Uncategorized

05 Dec Shared Governance is Your Right! What Shared Governance Should Look Like

uicufwebB

  • Shared governance is a pillar of our university’s policy-making processes, but to fully benefit, you need to exercise your rights!
  • Each academic unit should have clear, accessible bylaws, and an elected Advisory or Executive Committee, so that faculty can participate in the governance of their work
  • UICUF Staff are available to work with members on understanding and applying shared governance rights in your units. Contact UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if interested.

 

Shared governance is one of academia’s most cherished principles, giving faculty a voice in decision-making at all levels of the university. It is also one of UIC United Faculty’s core commitments as a union to make the promise of shared governance a reality by backing it with the power of collective bargaining. We’ve delivered on that commitment by enshrining many shared governance principles in our union contract, ensuring that your rights are enforceable.

To get the full benefit out of shared governance, however, faculty need to understand their rights in the university’s decision-making processes, and work to develop a culture of engagement in those processes. Today, we’re exploring how shared governance at the unit level should function, based on the UICUF contract and university statutes.

Clear and Accessible Bylaws
Unit bylaws can have a significant effect on how your work is defined, and how you are treated as an educator, researcher, and employee in your academic unit. These bylaws should be clearly written, and readily accessible to you. Your unit head or office administrator should be able to help you get a copy of them.

We strongly recommend familiarizing yourself with your unit bylaws, or at least having a copy handy. Bylaws typically will describe how a unit’s shared governance structure works, and per our union contract, they must include certain explanations and definitions, such as workload expectations and reappointment processes for NTT faculty. These explanations and definitions, in turn, must be created with input from faculty via shared governance.

Executive and Advisory Committees
Every unit must have either an Executive Committee (if your academic unit has a Chair) or an Advisory Committee (if your academic unit has a Head or Director). These committees are the backbone of shared governance for faculty at the unit level. They must be elected by faculty, and should be consulted by unit executive officers on changes to bylaws and the development of other policies. In particular, units must develop certain standards in consultation with these committees. Having a functional shared governance infrastructure, in which faculty regularly participate, is critical to ensuring your rights are enforced.

UICUF Shared Governance Workshops
Educating faculty members on their rights plays an important role in how UICUF enforces our union contract. To that end, we are continually offering trainings and workshops to help faculty better understand their contractual rights, and to help each academic unit address issues specific to their situation. UICUF staff are available to help you understand how shared governance should work, and to assist you in improving these processes for your academic unit.

If you have questions about how to obtain your unit bylaws, whether your bylaws and committees meet contractual requirements, or would like to arrange a discussion about shared governance with a union representative, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

21 Nov What To Do If You Think You Have A Grievance 

uicufwebB

  • While every workplace issue is unique, the UICUF grievance committee can offer advice and support.
  • Don’t wait to address it: The longer you wait, the harder it may be to deal with it, especially if it requires filing an official grievance.
  • Notify UICUF:  Most issues UICUF intervenes in are solved without formal grievance procedures, and your privacy is always a priority.
  • Write it all down: Keeping notes of the events that led you to contact your union can help you compose your thoughts, and serve as a reliable record during the grievance process.

 

Last week, we went into some detail about our new Grievance Committee and how it operates. This week, faculty were invited to attend grievance trainings to help members understand what a grievance is, and how the process works. Today we’re going to offer advice on how to proceed if you think you have grounds for a grievance.

Filing a grievance is a formal process for addressing a violation of the faculty contract. It is useful to know, however, that our grievance team commonly assists with issues that don’t rise to the level of a formal grievance. This leads us to our first and most important piece of advice.

Don’t Wait to Address the Issue
We’ve said this many times in communications in the past, and are repeating it here because it may be the single most important thing to remember when you’re facing a workplace issue: DON’T WAIT!

There are myriad practical reasons not to let a workplace issue linger unaddressed, from allowing bad behavior to become normalized, to risking further harm in the meantime. From a grievance standpoint, a failure to address an issue in a timely manner may mean sacrificing the option to file an official grievance at all.

Per our current contract, you have 30 days from when you should reasonably have known about an issue to file a grievance, and it is best to consider such an undertaking well ahead of that deadline when possible. The best thing to do if you’re experiencing a workplace issue is to get in touch with a union representative or email us at UICUnitedfaculty@gmail.com.

Notify UICUF
UICUF’s Grievance Committee, College Representatives, and trained staff, are all here for the express purpose of assisting faculty with workplace issues. We can advise and guide you in seeking informal solutions on your own, help organize a response with other colleagues experiencing similar problems, or intervene directly as appropriate.

We understand that considering taking this step can be daunting, and may bring up a lot of questions. For your peace of mind, we want our members to know first and foremost that we will always respect your confidentiality, and will work with you to develop a plan of action that you are comfortable with. With a team made up primarily of fellow faculty members, we are sensitive to concerns about hierarchical positions within the university, and the need to maintain relationships with colleagues long term. We work to resolve concerns informally where possible, and our team will not pursue an official grievance on your behalf without your knowledge and consent.

Keep Notes
If you are experiencing a workplace issue, we highly encourage you to take some notes on what happened/is happening. We’ve consistently found that simply writing things down helps members organize their thoughts and explain the situation in a clear and focused way. Especially in cases that do enter the official grievance process, notes can also provide a durable account of what happened, even if hearings take place weeks or months later. Taking a few minutes to write down your thoughts, and maintaining a record of related communications, can be tremendously useful!

A Few Words About Disciplinary Cases
While we actually have a whole other article about disciplinary issues, many of our most serious grievances come from cases of inappropriate discipline, so we wanted to cover a couple of basics here.

First, remember your Weingarten Rights. In short, these are your rights to have a union representative at any disciplinary meeting, including any meeting you think may lead to discipline. You’re also within your rights to stop a meeting in progress if you feel it has become disciplinary in nature. Critically, you must assert this right (simply stating you are asserting your Weingarten Rights to representation is sufficient), or you forfeit it.

Second, discipline may not be arbitrary and must be proportionate to the supposed infraction.. The disciplinary process should be positive and progressive in nature, meaning that its goal is to provide a path for improvement. The discipline should follow steps of increasing severity, but only if the issue isn’t resolved.

As always, if you have questions, or you think you may have a workplace issue that you want to discuss with a union representative, you can email us at UICUnitedFaculty@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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

 

Read More

15 Nov Always Someone To Talk To – UICUF Grievance Committee 

uicufwebB

  • There is always someone to talk to if you have a concern at work; don’t wait, contact your union if you think you need a hand!
  • UICUF’s Grievance Team has evolved since the union’s founding from a small, ad-hoc group of problem solvers, into a full committee with a grassroots structure.
  • If you’re interested in helping with grievance work, consider becoming a College Rep: some positions remain open, and there are elections coming in April 2020.
  • All members are invited to attend one of two 90-minute grievance training next week in UH2028 – 3:30-5pm, Tuesday, 11/19/19 OR 3-4:30pm, Wednesday, 11/20/19.

 

Did you know that the union has a committee dedicated to helping our members resolve situations in the workplace, like improper discipline, or failure to follow procedures around evaluations, discipline or pay determinations? UICUF’s Grievance Committee is always available to discuss your questions or concerns, and the absolute first thing we want you to know is this: DON’T WAIT!

If you are experiencing a problem at work, contact us ASAP. Even if it’s not an official grievance, the union may be able to help with advice or other informal problem-solving. If you do bring an issue to UICUF’s attention, we are committed to honoring confidentiality for our members, and will work with you at your discretion to find the best solution to the problems at hand.

What Is The Grievance Committee
UICUF’s Grievance Committee is a group of faculty dedicated to solving members’ issues, whether they ultimately result in a grievance, or can be resolved informally. The team is led by our Chief Steward, Robert Johnston, who has been working with members on their issues with the support of professional union staff since the union was formed.

This team couldn’t function, however, without the ground-up support of our College Representatives, each of whom is legally a Steward of the union, empowered to consult on issues with members. They provide a local voice and perspective on issues in their own Colleges, and act as an accessible link between the grievance team and individual members. You can visit our website to find your College Representatives if you ever need to contact them.

What Is The Grievance Committee Currently Working On
The Grievance Committee is, in some sense, always working to enforce our contract. This is often a matter of discussing contractual rights with faculty members, and informally working out solutions with program and departmental-level administrators. Over the last year, however, we have had a massive surge in grievance inquiries, including many that are serious infractions of the contract.

To address this influx, UICUF has recently revisited the role of the Grievance Committee in our bylaws, expanding it to include additional members so that they can handle the increased caseload. We are also holding more trainings for our College Representative so that they can be better Stewards at the local level and provide a more grass-roots response when issues affect more than just an individual.

Getting Involved
The best way to get involved with grievance support is to become a College Representative. There are currently open seats in some Colleges, and we will also be holding elections this coming Spring.

Want to learn more? We are holding grievance trainings for College Reps next week, and all UICUF members are welcome to join one of these sessions, to be held in University Hall 2028: 3:30-5pm, Tuesday, Nov, 19, and 3-4:30pm, Wednesday, Nov 20. Please RSVP with Jeff Edwards, UICUFJeff@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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

 

 

Read More

07 Nov Advocating for UIC in the UI System and State Legislature

uicufwebB

  • UICUF’s newly formed Advocacy Committee will look into budgets, funding formulas and other structural issues affecting education at UIC.
  • UI Board of Trustees to meet NEXT THURSDAY, 9am @Student Center West
  • Faculty Advisory Committee is open to new nominees. Submit your nominating petition by November 11 if you wish to be considered.

 

UICUF’s New Advocacy Committee
During contract negotiations last Spring we won many important victories for faculty, students, and the UIC community at large. However, it also became glaringly obvious that not everything we wanted to accomplish was going to be addressed at the bargaining table. Bigger issues, like state higher-education budgets, funding formulas that determine how those budgets are distributed, and other structural issues, are still determined largely in a black box, without meaningful transparency or accountability.

This realization inspired the creation of a new committee of UICUF members interested in digging into deeper issues of power and equity that affect the lives of faculty and students at UIC. Chief among these concerns are the mounting structural deficit that the UI Board has created through long-term tuition freezes, covered by the problematic stop-gap of raising campus fees and differentials that de facto continue increasing costs for students. This committee will also pursue greater transparency in how UofI’s budget is distributed amongst campuses.

If you’re interested in getting involved, contact Janet Smith. No financial or budgetary experience is necessary, as we will be building a broad coalition of faculty and students to push for greater transparency at the Board and State Legislative levels.

BoT Meets in Chicago Next Week
Whether you want to get more involved or just learn about how high level decisions for the UI system get made, going to next week’s Board of Trustees meeting is a great first step. Members who have attended in the past have described these proceedings as eye-opening, especially in how little attention is paid to one of the university’s primary functions, education. The meeting will be held here in Chicago, on UIC’s West Campus, in Student Center West, from 9am, Thursday, 11/14. If you are interested in joining other faculty going to the meeting, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

UIC Faculty Advisory Committee
Now is also the time if you want to get involved in a long-running UIC institution, the Faculty Advisory Committee (unrelated to the union’s Advocacy Committee described above), which directly advises the administration on issues affecting the university. Interested faculty need to submit a nominating petition by November 11th. Instructions are listed on the petition form, but only 3 signatures of colleagues are required for a nomination, and the completed form must be filed in the Senate office in UH. We hope some of our intrepid UICUF members will take an interest in serving on this important committee!

***

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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

03 Oct Meeting Recap – Our Fight is Far From Over

uicufwebB

  • 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!

***

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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

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

uicufwebB

  • 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!

***

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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

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

uicufwebB

  • 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.

***
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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

29 Aug An Important Message About Your Raises

uicufwebB

  • 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.

***

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!

doc00444220190829142414

Read More

23 Aug Back To School With Your Union

uicufwebB

  • 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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

02 Aug Know Your Contract – Technology

uicufwebB

  • 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.

***

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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

 

Read More