UIC Students Demand Fair Faculty Contracts

UIC Students Demand Fair Faculty Contracts

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United Faculty Student Alliance started this petition to UIC Administration

UIC is in crisis.

Faculty pay raises have failed to keep up with inflation, course-loads have increased without support, health benefits are not protected, and funding for many programs is dwindling.

United Faculty (UF), the union representing all full-time professors, instructors, and lecturers, has been in contract negotiations for 9 months. Administration has demonstrated that they are unwilling to recognize our faculty’s needs, therefore ending productive conversation.

As faculty are told that there are not financial resources for wage increases, administrative salaries continue to rise, and hundreds of millions of dollars are being spent on new dorms and facilities. As a Research-1 Institution, UIC attracts talented educators and researchers from around the world who believe in the value of public education. Unfortunately, our administration is not treating them with the respect they deserve.

When faculty are forced to do more for less, it is detrimental to our educational quality and the value of a degree from UIC. Unless a fair contract agreement is reached, faculty will continue to be pushed toward better prospects at schools like Northwestern and UChicago.

UIC is a public institution. It cannot be run like a business while fulfilling its mission to provide equitable access to education. Current contracts reflect the warped priorities of our administration. These struggles aren’t occurring independently—faculty across the country have organized to demand fair conditions and resist the corporatization of education.

Lecturers at UIC are paid an average of 21-29% less than those at comparable public research Universities like SUNY Buffalo. When factoring that costs of living in Chicago are significantly higher than cities like Buffalo, this disparity becomes even more severe. Full professors are paid well compared to many peer institutions, but only constitute 28% of faculty. UIC has become increasingly reliant on adjuncts and lecturers without full benefits.

Meanwhile, most administrators enjoyed sizeable raises between 2017-2019. Many high-levels roles such saw increases anywhere from 10-30%. The Associate Chancellor for Budget and Financial Administration received a $25,900 raise (12.4%), bringing their total annual salary to $235,000. This is over four times what a full-time lecturer makes.

While wages are just one aspect of faculty needs, this incredible imbalance underscores a systemic undervaluing of faculty. Particularly for a University with such ambitious growth plans, this is unsustainable and unacceptable.

It’s time to hold UIC Administration accountable. In the interest of our education, our faculty’s quality of life, and the long-term success of the school we love, we publicly stand by United Faculty’s struggle for a fair contract.

@UICUF

Facebook.com/UICUF

- United Faculty Student Alliance

(To clarify, this petition is focused on United Faculty. But, we wholeheartedly stand by GEO in their parallel struggle.)

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