17 Aug Opt-Out of On Campus Duties Before 5pm TOMORROW
- Act NOW to Opt-Out: per an unusual administrative communication this weekend, faculty have until 5pm Tuesday (TOMORROW), to opt-out of on campus teaching.
- “Exceptions” Under Investigation: Despite the broad statement in the email, we’ve heard from some members that their Deans claim this doesn’t apply to them. We are urgently investigating these reported “exceptions,” as well as whether it applies to library duties.
- Safety Remains a Major Concern: UICUF continues to have grave concerns about the safety of on-campus classes. We strongly recommend you request accommodations now if desired.
- Union Support is Available: UICUF will support all requests made, informally or through the grievance procedure if necessary. A written record of your timely request will greatly improve chances of winning accommodations, even if they are initially denied.
- Email us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if you would like help requesting accommodations, or if you have been denied, told you are ineligible, or are uncertain of your eligibility.
An Untimely Email
Faculty members received an unusual email on Saturday, giving everyone very short notice that we may now opt-out of on campus teaching, but also that accommodations must be requested by 5pm CST, Tuesday (TOMORROW). As has become a pattern this summer, UIC’s administration has taken some apparent action on union demands, but only through vague policy emails that leave more questions than they answer, and which arrive so late as to be nearly panic-inducing.
To add to the confusion, we’ve already heard from faculty, especially those in the College of Nursing, that their Dean claims this option does not apply to them. It is also unclear whether this option extends to duties in the Library, or other duties outside of the traditional classroom setting. UICUF is rapidly moving to investigate these issues and will communicate any updates ASAP.
One thing is clear however: if you wish to exercise your right to opt-out of on campus duties, you must do so IMMEDIATELY, regardless of uncertainty or perceived eligibility.
UICUF Will Back Members on Safety Decisions
For reasons we have discussed previously, UICUF remains deeply concerned about the safety of on-campus work, whether it is in a classroom, lab, studio, or in the library. The safety of our community is absolutely paramount, and to that end, we strongly recommend that our members exercise this option if you are in any doubt about your own safety or that of your community.
The union is committed to backing up our members on your decisions, up to and including filing grievances over denied requests for accommodation if necessary. If you want an accommodation, you should submit a written request to your supervisor before the deadline regardless of any uncertainty about eligibility. Even if you expect the request to be denied, a record of your request will improve the chances that we can successfully press your claim.
If you are uncertain about whether you can opt out, you have been told you are not eligible, or your request is denied for any reason, LET US KNOW IMMEDIATELY. We will continue to fight for universal opt-out discretion, both at the university level and for individuals at risk.
UIC United Faculty