29 Jul Union Vaccine Support and Our Demand to Bargain
- UICUF Members Strongly Support a Vaccine Mandate: As we reported last week, 93% of our members surveyed earlier this summer indicated support for a vaccine mandate for faculty, staff, and students.
- Bargaining on Implementation: As UIC Admin acknowledged last week, implementation of the new policy for faculty is appropriately handled via negotiations with the union. We have submitted our demand to bargain will meet with admin on Friday.
- Bargaining Goals: As our members decisively support a broad vaccine mandate, we intend to pursue a thorough and clearly defined implementation as soon as possible. This includes seeking answers to questions our members have raised such as how vaccine and masking policies will be enforced.
As we discussed last week, the UI system announced a vaccination mandate for all faculty and staff, to be implemented through relevant collective bargaining agreements where appropriate. This applies to all unions at UIC, UIUC and UIS. We have already submitted a demand to bargain on this new policy’s implementation and are now scheduled to meet with Labor Relations Friday afternoon so we can move forward expeditiously.
Our goal for negotiating implementation will be to ensure that it is done with clear guidance, rules, and expectations. We also seek further information on UIC’s policy as outlined in the 7/21/21 email and in its FAQ.
Our members have voiced considerable concern for safety measures beyond a sole assumption of universal vaccination. It remains UICUF’s position that a vaccine mandate does not replace the need for other safety measures such as mask enforcement and improved ventilation in buildings with known airflow issues. We have also already signalled that we want clear guidelines on who will be responsible for carrying out these safety measures, including what role, if any, the administration expects faculty to play in managing the safe behavior of their students and colleagues.
As always, we will continue to update you on this process as it unfolds, and we hope and intend to resolve any outstanding issues ASAP so that faculty can return to campus with peace-of-mind knowing that their safety is a top priority. We also want to continue hearing from you on your thoughts, questions and concerns at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com
UIC United Faculty
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