Solidarity Saved My Department

21 Jan Solidarity Saved My Department

  • A Solidarity Story: Last year Admin planned to outsource the vast majority of a key UIC program, the Tutorium for Intensive English. The program’s faculty pushed back, saving their program and their jobs, earning them last year’s UICUF John Shuler Award. In the video above, they share their story, in their own words.
  • 2021 Shuler Award: It’s time again for members to nominate their departments for the John Shuler Award, which is given every year, along with $500, to an academic unit that demonstrates excellence in shared governance. Download the application here!
  • Office Hours with CADA Rep: One of our Reps for the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts, Karyn Sandlos, will join us for office hours Thurs, 1/28/21, 12-1pm. CADA members are working on a variety of issues and we encourage you to join us
  • Supporting Our Health Workers: Our colleagues at the hospital are still fighting to have admin honor their contract commitments. We have supported them with a petition drive and public testimony at the Board of Trustees today. More as the situation evolves.


Dear Members,

At the beginning of 2020, even before the pandemic forced most of the university to shift to remote classes, the UIC administration began making moves to replace much of the Tutorium for Intensive English and its faculty with uncertified tutors provided by a for-profit business. The administration proceeded without any faculty input, and without regard for academic quality or the long-term academic success of our students. That’s when Tutorium faculty contacted UIC United Faculty.

Program faculty saw that individually there was little they could do (many had already made their protestation of the move plain), but with the help of the union, they began working together on a collective strategy to push back. Within a matter of weeks, armed with an enforceable contract and solidarity with their colleagues in a united front, the TIE faculty turned what appeared to be an inevitable defeat into a collective victory, saving their program and their own jobs. You can hear their story in their own words in the video above.

The UICUF John Shuler Award
For their efforts in turning back an outsourcing plan by working together in a way they had not been used to doing before, the UICUF Shared Governance Committee chose to award them  the 2020 John Shuler Award. The John Shuler Award is given each year to an academic unit that makes important strides in, or exceptionally demonstrates the principles of, shared governance. It is now time to begin nominating academic units for consideration of their work this academic year. Any member can nominate your unit by completing the application and mailing it to us at

Office Hours with Our College Reps
Next week, we will host our first office hour with one of our college Representatives, Karyn Sandlos, in attendance. Karyn is our Rep for the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts–where our members have, and are, working on a variety of issues from equity pay to setting course-load policies. We encourage anyone interested to drop in, especially if you are a CADA member with questions, concerns, or other ideas. As a reminder, office hours are held every week, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 12-1pm. See links above for the zoom invite, and links at the bottom of this email to add the sessions to your calendar.

Solidarity with Our Hospital Workers
First, thank you to all the faculty who signed our petition in support of UI Hospital employees, who are still fighting for their contract to be upheld! We’ve now submitted the petition with 675 signatories to the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees, and had a member testify alongside SEIU members at this morning’s Trustee meeting. We haven’t yet seen any specific response to our actions, but will monitor the situation and let you all know if further steps are needed to hold the administration accountable to the labor contracts they signed.

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 With your support, we are making UIC an even SAFER place to work and learn!

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