05 May Telework Agreements, PD Fund Deadlines, Faculty Town Hall
ADVISORY ON NEW TELEWORK AGREEMENTS:
We are aware of the announcement of new telework options, including a telework agreement created by the university. This was not bargained with or vetted by the union and may be unenforceable if it breaches our contract. We recommend against signing such agreements without consulting a union representative first at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.
Demanding Answers on Job Security | PD Fund Reminder
- Strong Showing for NTT Job Security: Our members and allies have written 225 letters to UIC administrators to date, imploring them to accept our demands for NTT job security and retention. You can still write your own letter via our Action Network page!
- UIC Faculty Town Hall: Admin will hold a faculty and staff Town Hall on Thurs, 5/6, 11-12:30pm. UICUF has asked the administration to respond to our NTT Job Security demands in that meeting. You can submit questions via this link if you wish to reinforce our demands or ask about other issues.
- Reminder on Professional Development/Travel Funds: The university’s fiscal year ends on June 30th and we strongly recommend spending any available PD/Travel funds (which can be used flexibly during the pandemic) by that date.
Thanks to everyone who has thus far written a letter to UIC administrators asking that they agree to the union’s demands supporting NTT job security. Between our members and allies, 225 people have taken action on this important subject. If you have not sent a letter, you can still do so by visiting our Action Network page. We are asking the administration to take the opportunity presented by this week’s Faculty and Staff Town Hall and respond to those demands, and we encourage our members to join that call and submit your own questions.
If you are interested in working more directly with the efforts to win greater job security for NTT faculty, you can sign up for our issue mailing list on this subject, or email our organizer, Sophie Bauerschmidt-Sweeney at UICUFSophie@gmail.com.
Updates/Reminders on Professional Development Funds
As the semester comes to a close and the end of the fiscal year on June 30th nears, we want to remind members to spend their contractually guaranteed professional development (PD) and travel funds. Though we are negotiating over another extension to these deadlines, we cannot guarantee an agreement will be reached in time. In order to avoid unnecessary complications in using your funds, you should plan to request them before June 30th, as well as consult with your Unit Head or Business Office to confirm timelines and get pre-approval.
Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about PD and travel funds:
How Much Funding Am I Entitled To Each Academic Year?
Our contract includes two annual funds for professional expenses: Research & Professional Development funds ($900 for TT; $600 for NTT) and Travel Funds ($600 for TT and NTT).
What Can I Use These Funds For?
Per Article A.1.c of our contract, professional development funds can be used for “research and/or teaching-related professional development.” This is typically understood to include conferences, professional memberships or training, and relevant journal subscriptions, but may be used for other purposes at the discretion of your academic unit.
Travel funds, per our contract, are reserved for travel to academic conferences, but due to the pandemic ban on travel, these funds are authorized for expanded use on purchases including home office or remote teaching equipment and traditional Research & Professional Development uses.
Do Unused Funds Carry-Over To The Next Academic Year?
Typically, no. However, because travel was disrupted due to the pandemic, unused Travel Funds from the 2019-2020 academic year were carried over to this academic year, 2020-2021. They still must be used by June 30th, 2021 to ensure that they are not lost.
Is the Union Negotiating Over PD And Travel Funds
Yes. We are still attempting to bargain over expanded use of and/or carry over of the Travel Funds for the 2020-2021 academic year. But the university has refused to continue meeting with us at this time while unfair labor practice charges are pending–an illegal act on their part– and thus, we cannot guarantee any resolution before the deadlines to use funds.
What Should I Do If I Have Trouble Accessing My Funds?
If members are being denied the use of their funds for any reason, they can contact us for support at UICUnitedFaculty@gmail.com.
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!