News

19 Nov Bargaining Survey Now Live

  • Bargaining Survey is Now Live: Members should have received a link via Survey Monkey yesterday to participate in our bargaining survey. Please let us know if you have any trouble finding or accessing the survey at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.


  • Taking the Survey: Your input will directly impact our bargaining positions. The survey takes 15-20 minutes to complete, and your responses are anonymous.


  • FAST Fund Update: Our newly created FAST Fund, set up to aid students in need, has already distributed the entire $5,000 initial fund in just the first few days of operation, and we are now taking a pause to do more fundraising. You can donate to the fund here


  • Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Rally: Our members participated in a rally against sexual harassment and discrimination with UIC GEO yesterday. This is a major issue that is being addressed in GEO contract negotiations right now. Pics below! 

Dear Colleagues,

Our bargaining survey is now live, and we’ve already heard from many of our members! We strongly encourage you to participate if you haven’t done so already, so the union can better understand the issues you face ahead of contract negotiations next spring. Members should have received a link to the survey in their email from Survey Monkey yesterday morning, 9am, 11/17/21.  

If you have trouble accessing the survey, email us ASAP at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com 

The survey should take only 15-20 minutes to complete, and your responses are anonymous. The bargaining team will use the results to guide decisions on bargaining positions and proposals. 

FAST Fund Update

We launched our FAST fund to help cover students’ costs on Monday and by Wednesday evening had given out the full $5,000 we started with. Thank you to everyone who shared the application with your students. We have temporarily paused new applications for aid while we fundraise more money to give out! We know that our students have a lot of financial needs, and we hope to be able to continue helping them meet those needs. You can donate to the fund here: https://givebutter.com/uic

Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Rally

Faculty members joined grad students in the Quad despite inclement weather yesterday to demand the administration act on protections against sexual harassment and discrimination. The UIC Graduate Employee Organization currently has several proposals on the table in their contract negotiations that seek to address these issues, which we covered in a prior communication. UICUF will likely consider our own proposals on these topics in our contract negotiations, coming in Spring 2022. 

Solidarity,

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!

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17 Nov Announcing the UIC United Faculty FAST Fund for Students

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Dear Colleagues,

We’re excited to announce a new UICUF-run fund to help UIC undergraduates cover costs necessary to help them complete their education! A joint project between our parent union, the American Federation of Teachers, and the non-profit Believe in Students, the FAST Fund allows faculty unions to quickly give out small grants to help students cover costs like childcare, rent, car repair, medical expenses, licensure fees, or anything else that will help support their education.

UIC’s FAST fund is now live and accepting both applications and donations. If you know a student who needs assistance, please direct them to: bit.ly/UIC-fast. If you would like to donate to the fund, you can do so at: givebutter.com/uic. If you want to join the FAST Fund committee or help in some other way, please reach out to us. We encourage you to share this widely, especially with your students.

Solidarity,

UIC United Faculty FAST Fund Committee
Celeste Janusewksi, Chair (Occupational Therapy)
Kim O’Neil (English)
Michael Scott (Mechanical & Industrial Engineering)

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12 Nov Bargaining Survey Coming Wednesday

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  • Union Members Will Receive Our Survey Wednesday: UICUF will be sending our bargaining survey out by email on Wednesday, 11/17/21. Input on bargaining priorities is a privilege of union membership. If you ae seeing this message, you are likely not a union member. You can join the union via our website.
  • Why Take the Survey: Our bargaining survey is one of the most important ways for our bargaining team to assess what our members want ahead of contract negotiations coming in spring 2022. It will directly influence union proposals and priorities when we negotiate everything from pay to workloads, professional development to retention.
  • Listening Sessions: Another way we seek input from our members is through listening sessions, set up in collaboration with members in each unit, where union representatives meet with members to learn about their experiences and priorities for the coming year. If you’d like to help us set up a listening session, email us.
  • Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Rally: As discussed in past emails, UICUF will join our grad worker colleagues for a rally in the Quad around greater workplace protections in cases of harassment and discrimination on Wednesday, 11/17, from 12:30-1:30pm. Mark your calendar!

 

Dear Colleagues,

It’s time once again for union members to participate in our Bargaining Survey. As we’ve mentioned in the past, our current union contract will expire in August of 2022. We anticipate starting our negotiations with the UIC Administration this coming spring semester. The Bargaining Survey helps us identify and gauge interest in issues ranging from pay raises to workloads, retention, professional development, and much more.

Join the Union Now to Participate in Our Bargaining Survey and Support Contract Negotiations in 2022

Members will receive an invitation to participate in the survey via email this coming Wednesday. The survey will be administered through Survey Monkey. All answers are anonymous, and the survey should take you only about 20 minutes to complete. Members will have until 12/6 to complete the survey.

As a reminder, weighing in on bargaining priorities is a privilege of union membership, as is voting to ratify the final contract after it has been negotiated by the bargaining team. Responses will be read by the bargaining team, and directly influence the team’s positions, proposals, and priorities when we meet with administration to negotiate a contract on behalf of UIC faculty.

Listening Sessions
While the bargaining survey is one of our most important tools for reaching as many members as possible, we will also do more focused Listening Sessions by department or college, in collaboration with our members in each unit. We are looking for members who are able to help set up these meetings for union representatives and bargaining team members to speak directly with members in your departments. If you’re interested in having a union representative speak with your unit about contract bargaining, please email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com and we will work with you to set up a session!

Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Rally
UICUF is dedicated to making UIC a safer place to learn, which we believe includes confronting discrimination, harassment, and bullying in the workplace. We will be joining UIC GEO for a rally supporting these goals in the quad on Wednesday, 11/17, from 12:30-1:30pm. Mark your calendar and join us! If you have a story of your own to tell, please let us know. We are here to support you in any way that we can

Solidarity,
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!

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04 Nov A Word on Union Raises and Dues

  • How Our Raises Stack Up: Over the last 4 years, our union contract mandated 4% annual raise pools (2% merit, 2% compression/equity) for our bargaining units. Using the Gray Book for comparison, we’ve found that UIUC faculty, UIC Medical School Faculty, and most UIC Administrators, received far less, including no raises at all in 2020.
  • 1% Pays for It All: Union dues for UICUF are 1% of your salary. It may sound like a lot, but if you’ve ever received 1% more in a single year than you would’ve without a union contract, your union colleagues have already won you enough to pay almost the full cost of those dues…for life.
  • Why Dues Matter: We couldn’t negotiate or enforce our contract effectively without dues. Our union is an opportunity to pool our resources to win better working conditions. It allows us to maintain an office and professional staff, train members and leaders, and maintain a legal fund. This is how we win strong contracts and protect our members.

  • How We Win: A new round of contract negotiations is coming in Spring 2022, and we are already preparing. Union dues and active membership together are what give us the power to push for better working conditions in a process that is responsive to faculty needs, not just accept the status quo.

 

Will you join your union colleagues as a member today?

UNION MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION
You can join online in less than 5 minutes, and a union representative will confirm receipt of your membership application within a working day. Dues are deducted through payroll each month.

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

Today, we’re going to just talk about the money: contractually mandated raise pools and union dues. In the video above, our Treasurer Michael Scott, Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, talks about how our raises stacked up and how dues money made it possible to win those raises.

 

Did you know that according to the Gray Book most non-union UIC employees were given no raises last academic year? That includes Medical School faculty, and Administrators. Same with non-union UIUC faculty. This year, they received only 2% raise pools, even as state and federal funds covered the vast majority of unusual costs related to COVID, the U of I endowment posted record gains, and enrollments hit yet another record high.

 

Faculty covered by the UIC United Faculty contract, by contrast, benefitted from 4% annual raise pools (2% merit, and 2% compression/equity) every year since 2018. We also negotiated higher minimum salaries for all ranks. Further, we have raised the floor for faculty pay from $30k/year to $50k/year since our first contract’s effective date in 2012. We also negotiated 10% minimum raises on promotion, and guaranteed professional development funds, and protected the majority of those funds from clawbacks during the height of the COVID pandemic.

 

All of this is to say that if you’re reading this, you’ve almost certainly benefited financially from our union contract, and we’re proud of the work union members have done to win on bread-and-butter issues for all faculty.

 

1% Pays For It All

Of course, the union difference is only possible because of our active and dues paying members. Dues for UICUF are 1% of pay, typically deducted from payroll each month. That may sound like a lot, but consider that this 1% is money the union’s efforts have already put in your pocket.

 

If you’ve ever received a 1% raise that you wouldn’t have without our union contract, you’ve

virtually made back the equivalent of your union dues, not just that year, but for the rest of your career.

 

Let’s compare what happened over the last four years of our union contract to the Campus Wage raises for non-union employees using a simple starting salary of $100. First, the salaries for people without a union contract:

NO CONTRACT 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 Total
Previous Salary $100 $102 104.04 $104.04
Campus Wage Raise Pool 2% 2% 0% 2%
New Salary $102 $104.04 $104.04 $106.12 $416.22

 

Now, the salaries for people with our actual union contract:

WITH CONTRACT 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 Total
Previous Salary $100 $104 108.16 $112.49
Contract Raise Pool 4% 4% 4% 4%
New Salary $104 $108.16 $112.49 $116.99 $441.64
Dues $1.04 $1.08 $1.12 $1.17 $4.41
Net after Dues $102.96 $107.08 $111.37 $115.82 $437.23

 

You might notice that not only did the union contract bring in significantly higher raises, but that take-home pay was also a lot more even after deducting union dues. In fact, dues rise by only a penny on the dollar when a union member gets a raise, meaning the first time you get a 1% raise you wouldn’t have received without the union contract, your dues are virtually paid up for life.

 

Why Dues Matter

Simply put, the union can’t operate without dues money. Dues pay for our local staff and office, as well as the cost of training for our members and leaders. Dues allow us to sustain a legal defense fund for protecting our members and enforcing the contract. And dues contribute to the larger labor movement, including our affiliates, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, American Federation of Teachers, and American Association of University Professors, where we regularly turn for crucial expertise and resources.

 

Our union is an opportunity to pool our resources, to have a meaningful voice that our administration cannot ignore in the way that it could an individual faculty member. And it is the commitment of members, both as dues payers and active participants, that gives us the power to win strong contracts and protect those victories through hard times.

 

To all our fellow union members, it’s thanks to you that we have a strong voice at UIC, and have enjoyed the benefits of progressively better union contracts over the years.

 

If you are not yet a member, and you’ve read this far, will you consider joining all your union colleagues who make our faculty union possible?

 

UNION MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION

Solidarity,

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!

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01 Nov Fighting Harassment, Discrimination, with Union Contracts

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  • UIC Grad Workers Lead the Way: UIC GEO, the graduate workers union, is leading the way in negotiating new and badly needed contract protections against workplace sexual harassment, discrimination, and bullying. These issues affect all of us at UIC and we’re proud to support UIC GEO in this cause.
  • Status Quo: Currently, complaints go to the university’s Office of Access and Equity (OAE), notorious for their slow and equivocal responses to issues, which rarely address the individual’s concerns. 

  • Proposal-At-A-Glance: GEO is proposing practical changes, including guaranteed accommodations to protect those experiencing harm (regardless of whether/how an OAE investigation proceeds), options to file complaints via union grievance procedures, and an end to mandatory reporting that limits survivors’ autonomy.
  • Joint Rally Supporting Anti-Harassment/Anti-Discrimination Proposals: UICUF will join our grad worker colleagues for a rally in the Quad around greater workplace protections in these cases on Wednesday, 11/17, from 12:30-1:30pm.

Sexual Harassment and Discrimination GEO proposal

Dear Colleagues,

 

As we discussed last week, our colleagues in the graduate workers’ union, UIC GEO, are currently bargaining their next contract. We are preparing for our own next round of negotiations, anticipated to begin this spring, and are watching the proceedings with keen interest.

 

Among their current set of proposals, we think those dealing with sexual harassment, discrimination, and bullying bear particular note. In our own experience, current university policy is woefully inadequate in these areas.The process by which complaints are filed, reviewed, and addressed leaves much to be desired.

 

Here are some of the proposed fixes that GEO is bringing to the table:

 

  • Guaranteed workplace accommodations to move those experiencing harm out of toxic situations without requiring formal reporting to OAE
  • An end to mandatory reporting, which takes autonomy away from survivors of sexual harassment or assault and drives a wedge between them and potentially supportive colleagues
  • Expanded protections for workers who do choose to file formal reports with OAE
  • The option to pursue sexual harassment or discrimination complaints through the union grievance process instead of filing with OAE, giving them clearly structured procedures and timelines
  • Expanded definitions of sexual harassment and more groups protected from discrimination
  • New language on workplace bullying and discriminatory harassment

 

These proposals aim to give those affected by harassment, discrimination or bullying more support for getting out of bad situations, while maintaining autonomy over who they can talk to and how they can address an issue. They also ensure, with the backing of union contract enforcement, that protections for complainants are automatic, and not tied to the outcome of an adversarial investigation, or a punitive outcome for those named in a complaint.

 

Importantly, adding these options does not remove or invalidate the option to engage in formal reporting through OAE, but does give those affected more alternatives if they feel that process is not appropriate for their situation.

 

If you have questions about how these proposals will work, or how they might affect faculty, you can reach a union representative by emailing UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com with any questions.

 

Rally to Support Anti-Harassment/Discrimination/Bullying Proposals

UIC United Faculty will join UIC GEO for a rally in the Quad on Wednesday, 11/17, from 12:30-1:30pm, in support of these groundbreaking proposals. GEO has also invited our members to speak on their own experiences with sexual harassment, discrimination, and/or bullying at UIC. These are issues that affect every worker on campus, so please mark your calendar and drop by for the rally!

 

If you are willing to speak on your own experiences, please contact us confidentially at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

 

Solidarity,

UIC United Faculty

 

***

We hold a regular office hour from 12-1pm Wednesday each week. Use the following link to add it to your calendar:

Wednesday 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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22 Oct UIC Healthier, Wealthier in 2021 – Earns Top Marks at Midterm

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  • UIC Earns Top Marks for Health, Wealth, Student Enrollment: Despite ongoing pandemic conditions, UIC has done exceptionally well in almost every dimension of institutional wellbeing, earning top midterm marks
  • By The Numbers: Enrollment is up 2%, setting a new record for the 7th year in a row, the UI system endowment closed the fiscal year with a record 34% return on investment, and our campus is 96% vaccinated with just 3 COVID cases this week.
  • UIC Grads Bargaining Update: As a reminder, UIC GEO has been bargaining for almost half a year and are currently negotiating leaves, lockouts, and non-discrimination.
  • No Excuse for Hard Bargaining on Quality of Life Proposals: With UIC and the UI system celebrating record enrollments, endowment performance, and health indicators, there’s no reason to hold up low-cost, high impact proposals, like extending to grads the full 6 weeks paid parental leave that UIC already promised to all employees this summer.

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

UIC United Faculty has reviewed UIC’s performance across multiple dimensions and are happy to report that our university has earned a solid “A” in terms of institutional strength at the Midterm. As has been the case several years running, UIC and the UI system in general are performing well above expectations, overcoming the major challenges of an ongoing global pandemic and excelling in these categories:

 

  • Campus set an enrollment record for the 7th year in a row, welcoming a student body of 34,199, up 2% from last year’s previous record
  • The U of I system endowment soared to a record high, earning a 34% return at the close of fiscal year 2021
  • 95.8% overall vaccination status has minimized COVID transmission on campus and limited total cases to 3 this week

 

We in the union are proud of UIC’s consistent strong performance, and our roles as faculty in continuing to make UIC an even better place to work and learn this year!

 

UIC Grad Employees Bargaining Update

You may have noticed the Grade-In this week at University Hall, as our colleagues in the UIC Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) sought to raise awareness about their contract bargaining, ongoing for about half a year now. GEO reports that they have so far reached tentative agreements on 16 mostly non-controversial articles in their contract. They are currently negotiating over low- or no-cost proposals that would substantially improve the lives of their members, and set important non-discrimination and anti-harassment standards at UIC.

 

Here is where they stand on a few key proposals:

 

  • Standardized 5 days sick leave regardless of appointment percentage – Won!
  • Standardized policy on class recording, no reuse of recordings without the instructor, recording not a condition of employment – In discussion
  • 6 weeks of paid parental leave to grad workers – Admin countered – only 3 weeks, half of what all UIC workers were promised this summer
  • No lockout – Refused. Admin “Reserves the Right” to lock grad workers out of their offices, labs and classrooms (despite the contract already having a no-strike clause)

 

We’ll go into more detail on the GEO negotiations in future messages, and obviously there is a long way to go in their bargaining before an agreement is reached. In the meantime, you can follow GEO on Facebook and Twitter for detailed bargaining reports. However, it immediately strikes us that with the university celebrating record performance on enrollment, endowment, and campus health, there is little justification for holding out on proposals that could dramatically improve grad workers’ quality of life while costing the university little or nothing.

 

 

Solidarity,

UIC United Faculty

 

***

We hold a regular office hour from 12-1pm Wednesday each week. Use the following link to add it to your calendar:

Wednesday 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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14 Oct Rep Assembly Recap, Mutual Aid, & Contact Tracing Committee

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  • Union Members on Contact Tracing Committee: We are pleased to report that the administration has reached out to solicit union participation on a committee on contact tracing, to which we will send two delegates. This is a key point on campus safety, and we look forward to joining this important work.
  • Mutual Aid Fund: UICUF began a mutual aid fund last year for members in financial need. The fund raised $15k and distributed more than $12k in aid to members not reappointed during the pandemic. The fund has now been overhauled to aid any member suffering financial hardship. Members in need can email us to apply for support.
  • Rep Assembly Recap: Our Rep Assembly discussed the ongoing importance of new member outreach, and also unanimously resolved that the union will support faculty rights to determine the modes in which they teach, be it in person, remote, synchronous, asynchronous, etc.

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

At this time we’re pleased to say that the UIC Administration has reached out to us to participate in a committee on contact tracing. This marks a refreshing shift from last year, when members were forced to petition and saturate then-Provost Poser’s office with inquiries to get a union member onto the newly formed COVID taskforce. Issues of campus health and safety are not only of great interest to our members, but are also directly in line with a core role of any union: to protect our members from unnecessary risk and harm. We will be sending two delegates to this new group.

 

Mutual Aid Fund
Last year, amidst the great uncertainty of the pandemic going into the summer, UIC United Faculty formed a mutual aid fund for our members. This decision was made to address concerns that some members, if not swiftly renewed before their appointments ended in May (a bureaucratic quirk of some visiting contracts), would lose their health insurance during the worst health crisis in recent history. In addition to UICUF getting the university to extend coverage for some individuals, the Mutual Aid fund raised $15,484, and distributed $12,100, principally to members who had not been renewed, and were concerned about being able to cover basic needs like health insurance.

 

Just last week, the Mutual Aid Fund was given a new mandate, to maintain a fund that can be made available to any member experiencing serious financial hardship, to pay for basic needs like rent, groceries, utilities, and so on. While these cases are rare, the pandemic has proven that the need is very real. If you are a member suffering a personal financial crisis, you can review our criteria for aid, and email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com to apply for consideration.

 

Rep Assembly
Last week our Representative Assembly met and discussed key issues important to our union membership. New member outreach continues to be our top priority for the moment, and we are always interested in working with current members to reach out to colleagues in your departments. If you want to help, union staffers are ready and able to work with you to identify potential members, and approach them about joining the union. Union membership and active member participation are the most important tools at our disposal when we approach the bargaining table this coming spring semester, so please let us know if you are able to help!

 

The Assembly also voted unanimously on a resolution on the rights of faculty to determine modes of teaching:

 

“Faculty alone–individually, and collectively through shared governance–always have the right to determine modes of teaching, including in the context of the COVID-19 epidemic. Specifically, questions regarding teaching in person or online, or teaching synchronously or asynchronously, or teaching in a hyflex or hybrid mode, belong to the faculty alone to determine. Faculty of course need to accommodate individual students who present formal accommodation letters from the Disability Resource Center. Furthermore, faculty may have their own needs for accommodation, including needs not currently recognized by university policy, such as minimizing public contacts because of being caretakers for vulnerable people in their households.”

 

Though we understand the desire on the part of the university administration to move more classes in-person in the spring, we continue to believe that course delivery is an aspect of academic freedom that must be honored, and we will support faculty exercising these rights individually and through shared governance.

 

Solidarity,
UIC United Faculty

 

***

We hold a regular office hour from 12-1pm Wednesday each week. Use the following link to add it to your calendar:

Wednesday 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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08 Oct Representative Assembly Meeting Friday

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  • Rep Assembly Meeting Friday: Our Rep Assembly will meet remotely, Friday, 10/8, 12-1:30pm. All members welcome! (Members will receive a link by email)
  • Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness: The federal government is offering limited-time waivers to submit loan repayments previously not qualified for the program. We encourage members with loans to learn more via the official government website.

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

As a final reminder, we will be holding our fall Representative Assembly meeting, Friday, October 8, from 12-1:30pm. The meeting will be held remotely for our members’ convenience and safety, and all members should have already received a link via email. All members are invited to attend and get to know our representatives and how our internal representative processes work.

 

We anticipate discussing issues related to in-person instruction now and in spring semester, membership growth, contract bargaining preparedness for the spring, current member advocacy efforts, and the formation of an Elections Committee for next year’s officer elections at the end of Spring Semester.

 

If you’d like to know who represents your college or unit, or want to get in touch with your representative, you can find a listing of all our officers, representatives, and staff, on our website.

 

Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness

While this won’t affect everyone, we know that many of our members have student loans, and working at a public institution like UIC may help you qualify for loan forgiveness. This program has been deeply fraught, and only a tiny fraction of loan forgiveness applicants have actually had their loans forgiven.

 

The U.S. Department of Education has announced, however, that for a limited time they will be waiving many of the confusing criteria that have disqualified applicants thus far. In particular, payments made under any repayment plan will be considered to count toward the total required 120 payments, so long as they occurred while you were working full-time (or a combined 30 hours/week) for a public, or qualifying non-profit employer.

 

UIC UF staff are currently looking for resources to support people interested in making use of the loosened restrictions for loan forgiveness, so anyone needing assistance should reach out to us at our general email address.

 

***

We hold a regular office hour from 12-1pm Wednesday each week. Use the following link to add it to your calendar:

Wednesday 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 Oct Representation in Our Union and at UIC

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  • Elected Representatives: Every 2 years, our members elect colleagues to act as union stewards and sit on our Representative Assembly to discuss and vote on key union issues. Find out who your union representative(s) are on our website.
  • Rep Assembly Meeting Open to Members:  Our Rep Assembly will meet via Zoom next week, 12-1:30pm on Fri 10/8. Meetings are open to union members, and we welcome non-members to join and attend!
  • UIC Faculty/Staff Town Hall: We encourage all faculty to submit questions and attend the Chancellor’s Faculty/Staff Town Hall, 1-2:30pm, Wed 10/6.
  • Bargaining Priority Poll Results: You can now view results of our micro-poll on bargaining priorities which went out to our members last week. Pay/benefits were our top-ranked issues, followed by workloads.
  • Micro-Poll on Workloads: We are now running a follow-up poll on workloads, but you must be a member to offer input. We encourage you to join and participate in these opportunities to shape union policy!

Dear Colleagues,

Today we want to remind you of all the ways in which you can make your voice heard, both within our union, and at UIC. Our union is a democratic organization, and we actively encourage our members to participate in union governance, as well as the governance of our university. If you are not a member and want to offer input and/or participate in union policy decisions, you can join now via our online application here:

Join Our Union

Union Representatives
Per the UIC United Faculty Constitution, our members elect a Representative Assembly every two years. These Representatives are both our union stewards who provide support for colleagues in their units, and members who sit on our Representative Assembly, the legislative body that discusses and votes on issues important to the union. We hope you’ll take note of your college-level union representative (see above for link) and reach out if there is anything you wish to discuss. All conversations with a union representative are confidential. You may also direct questions or concerns to our general email, UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if you prefer.

The next Representative Assembly meeting is coming up next week, on Friday, October 8th, from 12-1:30pm, and will be held virtually via zoom. All members are welcome to attend these meetings, and we encourage non-members to join the union and learn more about how our union democracy functions! We will be discussing, among other things, the next steps toward contract negotiations with our newly formed bargaining committee.

UIC Faculty & Staff Town Hall
Chancellor Amiridis has called a town hall meeting for all UIC faculty and staff, to be held next Wednesday, 1-2:30pm (links will be sent by UIC the day before to all employees). The administration has asked that faculty submit questions online ahead of the event. While UIC United Faculty is not recommending any specific focus for such questions at this time, we highly encourage you to engage in the process, as it is one way that faculty can let the administration know what is of concern to them. We are aware from our own interactions with members that there are lingering concerns, for example, about inconsistency in the contact tracing process, as well as about ongoing issues regarding technology and tech support. We will, of course, attend the event and report on any relevant information to our membership.

Bargaining Priorities Poll Results
Our members had an opportunity to participated in our bargaining priority micro-poll last week, and the results are now in. You can view them via the link shared above. Though this is a non-scientific poll, it does guide our process while we prepare for bargaining, as will future polls and the major bargaining survey we intend to run between now and Thanksgiving Break.

Our respondents collectively identified Pay and Benefits as their top priority. This category includes raise pools, salary minimums, and raises-on-promotion, as well as health and pension benefits. UICUF has had a strong track-record of growing faculty pay over the life of our union and it will be on the agenda for 2022 as well. These past victories include raising minimum salaries from $30k to $50k since our first contract, winning iron-clad 4% raise pools that stood firm through the pandemic even as other institutions offered 0% or clawed back pay rates, and ensuring a 10% raise minimum on promotion.

Workload issues were the runner-up priority. We know that even before the pandemic, unaccountable increases in workloads were a problem in terms of course loads and class sizes. Since COVID and the shift to more remote work and teaching, however, we’ve also seen a rise in work expectations around shifting classes to remote or hybrid models and supporting students with accommodations, and on technological and personal issues. These changes have not fallen evenly on all faculty, but the overall shifts are apparent, so our micro-poll this week will be a follow-up to better understand how workload changes are affecting our members. If you are not a member and wish to participate in our polling and offer other input on bargaining and union policy, we invite you to join the union today!

Join Our Union

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We hold a regular office hour from 12-1pm Wednesday each week. Use the following link to add it to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm

We issue regular updates via email, FacebookTwitterYouTube, 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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24 Sep Fall Member Meeting Recap And Tribute to a Fallen Colleague

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  • 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.

Dear Colleagues,

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.

Bargaining
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.

Solidarity
UIC United Faculty


Comrade Levy On Strike February 2014 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.

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We hold a regular office hour from 12-1pm Wednesday each week. Use the following link to add it to your calendar:

Wednesday 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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More