the case. In particular, we are demanding that, like at UIUC, UIC students have access to free learning disability assessment upon demand.

The administration is questioning the need to increase enforcement mechanisms guaranteeing equitable access to shared governance across colleges and units and denying increased support via the contract for member mentorship for career advancement (we were told that is another issue management is currently working on). They prefer to invest in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity and pay $4,650 dollars per faculty member for a faculty success program instead of investing up to $500 to reimburse their own faculty who are willing to serve as mentors to junior and associate faculty.

***

Next Week and Beyond: Attend and Testify

The next bargaining session will be Thursday, September 29, from 12:30-2:30, at Student Center West 206, viewable on zoom. We encourage all members to come to this session to see for yourself how this process is playing out, and to show support for our bargaining committee. All members are welcome to participate in caucus discussion during and after the session. If you cannot attend next week, please check our union calendar for future dates, and commit to coming to at least one session in the next month.

We are also looking for people interested in testifying during bargaining about issues of concern to you. In particular for upcoming sessions, we are looking for people to speak about the failures or inconsistencies of shared governance in their units or colleges, lack of mental health services, or mentoring (as a mentor or mentee). If you would like to explore this possibility, please reach out to us at uicunitedfaculty@gmail.com. Any member can send testimonies to the bargaining committee to be shared at the bargaining table. Members who volunteer their testimony can always remain anonymous upon request.

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 Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

Read More

12 Sep You’re Invited: Member Meeting Thursday

  • Join the UICUF fall general member meeting this Thursday! 3-4:30pm at Hull House (800 S. Halsted). 
  • Bargaining continued this morning. Management has no plans to present an economic counter proposal in the near future. 
  • Next session: Tuesday, September 20, 12:30-2:30. In person in SCE & on zoom.

***

Bargaining Update

In our eleventh bargaining session this morning, the management team finally brought a counter on Article XII, Hours of Work and Commitment. Their counter shows some progress, but we still have a long way to go on the key issue of protecting faculty against workload creep. Management has made no commitments on when they will bring their initial counters on the articles that deal with compensation, reappointment and promotion, discipline and dismissal, or institution commitments to faculty. They explicitly said that they do not intend to present any counter proposal on the economic articles until we’ve made enough progress for them on the non-economic issues. How much progress is enough? They didn’t say, but we won’t see any raises until the contract is settled, and it is clear that management is stalling.

The next bargaining session will be Tuesday, September 20 from 12:30-2:30. We are encouraging all members to come to this session to show management that you’re watching. The management team will not move until we can apply pressure beyond bargaining. Join us in person in the White Oak Room in Student Center East or on zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86484958145?pwd=QlJVSUdkWDhQeEF6UkZ6SjhwbzJNQT09

***

Member Meeting This Thursday

In the meantime, we want to see all of you at the fall membership meeting this Thursday, Sept 15 from 3 to 4:30pm at Hull House (800 S. Halsted). We will discuss bargaining with union leadership and receive a report from Eastern Michigan Accounting Professor Howard Bunsis on his financial analysis of UIC. Food and drinks will be available outside after the meeting. It is crucially important for union members to come to this meeting to learn more about how to support the bargaining team and what we expect for the semester to come. Those unable to attend in person may request a zoom link by writing to UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

Read More

08 Sep Management is Stalling

UICUF members, bargaining committee leadership, and staff deliver our Intent to Bargain on March 16th, 2022 after our spring membership meeting.
  • UIC management fails to offer counters on 6 key articles, all in their possession for a month or longer
  • Next bargaining session is in-person, Monday, September 12, 10:00-1:00 on West Campus, Student Center West, Room 206AB. All members are encouraged to attend.
  • Fall Membership Meeting Thursday, September 15 @ 3pm at Hull House!

***

Bargaining update

Five months in, and with faculty raises pending until the contract is settled, they need to stop stalling and bring serious counter-proposals, and real decision-makers, to the table. 

After declining to schedule a negotiation session last week, citing the need to work on counter proposals with their new labor relations lawyer, the management team brought only one counterproposal to Tuesday’s meeting–and this counter on Governance was a simple reversion to their previous language. In short, management asked for an extension, but brought no work to show for the extra time. They have not presented any counters on six crucial articles: 

  • Article IV. Compensation, Leaves and, Group Health
  • Article VII. Institutional Commitments
  • Article IX. Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, Layoff, and Recall
  • Article XII. Hours of Work and Commitment
  • Article XV. Discipline and Dismissal
  • Article XXIV. Teaching Professor Ranks and Conversion. 

On a number of other articles, they continue to pass counters that reject almost everything we offer with little or inconsistent explanation and no alternative language. 

On Tuesday our team delivered counterproposals on Article VIII. Union Membership and Activity; Article XIII. Health and Safety; Article XIV. Physical Conditions; and Article XVIII. Grievance and Arbitration. After 45 minutes of caucus time, management came back with counters on VIII & XVIII–suggesting to us that, in fact, they have the potential to produce counterproposals when they put in the effort; they just don’t seem to be doing so between meetings.

When asked when the bargaining team could expect counters on compensation, management had no response but suggested that they would offer proposals on Article IX. Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, Layoff and Recall and Article XII. Hours of Work and Commitment next week at our in-person bargaining session on Monday, Sept 12 from 10am-1pm at Student Center West, Room 206AB. We strongly encourage members to join us to see the bargaining process for yourself and offer advice during caucus discussion! 

Join us in SCW or listen in on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85667197005?pwd=eHBBNUtrcnBDdjRGczFVUmxqdjJpdz09 

Bargaining Timeline and Retroactive Compensation

The administration has not offered us the U of I 3.5% campus wage raise, arguing upcoming contract negotiations supposedly prevent them from doing so (nothing in the university rules nor labor laws prevent this). At the same time, we have negotiated since April and have yet to receive a counter on our Compensation proposal. We feel a great sense of urgency around negotiations because we know that the sooner we settle the contract, the sooner we all will get our raises for this academic year, retroactive to August. At this point, 175 days have passed since we delivered our notice of intent to bargain and we have spent 22 hours at the bargaining table, but faculty have now been working without a contract for almost a month. The UICUF bargaining team signaled our interest in settling this contract before the previous one expired, and management consistently agreed.  Unfortunately, that deadline passed before the labor relations lawyer was even on board. In addition to stalling, management also isn’t bringing the real decision makers – the Chancellor, Provost, VC of Health Affairs, and VC of Faculty Affairs – to the table.  It’s time for management to get serious about bargaining. 

Member Meetings

We hope that you learned a lot about our platform and concrete proposals during the listening tours offered by the bargaining committee at various colleges in the past week. Two final meetings are still to come:

  • Friday, 9/9@10:30 AM in 1550 UH for the Humanities, Social Science, the Tutorium and Graduate College 
  • Friday 9/9@noon EMTWS Room 2233 for CADA and the Colleges of Education and Social Work. 

If you missed your college meeting, please be sure to join us at the all-member meeting on Thursday, September 15 at 3pm at Hull-House! Reach out to union staff at uicunitedfaculty@gmail.com for a remote option. We will have more discussion of the bargaining process, with a focus on our economic proposals. 

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 Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

Read More