A Word on Union Raises and Dues

04 Nov A Word on Union Raises and Dues

  • How Our Raises Stack Up: Over the last 4 years, our union contract mandated 4% annual raise pools (2% merit, 2% compression/equity) for our bargaining units. Using the Gray Book for comparison, we’ve found that UIUC faculty, UIC Medical School Faculty, and most UIC Administrators, received far less, including no raises at all in 2020.
  • 1% Pays for It All: Union dues for UICUF are 1% of your salary. It may sound like a lot, but if you’ve ever received 1% more in a single year than you would’ve without a union contract, your union colleagues have already won you enough to pay almost the full cost of those dues…for life.
  • Why Dues Matter: We couldn’t negotiate or enforce our contract effectively without dues. Our union is an opportunity to pool our resources to win better working conditions. It allows us to maintain an office and professional staff, train members and leaders, and maintain a legal fund. This is how we win strong contracts and protect our members.

  • How We Win: A new round of contract negotiations is coming in Spring 2022, and we are already preparing. Union dues and active membership together are what give us the power to push for better working conditions in a process that is responsive to faculty needs, not just accept the status quo.


Will you join your union colleagues as a member today?

You can join online in less than 5 minutes, and a union representative will confirm receipt of your membership application within a working day. Dues are deducted through payroll each month.


Dear Colleagues,


Today, we’re going to just talk about the money: contractually mandated raise pools and union dues. In the video above, our Treasurer Michael Scott, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, talks about how our raises stacked up and how dues money made it possible to win those raises.


Did you know that according to the Gray Book most non-union UIC employees were given no raises last academic year? That includes Medical School faculty, and Administrators. Same with non-union UIUC faculty. This year, they received only 2% raise pools, even as state and federal funds covered the vast majority of unusual costs related to COVID, the U of I endowment posted record gains, and enrollments hit yet another record high.


Faculty covered by the UIC United Faculty contract, by contrast, benefitted from 4% annual raise pools (2% merit, and 2% compression/equity) every year since 2018. We also negotiated higher minimum salaries for all ranks. Further, we have raised the floor for faculty pay from $30k/year to $50k/year since our first contract’s effective date in 2012. We also negotiated 10% minimum raises on promotion, and guaranteed professional development funds, and protected the majority of those funds from clawbacks during the height of the COVID pandemic.


All of this is to say that if you’re reading this, you’ve almost certainly benefited financially from our union contract, and we’re proud of the work union members have done to win on bread-and-butter issues for all faculty.


1% Pays For It All

Of course, the union difference is only possible because of our active and dues paying members. Dues for UICUF are 1% of pay, typically deducted from payroll each month. That may sound like a lot, but consider that this 1% is money the union’s efforts have already put in your pocket.


If you’ve ever received a 1% raise that you wouldn’t have without our union contract, you’ve

virtually made back the equivalent of your union dues, not just that year, but for the rest of your career.


Let’s compare what happened over the last four years of our union contract to the Campus Wage raises for non-union employees using a simple starting salary of $100. First, the salaries for people without a union contract:

NO CONTRACT 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 Total
Previous Salary $100 $102 104.04 $104.04
Campus Wage Raise Pool 2% 2% 0% 2%
New Salary $102 $104.04 $104.04 $106.12 $416.22


Now, the salaries for people with our actual union contract:

WITH CONTRACT 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 Total
Previous Salary $100 $104 108.16 $112.49
Contract Raise Pool 4% 4% 4% 4%
New Salary $104 $108.16 $112.49 $116.99 $441.64
Dues $1.04 $1.08 $1.12 $1.17 $4.41
Net after Dues $102.96 $107.08 $111.37 $115.82 $437.23


You might notice that not only did the union contract bring in significantly higher raises, but that take-home pay was also a lot more even after deducting union dues. In fact, dues rise by only a penny on the dollar when a union member gets a raise, meaning the first time you get a 1% raise you wouldn’t have received without the union contract, your dues are virtually paid up for life.


Why Dues Matter

Simply put, the union can’t operate without dues money. Dues pay for our local staff and office, as well as the cost of training for our members and leaders. Dues allow us to sustain a legal defense fund for protecting our members and enforcing the contract. And dues contribute to the larger labor movement, including our affiliates, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, American Federation of Teachers, and American Association of University Professors, where we regularly turn for crucial expertise and resources.


Our union is an opportunity to pool our resources, to have a meaningful voice that our administration cannot ignore in the way that it could an individual faculty member. And it is the commitment of members, both as dues payers and active participants, that gives us the power to win strong contracts and protect those victories through hard times.


To all our fellow union members, it’s thanks to you that we have a strong voice at UIC, and have enjoyed the benefits of progressively better union contracts over the years.


If you are not yet a member, and you’ve read this far, will you consider joining all your union colleagues who make our faculty union possible?




UIC United Faculty



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