Eligibility of Bridge to Faculty Postdoctoral Fellows. Articles II, IX, and XII

Downloadable copies of faculty contracts can be found here.

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 the Recognition of all Bridge to Faculty Postdoctoral Fellows to be included in our NTT bargaining unit written by Xóchitl Bada in the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies.

Eligibility of Bridge to Faculty Postdoctoral Fellows. Articles II, IX, and XII

Dear colleagues,

The Bridge to Faculty program seeks to increase faculty diversity at UIC by offering the opportunity to transition to a tenure-track faculty position after a two-year post-doctoral contract. Offering recognition of Bridge to Faculty (B2F) Postdoctoral Fellows to our NTT bargaining unit is one of the most important wins of our past contract. As a Bridge to Faculty mentor, it was very important for me to offer these scholars the opportunity to fully participate in our union.

UICUF began talking with B2F Scholars about unionization when the program began in Fall 2020. The union filed a majority interest petition with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board in February 2022 based on a strong majority of B2F Scholars expressing interest in joining our existing NTT bargaining unit. The administration immediately opposed our petition and fought very hard against us. After a few months of attending hearings where our B2F fellows offered details explaining why their jobs were very similar to any other NTT faculty at UIC, an administrative law judge ruled in our favor and the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board accepted our petition. In late summer of 2022, UICUF invited our newest B2F members to a small celebration of this significant win in Arrigo Park.

In bargaining our current contract, we reaffirmed B2F inclusion in the Non-Tenure Track Recognition Article (Article II). While Article II of our NTT contract includes most full-time Bridge to Faculty program scholars, it excludes those affiliated to the College of Pharmacy, the College of Medicine, the School of Law, and the College of Dentistry, as those colleges are excluded from representation by UICUF due to limitations in the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act.

Except where specifically noted otherwise, B2F scholars are covered by all aspects of the NTT union contract. As a result of the short nature of B2F contracts, Bridge to Faculty Program Scholars are excluded from the protections afforded by Article IX on Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, Layoff and Recall and Article XII on Hours of Work and Commitment. Section 4 of Article IX states that rules and regulations on appointment and reappointment of B2F scholars will follow the guidelines created by the University for the Bridge to Faculty Program. Academic units employing these scholars retain full discretion to decide whether a B2F fellow will have the opportunity to transition to a tenure track contract after their initial two-year contract. This program is housed at UIC´s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Engagement. B2F fellows are encouraged to discuss any questions they may have on their B2F contracts related to appointment, reappointment, and hours of work and commitment to the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Engagement.

In Solidarity,

Xóchitl Bada
Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies
UICUF Vice President for the Tenure Track
UICUF Bargaining Committee Co-Chair
Get to know your contract