22 Oct UIC Healthier, Wealthier in 2021 – Earns Top Marks at Midterm
- UIC Earns Top Marks for Health, Wealth, Student Enrollment: Despite ongoing pandemic conditions, UIC has done exceptionally well in almost every dimension of institutional wellbeing, earning top midterm marks
- By The Numbers: Enrollment is up 2%, setting a new record for the 7th year in a row, the UI system endowment closed the fiscal year with a record 34% return on investment, and our campus is 96% vaccinated with just 3 COVID cases this week.
- UIC Grads Bargaining Update: As a reminder, UIC GEO has been bargaining for almost half a year and are currently negotiating leaves, lockouts, and non-discrimination.
- No Excuse for Hard Bargaining on Quality of Life Proposals: With UIC and the UI system celebrating record enrollments, endowment performance, and health indicators, there’s no reason to hold up low-cost, high impact proposals, like extending to grads the full 6 weeks paid parental leave that UIC already promised to all employees this summer.
UIC United Faculty has reviewed UIC’s performance across multiple dimensions and are happy to report that our university has earned a solid “A” in terms of institutional strength at the Midterm. As has been the case several years running, UIC and the UI system in general are performing well above expectations, overcoming the major challenges of an ongoing global pandemic and excelling in these categories:
- Campus set an enrollment record for the 7th year in a row, welcoming a student body of 34,199, up 2% from last year’s previous record
- The U of I system endowment soared to a record high, earning a 34% return at the close of fiscal year 2021
- 95.8% overall vaccination status has minimized COVID transmission on campus and limited total cases to 3 this week
We in the union are proud of UIC’s consistent strong performance, and our roles as faculty in continuing to make UIC an even better place to work and learn this year!
UIC Grad Employees Bargaining Update
You may have noticed the Grade-In this week at University Hall, as our colleagues in the UIC Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) sought to raise awareness about their contract bargaining, ongoing for about half a year now. GEO reports that they have so far reached tentative agreements on 16 mostly non-controversial articles in their contract. They are currently negotiating over low- or no-cost proposals that would substantially improve the lives of their members, and set important non-discrimination and anti-harassment standards at UIC.
Here is where they stand on a few key proposals:
- Standardized 5 days sick leave regardless of appointment percentage – Won!
- Standardized policy on class recording, no reuse of recordings without the instructor, recording not a condition of employment – In discussion
- 6 weeks of paid parental leave to grad workers – Admin countered – only 3 weeks, half of what all UIC workers were promised this summer
- No lockout – Refused. Admin “Reserves the Right” to lock grad workers out of their offices, labs and classrooms (despite the contract already having a no-strike clause)
We’ll go into more detail on the GEO negotiations in future messages, and obviously there is a long way to go in their bargaining before an agreement is reached. In the meantime, you can follow GEO on Facebook and Twitter for detailed bargaining reports. However, it immediately strikes us that with the university celebrating record performance on enrollment, endowment, and campus health, there is little justification for holding out on proposals that could dramatically improve grad workers’ quality of life while costing the university little or nothing.
UIC United Faculty
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