Back To School With Your Union

23 Aug Back To School With Your Union


  • UICUF members welcomed new and returning faculty to UIC on Wednesday.
  • Union-hosted events this Fall are an opportunity to get involved and meet your colleagues!
  • We have volunteer opportunities to fit a wide range of interests and availabilities. You are the union. Help us make UIC an even better place to work and learn!


As UIC gears up to get back to school next week, our union is doing likewise. On Wednesday, union officers and members met with both new and returning faculty at a variety of events, and there is a lot more still to come! Over the next month, we’ll be hosting a number of union-led events that we welcome all to attend, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved more directly as well. We won a major contract campaign last semester with the support of all our members, but there’s much more yet to do, and we’re ready to dive back in.

Welcoming (Back) Faculty
This Wednesday, new and returning faculty convened for a variety of orientations and trainings ahead of their first days of class next week, and UICUF was there to offer a hearty welcome. First, we attended the New Faculty Orientation where our President, Janet Smith, introduced the union to a whole new cohort of colleagues. Union members were also at the First Year Writing Program’s “Comp-Camp” and a targeted Know-Your-Contract training for faculty in the School of Art and Art History, to work with faculty on how the union can best support them in their own departments.

We want to remind all our members that it’s never too late to have UICUF present at a faculty meeting, or host our own meeting or training to discuss best practices with your department. If you are interested in working with us on setting something up for your department, email us at

Meet Your Colleagues And Get Involved
Early Fall is always a busy part of the academic year, but we hope you’ll make some time to join your colleagues at one of our many union-sponsored events this semester:

Fall Welcome-Back Party, Sept. 5, 5-7pm, @Ambassador Public House, 310 S. Halsted: UICUF members are invited to our back-to-school gathering. New members encouraged to sign up at the door and join the fun! Please RSVP to

Unions For Teachers – Why They Matter, Sept. 11, 6-8pm, @Chicago Teachers Union Headquarters, 1901 West Carroll Avenue: All are invited to this free panel discussion and forum. Co-hosted by UICUF, CTU, and others.

UICUF Senate Caucus, Sept. 19, 3:30-5pm, location TBD: Union members with elected positions in the UIC Senate will be meeting to discuss critical shared governance issues and how we can move forward on items beyond the purview of our union contract.

UICUF Member Meeting, Oct. 2, 3-5pm, @Hull House, 800 S. Halsted: Learn about what your union is working on, and have your voice heard in key decisions at our membership meeting. Non-members sign up on-site when you arrive! Reception to follow.

Calling For Volunteers!
UICUF is looking for help in a variety of areas with responsibilities both large and small:

Committee on Political Education (COPE): Educate members and the public on political issues around public higher education and raise/contribute funds for candidates that support public higher ed. To join the COPE, send a completed contribution card to Contact: Kate Floros (Political Science)

Communications Committee: Develop materials to keep all members up to date on what is happening in the union, including regular email messages, videos, and broadsheets. Contact: Charitianne Williams (English)

Shared Governance Committee: Oversee contract implementation at the unit level and ensure that all units are using appropriate shared governance practices. Contact: Jeff Edwards (UICUF staff):

Board of Trustees Advocacy Committee: Work with other unions at UIC and in the U of I system to advocate for changes at the level of the Board of Trustees, including improving funding models and changing how Labor Relations interacts with unions across the system.  Contact: Janet Smith (Urban Planning & Policy)

Programming Committee: Plan educational and social events for UICUF members to get to know each other and build camaraderie across different schools. Contact: Laurie Schaffner (Sociology)

Contact Action Team: Maintain communication between union leadership and colleagues in your department by forwarding emails and having in-person conversations about important updates or events. Contact: Sophie Bauerschmidt Sweeney (UICUF staff):

New Member Outreach: Accompany an organizer on office visits or meetings with faculty who are interested in joining UICUF. Contact: Sophie Bauerschmidt Sweeney (UICUF staff):

University Senate Caucus: Work to strengthen collaboration between UICUF and the UIC Senate and to advocate for measures in the Senate that support faculty. Contact: Milos Zefran (Electrical & Computer Engineering)

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 With your support, we are making UIC an even better place to work and learn!

WeHeartUIC - Logo