April 20, 2016

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UUP in solidarity with nontenured University of Illinois faculty

uupdate 4-20-16

UUP supports the hundreds of nontenured faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who staged a two-day work stoppage to protest the University’s refusal to negotiate on key provisions of a labor contract.

On April 19, members of the Nontenure-Track Faculty Coalition Local 6546 (AFT/IFT/AAUP) walked out of their classrooms and labs in a move to help spur stalled contract negotiations. The local has been bargaining for a new contract for the past 18 months.

“UUP is in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Illinois,” said UUP President Fred Kowal. “They deserve a fair contract and we stand strong and united with them in their quest.”

UUP agrees with AFT President Randi Weingarten, who said that UIUC’s situation mirrors what’s happening on campuses nationwide.

“Across the country, universities are increasingly relying on contingent faculty, but these dedicated educators aren’t being treated fairly,” said Weingarten. “That’s why educators are coming together to demand fairness.

“At UIUC, non-tenured faculty teach nearly 40 percent of all undergraduate courses, yet they have no guarantee of stable employment year-to-year, no vote on department governance and no evaluations to help them measure or improve their teaching. They want UIUC to remain a place where students receive a high-quality public higher education, but that will only happen with a fair contract.”

The union is asking for improved employment security, opportunities for promotion and professional support, and academic freedom protections for non-tenure-track faculty members. Most of the union’s members have temporary, nine-month contracts and many have been ‘temporary’ faculty for over 20 years.

The Nontenure-Track Faculty Coalition represents approximately 500 full-time teaching, research, and clinical faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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