02 Aug Know Your Contract – Technology
- Our union contract guarantees new computers for faculty every four years
- Replacements should occur on or before August 1st
- Computers can be chosen from ACCC supported options up to $1,500 + 3 year extended warranty (for a total 4 year warranty)
- Faculty are also entitled to classroom technology and printing support at all hours during which courses are scheduled, starting 30 minutes before the first class of the day
- This entry refers to Articles VII of the 2018-2022 NTT contract and TT contract
- Help welcome new faculty to UIC, the afternoon of August 21st. Sign up here.
No matter what field you work in, technology is an inseparable part of life at a modern university. In light of this reality, we’ve negotiated in our union contract to ensure that every faculty member has access to both a personal computer for their day-to-day work, as well as robust support for technology in the classroom. In this entry, we discuss what the contract has to say about your rights regarding workplace technology.
How Does The UIC Computer Program Work?
Per article VII.E of our contract:
“The University will provide each bargaining unit position a new computer not to exceed $1,500 (plus the cost of a three-year extended warranty) to be chosen from a set of available and supported configurations from the campus office of Academic Computing and Communications Center (ACCC).”
This is fairly straightforward. All faculty should be able to choose a computer which the university will provide, along with a 3 year extended warranty. To be extra-clear, the 3 year warranty is an extension over the standard 1 year warranties, so you should have a total of 4 years coverage. Also, the $1,500 limit is for the computer itself. The additional cost of extended warranties, where applicable, will be covered by the university in addition to this limit, not within it.
Can I Get A Computer If I Am A Visiting Or Adjunct Faculty Member?
Yes, as long as you are in our bargaining unit. Per the above contract language, the university must provide a computer for each position within the unit regardless of title, tenure, or performance. If your position is only in-unit intermittently because your percentage appointment is subject to change from semester-to-semester, you should still be entitled to a computer, at least during the time you are counted in the bargaining unit.
If you are unsure of your bargaining unit status, or feel you are being denied access to a computer inappropriately, contact us ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.
Do I Own This Computer?
No. While the computer is provided for your exclusive use by the university, its important to recognize that it is still university property. This has a number of implications. First, if you leave the university for any reason, you do have to return the computer. Second, you should use this computer, even if it is a laptop that you take home at the end of the day, in accordance with the norms of conduct befitting a workplace.
When Can I Replace An Old Computer?
If your university-provided computer is more than 4 years old, you are entitled to a replacement. Technically, your department should have already initiated this process back in January, and you should have received your new computer on or before August 1st.
If you need to seek a replacement computer, you should start by asking within your own department. If for any reason you have trouble obtaining a new/replacement computer to which you are contractually entitled, contact us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.
When Will Classroom Support Be Available?
Over the last year or two, the union has received a number of complaints that classroom support was not available throughout the day. Especially with the move to incorporate classes later in the evening, we prioritized negotiating for extended classroom support in the new contract.
Per article VII.F:
“The University shall provide classroom support during all hours in which courses are scheduled, including access to printers and technology support for classrooms with sufficient on-campus staff to facilitate timely support. This support shall commence at least a half hour before courses are scheduled.”
So in short, faculty should be able to expect support during or immediately before their classes meet, regardless of how early or late the class is scheduled. Printer access is also guaranteed. If you have trouble getting service in a timely manner, you can let us know at UICUnitedFacutly@gmail.com.
What About Intellectual Property?
While this is slightly tangential to the technology support in our contract, we did seek to head off some questions regarding ownership rights in relation to third-party agreements the university has with vendors, like Blackboard. Per Article VII.G:
“In accordance with the University of Illinois Statutes and General Rules Concerning University Organization and Procedures, faculty members shall retain ownership rights to traditional academic copyrightable work.”
This essentially reaffirms standing rules, but the underlying context is important. The university or its agents (read: administrators) cannot use third-party agreements to appropriate your work. If you suspect that your work is being used inappropriately without your permission, you should contact the union ASAP.
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