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Message 7/20/11

Message from the Provost – Faculty Unionization Efforts

Dear Colleagues,

This is an update to my message to you of July 13 regarding faculty unionization efforts at UIC.

As I said in that e-mail, the university intended to file what are called "exceptions" to the administrative law judge's recommended decision. Those exceptions were filed yesterday with the full Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB), which will review the matter and issue a ruling. This is all part of the legal process for determining bargaining units for public educational employees in Illinois, which includes the right of either party to apply for and obtain judicial review of orders issued by the full board.

In recent days we have received numerous messages about this situation - some from our own faculty and staff but the majority from out-of-state - calling on UIC to abandon its efforts to determine what constitutes an appropriate bargaining unit for faculty. The issues involved here are vital to the future of this campus, and we intend to see this process through. The exceptions we filed yesterday, along with a supporting legal brief, are online at University_Exceptions_to_ALJs_Recommended_Decision and University's_Supporting_Brief, and I encourage everyone interested in this issue to read these closely, as these documents explain very clearly what we regard, with all due respect, as errors in the administrative law judge's decision.

Let me emphasize, as I have in the past, that if UIC's tenure-system faculty want to organize and a union is properly certified, we will work collegially with that union as we do with the other 19 organized bargaining units on campus. The same is true if contingent faculty vote separately to organize. What we oppose is combining the two, not only because state law is clear that a faculty union at UIC should consist only of tenure-system faculty (excluding medicine, dentistry and pharmacy), but because it is not conducive to the productive operations and stable bargaining environment of the campus. I have posted on my website a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article that addresses some of these concerns, and I encourage you to read it.

I will continue to report back to you as developments occur.

Thank you again for all you do for UIC and our students.


Jerry L. Bauman
Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost