Join us Tuesday, September 26, 2023 3:30-5pm in Student Center East tower, room 613 (the room where we reached a tentative agreement on our current contract!) for our fall general member meeting.
Please RSVP here so we have a sense of how many people to expect.
Union Leadership Reports: President, Treasurer, Common Good, and Steward
Organizers’ Report & call for volunteers
Committee on Political Education
Discussion: Reflect on last year, especially the strike and new contract, and discuss what’s next
New business from the floor
Light food & drinks immediately after on the 2nd floor patio of SCE
Access Notes: SCE 613 is wheelchair accessible. If you need to join remotely, please indicate so on the RSVP form. Captions will be available in person and on zoom. We encourage in-person attendees to wear masks. For accommodation requests or questions about access, please email Jeff at email@example.com.
Solidarity with Striking Auto Workers
UAW members are organizing to win a historic contract that would end a tiered system of pay and benefits; win fair pay raises in the face of high inflation, record company profits, and huge management pay raises; and create a just transition to electric vehicles by guaranteeing that all new production facilities would be covered by the collective bargaining contract. You can sign a petition of support for striking auto workers here.
The UIC United Faculty FAST Fund provides small grants to students with urgent financial needs, including:
housing, food, and utilities
book & school supplies
In the past 2 years, the FAST fund has given out more than $22,000 in small grants to 99 students. Still, our available funds never match the need. We’re asking you to commit to a recurring FAST fund donation so we can spend less time fundraising and more time working with students. Donations are tax deductible and 100% of the money goes to students.
“The support provided by the UICUF Fast Fund is critical in order to pursue my education by helping me stay focused in my academics, and not having to worry about another past due bill for the month.” – FAST Fund recipient
UICUF Fall Member Meeting Sept 26, 3:30pm in SCE 613
Join us September 26, 2023 3:30-5pm in Student Center East tower, room 613 (the room where we reached a tentative agreement on our current contract!) for our fall general member meeting. We’ll collectively analyze last year’s work, share updates from the summer and start of the semester, and strategize next steps for our union. Light food & drinks immediately after on the 2nd floor patio of SCE.
UICUF Reading Groups
We’ve been approached by members about the possibility of creating union-sponsored reading groups. If you have ideas for a reading group, or simply want to register interest in joining one, please contact our senior organizer Jeff Edwards at UICUFJeff@gmail.com. We’ll be sending information about our first reading groups soon!
We’re taking a closer look at changes to sections of the UIC United Faculty 2022-2026 contract that we won during the last round of bargaining, introduced by members of the Bargaining Committee itself. Up this week is minimum salaries for both NTT and TT faculty written by Jim Drown of the English Department.
Dear collegues, Establishing and raising minimum salaries has been a UICUF priority since the first contract. While these minimums might not apply to everyone, they are potentially life-changing for the faculty to whom they do apply. Before minimum salaries were established, many faculty were forced to work second jobs in order to have a living wage. Dedicated faculty left the profession for corporate jobs that paid a living wage.
For myself, I moved from a position of having a job I loved because my spouse paid the vast majority of the expenses, to being able to actively contribute to my household finances. Members have even been able to purchase single-family residences because of these minimums.
On a broader note, these minimums help keep us competitive in the market for faculty, ensuring that we can attract and keep the best and most dedicated academics at our university. This is a part of the contract that contributes not only to individuals, but positively impacts the student experience and the academic atmosphere of the entire campus.
The current minimum salaries (100% appointment) from our current contract are:
$60,000 for Instructor, Lecturer, Clinical Assistant Professor, or Research Assistant Professor or Teaching Assistant Professor
$66,000 for Senior Instructor, Senior Lecturer, Clinical Associate Professor, Research Associate Professor, or Teaching Associate Professor
$72,600 for Clinical Professor or Research Professor or Teaching Professor
$71,500 for Assistant Professor
$78,650 for Associate Professor
$86,515 for Professor
As per the contract, for all ranks, any permanent salary increases earned through award of the Teaching Recognition Program (TRP), or similar program, shall be applied after the bargaining unit member has moved to a new minimum salary. The union is proud of the establishment and increases made in the minimum salaries, especially considering the wide-ranging impacts they have. If you have any questions or concerns about these minimums, please contact one of your department or college union reps.
In Solidarity, Jim Drown Senior Lecturer, English UICUF Representative Assembly UICUF Bargaining Committee
UICUF is hiring a full-time staff organizer to start in early November. The Personnel Committee is accepting applications through September 10. If you’re interested or know anyone who might be, you can find more information here: https://unionjobs.com/listing.php?id=24867.
Fall is always a semester of inspiration and excitement for faculty and students alike–this fall is also the first full semester of implementation of our new faculty contract, won through our collective efforts of last winter. We will be using these updates to discuss features of that new contract, as well as give updates on campus initiatives and union programming this fall. UICUF leadership encourages you to reach out if you have any questions about the new contract, or concerns about implementation in your unit.
Conversations for Creating Inclusive and Accessible Practices
A collaboration between UIC United Faculty (UICUF), the Center for Advancement of Teaching Excellence (CATE), the Disability Resource Center (DRC), and the Disability Cultural Center (DCC).
In response to growing faculty interest in better supporting disabled students on campus, UICUF, CATE, the DCC, and the DRC have created a discussion series meant to allow UIC faculty an opportunity to meet and discuss how they can create more accessible learning environments at UIC. These conversations will include information on campus resources, best practices, and pragmatic advice from other faculty, but even more an opportunity for all faculty to come and discuss their classrooms with peers, ask questions, and co-mentor each other. RSVP requested, not required–Click here to RSVP, ask questions, or make requests. Please feel free to come as you are, spend as much time as you have, and share with your colleagues.
All workshops are scheduled as hybrid events in the Teaching Excellence Building (TEB), room 201.
The Teaching Excellence Building is located at 924 S. Morgan street, near the corner of Morgan and Taylor.
Letters of Accommodation: From Registration to Implementation
Monday, August 28 10-11am
This workshop will focus on faculty/student conversations about Letters of Accommodation. Facilitators will lead faculty through strategies to maximize student inclusion while maintaining the integrity and rigor of their curricula. Workshop will include hands-on practice on sample LOAs!Facilitators: Sophia Irini-Hamilton, DRC Director and Jeffery Kessler, Senior Lecturer in English
Making Your Course Materials Accessible (Part I)
Monday, September 25, 3:30-4:30pm
This workshop provides an overview of POUR principles (perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust) from Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). You will receive resources and guidance on how to use these principles to make your course materials more accessible.
Facilitators: Patrick Horton and Nicole Messier, Instructional Designers at the new Instructional Design and Media Production Studio (formerly with CATE); Lauren Woods, Associate Director for Teaching Development Pathways and CATE; Matt Stockman, Lecturer in the UIC Tutorium
Universal Design for Learning
Tuesday, October 10, 2-3pm
This workshop will introduce instructors to strategies for maximizing accessibility for students via course and instructional design. We’ll give an overview of universal design approaches that build accessibility proactively into our teaching practices. Participants will leave this workshop with some concrete ideas for practices that will increase accessibility for all learners. Facilitators: Margaret Fink, DCC Director and Kate Floros, Clinical Associate Professor in Political Science
Making Your Course Materials Accessible (Part II)
Tuesday, October 17, 10-11am
Want to ensure equitable access to all the instructional materials on your course site? This workshop will provide practical tips to make your course materials more accessible, including adding alternative text, embedding descriptive hyperlinks, using headers, and more. We will cover how to create accessible documents and review existing documents for accessibility errors. Please bring a laptop with you so you can practice these skills during the workshop Facilitators: Patrick Horton and Nicole Messier, Instructional Designers at the new Instructional Design and Media Production Studio (formerly with CATE); Lauren Woods, Associate Director for Teaching Development Pathways & CIRTL@UIC and CATE; Kate Floros, Clinical Associate Professor in Political Science
Over the summer, the UICUF Representative Assembly and Executive Board have worked to institutionalize our commitment to continuing to fight for the common good by amending our union constitution to create a new executive board position of Vice President for the Common Good and a standing Common Good Committee.
In recognition of her work for the common good as a member of the Bargaining Committee and continued efforts to work with the administration on issues related to student wellness, the Executive Board has appointed Nicole Nguyen, Associate Professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice, as the inaugural VP for Common Good.
Nicole will continue her work as UICUF’s student mental health liaison to the administration and convene the Common Good Committee to enforce the common good provisions of our contract and organize for more. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important Feedback Opportunities on Student Wellness
On June 15, the Chancellor’s office sent out an email with the subject line, “Update on UIC commitment to student mental health and well-being.” Buried in this email were several important pieces of information:
A form that students, faculty, and staff can use to give feedback on the report.
Feedback sessions for faculty will take place July 24 at 1pm. See meeting details below.
For many students, faculty are the first UIC community members they turn to in times of struggle.The UICUF Student Wellness Committee has been focusing on collaborating with administration to improve access and infrastructure for student wellness on campus, and to introduce more transparency and partnership with faculty on decisions made on this front. Faculty town halls are important opportunities for the us to tell the administration what you need to support student wellness, and we encourage you to attend the sessions, fill out the feedback form, and read the report. If you know students who would be interested in sharing their views on student wellness, please share the meeting with them and encourage them to look at the report:
Faculty Town Hall #2: July 24, 2023 1:00 PM Central
In April, the UICUF Student Wellness Committee hosted a student study break and sponsored a petition signed by over 250 UIC community members urging the administration to create “meaningful opportunities to provide oversight and input into student wellness efforts.” At the time, administrators seemed open to compensating a committee inclusive of faculty, staff, and students to implement the American College Health Association (ACHA) recommendations (the ACHA did an independent review of UIC wellness infrastructure this past spring). From emails we acquired through the Freedom of Information Act, we learned that our petition was an important catalyst in getting the administration to release the ACHA final report to the larger UIC community. Unfortunately, the administration has backtracked on the idea of a compensated committee and is instead holding a series of barely-publicized town halls addressing the report in the next few weeks.Two town hall sessions for faculty are being held. The first was held June 26th–this date was never announced publicly, and was only available to those who had completed a survey. The next session will be held July 24th at 1pm. The meeting information is above–we urge you to join the town hall if you are available. We also urge you to read the ACHA report and fill out the open comment survey, sharing your thoughts about the report or your experiences with student mental health on the UIC campus.
We are frustrated with the lack of communication and clarity in the administration’s decisions and actions surrounding the ACHA report. As a part of faculty contract negotiations, the entire campus community was given a commitment for meaningful action that promised to improve student and faculty experience on campus. Transparency and opportunities for student and faculty input were key elements of this commitment, and so far we have been sorely disappointed. It’s up to us to make sure that our colleagues and students have a say in this process as it moves forward.
Please complete the survey and attend the July 24 Town Hall at 1pm!
The UIC administration has made the unilateral decision to close Mile Square Health Center in Humboldt Park, an academic, nurse-managed resource dedicated to providing healthcare to underserved and disenfranchised communities. The administration made this decision without input from its UIC faculty-nurses.
Mile Square provides comprehensive primary care for minoritized populations, many of whom are below the Federal Poverty Level and are under or uninsured. This site also provides education programs and practice sites for physicians, nurses, certified nurse midwives, and pharmacy students. Importantly, most of the faculty that work at this practice are non-tenure track at UIC, one of our own most vulnerable populations.
The closing of such a vital community and educational resource runs counter to UIC’s mission and UICUF’s dedication to protecting NTT faculty.
Please read the UICUF Executive Board’s full statement, written in collaboration with clinic nurses, below.
Statement on the Closing of Mile Square
Since 1998 the College of Nursing (CON) has operated a faculty practice that provided primary and mental health services for individuals with severe mental illness. In 2007 that clinic became part of the Mile Square family of federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). It is a faculty practice owned by a College of Nursing and is also a FQHC within a large academic medical center. This collaboration is unique and enables patients access to both primary and specialty care regardless of ability to pay. Numerous CON students were precepted at Mile Square Humboldt Park (MSHP), and providers served as site project mentors for multiple DNP projects. At MSHP, students encountered a diverse, medically complex patient population in a non-stigmatizing environment.
In January 2023, the College of Nursing announced that they will be closing their faculty practice in Humboldt Park. Upper Administration cited a financial deficit and pending property sale as reasons for the closure. Clinical faculty offered to apply for available funding with SAMHSA to keep the clinic open. The Administration, however, declined any offer of help from faculty or the community and did not make a good faith effort to seek funding, relocation, or any input from community partners, collaborating colleges, or any staff within the faculty practice prior to their closure decision.
The closure of MSHP is a failure to uphold the CON’s values of community partnership and investment that will leave the Humboldt Park community with one less resource to address the complex issues it faces. UIC United Faculty expresses strong concern for the effects this closure will have on both the clients and practitioners; at the same time, UICUF appeals to the Administration to make future decisions fully transparent and in line with the social justice values of the university.
In January, we called off our strike after the UIC administration promised to increase mental health resources for our students and to include UICUF faculty members and students in the campus Wellness Committee.
It is now April, and the administration has failed to follow through on many of its promises.
Sign our PETITION that the UIC administration will follow through on its promises and will make public the entire American College Health Association report.
Share the FLIER below with your students for the UICUF Student Wellness Study Break, Wed., April 26, 10 AM-2PM
UICUF is collaborating with the UIC Disability Cultural Center (DCC), the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence (CATE) to create a Fall 2023 workshop series focused on supporting faculty on inclusive classroom practices. These workshops will be for faculty, by faculty, and focused on what you want to know to transform your classroom. To help get us started, please choose what you would most like to discuss with your peers from the list below: