01 Oct Representation in Our Union and at UIC
- Elected Representatives: Every 2 years, our members elect colleagues to act as union stewards and sit on our Representative Assembly to discuss and vote on key union issues. Find out who your union representative(s) are on our website.
- Rep Assembly Meeting Open to Members: Our Rep Assembly will meet via Zoom next week, 12-1:30pm on Fri 10/8. Meetings are open to union members, and we welcome non-members to join and attend!
- UIC Faculty/Staff Town Hall: We encourage all faculty to submit questions and attend the Chancellor’s Faculty/Staff Town Hall, 1-2:30pm, Wed 10/6.
- Bargaining Priority Poll Results: You can now view results of our micro-poll on bargaining priorities which went out to our members last week. Pay/benefits were our top-ranked issues, followed by workloads.
- Micro-Poll on Workloads: We are now running a follow-up poll on workloads, but you must be a member to offer input. We encourage you to join and participate in these opportunities to shape union policy!
Today we want to remind you of all the ways in which you can make your voice heard, both within our union, and at UIC. Our union is a democratic organization, and we actively encourage our members to participate in union governance, as well as the governance of our university. If you are not a member and want to offer input and/or participate in union policy decisions, you can join now via our online application here:
Per the UIC United Faculty Constitution, our members elect a Representative Assembly every two years. These Representatives are both our union stewards who provide support for colleagues in their units, and members who sit on our Representative Assembly, the legislative body that discusses and votes on issues important to the union. We hope you’ll take note of your college-level union representative (see above for link) and reach out if there is anything you wish to discuss. All conversations with a union representative are confidential. You may also direct questions or concerns to our general email, UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if you prefer.
The next Representative Assembly meeting is coming up next week, on Friday, October 8th, from 12-1:30pm, and will be held virtually via zoom. All members are welcome to attend these meetings, and we encourage non-members to join the union and learn more about how our union democracy functions! We will be discussing, among other things, the next steps toward contract negotiations with our newly formed bargaining committee.
UIC Faculty & Staff Town Hall
Chancellor Amiridis has called a town hall meeting for all UIC faculty and staff, to be held next Wednesday, 1-2:30pm (links will be sent by UIC the day before to all employees). The administration has asked that faculty submit questions online ahead of the event. While UIC United Faculty is not recommending any specific focus for such questions at this time, we highly encourage you to engage in the process, as it is one way that faculty can let the administration know what is of concern to them. We are aware from our own interactions with members that there are lingering concerns, for example, about inconsistency in the contact tracing process, as well as about ongoing issues regarding technology and tech support. We will, of course, attend the event and report on any relevant information to our membership.
Bargaining Priorities Poll Results
Our members had an opportunity to participated in our bargaining priority micro-poll last week, and the results are now in. You can view them via the link shared above. Though this is a non-scientific poll, it does guide our process while we prepare for bargaining, as will future polls and the major bargaining survey we intend to run between now and Thanksgiving Break.
Our respondents collectively identified Pay and Benefits as their top priority. This category includes raise pools, salary minimums, and raises-on-promotion, as well as health and pension benefits. UICUF has had a strong track-record of growing faculty pay over the life of our union and it will be on the agenda for 2022 as well. These past victories include raising minimum salaries from $30k to $50k since our first contract, winning iron-clad 4% raise pools that stood firm through the pandemic even as other institutions offered 0% or clawed back pay rates, and ensuring a 10% raise minimum on promotion.
Workload issues were the runner-up priority. We know that even before the pandemic, unaccountable increases in workloads were a problem in terms of course loads and class sizes. Since COVID and the shift to more remote work and teaching, however, we’ve also seen a rise in work expectations around shifting classes to remote or hybrid models and supporting students with accommodations, and on technological and personal issues. These changes have not fallen evenly on all faculty, but the overall shifts are apparent, so our micro-poll this week will be a follow-up to better understand how workload changes are affecting our members. If you are not a member and wish to participate in our polling and offer other input on bargaining and union policy, we invite you to join the union today!
We hold a regular office hour from 12-1pm Wednesday each week. Use the following link to add it to your calendar:
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!