News

08 Apr GEO Files Intent to Strike; The Racial Consequences of Underfunding Public Higher Ed; UICUF Awards; AFT Survey of NTT Faculty 

  • UIC Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) files intent to strike: GEO has set April 18 strike date.
  • The racial consequences of underfunding public higher education: UICUF’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) is hosting a talk by Laura Hamilton on April 20, 3:30
  • Nominations being accepted for John Shuler and Janet Smith Annual Awards: UICUF annually recognizes academic units that have demonstrated extraordinary achievements in shared governance and/or in advancing academic freedom with the John Shuler Award. This year we will begin an annual recognition of extraordinary faculty organizing with the Janet Smith Award. Nominations for both awards are now open.
  • AFT seeking NTT faculty to complete survey: The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), with which we are affiliated, wants to understand the current work and personal life experiences of NTT faculty against the backdrop of uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus and attacks on academic freedom. Link to survey is below. 

Dear Colleagues,

UIC GEO Files Intent to Strike
Last week 97% of participating GEO members voted to authorize their Bargaining Committee to call a strike if the committee concludes that a strike is necessary to achieve a fair contract. Following the most recent bargaining session on April 7, GEO filed the legally required intent-to-strike notice with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board, allowing their Bargaining Committee to call a strike starting on April 18. We will share details next week on continuing issues of contention. We will also share how faculty can act in solidarity with GEO, and what your own legal rights and responsibilities are in the event of a GEO strike.

The Racial Consequences of Underfunding Public Higher Education
The UICUF Committee on Political Education (COPE) invites you to a Zoom conversation with Laura Hamilton, the author of Broke: The Racial Consequences of Underfunding Public Universities. The event will take place on Wednesday April 20 from 3:30-5:00 pm. In Broke, Hamilton uses the model of the “new university”—large public universities serving predominantly minority and economically marginalized students—to examine the relationship between the defunding of public higher education and the burdens being placed on students today. Her work ultimately suggests how we can break the cycle of austerity in public higher education.

The event is open to all UICUF and COPE members. You can access the event here.

The COPE is the political action committee of UICUF. Its goals include educating members on political issues around public higher education, endorsing pro-public education and pro-labor politicians, and supporting legislation that benefits public higher education students and faculty. The COPE is funded by the voluntary donations of UICUF members. To become a monthly supporter of the COPE (for as little as $1/month), please click here. If you have questions about the COPE or would like to become a board member, please contact COPE chair Jeffrey Kessler (jeffc.kessler@gmail.com). 

John Shuler and Janet Smith Awards
The UICUF Executive Board plans to present three awards on April 29:

  • 2020-2021 John Shuler Award for Shared Governance and Academic Freedom
  • 2021-2022 John Shuler Award for Shared Governance and Academic Freedom
  • 2021-2022 Janet Smith Organizing Award

To determine a list of candidates, we are asking members to nominate academic units (for the Shuler Award) and individuals (for the Smith Award) by sending a one-paragraph statement about activities and accomplishments that merit recognition via email to Jeff Edwards (UICUFJeff@gmail.com) by April 12. For the Shuler Award, please make nominations based on accomplishments during either the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 academic year.

UICUF’s John Shuler Award for Shared Governance and Academic Freedom is an annual award to a department or college that demonstrates its commitment, through action, to truly democratic shared governance and academic freedom. The union sees the Shuler award as a way to sustain our memory of John and to continue the work he had planned for his future, encouraging our faculty to pursue these goals in his spirit and his honor.

John Shuler was a beloved member of the UICUF community. Doggedly involved with the union from its beginning, he was a tireless member of our bargaining committee and, at the time of his untimely death in 2016, served as treasurer. He was also energetically involved with the UIC Senate. For 23 years, John was a mainstay at the UIC library, responsible for government information/documents.

UICUF’s Janet Smith Organizing Award will be an annual award in recognition of a person or persons who made extraordinary contributions to faculty organizing. The union sees the Janet Smith Award as a way to sustain our memory of Janet, organizer extraordinaire.

Janet Smith was a charter member of UICUF, served on our first bargaining committee, and then served as president of UICUF from 2014 until her untimely death in 2022. Janet’s teaching, research, and community service focused on equity issues in housing. Her research and outreach activities were regularly conducted in partnership with community organizations and other community stakeholders. As a labor leader, she championed the UIC faculty members with the most precarious and vulnerable positions at the university. In her scholarship, and in her organizing on and off campus, she was a brilliant builder of worker and community power.

AFT Survey of NTT Faculty
The AFT seeks to follow up on its widely cited 2020 study, Army of Temps, by conducting a 2022 survey of NTT faculty against the backdrop of COVID and increasing attacks on academic freedom. We encourage our NTT colleagues to participate in this survey by clicking here.

Solidarity,

UIC United Faculty Leadership

Read More

31 Mar Bridge-to-Faculty Scholars Seek Inclusion, Farewell to Tony Floriani 

  • Bridge-to Faculty Scholars: Bridge-to-Faculty Scholars and UICUF supporters testified before the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board on March 24 to win union recognition and inclusion in our non-tenure track bargaining unit.
     
  • Tony Floriani: UICUF staff organizer Tony Floriani is moving to a position with the Illinois Federation of Teachers after working for UICUF for five years.
     
  • Hold the Date: Rally at University Hall at noon, April 29, to honor Janet Smith, cheer on our Bargaining Committee as they begin bargaining our next contract, and recognize end-of-year UICUF awardees who have made extraordinary contributions to our union this year.

Dear Colleagues,

Our Bargaining Committee worked through Spring Break and will be intensifying its work finalizng contract proposals in advance of an initial bargaining session with university administrators. We are in the process of setting a date in the last half of April and will be able to announce that soon. Our current contract expires in August. In the meantime, we have two pieces of news we want to share with you. 

Bridge to Faculty
With support from more than 75% of the 29 Bridge to Faculty (B2F) scholars, UICUF filed a petition to allow B2F faculty to join our union on February 23. Our petition went to a hearing before the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board on March 24. UICUF witnesses–including B2F scholars, NTT faculty, and tenured faculty who mentor B2Fs–did an excellent job establishing that B2F scholars’ working conditions and qualifications are on par with various NTT and TT faculty throughout the university.

Because of labor board rules that expedite the timeline for resolving majority interest petitions, we expect a decision in mid- to late June. All of the scholars in the first B2F cohort have been offered positions as Assistant Professors to start in Fall 2022. The scholars in both cohorts are an impressive group, and we are excited to officially welcome them into our union family one way or another.  

Farewell to Tony Floriani
Sadly, we must say goodbye to our stalwart comrade and super-dedicated staff organizer, Tony Floriani. Tony will be moving on to a terrific opportunity as a field service director with the Illinois Federation of Teachers. 

Tony started working with UICUF nearly five years ago in September, 2017. He came to us as a seasoned organizer and consistently brought abundant energy, steadfast commitment, and a challenging vision to our collective endeavors.

Tony began his journey as a union staffer in 2012, fresh off the energy of the Occupy protests.  His first labor job was as an organizer in central Texas, working with PK-12 teachers in non-union districts. In 2015, he moved to Florida to work with higher education locals including University of South Florida and St. Petersburg College. During his two years in Florida, he was sent on a campaign to organize grad workers at University of Chicago, where he met his wife, Veronica—a scholar and labor organizer herself. Within six months, Tony moved to Chicago and joined the staff of our union.

Tony has done a wide array of work for UICUF. Most prominently, he has written our weekly communications to the membership.  Much of his work, however, was behind-the-scenes, as he responded quickly to a multitude of queries from members, sought to ensure that our membership lists were as up-to-date as possible, and provided extremely valuable quantitative analysis for grievances. (Those are just several examples among many!)

Therese Quinn, our Vice-President for Tenure-Track Faculty, notes how much she will miss Tony. She especially values how Tony “brought together deep knowledge and organization and helped UICUF set up important systems. For example, Tony’s weekly updates on union matters have been indispensable reading for me, and there’s no going back! Now that we are used to regular and informative communications, the union will be able to build on Tony’s framework to continue that vital connection with our membership.” 

Acting President Aaron Krall adds: “among Tony’s many contributions to our union, I have always valued his ability to critically read situations. Whether it’s staking out a contrary position in a committee meeting, interpreting cryptic administrative statements, or encouraging us to push harder at the bargaining table, his experienced perspective has consistently helped me see the larger picture. I’m glad he’ll still be on our team at the IFT.”

Tony himself has made it clear to us that leaving UICUF was a difficult decision, and that he will indeed still very much be on our team. He leaves us with these inspiring words: “I’m proud of my ten years of service in the union movement, but I have particularly been impressed with UIC United Faculty for embodying so many of the best aspects of unionism. As a relatively new union, there will be a variety of opportunities to shape both your institution, UIC, and your own organization, UICUF, in profound ways. While there will be challenges ahead as well, I’m confident you’ll meet and overcome them with the dynamism I’ve come to expect of this organization and its leaders.” 

Tony promises to stay in touch. Please feel free to send along your goodbyes, good wishes, and statements of solidarity at tfloriani@ift-aft.org

April 29 Rally at University Hall
Please mark your calendar to join your union colleagues on the last day of classes, Friday, April 29, at noon, outside University Hall. We will honor Janet Smith, cheer on our bargaining team, and present the annual John Shuler Shared Governance and Academic Freedom Award and the inaugural Janet Smith Organizing Award. Details on these awards, and on how to nominate people for them, is forthcoming.

Solidarity,

UIC United Faculty Leadership

Read More

21 Mar Member Meeting Recap, Bargaining Platform 

  • Meeting Recap: We held our first hybrid in-person/zoom meeting since the pandemic began at Hull House, with over 75 participants, a floor nomination for Treasurer, and reports from our various active committees like COPE, Health & Safety, and Bargaining.


  • Bargaining Platform: Our bargaining platform was unanimously approved, citing three primary areas of interest: 1) Investing in Support & Security for Faculty, 2) Prioritizing Accountability & Care in the Workplace, 3) Amplifying Faculty Voice in Shared Governance.


  • Delivering our Demand to Bargain: After the meeting, a group of 20 faculty and campus allies delivered our demand to bargain a new contract to the Chancellor & Provost, officially initiating our contract negotiations. We will now work to schedule our first bargaining session, likely in April.


  • Standing With UIC GEO: UICUF joined our grad worker colleagues at an information picket on Wednesday to highlight issues they are still fighting for after a year of their own contract negotiations, including fee elimination for grad workers, health coverage, and improving protections against bullying, harassment and discrimination. 

Dear Colleagues,

UICUF has had quite a busy week! Our members supported our grad worker colleagues at an informational picket at Student Center East, held our first in-person (and hybrid) member meeting since the start of the pandemic, approved our union’s bargaining platform, and delivered our demand to start bargaining with the administration. 

Our First In-Person Member Meeting Since 2019

Out of an abundance of caution, UICUF has not held an in-person member meeting since 2019, and while COVID is still a concern, we felt it was important to kick off our bargaining season with the option to meet face-to-face (even if those faces are masked!). We continued to host people via zoom as well, and while the hybrid interface presented some challenges, we had a great meeting with over 75 members in attendance! Members also participated in our first ever floor-nomination of an executive board candidate, Michael Scott, for Treasurer, and we approved our official bargaining platform, setting the priorities for our contract negotiations. 

Bargaining Platform

With our contract expiring in August, and plans to begin negotiations as soon as April, our Bargaining Team presented the platform on which our efforts will focus. The assembled members unanimously approved the following priorities for negotiation:

  • Investing in Support & Security for Faculty
    • Protect workloads and recognize all the work faculty do
    • Pay faculty salaries that stay ahead of inflation and reward merit
    • Provide physical & technology infrastructure to support successful work
    • Ensure job security & access to opportunities for NTT faculty
    • Strengthen support for mentorship and faculty career advancement


  • Prioritizing Accountability & Care in the Workplace
    • Protect all community members from bullying, harassment, and discrimination
    • Define a fair discipline process for all faculty
    • Provide sufficient disability & mental health resources for students, faculty, & staff
    • Offer non-punitive dispute resolution options
    • Create a streamlined and functional grievance process


  • Amplifying Faculty Voice in Shared Governance
    • Ensure all faculty’s right to participate in shared governance
    • Establish specific governance processes at unit and college levels
    • Make the university budget transparent and give faculty a voice in budgeting
    • Guarantee faculty voice in allocation of merit raises 

Each of these items relates directly to issues our members have expressed over the last year, either through our bargaining survey, our listening tours through each college, and through our day-to-day interactions between members and union representatives. Our bargaining team is proud to have crafted an array of contract proposals that are driven by robust member engagement, and responsive to the issues you’ve told us matter most. The team continues to encourage members to reach out (email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com), and to look out for opportunities to participate in bargaining and public actions in support of our negotiations. 

Demand to Bargain Delivered

The first such action, which officially initiates our bargaining process with the administration, is the demand to bargain. Immediately following our meeting, 20 members and campus allies came together to deliver that demand to the Chancellor and Provosts’ offices. This puts the administration on notice that we hope to begin meeting with them ASAP to start discussing our next contract. We hope to meet with their team as soon as this April.  

UIC GEO Information Picket

UIC GEO began the mediation process in their own contract negotiations this week, with significant distance between their positions and those of the administration on several key articles, like pay, fee elimination, protections against bullying/harassment/discrimination, and 9-month appointments. UICUF members joined them on Wednesday for an information picket outside of Student Center East to highlight these critical issues, knowing that a fair and respectful contract for our grad worker colleagues will set the tone for our own negotiations down the line. We will keep you informed as they continue their contract campaign, which has been ongoing for over a year now. 

Solidarity

UIC United Faculty

***

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 SAFER place to work and learn!

Read More

17 Mar UIC Faculty Deliver Intent to Bargain

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17th 

CONTACTS
Xochitl Bada, UICUF Bargaining Co-Chair
xochitlbada@gmail.com 

Charitianne Williams, UICUF Communications Chair
773-531-3265 charitianne@gmail.com 

UIC Faculty Deliver Intent to Bargain
Union intends to strengthen support for faculty and students in new contract.

CHICAGO- The faculty union at the University of Illinois at Chicago delivered their intent to bargain a new faculty contract to new UIC Provost Javier Reyes yesterday. This marks the first step in the bargaining process. The current UIC United Faculty (UICUF) contract expires August 15th, 2022.

“Faculty have struggled to cover the institutional gaps that in the last two years have been made so apparent in UIC’s infrastructure,” said Aaron Krall, Acting UIC UF President and Co-chair of UICUF’s bargaining committee. “This new contract is an opportunity for leadership at UIC to work together and create a stronger, more resilient university for our entire community.”

Unlike many universities across the nation, UIC has continued to grow during the pandemic, and in many ways faculty have had to step in  to shoulder new demands and greatly increased workloads without appropriate institutional support. 

“We submitted our intent to bargain today because our members want to engage and request transparency in how the university budget is distributed, how funds are managed, and where the money is allocated to enhance the teaching and research mission of the university,” said Xóchitl Bada, Co-chair of UICUF’s bargaining committee.

The union will propose contract measures to strengthen support for students,  increase mentoring and career advancement opportunities for faculty; protect faculty from bullying, harassment, and discrimination in the workplace;  outline a clear and fair disciplinary process; and make faculty input more concrete at all levels of university governance. 

The UIC United Faculty (Local 6456) represents all full-time tenure and non-tenure track faculty at UIC. UICUF is affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professionals.  

###

Read More

12 Mar Member Meeting, Grad Picket, School Strikes 

  • UICUF Member Meeting 3/16 at Hull House: Join us for our Spring Member Meeting on Wed 3/16, 3-4:30pm at Hull House or remotely via zoom. Members should have received a zoom link to participate via email.


  • Grad Worker Info Picket: Support our grad worker colleagues by joining them for their informational picket regarding their own bargaining demands for a fair contract, immediately before the meeting, 1-3pm in front of Student Center East on Halsted.


  • Public School Strikes Near Chicago: Proviso and Patton school district employees are currently on strike for a fair contract. Please support them by donating to the strike fund!

Dear Colleagues,

Our Spring Member Meeting is less than a week away! We will be holding the meeting both in-person at the Jane Addams Hull House, and remotely via zoom. Please display your full name so we can verify your membership when you log in. All members are highly encouraged to attend, and non-members can join at the door. Every effort will be made to ensure both methods of participation are fully enabled and interactive. 

Our agenda for the meeting will include:

  • A remembrance for our late President, Janet Smith
  • Union leadership elections
  • A report on bargaining from our grad worker colleagues, UIC GEO
  • Presentation of the full bargaining team and platform

We will end the meeting with a march at 4:30pm to the Chancellor’s Office to present our demand to bargain. This is the step which formally initiates the bargaining process with the administration, and the more members we can have join us, the better.

UIC GEO Information Picket

As we’ve reported in recent weeks, our colleagues in the Graduate Employees Organization are also bargaining for a fair contract. Just this week, they began the mediation process, with significant distance between their positions and those of the administration on several key articles, like pay, fee elimination, protections for survivors, and 9-month appointments. They will be holding an information picket outside of Student Center East on Halsted from 1-3pm, immediately before our meeting, and we hope you will wear your UICUF t-shirts and take some time to join the picket before coming to the member meeting. We share many of the same issues and concerns, so supporting their negotiations for a fair contract will show the administration that we stand united where it really matters.

Active Strikes Near Chicago

At the time of this writing, there are two active educator strikes going on in the region. Patton School workers and Proviso workers are both picketing for a fair contract. You can support either or both of them by donating through the IFT Strike Fund, and you can follow Proviso’s efforts via their facebook page. Please support our fellow educators any way you can!

Sincerely,

UIC United Faculty

***

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 SAFER place to work and learn!

Read More

28 Feb UICUF Officer Nominations, Elections, Member Meeting

  • Union Elections by Mail: Union Officer elections will be held in April via mail/drop-off ballot. Ballots will be mailed to members at their last known address by 3/31, and must be received via mail or dropped off in an on-campus drop box by 5pm, 4/20. If you have not yet received a notice of election at your home address, please email us to confirm a valid address ASAP.


  • Officer Eligibility: Any member in good standing who joined the union prior to 10/20/21 (six months before election day), is eligible to run for office.


  • Nominations and Endorsements: Candidates are required to collect and submit endorsements by 3/21 to put their name on the ballot. Alternatively, a member may be nominated from the floor during our upcoming member meeting on 3/16. See below for a list of elected positions and details on obtaining/submitting endorsements.


  • UICUF Member Meeting 3/16: Our Spring Member Meeting is coming up Wed 3/16, 3-4:30pm (Calendar Link Here). This meeting will be held via zoom and in person at Student Center East. We will discuss our contract negotiations, union elections, and COVID organizing. If you plan on attending in person, RSVP so we can get a headcount. 


Dear Colleagues,

Terms for our current UICUF Executive Board officers and college representatives expire at the end of the current academic year. Pursuant to our Constitution, nominations are now being accepted for the positions listed below.  Descriptions of the duties of these offices can be found on the nomination forms and under Article VI of our Constitution.

Elected Executive Board Positions

  • President 
  • Executive Vice President
  • Treasurer
  • Vice President Chief Steward
  • Vice President for Tenure System Faculty
  • Vice President for Non-Tenure System Faculty

At-large positions require 20 endorsements from union members to run. VP’s for the Tenure and Non-Tenure systems require 10 endorsements from union members in the relevant system to run.

Representative Assembly Seats

SEATS COLLEGE/GROUPING
1 Applied Health Sciences
2 Architecture, Design & the Arts
1 Business Administration
1 Education
2 Engineering
4 LAS / Humanities & Interdisciplinary Programs
2 LAS / Natural Sciences
2 LAS / Social & Behavioral Sciences
1 Library
2 Nursing
2 Public Health
1 Tutorium in Intensive English
1 Social Work
1 Urban Planning & Public Affairs

Nominees for Representative Assembly need 5 endorsements from union members in the relevant college to run.

A UICUF member must have joined the union prior to October 20, 2021–six months prior to the election date of April 20, 2022–to be eligible to run for office. 

Nomination/Endorsement Forms

Nominations (including self-nominations) and endorsements may be submitted electronically via the following links, and must be submitted by 5pm, Monday, March 21, 2022. Alternatively, nominations for office may be made from the floor of the March 16 Member Meeting

NOMINATION FORMS (Including Self-Nomination)

Executive Board Nominations

Representative Assembly Nominations

ENDORSEMENT FORMS

Executive Board Endorsements

Representative Assembly Endorsements

Balloting by Mail

The election will be conducted via mail-in ballot which can be returned by mail or via on-campus dropbox. Ballots will be mailed to UICUF members no later than March 31, 2022, and completed ballots must arrive by mail or be dropped in campus ballot boxes no later than 5pm, Wednesday, April 20, 2022. For more details about the election, please contact the elections committee or visit the UICUF website.

Sincerely,

UICUF Elections Committee

Sarah Abboud (Nursing)

Elise Archias (Architecture, Design, and the Arts)

Stephen Engelmann (Liberal Arts and Sciences)

Kathy Preissner (Applied Health Sciences)

Dale Reed (Engineering), Chair

Karen Ros (Liberal Arts and Sciences)

***

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 SAFER place to work and learn!

Read More

21 Feb UICUF Member Meeting and Grad Worker Petition

  • UICUF Member Meeting 3/16: Save the date for our upcoming member meeting, 3-4:30pm, on Wed, 3/16 (Calendar Link Here). This meeting will be held via zoom and in person on campus. We will discuss our contract negotiations, union elections, and COVID organizing. Members will receive further details via email soon. 


  • Grad Workers’ Petition for a Fair Contract: The UIC Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) is petitioning the administration to agree to a fair contract. Please support them by signing the petition now


  • Notice-of-Elections Mailer: UICUF will hold union elections at the end of the semester. Details and key dates are being sent via US mail to all members. We encourage our members to consider running for officer, or finding other ways to get involved. You can see our current elected officers here

Dear Colleagues,

Each semester, we hold at least one full membership meeting to communicate union initiatives to the general membership and to hear from you about your experiences and needs in the workplace. Our Spring Membership Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 3/16, from 3-4:30pm, both via zoom and in person. You can use this link to save-the-date in your calendar

We strongly encourage all members to join us for this important meeting, where we will discuss upcoming contract negotiations, union elections, and the ongoing need to organize during and around evolving COVID conditions. We will also be introducing our bargaining team, including our two Co-Chairs, Aaron Krall and Xochitl Bada-Garcia. 

Members will receive location info/safe meeting guidelines, and a zoom link for those who prefer to attend remotely, closer to the date. We chose a hybrid format for this meeting in recognition of evolving member preferences, with options for those who wish to meet face-to-face and those who prefer zoom for safety and/or convenience. We are committed to ensuring a safe in-person meeting environment, alongside a coordinated and engaging remote experience, so please choose the mode of participation that is most appropriate for your needs. If you plan to attend in person, your RSVP is appreciated so we can plan an appropriate space for safe distancing. 

Non-members may join any time between now and then, including at the door, if they wish to participate.  We highly encourage you to bring a colleague!

Supporting Grad Worker Bargaining

UIC GEO is currently bargaining with the administration to win a fair contract, and have recently entered into mediation. This step signals that both sides feel there are still wide gaps between them on various contract proposals. The GEO is asking for your support in the form of a petition demanding that the administration settle a fair contract in a timely manner. We strongly encourage you to take a moment and do this, as solidarity between our unions makes all of our efforts more effective, and because many issues GEO is fighting on today may come up in our own negotiations in the coming months. 

Union Elections

Union members will have the opportunity to run for and vote on elected offices in late April. Details of that process, such as how to run/nominate someone for office, and key dates, are being put in the mail as we speak, so watch your mailbox for those important updates. If you have any questions about the elections process, or want to be considered for an elected position and are unsure where to start, you can email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. A staffer or member of the Elections Committee will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Solidarity

UIC United Faculty

***

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 SAFER place to work and learn!

Read More

10 Feb Contribute to UICUF COPE + Support Grads’ Contract Rally

  • Our Committee on Political Education (COPE): 2022 is an election year and in case you were not aware, our local union has a political action committee that shines a light on higher education issues and collects funds to contribute to political candidates that support higher ed and organized labor.

  • Committee Membership: COPE is a voluntary fund that our members can join for as little as $1 a month via our website. All contributors are able to attend board meetings and nominate candidates for endorsement. (Note: You must be a UICUF member and US citizen or legal resident to contribute.)

  • GEO Rally in the Quad: The Graduate Employee Organization (GEO) has reached an agreement with the administration to seek mediation in bargaining their next contract. Come hear what is going on with their bargaining and show your support by joining their rally in the UIC Quad Wednesday, February 16, 12:30-1:30.

  • Listening Sessions: We are continuing our listening sessions in a variety of units throughout UIC, bringing Bargaining Team members in to hear your questions and top issues for bargaining. Watch your inbox for the invite!

Dear Colleagues,

The Committee on Political Education (COPE), UICUF’s member-run political action committee , is seeking to expand its membership and increase political advocacy on behalf of our union members. To become a contributor, click here to sign up. Contributors can give as little as $1/month through monthly payroll deductions. Contributors must be a member of UIC United Faculty and a US citizen or permanent resident to join.

As we approach the 2022 elections with newly drawn legislative district maps, it is more important than ever to have a voice in the political process. In the 2020 election cycle, the COPE proudly endorsed three successful state legislators: Lakesia Collins (D – H009), Theresa Mah (D – H002), and Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D – H017). With your contribution, we hope to support these legislators and additional candidates who are committed to improving the working conditions of Illinois educators.

The COPE is also dedicated to educating UICUF members on political issues around public higher education, endorsing pro-education and pro-labor candidates, and supporting legislation that benefit all UIC faculty. All contributors are welcome to attend board meetings and nominate candidates for endorsement consideration.

And your contributions go farther now! The COPE is working with IFT to receive additional funds should we continue to grow our contributor base. This means more funds for candidate support, political education events, and general operations. For more information about the COPE click here or email COPE chair Jeffrey Kessler.

Solidarity

UIC United Faculty

***

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 SAFER place to work and learn!

Read More

04 Feb Contact Tracing

  • Contact Tracing: We’ve received a number of questions about contact tracing over the weeks since returning to campus, and now have plans to meet with relevant administrators to get those questions answered.


  • FAQ & Further Inquiries: You can find general guidelines on contact tracing from UIC here. However, we know that some have had questions or concerns, and want to make sure the CT system is working for faculty and students. We encourage you to contact us with questions or concerns at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com so we can seek resolutions.


Dear Colleagues,

We’ve heard from several of you on questions about ongoing COVID safety and contact tracing, and have been seeking answers. You can find UIC’s official policies and procedures for contact tracing here, with links to other COVID safety resources at the bottom of the page. Of course, we are aware that the stated policies may not cover all eventualities, and that members have had questions and concerns dealing with the CT system. We are currently planning to meet with the administration’s CT team representatives in the near future to get those questions and concerns addressed. 

As ever, if you have questions or issues about contact tracing, any other aspect of the back-to-campus transition, or a separate concern about working conditions, please reach out to us ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com

Solidarity

UIC United Faculty

***

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 SAFER place to work and learn!

Read More

28 Jan UICUF Leadership & Sick Leave Legislation

  • Leadership Transition: Last week, UICUF suffered the painful loss of our President, Janet Smith. Per our constitution, Executive Vice President Aaron Krall is stepping into the union’s top role, pending new leadership elections in April. 
  • Union Elections this Spring: In addition to the anticipated start of contract bargaining, we will be holding union leadership elections this April. All members will receive a mailing in the next couple of weeks indicating key dates for nominations and voting. 
  • Sick Leave Legislation: With support from our state affiliate, IFT, legislation covering leave time for public employees taking off for COVID related illness or care of dependents in isolation/quarantine, is now expected to become law. IFT’s FAQ on the bill can be found here.
  • Questions About Back-to-Campus: We continue to encourage our members to contact us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if you have any questions about returning to campus, including those regarding flexible work accommodations, contact tracing, and th like.  

Dear Colleagues,

As we begin the process of moving forward after the loss of our President, Janet Smith, we want to thank everyone who joined us for the memorial service last Sunday, and who sent us photos or shared stories from her life. You can watch a recording of the memorial service here. We are of course continuing the work of representing UIC faculty with a view toward our upcoming contract negotiations and helping our members navigate the immediate questions and concerns of returning to campus. 

Leadership Transition

Per our constitution, our Executive Vice President, Aaron Krall, will be taking on the duties of the President, pending new leadership elections this April. Aaron is a Senior Lecturer of English, and also a Co-Chair of our Bargaining Committee. He has been a union member since UICUF’s formation and is one of our veteran contract negotiators. 

We will be holding a full round of union leadership elections this April, including all Executive Board Position and College Representatives. You can find a list of current Executive Board members and College on our website. All union members will receive a notice of elections, nomination process, and key dates by mail within the next few weeks. We will reach out if we do not appear to have an accurate address on file. 

Sick Leave Legislation

Our state affiliate, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, has advised us that the legislature is expected to pass a bill covering leave for public employees either sick with COVID or caring for a dependent in quarantine/isolation. An FAQ on the bill can be found here, via our website. In brief, all public education employees in Illinois will be eligible for leave time for the stated purposes without having to use personal or sick leave days.  Those who have used leave days to cover these situations in the 2021-2022 academic year will have those days returned to them. 

UIC has offered some version of paid leave for COVID illness throughout the pandemic.  This bill, however, may cover some gaps, especially if you were forced to take leave to care for a dependent in isolation or quarantine. We will announce when the bill has been signed into law. As always, please send any questions about this to us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com

Back-to-Campus Questions

For the many faculty who returned to full in-person teaching this week, we hope the transition is going smoothly.  We are, though, aware that there may still be lingering questions or concerns. We have heard from members regarding flexible work accommodations, contact tracing, and temporary shifts to remote if COVID cases make classes unmanageable.  Please remember that all units should, by now, have written policies on the latter issue. Per instructions from the Provost’s office, department heads should have worked out these policies with their elected advisory bodies, based on the principle that faculty members themselves are most qualified to make decisions about how to best conduct their classes. We encourage all members to continue contacting us if you have new or ongoing questions about how to navigate this challenging moment. 

Solidarity

UIC United Faculty

***

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 SAFER place to work and learn!

Read More