- Workload Survey Results: Among other things, our workload survey has revealed that the vast majority of faculty are working more hours since shifting to remote, most reporting a 5+ hour/week increase.
- Get Out The Vote: People are voting in record numbers this year, and every vote counts, especially for passage of the Fair Tax. IFT is sponsoring member-to-member GOTV efforts which we highly encourage you to join! See below for details.
- Racial Equity Letter: UICUF has officially endorsed a letter from the Good Trouble Coalition to UIC admin, following up on and standing firm on demands to address racial justice and equity issues at UIC. We invite and encourage you to sign in support as well!
- Membership Meeting: As we mentioned last week, our Fall Member Meeting will be held remotely, 3-4pm, 11/18/20. Save the date and we will send a link to our members closer to the event!
Dear UICUF Members,
Over the last two weeks, we’ve been running a survey on workloads and how they’ve changed since faculty moved predominantly to remote work. 22% of our bargaining unit (317 faculty) responded, representing all colleges and most departments. The results indicate major, widespread impacts to both how much work faculty are doing, and the kind of work they are required to do.
Longer Hours Have Become The Norm
Probably the biggest single outcome from the survey is a confirmation that the vast majority of faculty are working considerably more hours per week than prior to the remote shift. 84% said they are regularly working at least an hour more per week than they did before the pandemic, but tellingly, 59% said they are working five or more hours a week beyond their previous norms. This extra work seems to come in the form of having larger class sizes for many, but we’ve also heard indications that faculty are spending much more time on service responsibilities, course prep, and especially support for (frequently distressed) students. Many have indicated that this extra work comes at the expense of research time which may critically impact their careers.
Erosions of Academic Freedom
We’ve also found that, despite the university unequivocally stating faculty will not be required to record classes, or teach in specific formats, this message does not seem to have reached all departments. 28% said they were required to record, 17% said they were required to teach synchronously, and 16% said they were required to teach asynchronously. We are looking into these reports and encourage faculty to let us know if they are being required to do any of the above so we can work to address these academic freedom issues. Email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.
Failures of Shared Governance
Per our current contract, all departments must develop a workload policy based on input from faculty via an open and transparent shared governance process. With the vast majority of faculty saying they know of no such policy, or that these policies don’t exist in their department, it is now clear that the university has failed to live up to their fundamental commitments, both to shared governance and transparency. We are currently discussing adding online teaching expectations to such workload policies at the bargaining table. It remains clear that for protections to be effective, they need to be addressed both by unit administrators and faculty.
If you need help kick-starting the process of reviewing or developing language for workload policies, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com
With less than a week before election day, there are still options to help get out the vote! Every vote counts, especially for passage of the Fair Tax, which we and our union affiliates have endorsed. Below, you can find a variety of options to volunteer for voter outreach with IFT, calling and texting union members around the state to get out the vote.
Phone volunteers, please contact: Amy Rueff firstname.lastname@example.org
Text volunteers, please contact: Bill Looby 217-494-4014 BillL@ilafl-cio.org
Early vote GOTV Oct. 26-30
Statewide virtual phone bank shifts:
- Thursday, Oct. 29: 11am-2pm/4:30-7:30pm
- Saturday, Oct. 31: 10am-1pm
- Monday, Nov. 2: 11am-2pm/4:30-7:30pm
- Tuesday, Nov. 3: 10am-2pm/2pm-6pm
- 26-30: Noon-3pm/3-6pm
- 31-Nov. 3: Noon-3pm/3-6pm
UIC United Faculty