Illinois Faculty Win Important State Labor Board Ruling

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The full Illinois Education Labor Relations Board has ruled in favor of the faculty union at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC), certifying the group as one bargaining unit. UIC United Faculty will immediately contact the administration to bargain a first contract.

In April, representatives of UIC United Faculty (jointly organized by the AFT, the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors) delivered hundreds of signed union authorization cards to the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board—more than the majority needed to certify the union under Illinois law. The faculty voted to have one union represent tenured, tenure-track and nontenure-track faculty.

Based on the labor board's certification, UIC United Faculty will begin discussions with the university administration on how they can work together to strengthen the university and ensure that UIC continues to provide the highest quality education to its students. Union leaders say they hope the administration will respect the will of the faculty and realize that collaboration through collective bargaining is the best avenue to achieve the university's mission of research, teaching and service.

The administration, however, has said it plans to appeal any labor board decision in the union's favor. UIC United Faculty considers the administration's commitment to endless legal appeals abusive and a misappropriation of student and taxpayer dollars.

"We have followed the law, and previous case law clearly shows that we have every legal right to be recognized as one union," says Lennard Davis, distinguished professor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "We call on the administration to work with us to strengthen our university." [UIC United Faculty]

September 15, 2011