24 Sep Fall Member Meeting Recap And Tribute to a Fallen Colleague
- Member Meeting Recap: We held our Fall Member Meeting this Wednesday, covering back-to-school issues and bargaining, as well as the urgent need to rebuild solidarity and membership as we return to campus and prepare for contract negotiations.
- Department Contacts: We are actively seeking people to act as Department Contacts, helping the union stay in touch with, and recruit, members in your departments. If you’re able to be a contact in your department, email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.
- Bargaining Team: Aaron Krall, Executive Vice President of the union, will reprise his role as co-chair on the bargaining team. We’ve confirmed 8 other team members and will seek representation from all colleges as we start to prepare for negotiations this spring.
- Tribute to a Fallen Union Colleague: Richard Levy, highly regarded historian and UICUF union member, has passed away. Memorial Service will be in the Cardinal Room of Student Center East, (750 S. Halsted St.) next Wed, 9/29, at 3pm.
We held a very productive membership meeting this Wednesday, over Zoom out of an abundance of caution and regard for our members’ safety and comfort. The planned social hour was cancelled due to high winds and wet conditions on the lawn southeast of University Hall, but we hope to reschedule it shortly.
Much of the meeting was taken up by discussion about back-to-school issues, especially teaching conditions and contact tracing. While we can’t recreate those conversations here, we have written extensively on these topics in past weekly messages, which you can find in our website news feed. It remains the union’s position that members should get vaccinated and comply with university disclosure policies by the October 1 deadline to avoid disciplinary action. We also encourage faculty to comply with contact tracing requests and have been working with admin to report concerns about the process. Finally, it is still the union’s position that course delivery methods fall within the bounds of academic freedom, as long as they take into account appropriate safety guidelines.
Focus on Membership and Solidarity
Though we’ve worked hard to keep lines of communication open with our members throughout the pandemic, it is undeniable that the isolation of COVID has made it harder to organize. With a return to in-person work for many this semester, and a new round of contract negotiations coming in the spring, it is critical that we rebuild our networks and reach out to new faculty.
We rely on members like you to help us with this work. That is why we are asking you to consider becoming a Department Contact, a role that helps us stay in touch with our members in your academic unit, and identify new faculty to speak with about membership. If you are able to devote even a small amount of time to supporting this vital task of building connections between members and the union at large, we strongly encourage you to email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com to get involved.
Our new bargaining team is currently being assembled, and we now have a robust team from a variety of disciplines, representing most of the Colleges in our bargaining unit. The team will begin meeting shortly, and we anticipate starting the process with a full bargaining survey in late October-early November. You must be a member to take the bargaining survey. As ever, if you have questions or concerns not addressed here, you can always reach us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.
UIC United Faculty
Richard Levy, highly regarded historian and UICUF union member, pictured bottom right, has passed away. Memorial Service will be in the Cardinal Room of Student Center East, (750 S. Halsted St.) next Wednesday, September 29th, at 3:00 p.m.
Tribute to a Fallen Union Member, Richard Levy
By Robert Johnston, UICUF Chief Steward
We unfortunately must tell you that one of our dedicated comrades has fallen. Richard Levy, who taught in the History department for 49 years, and who only recently retired at the age of 80, died this summer. It was an immensely sad moment for the department, because Richard was such a lively, committed, and truly funny presence.
Richard was one of the world’s major historians of antisemitism, and he was also a totally dedicated union member. He threw his whole professional self into UIC, and he recognized that the union fought not just for better wages for faculty, but for a better institution for our students.
A few years into his seventies, Richard proudly went out on strike with us in 2014. Indeed, he proudly had this picture on his office door in University Hall until his death. Richard is the one on the right, holding high the banner of Lenin, Engels, and Marx.
We will miss him hugely. But don’t mourn, organize!
Richard will have a UIC memorial service in the Cardinal Room of Student Center East, (750 S. Halsted St.) next Wednesday, September 29th, at 3:00 p.m. All are welcome.
We hold a regular office hour from 12-1pm Wednesday each week. Use the following link to add it to your calendar:
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