News

23 Sep Contract Bargaining: Present and Future

  • On Monday, the UICUF bargaining team returned all articles in our court to the management team; Management returned three, mostly just crossing out all of our proposals. 
  • Management is still sitting on our key economic proposals with no response for six weeks.
  • All members are encouraged to attend the next bargaining session, Thursday, September 29, 12:30-2:30, Student Center West 206 and on zoom.

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Bargaining Update

Our proposals on articles dealing with compensation, appointment, and reappointment are still sitting unanswered by the management team, even though they received our compensation proposal six weeks ago, and our appointment and reappointment proposal three months ago. On Tuesday our team presented counter proposals on all articles that had been in our court. It is up to management to move the negotiation process forward.

We did receive three counter proposals from the management team. While we are finding some common ground on physical conditions, they reject clarification of shared governance rights and intellectual property rights as well as inclusion of guarantees of mental health services to students, staff, and faculty. 

They insist that the administration is already doing what it can regarding mental health, and insist that the issue of student and staff well-being doesn’t belong in a faculty labor contract. Our position is that the mental health of students and staff is part of faculty working conditions: when students’ mental health needs are not met by the counseling center, the work falls upon faculty in a variety of ways. We believe that UIC students are entitled to all the services currently available to students at UIUC, which is not currently the case. In particular, we are demanding that, like at UIUC, UIC students have access to free learning disability assessment upon demand.

The administration is questioning the need to increase enforcement mechanisms guaranteeing equitable access to shared governance across colleges and units and denying increased support via the contract for member mentorship for career advancement (we were told that is another issue management is currently working on). They prefer to invest in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity and pay $4,650 dollars per faculty member for a faculty success program instead of investing up to $500 to reimburse their own faculty who are willing to serve as mentors to junior and associate faculty.

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Next Week and Beyond: Attend and Testify

The next bargaining session will be Thursday, September 29, from 12:30-2:30, at Student Center West 206, viewable on zoom. We encourage all members to come to this session to see for yourself how this process is playing out, and to show support for our bargaining committee. All members are welcome to participate in caucus discussion during and after the session. If you cannot attend next week, please check our union calendar for future dates, and commit to coming to at least one session in the next month.

We are also looking for people interested in testifying during bargaining about issues of concern to you. In particular for upcoming sessions, we are looking for people to speak about the failures or inconsistencies of shared governance in their units or colleges, lack of mental health services, or mentoring (as a mentor or mentee). If you would like to explore this possibility, please reach out to us at uicunitedfaculty@gmail.com. Any member can send testimonies to the bargaining committee to be shared at the bargaining table. Members who volunteer their testimony can always remain anonymous upon request.

In Solidarity,

The UIC UF Bargaining team

Xochitl Bada (Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies) | Aaron Krall (Senior Lecturer, English) | Andy Baker (Clinical Assistant Professor, Music) | Anna Kornbluh (Professor, English) | Becky Bonarek (Lecturer, Tutorium in Intensive English) | Charitianne Williams (Senior Lecturer, English) | Gosia Fidelis (Associate Professor, History)  | Ian Collins (Clinical Assistant Professor, Daley Library) | Jim Drown (Senior Lecturer, English) | Jeff Gore (Senior Lecturer, English)  | Jennifer Rupert (Senior Lecturer, English, Gender and Women’s Studies) | Kate Floros (Clinical Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

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12 Sep You’re Invited: Member Meeting Thursday

  • Join the UICUF fall general member meeting this Thursday! 3-4:30pm at Hull House (800 S. Halsted). 
  • Bargaining continued this morning. Management has no plans to present an economic counter proposal in the near future. 
  • Next session: Tuesday, September 20, 12:30-2:30. In person in SCE & on zoom.

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Bargaining Update

In our eleventh bargaining session this morning, the management team finally brought a counter on Article XII, Hours of Work and Commitment. Their counter shows some progress, but we still have a long way to go on the key issue of protecting faculty against workload creep. Management has made no commitments on when they will bring their initial counters on the articles that deal with compensation, reappointment and promotion, discipline and dismissal, or institution commitments to faculty. They explicitly said that they do not intend to present any counter proposal on the economic articles until we’ve made enough progress for them on the non-economic issues. How much progress is enough? They didn’t say, but we won’t see any raises until the contract is settled, and it is clear that management is stalling.

The next bargaining session will be Tuesday, September 20 from 12:30-2:30. We are encouraging all members to come to this session to show management that you’re watching. The management team will not move until we can apply pressure beyond bargaining. Join us in person in the White Oak Room in Student Center East or on zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86484958145?pwd=QlJVSUdkWDhQeEF6UkZ6SjhwbzJNQT09

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Member Meeting This Thursday

In the meantime, we want to see all of you at the fall membership meeting this Thursday, Sept 15 from 3 to 4:30pm at Hull House (800 S. Halsted). We will discuss bargaining with union leadership and receive a report from Eastern Michigan Accounting Professor Howard Bunsis on his financial analysis of UIC. Food and drinks will be available outside after the meeting. It is crucially important for union members to come to this meeting to learn more about how to support the bargaining team and what we expect for the semester to come. Those unable to attend in person may request a zoom link by writing to UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

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08 Sep Management is Stalling

UICUF members, bargaining committee leadership, and staff deliver our Intent to Bargain on March 16th, 2022 after our spring membership meeting.
  • UIC management fails to offer counters on 6 key articles, all in their possession for a month or longer
  • Next bargaining session is in-person, Monday, September 12, 10:00-1:00 on West Campus, Student Center West, Room 206AB. All members are encouraged to attend.
  • Fall Membership Meeting Thursday, September 15 @ 3pm at Hull House!

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Bargaining update

Five months in, and with faculty raises pending until the contract is settled, they need to stop stalling and bring serious counter-proposals, and real decision-makers, to the table. 

After declining to schedule a negotiation session last week, citing the need to work on counter proposals with their new labor relations lawyer, the management team brought only one counterproposal to Tuesday’s meeting–and this counter on Governance was a simple reversion to their previous language. In short, management asked for an extension, but brought no work to show for the extra time. They have not presented any counters on six crucial articles: 

  • Article IV. Compensation, Leaves and, Group Health
  • Article VII. Institutional Commitments
  • Article IX. Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, Layoff, and Recall
  • Article XII. Hours of Work and Commitment
  • Article XV. Discipline and Dismissal
  • Article XXIV. Teaching Professor Ranks and Conversion. 

On a number of other articles, they continue to pass counters that reject almost everything we offer with little or inconsistent explanation and no alternative language. 

On Tuesday our team delivered counterproposals on Article VIII. Union Membership and Activity; Article XIII. Health and Safety; Article XIV. Physical Conditions; and Article XVIII. Grievance and Arbitration. After 45 minutes of caucus time, management came back with counters on VIII & XVIII–suggesting to us that, in fact, they have the potential to produce counterproposals when they put in the effort; they just don’t seem to be doing so between meetings.

When asked when the bargaining team could expect counters on compensation, management had no response but suggested that they would offer proposals on Article IX. Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, Layoff and Recall and Article XII. Hours of Work and Commitment next week at our in-person bargaining session on Monday, Sept 12 from 10am-1pm at Student Center West, Room 206AB. We strongly encourage members to join us to see the bargaining process for yourself and offer advice during caucus discussion! 

Join us in SCW or listen in on Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85667197005?pwd=eHBBNUtrcnBDdjRGczFVUmxqdjJpdz09 

Bargaining Timeline and Retroactive Compensation

The administration has not offered us the U of I 3.5% campus wage raise, arguing upcoming contract negotiations supposedly prevent them from doing so (nothing in the university rules nor labor laws prevent this). At the same time, we have negotiated since April and have yet to receive a counter on our Compensation proposal. We feel a great sense of urgency around negotiations because we know that the sooner we settle the contract, the sooner we all will get our raises for this academic year, retroactive to August. At this point, 175 days have passed since we delivered our notice of intent to bargain and we have spent 22 hours at the bargaining table, but faculty have now been working without a contract for almost a month. The UICUF bargaining team signaled our interest in settling this contract before the previous one expired, and management consistently agreed.  Unfortunately, that deadline passed before the labor relations lawyer was even on board. In addition to stalling, management also isn’t bringing the real decision makers – the Chancellor, Provost, VC of Health Affairs, and VC of Faculty Affairs – to the table.  It’s time for management to get serious about bargaining. 

Member Meetings

We hope that you learned a lot about our platform and concrete proposals during the listening tours offered by the bargaining committee at various colleges in the past week. Two final meetings are still to come:

  • Friday, 9/9@10:30 AM in 1550 UH for the Humanities, Social Science, the Tutorium and Graduate College 
  • Friday 9/9@noon EMTWS Room 2233 for CADA and the Colleges of Education and Social Work. 

If you missed your college meeting, please be sure to join us at the all-member meeting on Thursday, September 15 at 3pm at Hull-House! Reach out to union staff at uicunitedfaculty@gmail.com for a remote option. We will have more discussion of the bargaining process, with a focus on our economic proposals. 

In Solidarity,

The UIC UF Bargaining team

Xochitl Bada (Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies) | Aaron Krall (Senior Lecturer, English) | Andy Baker (Clinical Assistant Professor, Music) | Anna Kornbluh (Professor, English) | Becky Bonarek (Lecturer, Tutorium in Intensive English) | Charitianne Williams (Senior Lecturer, English) | Gosia Fidelis (Associate Professor, History)  | Ian Collins (Clinical Assistant Professor, Daley Library) | Jim Drown (Senior Lecturer, English) | Jeff Gore (Senior Lecturer, English)  | Jennifer Rupert (Senior Lecturer, English, Gender and Women’s Studies) | Kate Floros (Clinical Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

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26 Aug Join your Bargaining Committee for Contract Update Meetings & at the Table

Bargaining co-chair Xóchitl Bada on the picket line on Tuesday
  • College-level meetings during the next 2 weeks: see below for when and where your college will meet.
  • Observe bargaining: see for yourself what’s happening at the table. Next session is Tuesday, September 6 at 12:30pm at White Oak Rm SCE. Please don´t forget to bring a mask.
  • General Member Meeting: Thursday, September 15, 3-4:30pm at Hull House.
  • Let us know if you’re having issues with COVID accommodations

***

Dear UICUF members, 
Welcome back to the fall semester! We hope you had a chance to join or at least stop by our informational pickets on Monday and Tuesday. You can see pictures on our new Instagram account, @uicfacultyunion

Bargaining Update
On Monday, August 22nd, we met with the administration for our ninth bargaining session and continued working toward agreement on several articles. However, we are still waiting for the administration’s counter proposals on key articles including compensation, workload, reappointment & promotion, and discipline & dismissal. 

Meet the Bargaining Team!
When all union members are engaged in the bargaining process, we will achieve a better result. To ensure that, we’re holding a series of meetings for members in different colleges to talk with members of the bargaining committee and share thoughts. All meetings will be hybrid. Please join us!

Natural Sciences, Business, & Engineering 
Tues, Aug 30 at 1pm 
ERF 1043, zoom: bit.ly/LAS-COE-CBA 

Library & CUPPA 
Wed, Aug 31 at 3pm 
Lib 0101, zoom: bit.ly/Lib-CUPPA 

Public Health, Applied Health, & Nursing 
Wed, Sep 7 at 10am 
SCW 206AB, zoom: bit.ly/AHS-CON-SPH 

Humanities, Social Sciences, Tutorium, & Grad College
Fri, Sep 9 at 10:30am 
UH 1550, zoom: bit.ly/LAS-TIE-GC 

Education, CADA, & Social Work
Fri, Sep 9 at 12pm 
EMTSW 2233, zoom: bit.ly/ETMSW


General Member Meeting
Please also save the date for our general member meeting on Thursday, September 15 from 3-4:30pm, at Hull House Dining Hall, 800 S Halsted. We strongly encourage in person attendance, but will have a remote option available. If you need to join remotely, please reach out to us at uicunitedfaculty@gmail.com.  

Join Us at Bargaining
The best way to learn about bargaining is to attend a session yourself! Our next session will be on Tuesday, September 6 from 12:30-2:30pm. The session will be on zoom, but the union bargaining team will be gathering in SCE White Oak Room. Members are welcome to join either remotely or in person. We ask that all in person observers stay masked while in the room. We will have plenty of chairs for any member who wants to join and observe.

We are working hard to get weekly bargaining sessions on the books. At this point, we are all working without a contract, and we feel it is imperative to settle a contract as quickly as possible. 

Health-Related Accommodations
As we come back to the semester, we have heard from some faculty that they’ve had difficulty getting health-related accommodations to teach remotely. If you are in this situation, please contact union staff at uicunitedfaculty@gmail.com.

In Solidarity,

The UIC UF Bargaining team

Xóchitl Bada (Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies) | Aaron Krall (Senior Lecturer, English) | Andy Baker (Clinical Assistant Professor, Music) | Anna Kornbluh (Professor, English) | Becky Bonarek (Lecturer, Tutorium in Intensive English) | Charitianne Williams (Senior Lecturer, English) | Gosia Fidelis (Associate Professor, History)  | Ian Collins (Clinical Assistant Professor, Daley Library) | Jim Drown (Senior Lecturer, English) | Jeff Gore (Senior Lecturer, English)  | Jennifer Rupert (Senior Lecturer, English, Gender and Women’s Studies) | Kate Floros (Clinical Associate Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

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15 Aug UICUF Bargaining team offers final contract proposals during negotiation

Our next session is Mon, 8/22 at 10am at SCE, Oak Room. We hope to see you there!
Please join us for informational picketing on the first two days of classes!
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to receive the latest contract news!

On Monday, August 8, the UICUF bargaining team held its 8th negotiation session with the UIC administration team. At this meeting, the UICUF team passed our final contract proposals, Article VI. Compensation, Leaves and Group Health & Article XXIV. Teaching Professor and Conversion to Tenure System Faculty (a new article in the NTT contract only). With these final articles, we have now presented the administration with a comprehensive set of proposals.

On Monday, August 22 from 10am to 1pm, we will meet with the administration’s bargaining team again to continue passing counter proposals and hear their responses on compensation, workload, reappointment, and a number of other articles that are in their court. Bargaining will take place in the White Oak Room in Student Center East, and all UICUF members are welcome to observe negotiations and participate in caucus discussions. 

To show support for the bargaining committee, re-engage members as they return to campus, and make it clear to the administration that we are serious about settling these contracts, UICUF will be holding informational pickets August 22 from 9-11am outside of Student Center East and August 23 from 11am-1pm outside of UH. You can sign up to join one or more picketing shifts here

This summer, most of our proposals have been countered by rejection–the admin team has simply crossed out our proposed language. But it is fully within the administration’s power, now that they have both our comprehensive proposal and the labor relations representative at the table, to offer a complete contract proposal at our next bargaining session on the 22nd, or shortly thereafter. 

Based on previous experience, this is unlikely to occur–the U of I System has a history of pushing unions to a strike vote or a full-blown strike before engaging in significant negotiation and counter-proposing. But informative discussion has occurred this summer, and we feel that the bargaining team has done an excellent job of making our positions and the rationale for them clear. At this point in the process, a counter-proposal from the administration team that sincerely engages with our proposals and responds meaningfully to expressed faculty needs is a quite reasonable expectation. 

During the fall semester, bargaining sessions will be held weekly. We have asked that sessions be held on-campus and in-person, and we invite members to join us and observe. We will share information about when and where sessions will take place as they’re set up and will continue to update members through email. We also invite you to follow UICUF on Facebook and Twitter to stay abreast of the most recent developments, actions, and faculty testimonials between bargaining sessions.
In Solidarity,
The UIC UF Bargaining team

Xochitl Bada (Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies) | Aaron Krall (Senior Lecturer, English) | Andy Baker (Clinical Assistant Professor, Music) | Anna Kornbluh (Professor, English) | Becky Bonarek (Lecturer, Tutorium in Intensive English) | Charitianne Williams (Senior Lecturer, English) | Gosia Fidelis (Associate Professor, History)  | Ian Collins (Clinical Assistant Professor, Daley Library) | Jim Drown (Senior Lecturer, English) | Jeff Gore (Senior Lecturer, English)  | Jennifer Rupert (Senior Lecturer, English, Gender and Women’s Studies) | Kate Floros (Clinical Assistant Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)
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28 Jul Bargaining Update: Comprehensive Counter-Proposal Expected Soon

  • UICUF Bargaining team met with UIC admin for 7th session: Discussion at the table focused on personnel files, the Office for Access and Equity, and fine-tuning the process for responding to student academic grievances.
  • Get to know your contract: Article VII. Institutional Commitments outlines the resources UIC must provide faculty for work-related duties and activities.

Bargaining Update

On Monday (7.25), we met with the UIC Administration team for our 7th bargaining session since June. UICUF passed along our proposals on Article II. Recognition, Article VII. Institutional Commitments, Article VIII. Union Membership and Activity, Article XIII. Health and Safety, and Article XXIII. Duration. This means administration now has all UICUF contract proposals with the exception of Article VI. Compensation, Leave, and Benefits. Past experience at the table has taught the bargaining team that once economic issues are introduced, conversation on all other workplace concerns is muted. We chose to introduce our economic proposals last to force negotiation and discussion on the other important workplace issues that have emerged in the years since our 2018 contract was ratified. As stated in our bargaining platform, our new proposals focus on three main priorities: 

  • Investing in Support & Security for Faculty
  • Prioritizing Accountability & Care in the Workplace
  • Amplifying Faculty Voice in Shared Governance

Our next bargaining session is August 8, 10am-1:30pm via Zoom. At this meeting, we will be introducing our economic proposals for the next contract, and setting the schedule for bargaining in the fall. UICUF has proposed that sessions be held in-person, on campus, and on a weekly basis until the contract is settled. After the 8th, the administrative team will have the full proposed contract, with almost 20 hours of discussion over the content. We hope to see a comprehensive response to our proposals soon. 

Members are encouraged to come and observe the August 8 session, and discuss negotiations with the team during caucus! Please contact the UICUF staff at UICUnitedfaculty@gmail.com if you have any questions, or simply join the session here.

Get to know your contract

Article VII. Institutional Commitments 
A. A well supported working environment promotes effective and sustainable teaching, learning,  service, and research. Therefore, within the limits of available resources and within the  University’s discretion, the University acknowledges its commitment to provide libraries,  technology, classroom assignments, and faculty support responsive to the needs of students and  faculty to meet the research mission and instructional/pedagogical needs of the departments,  consistent with high quality research and teaching at a nationally recognized research university. 

B. When faculty are required to travel on approved University business, the University will reimburse  for such travel. The University’s Business and Financial Policies and Procedures provide complete  guidelines for these reimbursements. Travel for University related business should be conducted as  economically as possible. 

C. Faculty performing employment duties are provided legal coverage as set forth in and under the  terms of the University of Illinois Liability Self-Insurance Plan, as that plan may be amended from  time to time. 

D. Faculty may request health-related accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or otherwise by contacting the Office of Access and Equity to request such  accommodations.

E. The University will provide each bargaining unit position a new computer not to exceed $1,500 (plus the cost of a three-year extended warranty) to be chosen from a set of available and  supported configurations from the campus office of Academic Computing and Communications  Center (ACCC). This program for provision of new computers will extend through August 15,  2022, and computers will be replaced if an existing computer is more than four years old during  the term of this Collective Bargaining Agreement. The University will provide hardware support  during the time the computer is covered by warranty and is assigned to the original bargaining  unit position. In accord with the State of Illinois and University procurement rules, the assigned  computer remains property of the University and assigned to the department. Computer use is  subject to the applicable Acceptable Usage Policy promulgated by ACCC, as such policy may be  amended from time to time. The process for replacing computers that will be more than four years old during the following academic year will be initiated every year of this agreement on or  before January 15th, and computers should be received no later than August 1st of each year. 

F. The University shall provide classroom support during all hours in which courses are scheduled,  including access to printers and technology support for classrooms with sufficient on-campus  staff to facilitate timely support. This support shall commence at least a half hour before courses  are scheduled. 

G. In accordance with the University of Illinois Statutes and General Rules Concerning University  Organization and Procedures, faculty members shall retain ownership rights to traditional  academic copyrightable work.  

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Institutional Commitments discusses resources necessary to teach, learn, and research at UIC. Our contract currently codifies reimbursement  for work-related activities; classroom and technology support; rights to accommodation and access; and provision of  a functioning and up-to-date computer.

The University-provided computer program (E.) is the most widely utilized guaranteed institutional commitment amongst members. This program became available through the UICUF 2015-2018 contract. All faculty within the UICUF bargaining units are entitled to a $1,500 computer and a 3-year extended warranty — the 3 year warranty is an extension over the standard 1 year warranties – so faculty should have a total of 4 years coverage, after which you are entitled to a new computer. The additional cost of extended warranties, where applicable, will be covered by the university in addition to the $1,500 limit.

In addition to the computer program, Article VII. addresses intellectual property rights for faculty. In recent years, concerns over faculty rights to materials posted and distributed via third-party contracts–such as Blackboard–or other online teaching materials produced during periods of remote learning have risen. Per the contract, all materials produced during the normal course of teaching and learning remain the author’s intellectual property. The only exception is if a faculty member was paid expressly for the production of materials above and beyond what would be a part of their normal workload/salary. Such agreements should be documented via a faculty member’s appointment letter for the term that the materials would be created. 

If you feel you are being inappropriately denied a university-issued laptop, intellectual property rights, appropriate accommodation, or effective classroom support, please contact your UICUF Representative Assembly member, or email UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. UICUF representation has a successful track record in supporting faculty denied the resources necessary to maintain UIC’s extraordinary academic environment. 

In Solidarity,
The UIC UF Bargaining team

Xochitl Bada (Associate Professor, Latin American and Latino Studies) | Aaron Krall (Senior Lecturer, English) | Andy Baker (Clinical Assistant Professor, Music) | Anna Kornbluh (Professor, English) | Becky Bonarek (Lecturer, Tutorium in Intensive English) | Charitianne Williams (Senior Lecturer, English) | Gosia Fidelis (Associate Professor, History)  | Ian Collins (Clinical Assistant Professor, Daley Library) | Jim Drown (Senior Lecturer, English) | Jeff Gore (Senior Lecturer, English)  | Jennifer Rupert (Senior Lecturer, English, Gender and Women’s Studies) | Kate Floros (Clinical Assistant Professor, Political Science) | Kate Lowe (Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy) | Kevin O’Brien (Clinical Associate Professor, Library of the Health Sciences) | Kevin Whyte (Professor, Math, Statistics, and Computer Science) | Laurie Quinn (Clinical Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing Science) | Nicole Nguyen (Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies) | Paul Preissner (Professor, Architecture)

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14 Jul UICUF Contract Negotiation: Bargaining Update

  • UICUF Bargaining team met with UIC admin for 6th session: No articles were TA’d, but important needs were discussed, and both sides agreed to bring in experts to discuss the finer points of ongoing issues.
  • Get to know your contract: Article XII of our contract discusses processes related to faculty discipline.
  • Honoring Janet Smith’s Legacy: Consider contributing to the Janet Lynn Smith Practitioner in Residence fund today, Thursday, July 14th. 

Contract Bargaining continues

The UICUF bargaining team met via Zoom with the administration bargaining team for a sixth session on Monday. In this session, conversation focused on UICUF’s counter proposal on Article IV. Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment, and administration’s counter proposals on three articles, Article X. Academic Freedom; Article XIV. Physical Conditions; Article XVII. Access to Personnel File. At stake in these conversations is the bargaining team’s belief that current university policies need to be made known, transparent, and accountable. In recent history, although university policies and processes exist in cases of harassment, academic freedom, and personal files, they have not always been adhered to; in some cases, policies concerning documentation of complaints and investigations have remained opaque or unknown. Our goals in Articles IV, X, and XVII all focus on making current university policies transparent and accountable. 

The next bargaining session will be held on July 25th at 10am via Zoom. Members are encouraged to come and observe the session, although we ask that only members of the bargaining team talk during the main session with the administration team–members opinions are very important to us, however, during caucus! Please contact the UICUF staff at UICUnitedfaculty@gmail.com to receive the invitation link.

***

Get To Know Your Contract

UIC UF Faculty Contract (2018-2022)
Article XII. Hours of Work and Commitment (Non-Tenure and Tenure Contracts) 

A. Bargaining unit members covered herein are expected to maintain work hours and commitment to the University required by the terms of their appointment. Bargaining unit members shall comply  with the University of Illinois Policy on Conflicts of Commitment and Interest and related State  of Illinois laws such as the University Faculty Research and Consulting Act, 110 ILCS § 100 and  the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, 5 ILCS § 430. 

B. Expectations for all non-tenure system faculty ranks or categories of faculty positions, including expectations for teaching, research, and service, shall be created through transparent shared governance processes in each academic unit and made easily accessible to all faculty. These expectations shall include a teaching statement that sets clear expectations for the teaching  assignments, including course load and class size. Job expectations shall be updated and/or re-ratified by the academic unit at a minimum of every three years.

C. Should a change to job expectations be needed during the course of a bargaining unit member’s  contract, the unit and the non-tenure track system faculty member shall mutually agree upon said  change(s). Such changes will conform with the terms of this Agreement. 

Most important for UICUF faculty members to note is that all programs and departments are required to publish workload descriptions and expectations and make them available to faculty. These expectations should be produced through faculty shared governance and updated, again through shared governance, every three years. This update is intended to recognize how technology and changing institutional priorities are affecting faculty work, as well as to control expectation creep which devalues faculty labor. Our contract does not currently outline what workload policies should include, which is the focus of our proposals for this article for the new contract. The bargaining team believes that workload policies should discuss all three pillars of academic work–teaching, research, and service–although it is clear that faculty positions differ in their priorities. We have also proposed a requirement that if an individual member’s workload deviates from the norm, that deviation should be negotiated between the member and their supervisor–and mutually agreed to. 

As a UIC faculty member, you should currently have access to written workload policies for your position within your academic unit. We encourage all members to locate your program’s policies and stay informed. If your unit does not have a workload policy that is freely accessible, you are encouraged to reach out to your unit’s Representative Assembly member or email UICUnitedfaculty@gmail.com.

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Honoring Janet Smith by Supporting UIC’s Voorhees Center

UIC’s College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs has created this fund to support a rotating “Practitioner in Residence Program” to bring experienced community leaders to CUPPA and maintain the work with Chicago’s underserved communities that Janet spent her career working with and advocating for. 

You can click here to honor Janet’s life and continue her important work making Chicago a more just and equitable city. 

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24 Jun Support the Bargaining Team at the Table & Remember to Vote on Tuesday

  • Next Bargaining Session is Monday, June 27: UICUF’s Bargaining Committee invites union members to observe all bargaining sessions with the university’s administration.
     
  • Illinois Primary Election is Tuesday, June 28: Don’t forget to vote if you are eligible, and you can make use of the Illinois Federation of Teachers’ endorsement list to identify strong pro-public education and pro-union candidates.
  • Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) Opportunities: You can pitch in to support proven allies of public education who are in tough election fights.

Dear Colleagues,

Monday, June 27th Bargaining Session, 10 am to noon.

The UICUF Bargaining Committee will be introducing new proposals regarding three articles of our current contract: 

  • Article IX. Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, Layoff and Recall 
  • Article XII. Hours of Work and Commitment
  • Article XIV. Physical Conditions 

We will also be presenting counter proposals on four other articles: 

  • Article IV. Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment
  • Article X. Academic Freedom
  • Article XI. Governance
  • Article XVI. Labor Management Meetings

We are expecting counter proposals from the administration on: 

  • Article XV. Discipline and Dismissal
  • Article XVII. Access to Personnel File
  • Article XVIII. Grievance and Arbitration

Members may observe via zoom, and join conversations with colleagues during caucus sessions. Please do not speak during the live bargaining between our team and the administration.

Tuesday, June 28th Illinois Primary Election

UICUF leadership encourages our members who are eligible voters to participate in the Illinois primary election. The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) has vetted candidates seeking IFT endorsement and have made endorsements in selected races where they think there is a clear preference based on candidate legislative records and stated positions on public education and unions. Members of UICUF’s Committee on Political Education participated in IFT’s endorsement process. You can find those endorsements here.

GOTV Opportunities

We have strong public education allies who serve in the Illinois legislature who are in contested races and have requested help. They have frequently sponsored and/or voted for bills that advocate for investment in higher education, K-12 schools, and protection of retirement benefits for public workers. They serve on important House and Senate committees and always take into consideration the impact legislation will have on working people. The opposition to their election or re-election in these races comes from the Fraternal Order of Police, the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCs), and/or corporate interests. Because these districts overlap, a coordinated campaign is being waged to support all of them together.

Delia Ramirez – running for the newly drawn 3rd US Congressional District, which covers much of the NW side and suburbs, and includes West Town, Humboldt Park, Hermosa, Avondale, parts of Albany Park, and extending towards Elgin.  Delia is endorsed by Chuy Garcia, Elizabeth Warren, Jan Schakowsky, and Bernie Sanders. She currently serves as an assistant majority leader in the Illinois House 4th district.
Omar Aquino – Senate, 2nd district
Rob Martwick – Senate, 10th district
Lillian Jimenez – Illinois House, 4th district (running for the seat that Delia Ramirez holds).
Lindsey LaPointe – Illinois House, 19th district

Can you help us elect these allies of the public good? Contact John Cusick (jcusick@ift-aft.org, 773-759-6120). 

Solidarity,

UIC United Faculty Leadership

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20 Jun Seeking information about salary payment delays and other issues

Dear UICUF member, 

Many UIC faculty have been having repeated problems with delayed pay. UICUF members have been reaching out to see what can be done, but because of the complicated bureaucracy involved, we don’t have a clear sense of where the issue originates or how best to approach it. We also do not know how widespread the problem of delayed pay is. 

To help us get a better sense of this problem and potential solutions, please fill out this short survey about your experience with timely (or untimely) payment. 

Because we want to get an accurate picture, please forward this email to any faculty members in your department that may not be represented by the union, but may be having problems.

In solidarity, 
UIC United Faculty leadership

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14 Jun Professional Development funds are a part of your compensation!

  • The UICUF 2018-2022 contract guarantees every faculty member professional development funds as a part of their compensation package. 
  • Many departments ask faculty to submit claims for reimbursement by the end of the fiscal year, June 30: August 15 is the hard deadline.
     

From our contract:

Article VI. Compensation, Leaves, and Group Health
A.1.c Professional Expense Reimbursements

Funds will be allocated each year of this Agreement so that each bargaining unit member shall receive up to ($600 NTT or $900 TT) for expenses related only to research and/or teaching-related professional development, to be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. In the event that a bargaining unit member has an opportunity to travel for professional meetings/conferences, specific to their employment duties, then they may be eligible for an additional $600. Pre-approval for the additional funding must be obtained from the Unit Executive Officer prior to the event and, if approved, will be reimbursed in accordance with University policy and guidelines. These funds supplement departmental professional development budgets, if any, rather than replace them.

Professional development funds should be considered a part of your compensation/benefits package, although system policy stipulates that they must be used in a manner that befits and benefits the university. All programs and department bylaws should outline what is and is not acceptable use for these funds. In addition to the professional development funds, all faculty are entitled to an additional $600 dollars specifically for travel-related expenses related to meeting/conference attendance. This $600 dollars must be pre-approved by the faculty member’s Executive Officer. It is important to note that the funds established by the union contract is a minimum amount, and does not limit the amount departments may grant faculty for important development opportunities.

The hard deadline to use these funds is August 15th, although many departments ask faculty to use funds in advance of the deadline, either citing the end of the university fiscal year–June 30–or potential delays in processing a sudden onslaught of requests. In the spirit of collegiality, faculty should make every effort to comply with these requests when possible, but August 15th is the contractual deadline. Some members are reporting increased delays in reimbursement due to the system’s switch to a new reporting system for expenses. With these issues in mind, we would like to emphasize the importance of all faculty using their professional development funds as soon as possible as they do not roll over from previous academic years.

If you encounter issues with using your professional development funds, please do not hesitate to reach out to your local UICUF Representative Assembly Member (see list below) or email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

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