Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 info:
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018 info:
Last minute “poison pills” from administration. Strike is recommended–
Info from Alyson Paige Warren and Larry Alcoff, SEIU:
Last night, after 13 hours of bargaining attended by over 40 contingent faculty members, we were ready to reach an agreement with the University on our first union contract that would have granted us higher wages, more stability and a voice at the table.
However, at the 11th hour, after two years of negotiations, after the union membership had agreed and voted on many compromises in order to reach a fair (but not perfect) agreement, the administration instead chose to put forth proposals at the last minute that undermine all of the bargaining in good faith that has been done so far.
- The Loyola Administration proposed, in the eleventh hour, a union rights article that, rather than utilizing the best practices agreed to by the University of Chicago administration, instead uses union-busting language favored by the Koch brothers.
- A management rights article that gives sole and total discretion on integral issues and choices to the administration, rather than honoring its contractual agreements with faculty and, again, refusing to agree to the same relevant article agreed upon by the University of Chicago administration.
- An appointments and re-appointments article that provides no stability to adjuncts, and instead renders them disposable at the end of each year without cause.
- A workload article that puts decisions about teaching responsibilities and course releases into the hands of the Provost and Deans, rather than trusting Chairs and faculty to continue with this work, as they have done successfully so far.
These last minute proposals undermine many of the gains made in previous tentative agreements. It is important to understand that the current public representations by the Loyola administration misrepresents the Unionized NTT and adjunct faculty as greedily wanting more money and thus refusing to reach agreement. Rather, the University has presented 11th hour poison pills to undermine the rights of unionized faculty and the ability of the union to function as a viable organization.
If we are unable to reach a settlement, we will be on strike from 8:00 am-4:00 pm tomorrow, and would love you to join us at any time on the picket line or at a rally we are co-hosting with the Illinois Chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign.
Sign up for picket line here: :https://goo.gl/forms/oA3Q69EJflBRZE4N2
Updated [April 3rd] overview info:
On April 4th at 12:00 p.m., NTT Faculty, the Graduate Student Union, and allies in support, are asked to walk-out of their class and meet on the quad in front of the I.C. to rally around better working conditions and the timely recognition of teacher unions and bargaining rights.
Information About Potential Unionized Faculty Strike (April 4, 2018)
Links to both “sides” of the Loyola community involved:
- Administration: https://luc.edu/bargaining/; https://luc.edu/bargaining/cas-bargaining/
- Union: http://seiu73.org/organizing-2/loyola-university/
Chronological summary based on emails from both “sides” of the Loyola community involved:
Last semester, unionized NTT and part-time faculty (SEIU Local 73) brought in a union negotiator. This semester marked the 2-year point for faculty seeking bargaining negotiations. (Most negotiations from similar institutions – size, caliber, Jesuit status – take 8-12 months.) While some tentative agreements (TAs are agreements by both sides to specific – read minute – concepts and language on various elements of the contract) were reached on ground rules, issues for bargaining, union rights, labor management committee, shared governance, and bargaining unit information, from the union’s perspective no TAs were on substantive issues, such as pay, promotion, and benefits. After much frustration from both sides, the administration hired a lawyer to come to the bargaining sessions and review proposals. The following chronology picks up on January 19, the first fruitful bargaining session from both sides’ perspectives.
TAs were reached on Faculty Conduct and Discipline (but from the union perspective, the TA was simply the university agreeing to use the widely academically and legally accepted term “just cause”), Faculty Evaluations (which both sides note processes are not consistent for NTT, Faculty Rights, Duties, and Responsibilities (Loyola’s proposal on these subjects is a counterproposal to certain aspects of a Union proposal on faculty workload, courses, and duties. Loyola plans to address workload as a separate issue), and Faculty Classifications (Loyola proposed that the titles for full-time, unionized faculty on renewable appointments shall be Lecturer, Advanced Lecturer, and Senior Lecturer. For part-time unionized faculty, Loyola proposed titles of Part-time Instructor and Adjunct Instructor. For temporary unionized faculty members, Loyola proposed the title of Full-time Instructor). The union approved of the way these proposals handled full-time (non-tenured track) faculty, but expressed frustration that part-time faculty remained “invisible, precarious, and disposable” in these TAs. Part-time faculty have few mediums to submit grievances based on discrimination or harassment. Duties and evaluations cater to full-time faculty, and no attention had been given to promotions for part-time faculty.
University Senate voted to support negotiations in good faith, seeking a fair contract by the end of the Spring semester. Senators Pamela Caughie (Professor, English) and Tisha Rajendra (Associate Professor, Theology) presented the proposal, which stated “…given that Loyola’s mission is committed to social justice and asks us to be persons for others, and to practice ‘values-based leadership’ that ensures ‘a consistent focus on personal integrity, ethical behavior in business and in all professions, and the appropriate balance between justice and fairness,’ the University Senate hereby urges the senior administration to bargain in good faith with the union toward the goal of a fair and just contract.” (View full resolution here).
Two new Tentative Agreements were reached on Faculty Rights, Duties, and Responsibilities and Faculty Evaluations, both designed to further clarify the roles of unionized faculty and to ensure faculty evaluations are both fair and effective. One important clarification was that the “Non-Loyola Activities” requirement for unionized faculty members to get permission before seeking employment elsewhere does not apply to part-time employees (who often have to work elsewhere to make ends meet).
Quite promising is the Course Cancellation Fee proposed by the administration, wherein “part-time unionized faculty shall be paid a course cancellation fee of $167 per credit if the course is cancelled or reassigned to a full-time faculty member within seven calendar days before the first scheduled class meeting for the course. If the course is cancelled or reassigned after the first scheduled class meeting, the unionized faculty member shall be paid the course cancellation fee plus the pro-rated amount for classes taught.” (The union, however, called this “modest.”)
The union specified the five key issues for future discussion: job and income security (addressing semester-to-semester appointments and canceled classes), workload expectations for full-time NTT faculty, increasing adjunct and lecturer pay and incorporating a raise for longevity of teaching here, clarifying how adjuncts can be promoted, and providing professional development and other benefits to adjuncts.
After reaching two new TAs, the administration and the union have reached a total of 17 TAs (considering 5 were made in the previous month, the union notes most of the other TAs were setting the boundaries for bargaining).
The first new TA was on Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Discrimination: “The parties agreed that both the University and the Union shall comply with all applicable laws forbidding discrimination and harassment. The University already prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, religion (except where religion is a bona fide occupational qualifications for the job), national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran’s status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law as amended from time to time.”
The second TA was on Grievance and Arbitration, setting the terms for all unionized faculty to be able to submit grievances where clear violations of the bargaining agreement or Loyola policies were present.
The administration offered a counter proposal on Professional Development, proposing creating a no more than $15,000 professional development fund for full-time NTT faculty on renewable appointments. (The union could have noted that obtaining full-time or renewable appointments is not clearly specified and that the proposal leaves out the most vulnerable group, the part-time faculty. The union did counter asking for a higher fund and providing paid professional development leaves.)
Counterproposals were offered on Access to Services and the Course Cancellation Fee, where the administration offered the cancellation fee within 14 days of the first class, but the union asserted the fee was still too low (considering all the work the instructor will have already put into the course).
~50 faculty members met and determined “We cannot afford to stay silent on issues of unfair pay, lack of access to benefits, workload issues and career transparency and stability any longer.” They voted to open a union vote authorizing union action, which was preliminarily decided to be a 1-day strike on April 4 should the administration fail to reach TAs on the substantive issues before the end of the spring semester.
The union delivered its Just Employment Petition – signed by 154 Adjunct and NTT faculty – to President Rooney, formally asking the administration to:
- Agree to one table, two contracts, i.e.: to bargain both the ELLP and College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) contracts at the same table, but each will have their own collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
- Come to an agreement on our union contractbefore the end of Spring Semester.
No TAs were reached, but many counterproposals were put on the table. The administration discussed promotion, stating that piecemeal departmental guidelines continue to be used and no cohesive strategy and statement is necessary. The administration discussed workload, stating the issue is separate from collective bargaining. The union asked that full-time unionized faculty members be required to teach 7 – not 8 – courses during the regular academic year. The university stated its benefits policies are fine as is. The administration offered yearly merit raises to full-time faculty which is already policy, but not to part time, and stated its continued dedication to current policy.
The administration also proposed that the agreement last through 2023, being automatically renewed yearly unless either party chooses to modify the country.
The administration also proposed that full-time unionized faculty members on renewable appointments who have worked for 4 consecutive years could be eligible for 3-year appointments, possibly renewable. The union asked for part-time unionized faculty positions that are both salaried and eligible for full-time faculty benefits.
The email SEIU Local 73 sent out on March 8:
“We were disappointed that the administration’s change in tone in recent negotiations was not followed up by proposals for meaningful change. The administration rejected the recognition of major problems in the treatment of full-time and part-time non-tenure track faculty; proposing only small changes to the status quo rather than serious solutions to improve working conditions for NTT faculty and bring the school in line with its own professed values. The message was that when it comes to our jobs and our rights, the social justice mission of the University takes a backseat to their bottom line (and other priorities like athletics) over the learning conditions of our students.
If you had any doubts that we must take action together to demand just employment conditions, then look at what little they propose now:
Unjust wages and benefits: After 10 years of no raises, they offered a one-time, guaranteed $200 increase in adjunct per- course pay. After that, the administration determines who gets a raise, which has not worked well for part-timers for the last ten years. They offered to raise the minimum pay for full-time NTT lecturers by less than 1%. They rejected offering any benefits to adjuncts no matter how long or how many students they teach – they want to close the door to benefit eligibility.
Lack of job security: They want to continue to hire adjuncts on a semester by semester basis with no rights and no job security. They protected their absolute right to not renew appointments.
No consideration for previous commitment to Loyola in hiring: They refused to give current well-qualified adjuncts preference in hiring for full-time positions over external applicants with comparable qualifications and experience.
Burdensome workloads: They defended 4/4 teaching load for full-time NTT lecturers plus service and ongoing professional development and staying current in scholarship, even though this translates to well over sixty hours of work per week.
We will not accept a contract that does not provide adjuncts real raises to make up for 10 years of no raises, and provide longer, more stable appointments, with a path to benefit eligibility.
We will not accept a contract for full-time NTT lecturers that does not offer relief from an unreasonable workload, fair raises every year that lift up the lowest paid among us, and longer appointments based on promotions and years of service.
We will make ourselves heard. We must transform our disappointment and frustration at the administration’s unjust proposals into the inspiration and resolve to act. We will not see meaningful, quality changes in our teaching conditions until we prioritize engaging in real transformative change. Inaction is a form of action, and they have come to expect our silent acquiescence.”
What’s Coming Up
Four bargaining sessions. The administration has stated they are “open to adding more bargaining sessions in the coming weeks to build on our momentum at the table,” but have not offered specifics dates.
March 28 – The next bargaining session.
See AAUP’s Statement on Collective Bargaining