News

13 Aug UICUF Position on Masking and Distancing

uicufwebB

  • UICUF Policy Position on Masking:We strongly support the current universal indoor masking policy at UIC. As there is no official policy on enforcement of mask rules, faculty discretion must be honored in regard to managing our own classrooms. We recommend collaborative and/or progressive approaches to encourage student masking.
  • UICUF Policy Position on Distancing:UIC communications and enrollment policy suggest there is currently no plan to apply distancing guidelines on campus, though this may change. UICUF supports maintaining 6ft distancing guidelines, until such time as UIC meets the CDC definition of a fully vaccinated campus. Faculty concerned about crowding should ask their units ASAP for support meeting 6ft distancing guidelines.

Dear Colleagues,

This is the second installment in our series of policy positions on critical elements of UIC’s fall reopening plans. In our last message, we discussed policy regarding remote/alternative work accommodations. Today, we are discussing positions on two major pieces of policy affecting campus safety: Masking and Distancing.

Regardless of other safety precautions being put in place, it remains UICUF’s position that the best thing individual faculty can do to protect ourselves, our students, and our communities, is to get vaccinated and comply with UIC’s vaccine confirmation process. This will help all parties involved have a better understanding of the health and safety landscape we face this fall, and may have a significant impact on how classes are arranged.

Masking
Current Policy: All individuals on campus are required to be masked while indoors, regardless of vaccine status. There is currently no official expectation nor restriction in place regarding faculty enforcing masking in their classrooms, but faculty already have the right to manage our classrooms in regard to dangerous or disruptive behavior.

UIC United Faculty Position:
Given the ongoing health risks posed by COVID-19 and the increase in new variants that appear to be vaccine resistant, along with the physical limitations of ventilation in public spaces and classrooms, UICUF strongly supports universal indoor masking on campus.

Regarding enforcement, UICUF has discussed our concerns with the admin on what role faculty play in enforcing the mask mandate. They have so far signaled that faculty will not be responsible for mask enforcement.

It is the position of the union that faculty discretion on enforcing or not enforcing mask policies must be honored insofar as it already applies to classroom management. UICUF views the creation of any future enforcement policy to be a mandatory subject of collective bargaining. Furthermore, no faculty should be disciplined for acting or not acting within the context of managing their classroom.

Guidance to Faculty
It is recommended that faculty consider collaborative and progressive approaches to encouraging safe behavior in their classes. Options such as syllabus agreements, discussion on safe classroom behavior with students, clear warnings when safe conduct is not respected, and escalating responses to repeated issues should be considered whenever possible.

It is further recommended that faculty seek support from UICUF if you are facing challenges with classroom management, are not getting the support you need from your Unit EOs, or are being directed to act in a manner you feel is inconsistent with your reasonable rights to manage your own classroom.

Distancing
Current Policy: Course enrollment policies appear to be based on an assumption of full vaccination, with no distancing requirements being taken into account. On July 21, 2021, UIC stated in an email to faculty: “As we approach the fall semester and achieve a fully vaccinated environment, we anticipate no longer requiring social distancing indoors in classrooms and other campus facilities effective Aug. 16.” It was later stated in an email to all faculty on August 6, 2021: “Given the dynamic situation with the Delta variant, we are closely monitoring public health recommendations and we may need to adjust physical distancing requirements for the fall.”

UIC United Faculty Position:
The absence of distancing policies appears to be based on the expectation that UIC will reach the CDC definition of a fully vaccinated campus, which would allow for the loosening or dropping of mitigation activities including physical distancing. A fully vaccinated campus is one on which all individuals present are verified to either be fully vaccinated, or exempt.

Based on vaccination reporting statistics, however, UIC does not currently appear to meet the necessary requirements for this status. It is unclear when or if the university will meet this criteria before the Fall 2021 semester begins.

Therefore, it is UICUF’s position that UIC must adhere to the CDC guidance for campuses that are not fully vaccinated. This includes providing signage and markers in all public places — hallways, restrooms, elevators, central offices and classrooms — to remind people to follow the 6 feet distancing guidance. In classrooms where this is not possible due to enrollment and capacity, the university should work with the faculty member to find a reasonable solution (e.g. finding a larger classroom on campus) based on the number of students expected to attend class in person. Where practicable, faculty may space out students and/or block off seating to allow distancing.

Guidance to Faculty
If you are concerned about crowding in your classroom or other work and meeting spaces, we recommend that you consult with your unit EO immediately to discuss possible solutions.  UICUF can assist as needed.

Solidarity
UIC United Faculty

***

We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

10 Aug UICUF Position on Remote/Alternate Work Accommodations

uicufwebB

  • UICUF Policy Positions on Reopening: UICUF is finalizing positions on ensuring a safe start to the fall semester and the broad resumption of in-person classes, including guidelines on safety, accommodations, and teaching modes.
  • Informing Members and Supervisors: We have developed detailed statements intended to inform members and administrators on union positions. We will share them over the next two weeks, delineating current policy as we understand it, our position relative to that policy, and direct advice for faculty navigating these policy areas.
  • Position on Accommodations and Alternate Duties: Last year, admin issued guidelines for seeking remote or alternate duty accommodations. Additional options exist through the Office of Access and Equity, which handles requests under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Accommodations Position Summary: Seeking accommodation at the unit level is always preferable where possible. It is UIC policy that units should offer maximum flexibility. Accommodations should be discussed in an interactive process, and UICUF will assist if desired.

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the fall 2021 semester, UICUF recognizes that our university community faces many challenges in regard to campus reopening, COVID-19 safety measures, and their impacts on teaching, research, and service. We also recognize that the UIC administration has already established policies to promote campus health and safety while balancing the pursuit of our teaching and research missions as a public R1 university.

UICUF fully supports the vaccine mandate for faculty, staff, and students, and encourages all to register their status with UIC if you have not done so already. We also fully support the requirement that people be masked indoors — even if vaccinated — to help reduce the spread of the Delta variant.

While vaccination is the most effective means of mitigating the effects of COVID-19, UICUF believes it is one of many possible mitigation strategies that the university can and should enact. It is possible that UIC will not reach the specific definition of a fully vaccinated campus as determined by the CDC by the time classes resume, and we strongly believe that the administration should pursue other mitigation steps to keep the campus community safe. These steps include but may not be limited to: continued universal masking indoors in accordance with university policy, an assumption of full social distancing protocols for classroom planning and management, and attention to indoor air quality with the addition of HEPA filtration systems where appropriate.

UICUF also broadly agrees with and supports the campus safety measures currently in place.
However, we have some concerns based on a review of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) guidance release on July 19, 2021 and the July 23, 2021 CDC guidance for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs). Recognizing that circumstances are changing with the Delta variant, we will outline union policy positions as guidelines for our membership and the university administration over our next several communications before the first day of classes. These statements will define our understanding of specific policy areas, our positions relative to them, and guidance to faculty on how to operate within them. These position statements are intended as timely responses to current conditions, with the understanding that conditions will continue to evolve rapidly.

Remote-Work/Alternative Work Accommodations
Current Policy: UIC currently acknowledges two possible paths to request remote work or adjusted duties relative to COVID-19 considerations.

There is a policy by which faculty can work out accommodations directly with their Unit Executive Officer (EO). Faculty can request accommodation under this policy based on personal health risks, family/household health risks, or even other impacts of the pandemic such as childcare needs. Granting of these accommodations is at the discretion of your Unit Executive Officer, but the policy expressly directs Unit EOs to offer maximum flexibility consistent with unit operations.

A separate process, solely for personal health accommodations without regard to family/household issues, also exists under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and can be accessed through the university Office of Access and Equity (OAE). This process is governed by federal and state law and does require disclosure to OAE of your reason for requesting an accommodation, but this information will remain confidential and will not be shared with your supervisor. It may require examination by a university health professional.

You may seek accommodation through either or both of these routes at your discretion. It is important to be aware, however, that in both cases determining the specific nature of the accommodations is an interactive process. This means that the accommodations will potentially represent a compromise that may or may not fully align with your desired outcome. At the same time, we want to remind faculty that university’s position is to work with employees to determine the best solution possible

UIC United Faculty Position: UICUF strongly supports the rights of faculty to accommodations, based not only on their own personal risk factors, but also on household and family considerations. We are satisfied that the referenced policies should adequately address the vast majority of cases.

Guidance to Faculty: UICUF encourages faculty to seek accommodations at the unit level by discussing matters with their Unit EOs wherever feasible. If you feel you are eligible for ADA accommodations based on personal health needs, this may be preferable depending on your relationship with your Unit EO. For faculty who feel that they need accommodations but do not feel comfortable reaching out to their Unit EO and do not qualify for ADA accommodation, we invite you to contact the union directly at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com, and we will be delighted to assist you in seeking a solution.

Solidarity
UIC United Faculty

***

We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

04 Aug Negotiating Vaccination and Remote Work Accommodations

uicufwebB

  • UICUF Met with Admin Friday: In our first meeting, we reaffirmed members’ support for a strong vaccine and safety policy when we start Fall semester.
  • Vaccine Mandate: Admin confirmed that vaccine compliance and reporting was NOT a condition of employment but left the consequences for noncompliance largely unspecified. At this time we are still encouraging faculty to get vaccinated if possible and to register your vaccine status through UIC Healthcheck to allow for better fall planning.
  • Accommodations for Remote Work: We discussed the limitations of seeking accommodations through the current process, only offered under ADA guidelines. UICUF and Admin seem to agree that non-ADA accommodations should be available and worked out at the unit level as needed, though details are still being considered.
  • What Students are Being Told: In case you have not seen it, this is the latest message to students on vaccines and remote learning. Note that remote-learning accommodations aren’t unlimited, and admin encourages students to discuss options with their faculty.

Dear Colleagues,

We met with UI Labor Relations and Acting Provost Karen Colley on Friday and began the process of seeking clarification and agreement on the vaccine mandate, other safety measures, and remote work accommodations. It was a generally positive meeting, with both sides seemingly in alignment, at least in principle, on most of the big issues. We very much appreciate Acting Provost Colley’s ready willingness to meet and work with us during her time in office.

Vaccine Policy
We in particular reaffirmed our members’ strong interest in having a thorough and clearly defined vaccine policy, implemented as soon as possible–a sentiment that the administration clearly agrees with. We did seek answers on how the vaccine mandate would be enforced, and while administration confirmed that they don’t view vaccination as a condition of employment per se (meaning no one will get fired for non-compliance or non-disclosure), it was much less clear what actually would happen in the case of non-compliance. At this time, we’ve been told faculty will be getting notices that they are out of compliance, and that their unit heads will be notified. We are asking for more details.

UICUF wants to establish clear guidelines so that the results of vaccine non-compliance or non-disclosure are understood by all parties well before they are put to the test, and to assure that enforcement is fair and consistent.

We are also seeking clear guidance on how exemptions are being considered so that our members know whether they are eligible, and also so that we can confirm the process is rigorous for our members’ safety. We believe it would serve everyone’s peace-of-mind, as well as fairness and equity generally, to know how the exemption process works.

Finally, in regard to vaccine compliance, we asked if the administration anticipated meeting the CDC definition of a fully vaccinated campus. At this time, the administration seems to be unable to give a clear answer, and we will continue probing on this important issue. At a fully vaccinated campus, where all individuals present are vaccinated, other mitigations like distancing can be loosened or even eliminated entirely. However, if UIC does not meet the requirements, it could mean that distancing would have to remain in place, significantly changing the dynamic of class sizes and spaces.

Remote Work Accommodations
The other major item for consideration we discussed was how remote work accommodations would be handled. It’s long been our position that the current policy of requiring anyone seeking accommodations to go through the ADA process is an inadequate response given the realities of the COVID pandemic. The policy does not, for example, provide for anyone who has vulnerable family or household members because it focuses solely on the individual health of the worker seeking the accommodation.

Again, the administration team appeared to agree, in principle, that a broader framework for accommodations should be considered. They specified, and we largely agree, that such determinations should be made at the unit level, between faculty and their supervisors. However, we intend to seek a clear affirmation of this sentiment in writing, along with guidance to all unit heads that reinforces the need for flexibility wherever possible. Again, the concern is that such a sentiment without any guidance or written agreement to back it is liable to produce unequal and inequitable outcomes across different units. While one size cannot fit all situations, we believe a duty on the part of unit heads to meet and negotiate with faculty seeking an accommodation is an appropriate step.

What Students are Being Told
We want to bring attention to the latest updates for students regarding vaccine status and remote learning. Importantly, the administration has said that students are expected to be vaccinated if possible, that vaccinated students are expected to be on campus, and that the availability of remote learning is not a given. They further say that those who qualify for accommodations to learn remotely (which will NOT be automatically granted to vaccine-exempt students) will likely need to discuss details with faculty. All of this is to say that faculty autonomy is very much still in place in terms of teaching methods, and UICUF will stand ready to assist faculty with concerns in this area.

As ever, we highly encourage you to send us your thoughts and questions, general or specific, regarding vaccination mandates, return-to-campus, remote work, or any other concerns you may have. We will continue updating the membership as the situation evolves.

Solidarity
UIC United Faculty

***

We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 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!

WeHeartUIC - Logo

Read More

29 Jul Union Vaccine Support and Our Demand to Bargain

uicufwebB

  • UICUF Members Strongly Support a Vaccine Mandate: As we reported last week, 93% of our members surveyed earlier this summer indicated support for a vaccine mandate for faculty, staff, and students.
  • Bargaining on Implementation: As UIC Admin acknowledged last week, implementation of the new policy for faculty is appropriately handled via negotiations with the union. We have submitted our demand to bargain will meet with admin on Friday.
  • Bargaining Goals: As our members decisively support a broad vaccine mandate, we intend to pursue a thorough and clearly defined implementation as soon as possible. This includes seeking answers to questions our members have raised such as how vaccine and masking policies will be enforced.

Dear Faculty,

As we discussed last week, the UI system announced a vaccination mandate for all faculty and staff, to be implemented through relevant collective bargaining agreements where appropriate. This applies to all unions at UIC, UIUC and UIS. We have already submitted a demand to bargain on this new policy’s implementation and are now scheduled to meet with Labor Relations Friday afternoon so we can move forward expeditiously.

Our goal for negotiating implementation will be to ensure that it is done with clear guidance, rules, and expectations. We also seek further information on UIC’s policy as outlined in the 7/21/21 email and in its FAQ.

Our members have voiced considerable concern for safety measures beyond a sole assumption of universal vaccination. It remains UICUF’s position that a vaccine mandate does not replace the need for other safety measures such as mask enforcement and improved ventilation in buildings with known airflow issues. We have also already signalled that we want clear guidelines on who will be responsible for carrying out these safety measures, including what role, if any, the administration expects faculty to play in managing the safe behavior of their students and colleagues.

As always, we will continue to update you on this process as it unfolds, and we hope and intend to resolve any outstanding issues ASAP so that faculty can return to campus with peace-of-mind knowing that their safety is a top priority. We also want to continue hearing from you on your thoughts, questions and concerns at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com

Solidarity
UIC United Faculty

***

We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 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!

Read More

28 Jul UICUF Response to Vaccine Mandate

uicufwebB

  • Vaccine Mandated for Faculty, Staff: Per an email circulated this week, the UI system is extending its vaccine mandate to include all faculty and staff.
  • Decision Subject to Bargaining: As the administration message states, health and safety conditions are mandatory subjects of collective bargaining, and UICUF will engage in this process immediately.
  • Many Questions Remain: We’ve started receiving questions about this mandate and encourage faculty to continue funneling those questions to us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com. We are striving to build as complete a picture as possible as we work with UIC Administration on the details of its COVID safety plans.

 

Dear Faculty,

By now, you have likely received a message from UI administration, reporting an extension of the university’s vaccine mandate to include all faculty and staff, with the possibility of medical or religious exemptions. A vaccine mandate for students was originally announced earlier this summer, with the option to seek medical or religious exemption or to simply take classes 100% remotely. Following the UI email, UIC administration provided further guidance on how the mandate will be implemented on our campus, including a mask requirement and a website to seek an exemption.

The decision to extend the mandate to employees was relayed to UIC United Faculty, and our fellow union organizations on campus, only a few hours before it was announced to the campus community. As such, it has not been fully vetted or bargained. The vast majority of our members (93% of those responding to our poll earlier this summer) suggested they would support a universal vaccine mandate, though many questions remain about implementation, and UICUF is seeking answers to questions our members have raised. Among those questions and concerns are how the mandate may be enforced, whether accommodations for remote teaching will be offered to those with vulnerable household members, and how the planned requirement for vaccine status disclosure impacts people’s health privacy. It is also the union’s continued position that while vaccines are an important part of an overall safety plan, requiring vaccination does not excuse a lack of attention to structural safety issues like ventilation.

Health and safety considerations are mandatory subjects of bargaining, and as the administration’s notice states, roll-out of this mandate will be implemented through collective bargaining for faculty in our bargaining unit. We plan to meet with the administration’s representatives and resolve written guidance for implementation ASAP. Our fellow campus unions are making similar moves to ensure that the workers affected by this decision have a say in its implementation, and we by no means consider the policy described to be the final word on the subject.

We’ve received a number of inquiries about specifics of this mandate, and we strongly encourage you to continue sending us those questions. While we may not have immediate answers, we are following up on each inquiry, and your thoughts and concerns are important to our understanding of faculty needs as we go into discussion with the administration over implementation guidelines. You can submit any questions or comments to us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com, and we will make every effort to address them quickly.

Solidarity,
UIC United Faculty

***

We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 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

09 Jul Final Fall Reappointment Deadline July 15th

uicufwebB

Dear Faculty,

As we’ve reported recently via our reappointment survey, as of June 1st the vast majority of NTT faculty were given letters confirming their reappointment for fall semester. This was a top priority of our campaign to retain faculty jobs this year, and we are pleased that most departments worked to give their NTT faculty peace-of-mind going into the summer, which many have lacked in years passed.

A handful of departments did exercise their option, as allowed in our current contract, to extend the deadline for their reappointment decisions to July 15th, now just a few days away. As the university is giving every signal of optimism for rebounding enrollment, and potentially even record-high numbers this fall, we continue to assert that every NTT faculty member eligible for a reappointment this year should receive one.

If you are still awaiting confirmation of your reappointment status for the fall, you are contractually entitled to receive news of that decision next Thursday, July 15th. Most of our members reported receiving a form letter or email that looks like this:

In accordance with Article IX, Section B.3, of the Non-Tenure System faculty collective bargaining agreement between the University and UIC United Faculty 6456, IFT-AFT, AAUP, this message is notice that you [will/will not] be reappointed as [Title] for Academic Year 2021-2022.

Please note that if you’re in the middle of a multi-year contract, you may not receive this letter. This letter is also distinct from the official and binding Notice of Appointment (NOA) which you should receive after the Board of Trustees meets in August.

If you are eligible for renewal and have not received a letter of reappointment by July 15th, let us know at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com ASAP.

***

We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 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

01 Jul Our New Office and Fall Safety Webinar by UPI

uicufwebB

Dear Faculty,

We are happy to announce that we have officially relocated to a new office, which we will be sharing with our colleagues in the UIC Graduate Employees Organization. The new office is located above Giordano’s in the Rice Building on the Southwest corner of Halsted and Van Buren. The entrance is on the Halsted-facing side of the building, and our new address is:

815 W. Van Buren, Suite 203
Chicago, IL 60607

We chose to make this move for a variety of reasons that we feel will benefit our members. For many, this office will be closer and more accessible via east campus and east campus parking for those who have to commute. It also remains just a few minutes walk from the UIC-Halsted Blue Line stop. Additionally, we will have significantly more ownership of the space itself, and hope to be able to host a wider range of functions, including social events, that will give more members reason and opportunity to visit us and take advantage of this space. We will have our own private office space for confidential meetings and conversations, in addition to a larger shared common space for open meetings and social events.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this move brings us into the same space as our colleagues in UIC GEO, the organization representing UIC grad workers. They are easily our most important collaborators and allies on a wide range of campus issues, and we’ve enjoyed the fruits of a strong relationship with our GEO colleagues over the years. Through this move, we look forward to working even more closely with them moving forward.

UPI webinar on the COVID Vaccine and Fall Safety Concerns
Our union colleagues at University Professionals of Illinois are hosting a webinar next Wednesday, 7/7/21, inviting union faculty from a variety of institutions to listen and discuss the changing safety landscape we’re seeing for the fall semester. Here is the full webinar description and registration information. UICUF members are encouraged to participate.

July 7 4:45 pm UPI webinar: A Conversation about the COVID Vaccine and Health and Safety Concerns for the Fall.

Special Guest: Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Executive Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

This webinar features our special guest, the Executive Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike, who will discuss the safety of the Covid vaccine and its critical importance for protecting public health and individuals. Dr. Ezike will also answer your questions regarding the vaccine. A panel discussion will follow to discuss current CDC recommendations for Institutes of Higher Education and related issues for the fall semester. Panelists include Dr. Sheila Simons (an epidemiologist), Dr. Bill Mills, (a certified industrial hygienist), Dr. Gabe Guzman (an infectious disease specialist), and Dr. Kai (Billy) Hung (a microbiologist). Additional guests may be added. Participants are encouraged to submit questions in advance and during the discussion.

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Jul 7, 2021 04:45 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: A Conversation about the COVID Vaccine and Health and Safety Concerns for the Fall

Register in advance for this webinar:
https://aft.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_1wfWUVfpTQmCPsFZHf7kyg
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

***

We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 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

17 Jun Faculty Overwhelmingly Reappointed as of June 1

uicufwebB

Dear Faculty,

As most of you know, we recently ran a poll to learn more about NTT faculty reappointment to ensure that they are getting timely notices. All faculty up for renewal are entitled per our contract to a notice on June 1 informing them of their reappointment status, or letting them know that the decision has been deferred to July 16th.

Based on responses from over a third of all NTT faculty, almost all had been notified of their status as of June 1st, and the vast majority were told they will be reappointed (only 1% of faculty were given notices of NON-reappointment). This comes close to satisfying our campaign demands asking the university to notify all faculty on or before June 1st, and to retain all eligible faculty in light of projected near-record enrollments for the fall.

Below, you can see our survey highlights, and a direct link to the survey results. Once again, if anyone is concerned about their individual reappointment process, you can directly contact us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

Survey Participants and Structure
This survey was designed to poll non-tenure track faculty on the reappointment process and outcomes for summer 2021. It was sent to all non-tenure track faculty who were present in our bargaining unit in spring 2021, a total of 667 faculty. 236 faculty responded to the survey, a response rate of 36%.

Result Highlights

  • 95% of respondents who expected a notice on their reappointment status received one as of June 1st. Further questions show that only 2 individuals reported being unaware of their reappointment decision status.
  • 88% of respondents who received a notice were told they will be reappointed for fall.
  • 8% of respondents received notices that their reappointment was deferred to a later date. These deferrals appear to be focused in just 5 units.
  • Only 1% of notices reported were explicit notices of non-reappointment.
  • Just over half (53%) of respondents reported being on 1-year contracts. 36% are on multi-year appointments and 10% do not know what kind of appointment they have.
  • At least 55% of NTT faculty reported that their previous appointment would end in Summer 2021. Though the vast majority reported that they were reappointed, and on a timely basis, this means that over half of full-time NTT faculty faced the possibility of sudden job loss in this year alone.

***

We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 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

10 Jun Reappointment Survey Closes Monday

uicufwebB

  • Reminder – Complete Our Reappointment Survey: Our survey on reappointment for NTT faculty closes on Monday, 6/14. If you haven’t taken the survey, you can do so now via our Surveymonkey Link. All individual responses are strictly confidential: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9BBD7DJ
  • Positive Reappointment Trends: With a third of all NTTs reporting, we are pleased to see that the vast majority of faculty up for reappointment were notified and renewed as of June 1. We will follow up with anyone who reports concerns about the process, but if you wish to contact us proactively, email UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com
  • AAUP Summer Institute: Our national affiliate, the American Association of University Professors, will be holding a series of free virtual talks and training sessions this summer. We encourage members considering a more active role in the union to attend!

 

Dear Members,

As a reminder, our survey on NTT reappointment is still active, and we highly encourage all members up for reappointment to respond so we can report an accurate picture of reappointment to the membership. This is also an opportunity to point out any concerns you may have over the reappointment process, and/or alert UICUF to any individual issues you may wish to have us follow up on. All responses are strictly confidential, and the union will share only aggregate data in our summary report with membership after the survey closes.

At this time, with roughly a third of all NTT faculty reporting, we’re pleased to say that we are continuing to see an exceptionally high rate of faculty both being notified in a timely manner, and of faculty being renewed for the fall. Only a few units have chosen to defer reappointment decisions, and we are in contact regarding those we know about. If you have individual concerns about your own reappointment, of course, please feel free to email us directly at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.

Lastly, we want to invite all members to join us in attending AAUP’s virtual Summer Institute! This has been a major opportunity for members to learn more about the work higher ed unions are doing around the country, and to prepare for our own efforts, such as our upcoming 2022 contract bargaining. This year, the sessions are all free to members (included in your UICUF membership) and will be held virtually, so it’s easy to attend on your own schedule. While it’s not required, we especially encourage anyone who is considering an active role in bargaining to attend these sessions!

***

We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 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

04 Jun Cautious Optimism as NTT Faculty Report Reappointments

uicufwebB

  • Update on Reappointments: UICUF is cautiously optimistic that our members’ efforts calling attention to UIC’s reappointment practices have had the desired effect, as the vast majority of faculty reporting say they are being reappointed for the fall term.
  • Reappointment Survey: We are continuing to survey NTT faculty to confirm UIC honored the contract requirement to notify faculty of reappointment status on June 1st, and to give faculty an opportunity to report issues: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9BBD7DJ 
  • Petition to Include B2F In Our Unit: Faculty may have received notices like this one. UICUF has been working with Bridge-to-Faculty scholars, who wish to be included in our NTT bargaining unit. This notice indicates the Labor Board is now considering the case.

Dear Members,

In case you missed it, we’ve received some press attention over the last few weeks around reappointment issues, including articles in the Chicago Sun Times, and mentions via local radio programs. This coverage comes in response to our ongoing campaign shining a spotlight on opaque reappointment practices for full-time NTT faculty at UIC, in which we’ve demanded more equitable and timely renewal practices.

With the June 1st renewal notice deadline now past, we have been surveying NTT faculty to ensure that they received notices, and to let them report any issues. That survey is currently active and we highly encourage all NTT faculty to take a couple of minutes and complete it. All responses are completely confidential.

 

Cautiously Optimistic on NTT Reappointments
At this time, we have seen responses from about a quarter of all NTT faculty, and are cautiously optimistic in saying that our members’ work on reappointment issues is having the desired effect. Virtually all NTT faculty responding to our survey received timely notice on their reappointment, and the vast majority were told they will be renewed for the fall term.

We will, of course, continue to work with those who report issues or concerns about the renewal process, and we will publish a more thorough analysis of the survey results after it closes at the end of next week.

 

Unit Clarification Petition
Some of our members, particularly those in the Non-Tenure Track bargaining unit, may have received notices from the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board in the past week. These notices indicate that we have petitioned on behalf of the UIC Bridge-to-Faculty scholars to have them join our bargaining unit, and that the IELRB is considering that petition. UIC admin has challenged the inclusion of the B2F scholars in our bargaining unit.

We have been working with these B2F scholars for about a year now, after a near-unanimous majority signaled a desire for union membership and representation. Bridge-to-Faculty is a program intended to create a pipeline for diverse scholars to join UIC’s tenure-track ranks. They are currently considered by the university to be non-faculty positions, with the university arguing that they are “trainees,” supposedly not qualified to hold faculty appointments. The individuals in the current cohort, however, all hold terminal degrees, and were hired through the same rigorous, competitive process as other full-time faculty. Moreover, they are doing work at UIC equivalent to the work done by other full-time faculty members–teaching and conducting research–which is a crucial factor in determining whether they should be in our bargaining unit.

We are confident that the petition will be accepted by the IELRB, considering the expressed desire of these individuals to be included in our bargaining unit, and we look forward to welcoming them to our union in the near future!

***

We hold regular office hours from 12-1pm Wednesday and Thursday each week. Use the following links to add them to your calendar:
Wednesday 12-1pm | Thursday 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