11 Aug UIC Faculty Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Against Administration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2020
Robert Johnston, UICUF Chief Steward
Charitianne Williams, UICUF Communications Chair
UIC Faculty Union Files Unfair Labor Practice Against Administration
Administration has violated its legal obligation to bargain in good faith over changed working conditions.
CHICAGO- The union representing UIC faculty has filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) over a summer compensation program enacted unilaterally by administration while under negotiation at the bargaining table. Rather than following faculty recommendations, the administration stated the money would go only to faculty preparing large online lecture courses for fall, but in fact the distribution of funds appears inconsistent and fraught with error.
This follows a set of ULPs filed simultaneously earlier in the summer for similar actions taken that the union feels have obstructed negotiations. The administration has failed to bargain in good faith over changes in faculty working conditions and the impact on union contracts. Top university officials at UIC have skipped scheduled meetings with faculty union representatives and refused to put agreements in writing.
In March, UIC United Faculty (UICUF) indicated the intent to bargain over COVID-19 related workplace issues including health and safety, academic freedom, intellectual property, promotion timelines disrupted by the virus, and the reappointment of non-tenure track faculty let go prematurely due to fear of decreased enrollments.
“The health and safety of our members remains the priority,” says Aaron Krall, Executive Vice-President of UICUF and head of the bargaining team.
Trouble at the bargaining table has also prompted an emergency membership meeting this week for union members to discuss confidence in the administration’s plan to return to campus, faculty legal rights if assigned to teach on campus, and possible future actions for the union membership if progress is not made.
“Our concerns are not being addressed,” said Krall. “We worry how many faculty or students must fall ill or die before our demands are taken seriously.”
The UIC United Faculty (Local 6456) represents all full-time tenure and non-tenure track faculty at UIC. UICUF is affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professionals.