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10 May Solidarity with Mile Square Health Center NTT Faculty Nurses

The UIC administration has made the unilateral decision to close Mile Square Health Center in Humboldt Park, an academic, nurse-managed resource dedicated to providing healthcare to underserved and disenfranchised communities. The administration made this decision without input from its UIC faculty-nurses. 

Mile Square provides comprehensive primary care for minoritized populations, many of whom are below the Federal Poverty Level and are under or uninsured. This site also provides education programs and practice sites for physicians, nurses, certified nurse midwives, and pharmacy students. Importantly, most of the faculty that work at this practice are non-tenure track at UIC, one of our own most vulnerable populations. 

The closing of such a vital community and educational resource runs counter to UIC’s mission and UICUF’s dedication to protecting NTT faculty.

Please read the UICUF Executive Board’s full statement, written in collaboration with clinic nurses, below.

Statement on the Closing of Mile Square

Since 1998 the College of Nursing (CON) has operated a faculty practice that provided primary and mental health services for individuals with severe mental illness. In 2007 that clinic became part of the Mile Square family of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). It is a faculty practice owned by a College of Nursing and is also a FQHC within a large academic medical center. This collaboration is unique and enables patients access to both primary and specialty care regardless of ability to pay. Numerous CON students were precepted at Mile Square Humboldt Park (MSHP), and providers served as site project mentors for multiple DNP projects. At MSHP, students encountered a diverse, medically complex patient population in a non-stigmatizing environment.   

In January 2023, the College of Nursing announced that they will be closing their faculty practice in Humboldt Park. Upper Administration cited a financial deficit and pending property sale as reasons for the closure. Clinical faculty offered to apply for available funding with SAMHSA to keep the clinic open. The Administration, however, declined any offer of help from faculty or the community and did not make a good faith effort to seek funding, relocation, or any input from community partners, collaborating colleges, or any staff within the faculty practice prior to their closure decision.

The closure of MSHP is a failure to uphold the CON’s values of community partnership and investment that will leave the Humboldt Park community with one less resource to address the complex issues it faces. UIC United Faculty expresses strong concern for the effects this closure will have on both the clients and practitioners; at the same time, UICUF appeals to the Administration to make future decisions fully transparent and in line with the social justice values of the university.

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20 Apr Sign the UICUF Student Wellness Petition

UIC, keep your promise.

In January, we called off our strike after the UIC administration promised to increase mental health resources for our students and to include UICUF faculty members and students in the campus Wellness Committee.
 
It is now April, and the administration has failed to follow through on many of its promises.

  • Sign our PETITION that the UIC administration will follow through on its promises and will make public the entire American College Health Association report. 
  • Share the FLIER below with your students for the UICUF Student Wellness Study Break, Wed., April 26, 10 AM-2PM
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18 Apr Support UIC students

The end of the semester is hard on everyone–but UICUF members especially can help our students in three important ways:

UICUF is collaborating with the UIC Disability Cultural Center (DCC), the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence (CATE) to create a Fall 2023 workshop series focused on supporting faculty on inclusive classroom practices. These workshops will be for faculty, by faculty, and focused on what you want to know to transform your classroom. To help get us started, please choose what you would most like to discuss with your peers from the list below:

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12 Apr Illinois Universities on Strike!

Text reads “The Illinois Federation of Teachers stands with the faculty and staff at CSU, EIU, and GSU” on a green background with three dark green raised fists next to the text.

Three Illinois colleges are currently on strike, Governors State University, Eastern Illinois University, and Chicago State University, and all three faculty unions find themselves fighting against the same management playbook as we have seen here at UIC. Although faculty and students at these universities sacrificed during the years of budget cuts and wage freezes, their administrations have failed to prioritize the well-being of faculty and students even amid the current governor’s investment in rebuilding higher education in Illinois. Illinois universities can not move forward when university management continues treating faculty as they have in the past. 

Here are ways you can offer your support:

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03 Apr Solidarity with Chicago State University Faculty

Photo of bright blue UICUF logo screen printed on white paper. Blurred image of people on UIC Quad in background.
UICUF screen prints by Clinical Assistant Professor, William Estrada, School of Art & Art History

Solidarity with Chicago State University Faculty

  • Solidarity with striking faculty at Chicago State
  • UICUF Committee on Political Education (COPE) setting legislative agenda: corrected date
  • Remember to vote in Chicago municipal run-off election today or tomorrow

Solidarity with Faculty at Chicago State University, UPI Local 4100
Faculty at CSU have been working without a contract since August, and have been in negotiations with administrators since last June. Average CSU faculty salaries at every rank are the lowest of all state universities in Illinois, and CSU has the only majority-Black student body in the state. UPI Local 4100 members showed up in force to support our strike–it’s our turn to do the same for them!

We are assembling teams to go as a group on Thursday and Friday mornings this week. Please fill out this form to commit to join the CSU picket lines

We also encourage you to go on your own any day that you’re able. Picket lines will run 9:30-11:30 and 1:30-3:30 at 95th and King Drive, and there will be a rally at noon each day. Parking is at 201 E 95th Street (Wesley United Methodist Church). 

What More Can We Win? A Discussion with UICUF COPE
We fought hard to win a fair contract, but what more can we win? What didn’t make it into our contract that we can still fight for? UICUF’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) invites you to a discussion on Zoom to consider another venue where we can advance our goals as a union: the Illinois State Legislature.

The COPE will be holding one more Zoom discussion session. All union members and COPE contributors are invited to attend!
Friday 4/7 at 10a (Zoom Link)

Building on the support from legislators during our contract campaign, the COPE will be holding this session for existing contributors and union members to discuss possible legislation we can propose in Springfield. During this session Committee Chair Jeff Kessler will discuss COPE’s recent activities and discuss with union members possible legislative goals for UICUF in the coming year.
UICUF COPE is not funded with your UICUF dues–COPE members make separate monthly contributions to support its work. Click here for more information about UICUF COPE or to become a contributor.

Chicago Run-Off Election is Tomorrow
Tomorrow is the last day to vote and encourage others to vote in the mayoral and aldermanic elections! 
Chicagoans eligible to vote may register and vote at SCE Room 613 today until 5pm, and Tuesday 6am – 7pm. Please also encourage your students to vote and let them know that they can register or change registration to their current address at the polling location! Here is a document on how and where to vote throughout the city.

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27 Mar Post spring break MEMBERSHIP MEETING

UICUF Member Meeting
Wednesday, March 29, 3-4:30, 
Student Center East Illinois Room B and zoom.

Come to celebrate our union solidarity! The meeting will focus on UICUF initiatives moving forward from our contract victory–learn about ongoing committees and join fellow faculty in making UIC a better campus for our whole community. 

Other news:

What More Can We Win? A Discussion with UICUF COPE

We fought hard to win a fair contract, but what more can we win? What didn’t make it into our contract that we can still fight for? UICUF’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) invites you to a discussion on Zoom to consider another venue where we can advance our goals as a union: the Illinois State Legislature.

The COPE will be holding two Zoom discussion sessions. All union members and COPE contributors are invited to attend!

Building on the support from legislators during our contract campaign, the COPE will be holding two sessions for existing contributors and union members to discuss possible legislation we can propose in Springfield. During these sessions Committee Chair Jeff Kessler will discuss COPE’s recent activities and discuss with union members possible legislative goals for UICUF in the coming year.

UICUF COPE is not funded with your UICUF dues–COPE members make separate monthly contributions to support its work. Click here for more information about UICUF COPE or to become a contributor.

Brandon Johnson Meet and Greet: 

The UICUF Executive Board officially announced its endorsement of Chicago Mayoral candidate Brandon Johnson on March 14th after a poll of union members showed widespread agreement. Meet Brandon Johnson, April 2, 1-4 pm, 3410 W. Lake St. This event is co-hosted by UICUF member Saria Lofton, Assistant Professor of Population Health Nursing. (Details forthcoming from Saria!)

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14 Mar UICUF Executive Board endorses Brandon Johnson for Chicago Mayor

Brandon Johnson with AFT President Randi Weingarten on the first day of our strike. 

Last week, UIC United Faculty’s executive board voted to recommend that the union endorse Brandon Johnson for mayor because of his strong commitment to public education and organized labor. In a poll of all union members, 75% of participating members voted for UICUF to endorse Brandon. We are excited to support a mayoral candidate who will support us, our students, and our families. 

Encourage your students to vote!
Regardless of who you support in this election, you can help make sure that your students’ voices are heard! Young people often have very low voter turnout. This message from the UIC Chancellor’s office contains UIC-specific as well as general municipal election resources.

Early Voting on Campus
Student Center East tower, Room 613 
March 20 – April 3
Weekdays 9am – 6pm, Saturdays 9am – 5pm, Sundays 10am – 4pm 


Public Safety Forum on Campus – TODAY, March 14 
4:30 – 6:00 pm at the UIC Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Rd

Come hear from both mayoral candidates about their plans for making Chicago a safer city. If you have not yet decided on your vote for mayor, this is a great opportunity to hear directly from the candidates about their visions for Chicago: https://mayoralforum23.rsvpify.com/ 


IFT Day of Action – Saturday, March 18
1 – 4pm at 1901 W Carroll Ave, Chicago, IL 60612

The Illinois Federation of Teachers, one of our parent unions, has organized a day of action this coming weekend for IFT members to help campaign for Brandon. Recruit a friend and sign up to canvas with your union siblings from across the city: https://www.mobilize.us/ctu/event/554057/

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02 Mar Contract Implementation Updates

Photo of bright blue UICUF logo screen printed on white paper. Blurred image of people on UIC Quad in background.
UICUF screen prints by William Estrada
  • Administration misses February 9 deadline to add additional representation to Well-being Framework Steering Committee
  • American College Health Association meets with students, faculty, and staff focus groups this week
  • Fill out this form to be a part of the UICUF organizing committee focusing on Student Wellness

Now that our new contract is executed and implementation has begun, we will be working to bring you continued updates on not only the substance of the contract, but what implementation looks like. We encourage you to reach out to UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com with questions about the contract or observations about ongoing implementation issues in your unit.

Student Wellness and Psychoeducational Resources

A major part of our bargaining strategy was to use our collective power as faculty to gain resources for our entire campus community, an approach known as “bargaining for the common good.” Our pre-bargaining season survey made clear that the number one priority UIC Faculty held for the UIC community was increased availability of and transparency around student wellness and psychoeducational resources. As a part of negotiations our Provost and Chancellor committed “to improving mental health care services for students and establishing psychoeducational testing on campus through transparent, collaborative, and accountable processes and continued support of the ongoing efforts by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Health and Wellness and the Disability Resource Center.” 

Faculty representatives have been learning more about the Well-being Framework Steering Committee (members listed at the bottom of this email) and their existing plans to expand resources. The key dates and commitments identified in a campus-wide announcement on January 24 include: 

  • February 9, 2023 – With additional representation from the Disability Resource Center, students, and faculty, the Well-being Framework Steering Committee will reconvene to discuss and develop next steps for the asset mapping and community engagement process. 
  • February 27, 2023 – The Well-being Framework Steering Committee will meet with the American College Health Association consultants during their site visit, which will include meetings with undergraduate, graduate and professional students, faculty and staff to learn about the experiences and challenges they have faced.  
  • By April 2023 – The American College Health Association consultants will provide the Assistant Vice Chancellor with recommendations for strengthening UIC’s ecosystem of care for students.
  • By August 2023, the Assistant Vice Chancellor and Well-being Framework Steering Committee will publish metrics, goals and timelines for this improvement process.

At this time, faculty union representative Nicole Nguyen, associate professor of Criminology, Law, & Justice and Educational Policy Studies, has helped populate the focus groups of student, faculty, and campus stakeholders to speak with consultants from the American College Health Association (ACHA) this week. We look forward to seeing what recommendations these visits elicit from the ACHA and how the Office of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Health and Wellness plans to implement them–information that should be available to us all sometime after spring break. However, we are disappointed that the administration has already failed to follow through on its commitment to add DRC staff, students, and faculty to the framework committee by February 9.

We want to keep organizing around this with UICUF members, students, staff, and other members of the community. Please fill out this form if you’d like to be a part of that and share it with anyone else you know who would like to be involved.

Well-being Framework Steering Committee Members:
Raphael Florestal-Kevelier, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Health and Wellness & Clinical Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences
Kathleen Kashima, Senior Associate Dean of Students, College of Medicine
Chandra Harris-McCray, Vice Chancellor for Strategic Marketing and Communications
Jason Huertas, Captain of Support Operations and Internal Affairs, UICPD
Galen Duncan, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Health, Wellness, and Performance
John Coronado, Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services
Geri Biamonte, Employee Assistance Practitioner
Rebecca Mischak, Director Physician Practice, University Health Service, Occupational Health Department
Michele Mariscalco, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences Academic Affairs
Josephine Volpe, Associate Vice Provost for Advising Development
David Marder, Medical Director, Occupational and Environmental Health Center
Francine Godwin, Senior Director, Creative and Digital Services
Masahito Jimbo, Department Head Family and Community Medicine
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24 Feb Chicago City Primary Election on Tuesday

UICUF Committee on Political Education Encourages You to Vote Tuesday


UICUF COPE encourages all eligible Chicago residents to vote in the primary election this coming Tuesday, February 28. As we saw enthusiastic support from elected officials during our strike, now is our time to make our voices heard and support candidates who share our pro-labor and pro-education values.
 
As you are likely aware, the Illinois Federation of Teachers has endorsed Brandon Johnson for mayor. Johnson attended and spoke at our rally on the first day of the strike, and was an enthusiastic supporter for UICUF. You can learn more about IFT’s support for Johnson here, as well as find opportunities to get involved with phonebanking and volunteering efforts.
 
You can find additional information and opportunities, as well as other local endorsements, from the Chicago Teachers’ Union here.
 
Note: Neither UICUF as a local affiliate of IFT nor the UICUF COPE currently make endorsements for city-level politics, although the COPE may revisit this decision in the future.
 
For more information about early voting and voting locations please visit the Chicago Board of Elections website.
 
UICUF COPE is not funded with your UICUF dues, but COPE members make separate monthly contributions to support its work. Click here for more information about UICUF COPE or to become a contributor.

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17 Feb Seeking Your Input Into Campus Masking Policy

Dear UICUF Members:

UIC administration announced today that, starting Monday 2/20, masking will be encouraged but not required in classrooms, lecture centers, research labs, libraries, and other campus spaces. 

The administration made this policy change without asking UICUF leadership or other campus unions for input. UICUF leadership would like to know your thoughts about this policy change to help guide our response and support our members. Please follow this link to answer a few questions for us.

In Solidarity,

The UICUF Executive Board

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