18 Feb Spring Member Meeting & Check-Ins
- Save The Date: Our Spring Membership Meeting will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, March 31st from 3:30-5pm. All members are invited to join us in discussing UIC budgets and faculty retention, as well as planning for Back-to-School in the Fall.
- Bargaining Update: We met with the administration again last week and received some responses to our impact bargaining proposals, though it’s clear there are still wide gaps in expectations, especially around enforceability of agreements.
- Member Check-Ins:.As we register ongoing concerns over department budgets, job retention, and fall reopening plans, UICUF staff and reps will be checking-in with members by phone to learn more about your thoughts, questions, and concerns.
- Health Concerns: We know that many faculty members are currently working on campus, even if they are not teaching. We want to invite members to message us at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com if you have any health/safety concerns at this time.
Our Spring Membership Meeting is now scheduled, from 3:30-5pm on March 31st. The meeting will be held via Zoom, and a link will be sent to each UICUF member closer to the event. All members are welcome and encouraged to attend as we discuss the implications of hinted-at budget and job cuts for 2021-2022, as well as plans for potentially re-opening campuses in the Fall. There will also be bargaining updates, as we continue to work toward contractually enforceable agreements with the administration.
We met again last week to bargain over ongoing COVID-19 policy impacts and were given responses to a number of our proposals. While the administration is at least offering written responses now, it is clear that we still have a ways to go before a mutually agreeable framework can be signed. Perhaps most important of the remaining issues is that of enforceability of the agreement. The administration does not appear to think that our existing grievance and arbitration process, which was negotiated and agreed to by all parties in regular bargaining, is an appropriate venue to enforce agreements in a COVID-19 agreement. This goes back to the core issue in our Unfair Labor Practice filings, now scheduled for hearings this semester: the administration’s broad failure to negotiate enforceable written agreements within the collective bargaining framework. We hope that agreements can be reached in a meaningful timeframe, but are willing to go through the full ULP proceedings if that is what’s required to ensure that this critical function of labor relations is taken seriously by the administration.
As we face ongoing uncertainty around important topics like Fall reopening plans, whether department budgets will be cut, and how that will affect faculty retention, UICUF will be doing a series of member check-ins. You may receive an email or phone call from a union representative, and we hope you’ll take a moment to let us know how you are faring this semester. As ever, anything you share with a union representative will be confidential, and will help us better understand what our members are experiencing, so we can best represent you.
You can, of course, always reach out to us proactively at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com, or via one of your elected college representatives, or by dropping into one of our virtual weekly office hours from 12-1pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays every week (see links at the bottom of this message).
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!