Mediation will continue in faculty union labor negotiations

Federal mediation is expected to continue through mid-January in collective bargaining negotiations between the university and UIC United Faculty, the campus’ first recognized faculty union.

The union, certified in July 2012, includes two bargaining units, one for tenured and tenure-track faculty, the other for non-tenure track faculty.

A federal mediator was requested last month after 17 months of negotiations between the university and the union, which has about 800 members.

“The university is committed to negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement with the two faculty bargaining units, including monetary terms that are equitable and competitive,” said Lon Kaufman, vice chancellor for academic affairs and provost, in a letter to all faculty Friday.

Union members voted Dec. 5 to authorize a strike if mediation fails to result in a contract. Several additional steps are required by law before a work stoppage could occur.

“Should there be a strike, the university does have an obligation to our students and other constituents to continue normal operations,” Kaufman said in the letter. “It should also be emphasized that no faculty member is required to strike or stop work, even if urged by the union.”

In the letter, Kaufman said the university looks forward to a “mutually agreeable conclusion to our negotiations.”

“Right now, at least in these negotiations, we are on two different sides,” he said in the statement.

“My hope is that through the negotiations themselves and the contract I look forward to them producing will put us where we belong, on the same ‘side,’ working together to increase the success of our students, contribute to our fields of scholarly inquiry, and increase the quality of life for those in our community.”


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Campus, Faculty