28 Feb UICUF Commitments and momentum: Update on 2/22 bargaining session
- UIC’s budget presentation overlooks investment in faculty.
- Administration admits to not planning for the economic future of UIC faculty.
- Both sides agree to move forward with third-party mediation.
On Friday we had our 18th negotiation session with the Administration team. Over 40 UIC faculty from across campus attended as observers and caucused with the bargaining team. The experience was as eye-opening as promised, although no counter-proposals were offered by the Administration team, and no TA’s were reached.
The session opened with a budget presentation describing UIC’s funding lines and budget priorities, which included a plan for deferred maintenance, but not for deferred investment in faculty. For many of the faculty present, the presentation raised as many questions as it gave answers: How much does the education of a UIC student really cost? Why aren’t they fighting for the BOT and state to fund the education of UIC students? If the paradigm never shifts, is the admin ready to accept the same financial conditions faculty have accepted for the past decade?
We were told in negotiations that university administration is committed in principle to improving faculty working conditions that ensure continued student and faculty excellence, but at this moment in time, administration will not commit to action.
- They will not commit to every member of the UIC faculty having office space.
- They will not commit to ensuring every faculty member enjoys academic freedom through clear and transparent processes in which faculty voices play an important role.
- They will not commit to long-deferred raises that will finally bring salaries in line with rising inflation costs that have essentially created pay cuts for many faculty during past austerity.
It is our position that in this time of growing enrollments, increased economic prosperity, and a growing national and international reputation, more gains for faculty must be won to continue the institution’s momentum and progress. We will not accept a contract that does otherwise. On Friday, the administrative team agreed to third-party mediation, which is an important step toward the contract we all deserve.
Until we win a fair contract, we will be issuing regular updates via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and here 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 can make UIC an even better place to work and learn!