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09 Jul Final Fall Reappointment Deadline July 15th

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Dear Faculty,

As we’ve reported recently via our reappointment survey, as of June 1st the vast majority of NTT faculty were given letters confirming their reappointment for fall semester. This was a top priority of our campaign to retain faculty jobs this year, and we are pleased that most departments worked to give their NTT faculty peace-of-mind going into the summer, which many have lacked in years passed.

A handful of departments did exercise their option, as allowed in our current contract, to extend the deadline for their reappointment decisions to July 15th, now just a few days away. As the university is giving every signal of optimism for rebounding enrollment, and potentially even record-high numbers this fall, we continue to assert that every NTT faculty member eligible for a reappointment this year should receive one.

If you are still awaiting confirmation of your reappointment status for the fall, you are contractually entitled to receive news of that decision next Thursday, July 15th. Most of our members reported receiving a form letter or email that looks like this:

In accordance with Article IX, Section B.3, of the Non-Tenure System faculty collective bargaining agreement between the University and UIC United Faculty 6456, IFT-AFT, AAUP, this message is notice that you [will/will not] be reappointed as [Title] for Academic Year 2021-2022.

Please note that if you’re in the middle of a multi-year contract, you may not receive this letter. This letter is also distinct from the official and binding Notice of Appointment (NOA) which you should receive after the Board of Trustees meets in August.

If you are eligible for renewal and have not received a letter of reappointment by July 15th, let us know at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com ASAP.

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We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 12-1pm

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 UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn!

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01 Jul Our New Office and Fall Safety Webinar by UPI

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Dear Faculty,

We are happy to announce that we have officially relocated to a new office, which we will be sharing with our colleagues in the UIC Graduate Employees Organization. The new office is located above Giordano’s in the Rice Building on the Southwest corner of Halsted and Van Buren. The entrance is on the Halsted-facing side of the building, and our new address is:

815 W. Van Buren, Suite 203
Chicago, IL 60607

We chose to make this move for a variety of reasons that we feel will benefit our members. For many, this office will be closer and more accessible via east campus and east campus parking for those who have to commute. It also remains just a few minutes walk from the UIC-Halsted Blue Line stop. Additionally, we will have significantly more ownership of the space itself, and hope to be able to host a wider range of functions, including social events, that will give more members reason and opportunity to visit us and take advantage of this space. We will have our own private office space for confidential meetings and conversations, in addition to a larger shared common space for open meetings and social events.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this move brings us into the same space as our colleagues in UIC GEO, the organization representing UIC grad workers. They are easily our most important collaborators and allies on a wide range of campus issues, and we’ve enjoyed the fruits of a strong relationship with our GEO colleagues over the years. Through this move, we look forward to working even more closely with them moving forward.

UPI webinar on the COVID Vaccine and Fall Safety Concerns
Our union colleagues at University Professionals of Illinois are hosting a webinar next Wednesday, 7/7/21, inviting union faculty from a variety of institutions to listen and discuss the changing safety landscape we’re seeing for the fall semester. Here is the full webinar description and registration information. UICUF members are encouraged to participate.

July 7 4:45 pm UPI webinar: A Conversation about the COVID Vaccine and Health and Safety Concerns for the Fall.

Special Guest: Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Executive Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

This webinar features our special guest, the Executive Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike, who will discuss the safety of the Covid vaccine and its critical importance for protecting public health and individuals. Dr. Ezike will also answer your questions regarding the vaccine. A panel discussion will follow to discuss current CDC recommendations for Institutes of Higher Education and related issues for the fall semester. Panelists include Dr. Sheila Simons (an epidemiologist), Dr. Bill Mills, (a certified industrial hygienist), Dr. Gabe Guzman (an infectious disease specialist), and Dr. Kai (Billy) Hung (a microbiologist). Additional guests may be added. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance and during the discussion.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Jul 7, 2021 04:45 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: A Conversation about the COVID Vaccine and Health and Safety Concerns for the Fall

Register in advance for this webinar:
https://aft.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1wfWUVfpTQmCPsFZHf7kyg
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 12-1pm

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 UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn!

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17 Jun Faculty Overwhelmingly Reappointed as of June 1

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Dear Faculty,

As most of you know, we recently ran a poll to learn more about NTT faculty reappointment to ensure that they are getting timely notices. All faculty up for renewal are entitled per our contract to a notice on June 1 informing them of their reappointment status, or letting them know that the decision has been deferred to July 16th.

Based on responses from over a third of all NTT faculty, almost all had been notified of their status as of June 1st, and the vast majority were told they will be reappointed (only 1% of faculty were given notices of NON-reappointment). This comes close to satisfying our campaign demands asking the university to notify all faculty on or before June 1st, and to retain all eligible faculty in light of projected near-record enrollments for the fall.

Below, you can see our survey highlights, and a direct link to the survey results. Once again, if anyone is concerned about their individual reappointment process, you can directly contact us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

Survey Participants and Structure
This survey was designed to poll non-tenure track faculty on the reappointment process and outcomes for summer 2021. It was sent to all non-tenure track faculty who were present in our bargaining unit in spring 2021, a total of 667 faculty. 236 faculty responded to the survey, a response rate of 36%.

Result Highlights

  • 95% of respondents who expected a notice on their reappointment status received one as of June 1st. Further questions show that only 2 individuals reported being unaware of their reappointment decision status.
  • 88% of respondents who received a notice were told they will be reappointed for fall.
  • 8% of respondents received notices that their reappointment was deferred to a later date. These deferrals appear to be focused in just 5 units.
  • Only 1% of notices reported were explicit notices of non-reappointment.
  • Just over half (53%) of respondents reported being on 1-year contracts. 36% are on multi-year appointments and 10% do not know what kind of appointment they have.
  • At least 55% of NTT faculty reported that their previous appointment would end in Summer 2021. Though the vast majority reported that they were reappointed, and on a timely basis, this means that over half of full-time NTT faculty faced the possibility of sudden job loss in this year alone.

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We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 12-1pm

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 UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn!

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10 Jun Reappointment Survey Closes Monday

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  • Reminder – Complete Our Reappointment Survey: Our survey on reappointment for NTT faculty closes on Monday, 6/14. If you haven’t taken the survey, you can do so now via our Surveymonkey Link. All individual responses are strictly confidential: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9BBD7DJ
  • Positive Reappointment Trends: With a third of all NTTs reporting, we are pleased to see that the vast majority of faculty up for reappointment were notified and renewed as of June 1. We will follow up with anyone who reports concerns about the process, but if you wish to contact us proactively, email UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com
  • AAUP Summer Institute: Our national affiliate, the American Association of University Professors, will be holding a series of free virtual talks and training sessions this summer. We encourage members considering a more active role in the union to attend!

 

Dear Members,

As a reminder, our survey on NTT reappointment is still active, and we highly encourage all members up for reappointment to respond so we can report an accurate picture of reappointment to the membership. This is also an opportunity to point out any concerns you may have over the reappointment process, and/or alert UICUF to any individual issues you may wish to have us follow up on. All responses are strictly confidential, and the union will share only aggregate data in our summary report with membership after the survey closes.

At this time, with roughly a third of all NTT faculty reporting, we’re pleased to say that we are continuing to see an exceptionally high rate of faculty both being notified in a timely manner, and of faculty being renewed for the fall. Only a few units have chosen to defer reappointment decisions, and we are in contact regarding those we know about. If you have individual concerns about your own reappointment, of course, please feel free to email us directly at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

Lastly, we want to invite all members to join us in attending AAUP’s virtual Summer Institute! This has been a major opportunity for members to learn more about the work higher ed unions are doing around the country, and to prepare for our own efforts, such as our upcoming 2022 contract bargaining. This year, the sessions are all free to members (included in your UICUF membership) and will be held virtually, so it’s easy to attend on your own schedule. While it’s not required, we especially encourage anyone who is considering an active role in bargaining to attend these sessions!

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We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 12-1pm

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 UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn!

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04 Jun Cautious Optimism as NTT Faculty Report Reappointments

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  • Update on Reappointments: UICUF is cautiously optimistic that our members’ efforts calling attention to UIC’s reappointment practices have had the desired effect, as the vast majority of faculty reporting say they are being reappointed for the fall term.
  • Reappointment Survey: We are continuing to survey NTT faculty to confirm UIC honored the contract requirement to notify faculty of reappointment status on June 1st, and to give faculty an opportunity to report issues: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9BBD7DJ 
  • Petition to Include B2F In Our Unit: Faculty may have received notices like this one. UICUF has been working with Bridge-to-Faculty scholars, who wish to be included in our NTT bargaining unit. This notice indicates the Labor Board is now considering the case.

Dear Members,

In case you missed it, we’ve received some press attention over the last few weeks around reappointment issues, including articles in the Chicago Sun Times, and mentions via local radio programs. This coverage comes in response to our ongoing campaign shining a spotlight on opaque reappointment practices for full-time NTT faculty at UIC, in which we’ve demanded more equitable and timely renewal practices.

With the June 1st renewal notice deadline now past, we have been surveying NTT faculty to ensure that they received notices, and to let them report any issues. That survey is currently active and we highly encourage all NTT faculty to take a couple of minutes and complete it. All responses are completely confidential.

 

Cautiously Optimistic on NTT Reappointments
At this time, we have seen responses from about a quarter of all NTT faculty, and are cautiously optimistic in saying that our members’ work on reappointment issues is having the desired effect. Virtually all NTT faculty responding to our survey received timely notice on their reappointment, and the vast majority were told they will be renewed for the fall term.

We will, of course, continue to work with those who report issues or concerns about the renewal process, and we will publish a more thorough analysis of the survey results after it closes at the end of next week.

 

Unit Clarification Petition
Some of our members, particularly those in the Non-Tenure Track bargaining unit, may have received notices from the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board in the past week. These notices indicate that we have petitioned on behalf of the UIC Bridge-to-Faculty scholars to have them join our bargaining unit, and that the IELRB is considering that petition. UIC admin has challenged the inclusion of the B2F scholars in our bargaining unit.

We have been working with these B2F scholars for about a year now, after a near-unanimous majority signaled a desire for union membership and representation. Bridge-to-Faculty is a program intended to create a pipeline for diverse scholars to join UIC’s tenure-track ranks. They are currently considered by the university to be non-faculty positions, with the university arguing that they are “trainees,” supposedly not qualified to hold faculty appointments. The individuals in the current cohort, however, all hold terminal degrees, and were hired through the same rigorous, competitive process as other full-time faculty. Moreover, they are doing work at UIC equivalent to the work done by other full-time faculty members–teaching and conducting research–which is a crucial factor in determining whether they should be in our bargaining unit.

We are confident that the petition will be accepted by the IELRB, considering the expressed desire of these individuals to be included in our bargaining unit, and we look forward to welcoming them to our union in the near future!

***

We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 12-1pm

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 UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn!

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28 May Deadlines Approach on Reappointment, PD Funds

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  • Media Spotlight on Reappointment Hypocrisy: The Sun Times covered our faculty retention event during last week’s Board of Trustees meeting, calling out the hypocrisy of UIC celebrating enrollment increases while refusing to commit to NTT reappointments.

  • Reappointment Deadline: Tuesday, June 1, is the primary deadline for the university to notify NTT faculty of reappointment decisions (or to defer that decision to July 16). We will poll to determine compliance and next steps if needed to get these notices ASAP.
  • Professional Development Fund Deadlines: Annual travel funds guaranteed in our contract from 2019-20, which rolled over to this year because of the pandemic, will expire June 30th. All annual PD funds for (2020-21) expire August 15th. We highly recommend spending or pre-approving all funds by June 30th to avoid complications.

 

Dear Members,

We held a powerful media event last week during the U of I Board of Trustees meeting, hearing from our indispensable non-tenure track faculty about the frustrating hypocrisy of our university championing growing enrollments while failing to commit to faculty reappointments. As you can read in the Chicago Sun Times article covering the event, just under half of all full time faculty at UIC are now non-tenure track, and many of them are waiting to hear if they will have a job next year.

Per our contract (Article IX.B.3), the primary deadline for reappointment notification is June 1st, and the university often exercises its option to defer decisions until as late as July 16th. We’ve been campaigning for more timely reappointment decisions from the UIC Administration and will be watching with keen interest to see how they respond next Tuesday.

If you are an NTT faculty member, you should expect a form letter informing you either that you will be reappointed, not reappointed, or that the university is deferring the decision to a later date. This is a formal notification, but not your official Notice of Appointment (NOA) which is signed by the board in August. Note that faculty on multi-year contracts that continue through the next academic year may not necessarily receive this notice, as their appointment is ongoing.

UICUF will issue a poll to NTT faculty to monitor university compliance, and to allow members to report problems or request assistance. Look out for the poll in the next weekly update.


Professional Development Deadlines

Annual travel funds outlined in our union contract, and held over from last year (2019-20) due to the pandemic, are set to EXPIRE on June 30th. Because the university halted support for travel under covid, 2019-2020 travel funds may be used instead to reimburse expenses for equipment and services supporting your remote work. This year the administration has refused to allow alternative uses for funds designated specifically for travel.

All contractually guaranteed research and professional development funds for the current academic year (2020-21) will expire August 15th. We cannot say enough, however, that you should plan to use or have pre-authorization for these funds before June 30 if possible, to avoid problems with accessing them. These funds are yours to use for research and/or teaching-related professional development, and are contractually protected. However, you must use-it-or-lose-it by the above deadlines!

If you encounter any problems getting approval to use your funds, let us know ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com, as denial of funds intended for legitimate purposes may represent a breach of contract.

 

Vaccine Mandate Poll
UICUF leadership wants to know how our members feel about a vaccine mandate for all UIC students, staff, and faculty (with possible health/religious exemptions). We’ve created a brief, confidential, 2-question poll for you to let us know what you think, and in particular let us know whether you believe UICUF should endorse such a measure being put in place if and when it becomes possible. Please note that at this time, the UIC administration and U of I system leadership have asserted that they cannot legally enforce a vaccine mandate, and that they would need further authorization from the state to do so. It is unclear whether or how this will be addressed by state legislators and/or the governor.

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We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 12-1pm

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 UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn!

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19 May Live Press Event on Full-Time Faculty Job Insecurity


Youtube Stream Goes Live 10:15am Thursday

  • Press Event on Full-Time Faculty Job Security: This morning we announced in a press release that we will be elevating our concerns on job insecurity to the Board of Trustees. We will host a livestream press event this Thursday, 5/20, 10:15-10:45am.
  • Contractually Guaranteed Raise Pools: Recently, Chancellor Amiridis announced 2% merit raise pools for staff. This matches the 2% merit pools guaranteed in our union contract, which also guarantees additional 2% pools for compression/equity adjustment, something our nonunionized colleagues at UIUC have not been offered at this time.
  • Now Recruiting Contract Action Team Members: The next round of bargaining is coming up in 2022. Contract Action Team members help us communicate with 5-10 other members to inform, educate, and mobilize for a strong contract. Let us know if you’re interested in joining the CATs at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

 

Dear Members,

We have repeatedly asked the administration generally, and Chancellor Amiridis in particular, to respond to our demands to address job insecurity for full-time, non-tenure track faculty. At this time, we have still received no answers, and so we will be elevating our demands to the Board of Trustees. We have sent them a letter outlining our concerns, and asking them to match apparent public optimism over budgets and enrollments for the fall semester, with public action to improve transparency and overall retention.

The Board meets this Thursday, and we are planning our own concurrent press event, to be livestreamed at 10:15am. We will have both tenure and non-tenure track faculty speak on the issues and impacts of job insecurity, as they affect even full-time faculty who have been at UIC for years. We welcome and encourage our members to view the livestream, and submit any questions in the comments on youtube. We will try to answer any questions we receive.

Raise Pools
As you may have seen last week, Chancellor Amiridis announced 2% merit raise pools for university employees not covered under collective bargaining agreements. This amount matches our own contractually guaranteed 2% merit raise pool, but our contract also guarantees an additional 2% compression/equity. We know that union contracts often provide a floor for the university salary programs, and given the turbulence of the last year, locking in this collective 4% raise pool for our members has been a particularly fortuitous outcome from our last contract. As a reminder, these guaranteed raise pools objectively outpaced the campus wage pools for the last several years, and were only secured as a concession against a threatened strike in 2019. Our nonunionized colleagues at UIUC have only the 2% merit raise pool at this time.

Our Union Needs You
As another round of bargaining nears, we also want to remind you that it was and is our members that make the difference between a strong contract, and one that maintains the status quo, or worse. Our current contract runs through August 15, 2022, meaning that we will be back at the bargaining table as soon as next spring. We will need the support of all our members to win another strong contract in this next round of negotiations, and in particular, we will need volunteers to help us with various aspects of communicating with and organizing our members.

We are now actively recruiting Contract Action Team (CAT) members to help with those efforts, likely to begin with surveying our members in the fall semester about possible bargaining issues. CATs help the union by communicating and working with 5-10 other faculty in their units to build awareness and participation in union efforts. If you are interested in learning more about this role, please email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

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We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 12-1pm

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 UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn!

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18 May Media Advisory: Press Event on Full-Time Faculty Job Security

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2021

CONTACTS
Jeff Schuhrke, UICUF Representative for Liberal Arts and Sciences
847-721-5898 jeffschuhrke@gmail.com

Charitianne Williams, UICUF Communications Chair
773-531-3265 charitianne@gmail.com

UIC Faculty Union To Hold Press Conference Demanding Job Security Measures for Full-Time Faculty
Non-tenure track faculty face career uncertainty despite robust budgets and enrollment projections.

CHICAGO, IL – The union representing faculty at the University of Illinois Chicago, UIC United Faculty, will hold a press event this Thursday, May 20, on the need for greater job security for full-time, non-tenure track faculty. The union has demanded greater attention to job security at a time when UIC is signalling optimism on both enrollment and budget figures. Despite a recent campaign generating over 250 letters to top administrators, Chancellor Amiridis remains silent on these issues, so this Thursday, we will call on the Board of Trustees to match their public optimism with action on faculty retention this summer.

“UIC’s administration is touting impressive student enrollment numbers for the upcoming semester, but they still haven’t definitively told non-tenure-track faculty whether we will actually still have a job in the fall,” said Jeff Schuhrke, a visiting lecturer in the History Department and a member of the UICUF Representative Assembly. “Despite the vital labor we provide as dedicated teachers and mentors, the university disrespects us by making us live with uncertainty and anxiety.”

What: UIC United Faculty Press Event On The Need For Greater Job Security At UIC

When: 10:15am this Thursday, May 20, 2021

Where: Live Teleconference via Youtube: https://youtu.be/csWKZyFl5UM

Almost half (47%) of full-time faculty are non-tenure track, with fixed-term contracts that can be non-renewed without explanation, and with as little as a few days’ notice before the start of the next academic year. This situation is unfair and unnecessary when budgets and enrollment figures are robust.

UIC United Faculty President Janet Smith observes: “This past year we have seen cutbacks and clawbacks, yet this is not solely a pandemic problem, especially since enrollment is up. This reflects decades of disinvestment by the state in higher education but also the lack of equitable investment by the University of Illinois in UIC, where we have the most diverse student body in the system.”

The UIC United Faculty (Local 6456) represents all full-time tenure and non-tenure track faculty at UIC. UICUF is affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professionals.

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13 May Still No Response on NTT Job Security

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  • No Response on NTT Job Security: Despite over 250 faculty and allies writing to demand answers on NTT job security, the administration has made no comment on the subject to date. You can still write your own letter via our Action Network page!
  • Job Security Next Steps: We will continue seeking answers on NTT job security. If the Provost and Chancellor will not act, we will bring our concerns to the Board of Trustees, who are meeting next week. Look out for more details on our Facebook page.
  • No Telework Agreements Required for Faculty: We have confirmed with labor relations that faculty will not be asked or required to sign telework agreements like those announced in a previous administration email to faculty.
  • Use PD Funds by June 30th: Per our last email, all faculty are entitled to an annual allotment of PD and travel funds. It is highly recommended you get pre-approval by June 30th to avoid complications accessing these funds.
  • No Union List Limiting PD/Travel Fund Use: We have been informed that some administrators have denied use of funds, referring to a “union list” of approved uses. There is no such list, and we are following up on such reports. If you are having trouble getting approval, let us know ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

 

Dear Members,

Despite receiving over 250 letters regarding NTT job security, Chancellor Amiridis has remained silent on this critical issue. UIC United Faculty has followed up with him directly to see if he has any response for our members, some of whom are facing non-renewal for purely budgetary reasons, regardless of their job performance. This despite budgets and enrollment projections being robust for the coming academic year. And while some academic units have moved forward with renewal notices, giving their NTT faculty peace of mind going into the summer, most have been given no indication that they’ll know their status, even by the June 1st deadline. Historically, hundreds of NTT faculty have had to wait until mid-July or even later to know whether they will have a job in the fall.

Silence on this issue is not an answer, and so we intend to take our inquiries directly to the Board of Trustees if needed. The BoT will meet next Thursday, and we are again asking that the university and it’s administration take up this issue in earnest. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see updates during the next week, and if you are interested in working more directly with the efforts to win greater job security for NTT faculty, you can sign up for our issue mailing list on this subject, or email our organizer, Sophie Bauerschmidt Sweeney at UICUFSophie@gmail.com.

No Telework Agreements Required for Faculty
A couple of weeks ago, the administration announced an array of new policies for working and teaching in the fall. As we’ve said before, none of this has been discussed with the union, let alone agreed upon, and is of course potentially subject to change as we near the actual start of classes. In particular, however, we want to give everyone an update regarding the telework agreements described in that announcement.

We have confirmed in writing from Labor Relations that faculty in our bargaining unit will not be required, and should not be asked to sign a telework agreement for fall teaching. If you are asked to sign such an agreement, or any other agreement regarding telework and/or your rights to record or not record your classes, let us know immediately at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. These agreements are likely to be unenforceable, as such terms are subject to collective bargaining and governed by our union’s collective bargaining agreement.

Use Your PD Funds By June 30th
Once again, we want to remind you to use, or get pre-authorization to use your PD and Travel funds for 2020-2021 by June 30th to avoid any complications. These funds are available for a variety of research and/or professional development uses.

We have heard from some faculty that their intended use for these funds has been denied by administrators, citing a “union list” of approved uses. There is no such list, and if your proposal to use your funds is rejected, we encourage you to ask for any department/college policy or list of approved uses, and to contact UICUF if you are unable to resolve the issue.

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We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 12-1pm

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 UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn!

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05 May Telework Agreements, PD Fund Deadlines, Faculty Town Hall

ADVISORY ON NEW TELEWORK AGREEMENTS:
 We are aware of the announcement of new telework options, including a telework agreement created by the university. This was not bargained with or vetted by the union and may be unenforceable if it breaches our contract. We recommend against signing such agreements without consulting a union representative first at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

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Demanding Answers on Job Security | PD Fund Reminder

  • Strong Showing for NTT Job Security: Our members and allies have written 225 letters to UIC administrators to date, imploring them to accept our demands for NTT job security and retention. You can still write your own letter via our Action Network page!
  • UIC Faculty Town Hall: Admin will hold a faculty and staff Town Hall on Thurs, 5/6, 11-12:30pm. UICUF has asked the administration to respond to our NTT Job Security demands in that meeting. You can submit questions via this link if you wish to reinforce our demands or ask about other issues.
  • Reminder on Professional Development/Travel Funds: The university’s fiscal year ends on June 30th and we strongly recommend spending any available PD/Travel funds (which can be used flexibly during the pandemic) by that date.

 

Dear Members,

Thanks to everyone who has thus far written a letter to UIC administrators asking that they agree to the union’s demands supporting NTT job security. Between our members and allies, 225 people have taken action on this important subject.  If you have not sent a letter, you can still do so by visiting our Action Network page. We are asking the administration to take the opportunity presented by this week’s Faculty and Staff Town Hall and respond to those demands, and we encourage our members to join that call and submit your own questions.

If you are interested in working more directly with the efforts to win greater job security for NTT faculty, you can sign up for our issue mailing list on this subject, or email our organizer, Sophie Bauerschmidt-Sweeney at UICUFSophie@gmail.com.

Updates/Reminders on Professional Development Funds
As the semester comes to a close and the end of the fiscal year on June 30th nears, we want to remind members to spend their contractually guaranteed professional development (PD) and travel funds. Though we are negotiating over another extension to these deadlines, we cannot guarantee an agreement will be reached in time. In order to avoid unnecessary complications in using your funds, you should plan to request them before June 30th, as well as consult with your Unit Head or Business Office to confirm timelines and get pre-approval.

Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about PD and travel funds:

How Much Funding Am I Entitled To Each Academic Year?
Our contract includes two annual funds for professional expenses: Research & Professional Development funds ($900 for TT; $600 for NTT) and Travel Funds ($600 for TT and NTT).

What Can I Use These Funds For?
Per Article A.1.c of our contract, professional development funds can be used for “research and/or teaching-related professional development.” This is typically understood to include conferences, professional memberships or training, and relevant journal subscriptions, but may be used for other purposes at the discretion of your academic unit.

Travel funds, per our contract, are reserved for travel to academic conferences, but due to the pandemic ban on travel, these funds are authorized for expanded use on purchases including home office or remote teaching equipment and traditional Research & Professional Development uses.

Do Unused Funds Carry-Over To The Next Academic Year?
Typically, no. However, because travel was disrupted due to the pandemic, unused Travel Funds from the 2019-2020 academic year were carried over to this academic year, 2020-2021. They still must be used by June 30th, 2021 to ensure that they are not lost.

Is the Union Negotiating Over PD And Travel Funds
Yes. We are still attempting to bargain over expanded use of and/or carry over of the Travel Funds for the 2020-2021 academic year.  But the university has refused to continue meeting with us at this time while unfair labor practice charges are pending–an illegal act on their part– and thus, we cannot guarantee any resolution before the deadlines to use funds.

What Should I Do If I Have Trouble Accessing My Funds?
If members are being denied the use of their funds for any reason, they can contact us for support at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

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We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 12-1pm

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 UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. With your support, we are making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn!

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