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Update on UIC United Faculty Negotiations/Potential Strike

The University of Illinois Chicago continues to bargain with UIC United Faculty, the union representing tenure/tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty with 51% time or more, including visiting faculty, at UIC. The bargaining unit does not represent faculty in Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy or Law.

Today, UIC and UICUF met for their 30th negotiating session, including 11 sessions with the guidance of an independent federal mediator. Unfortunately, today was not a productive session. There was no movement on economic issues because the union has not responded to the university’s compensation proposals since Jan 6. To accelerate our progress toward contract resolution, the university offered to meet again on Friday, Saturday and Monday and the union would only agree to a Monday meeting, Jan. 16, which will be held just hours before its threatened potential strike on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

In addition, the union has raised the significant mental health needs of UIC’s students as part of the rationale for the additional compensation it is seeking in its contract negotiations. Mental health needs are being addressed holistically for the full campus, not as part of a single union contract. UIC takes the health and well-being of all members of our campus, including students, very seriously. UIC hopes that these concerns expressed by the union about student well-being will motivate unionized faculty to continue negotiations without disrupting the teaching and learning environment next week.

The university has an obligation to its students. During a strike, we are committed to continuing normal operations to the fullest extent possible. While the union has indicated that striking faculty will not teach their classes and labs, the decision to strike is up to each faculty member. Changes to the academic calendar due to the strike are not anticipated. Teaching assistants are expected to hold their regularly scheduled classes, labs and office hours. In addition, if there are interruptions in class and lab schedules during a strike, make-up arrangements must be implemented to ensure that the instructional objectives are met. Students should check Blackboard and email for information regarding the status of their specific classes and labs.

A full comparison of the university and union positions on pending contract articles is available at