Faculty at the University of Illinois Chicago are calling on the administration to voluntarily recognize two separate bargaining units, one of tenure-track and one of non-tenure-track faculty, after a court ruled Thursday that a joint bargaining unit was inconsistent with state law. The UIC United Faculty is affiliated with the AFT-IFT and the AAUP.
"We believe this decision is a misreading of the law," the faculty said in an open letter, continuing, "more fundamentally, we believe that the effort to separate TT and NTT is a misreading both of the relations between the two groups and of the future of higher education. It's not for nothing that the description of NTT faculty as the New Faculty Majority has become commonplace."
However, the faculty said, they would prefer to work with the administration at the bargaining table than pursue more judicial processes which are costly to both sides. And voluntary recognition of two bargaining units would be consistent with the administration's oft-stated position that it is not opposed to faculty collective bargaining in two separate units. Most recently, in the brief to the Appellate Court, the administration declared that "it is not attempting to deprive tenured system and non-tenure faculty of the right to create two separate and distinct bargaining units" and further argued that two separate and distinct units "would help foster a more stable collective bargaining relationship."