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:
Donate to their strike funds, which will be used for sustenance and material supplies for strikers and volunteers as well as support for striking workers facing financial hardships. Both unions have pledged to donate unused finds, if any, to other universities on strike::
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 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.
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.
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!)
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.
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/
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
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.
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.
The second opportunity is participating in this survey from UIC’s Gender and Sexuality Center. The survey is focused on collecting opinions from community members about having a known discriminatory establishment housed in the UIC student center. Some results will be used to support the protest of Chick-fil-A’s presence on campus.
Contract Celebration Party Remember, we will celebrate our new contract at The Embassy, 1435 W Taylor Street, on Thursday, February 16, starting at 5:00pm. Appetizers + cash bar + giveaway of blue UICUF knit hats.
Strike Participation and Make Up Work Reporting UIC Human Resources sent out a form this week collecting commitments from faculty to make up work missed during the strike. Please fill out this form accurately and promptly. Faculty who report that they will make up their work will not see any loss of pay. However, there are a few stumbling blocks still: This weekend (Saturday, February 11 and Sunday, February 12, 2023), AITS will be conducting a maintenance event on its production data center which necessitates that the form collecting the strike response will be unavailable on both Saturday and Sunday starting at 6:00 AM each morning and continuing until 6:00 PM.
New Contract Celebration date: Thursday, February 16, starting at 5:00 pm
Update: HR request to report on strike participation
Contracts ratified! After our ratification meeting last Thursday, a majority of our members participated in the online voting, and those who voted overwhelmingly approved the agreements. We will now work to finalize the contract documents and circulate them for signatures by all parties to the agreements.
Draft versions of the contracts are still available for reference in Box:
Contract Celebration Party: Due to circumstances beyond our control, our party has been postponed for one more week. We will celebrate at The Embassy, 1435 W Taylor Street, on Thursday, February 16, starting at 5:00pm. Appetizers + cash bar + giveaway of blue UICUF knit hats.
HR request to report your strike participation: As noted in last week’s message, we agreed during bargaining that faculty will fill out a form reporting strike participation and intent to make up work. Faculty who report that they will make up their work will not see any loss of pay. We expect a corrected version of the form to be distributed tomorrow, and we encourage honest reporting of your strike participation and your intent to make up work.
In Solidarity,The UIC UF Bargaining team Xochitl Bada (Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies) | Aaron Krall (Senior Lecturer, English) | Andy Baker (Clinical Assistant Professor, Music) | Anna Kornbluh (Professor, English) | Becky Bonarek (Lecturer, Tutorium in Intensive English) | Charitianne Williams (Senior Lecturer, English) | Gosia Fidelis (Associate Professor, History) | Ian Collins (Clinical Assistant Professor, Daley Library) | Jim Drown (Senior Lecturer, English) | Jeff Gore (Senior Lecturer, English) | Kate Floros (Clinical Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)
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