- Meeting Recap: We held our first hybrid in-person/zoom meeting since the pandemic began at Hull House, with over 75 participants, a floor nomination for Treasurer, and reports from our various active committees like COPE, Health & Safety, and Bargaining.
- Bargaining Platform: Our bargaining platform was unanimously approved, citing three primary areas of interest: 1) Investing in Support & Security for Faculty, 2) Prioritizing Accountability & Care in the Workplace, 3) Amplifying Faculty Voice in Shared Governance.
- Delivering our Demand to Bargain: After the meeting, a group of 20 faculty and campus allies delivered our demand to bargain a new contract to the Chancellor & Provost, officially initiating our contract negotiations. We will now work to schedule our first bargaining session, likely in April.
- Standing With UIC GEO: UICUF joined our grad worker colleagues at an information picket on Wednesday to highlight issues they are still fighting for after a year of their own contract negotiations, including fee elimination for grad workers, health coverage, and improving protections against bullying, harassment and discrimination.
UICUF has had quite a busy week! Our members supported our grad worker colleagues at an informational picket at Student Center East, held our first in-person (and hybrid) member meeting since the start of the pandemic, approved our union’s bargaining platform, and delivered our demand to start bargaining with the administration.
Our First In-Person Member Meeting Since 2019
Out of an abundance of caution, UICUF has not held an in-person member meeting since 2019, and while COVID is still a concern, we felt it was important to kick off our bargaining season with the option to meet face-to-face (even if those faces are masked!). We continued to host people via zoom as well, and while the hybrid interface presented some challenges, we had a great meeting with over 75 members in attendance! Members also participated in our first ever floor-nomination of an executive board candidate, Michael Scott, for Treasurer, and we approved our official bargaining platform, setting the priorities for our contract negotiations.
With our contract expiring in August, and plans to begin negotiations as soon as April, our Bargaining Team presented the platform on which our efforts will focus. The assembled members unanimously approved the following priorities for negotiation:
- Investing in Support & Security for Faculty
- Protect workloads and recognize all the work faculty do
- Pay faculty salaries that stay ahead of inflation and reward merit
- Provide physical & technology infrastructure to support successful work
- Ensure job security & access to opportunities for NTT faculty
- Strengthen support for mentorship and faculty career advancement
- Prioritizing Accountability & Care in the Workplace
- Protect all community members from bullying, harassment, and discrimination
- Define a fair discipline process for all faculty
- Provide sufficient disability & mental health resources for students, faculty, & staff
- Offer non-punitive dispute resolution options
- Create a streamlined and functional grievance process
- Amplifying Faculty Voice in Shared Governance
- Ensure all faculty’s right to participate in shared governance
- Establish specific governance processes at unit and college levels
- Make the university budget transparent and give faculty a voice in budgeting
- Guarantee faculty voice in allocation of merit raises
Each of these items relates directly to issues our members have expressed over the last year, either through our bargaining survey, our listening tours through each college, and through our day-to-day interactions between members and union representatives. Our bargaining team is proud to have crafted an array of contract proposals that are driven by robust member engagement, and responsive to the issues you’ve told us matter most. The team continues to encourage members to reach out (email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com), and to look out for opportunities to participate in bargaining and public actions in support of our negotiations.
Demand to Bargain Delivered
The first such action, which officially initiates our bargaining process with the administration, is the demand to bargain. Immediately following our meeting, 20 members and campus allies came together to deliver that demand to the Chancellor and Provosts’ offices. This puts the administration on notice that we hope to begin meeting with them ASAP to start discussing our next contract. We hope to meet with their team as soon as this April.
UIC GEO Information Picket
UIC GEO began the mediation process in their own contract negotiations this week, with significant distance between their positions and those of the administration on several key articles, like pay, fee elimination, protections against bullying/harassment/discrimination, and 9-month appointments. UICUF members joined them on Wednesday for an information picket outside of Student Center East to highlight these critical issues, knowing that a fair and respectful contract for our grad worker colleagues will set the tone for our own negotiations down the line. We will keep you informed as they continue their contract campaign, which has been ongoing for over a year now.
UIC United Faculty
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!