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Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Message 3/23/12

Message from the Provost – Faculty Unionization Efforts

Dear Colleagues,

In a unanimous ruling, the Illinois Appellate Court yesterday upheld the university's position and reversed the decision of the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) which had certified the UIC Faculty United as the collective bargaining representative of a combined bargaining unit of both tenure-system and non-tenured faculty at UIC.

"The legislature apparently intended that the sole appropriate bargaining unit for tenured and tenure-track faculty at each campus of the University of Illinois would be comprised exclusively of all the nonsupervisory tenured and tenure-track faculty at the campus and that non-tenure-track faculty would be excluded from the unit," said the 3-0 ruling by the court's Fourth District.

After the IELRB issued its decision in September in favor of the combined bargaining unit (excluding Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy), with the board chair dissenting in a 3-1 vote, the university exercised its right to have the matter reviewed by the court.

While acknowledging ambiguity in some of the statute's wording, the Appellate Court found that "the legislative history of this ambiguous paragraph of section 7(a) convinces us that the university is correct. Therefore, we reverse the Board's decision."

Read the Appellate Court's decision here: Appellate Court Ruling Reversing IELRB

The Court's opinion did not include any specific instructions for disposition of the bargaining unit petition filed by UIC United Faculty, apart from reversing the labor board's decision because the board's interpretation was contrary to legislative intent. I want to thank everyone for their patience while this process has played out. I will keep you posted on further developments.


Lon S. Kaufman
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost