Update: U of I Non-Tenure Faculty To Strike

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URBANA – Representatives for the Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition Local #6546 report that the faculty plan to strike Tuesday and Wednesday.

NTFC Local #6546 represents 500 full-time teaching, research and clinical faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In the past year and a half, the union’s core proposals have centered on improved employment security, opportunity for promotion and professional support and the protection of academic freedom for non-tenure track faculty members.

Shawn Gilmore is president of the Nontenure-Track Faculty Coalition Local 6546. He said Monday that members hope the strike gives school administrators more appreciation for non-tenured faculty.

NTFC lead negotiator Kay Emmert says this decision comes after 18 months of negotiation with administration that has seen little progress.

“Our door is always open, but it now looks that we will have to take a different path to reach a contract,” Emmert says.

Union President Shawn Gilmore explains that while the union is always ready to meet with the University’s bargaining team, members recognize they may have to engage in more direct actions to make their voices heard.

In addition to their core proposals, the union has also been asking for salary improvements for all non-tenure faculty, as their pay has been frozen since 2014.

According to union officials, the University administration has rejected these proposals since negotiations began.

The union’s communications chair Dorothee Schneider says these changes are necessary to promote greater stability for faculty, as well as a better educational experience for students.

“We cannot present ourselves as a world-class institution to our students if almost 20 percent of the faculty have only one-year contracts and little opportunity for advancement or professional support,” Schneider explains.

The union's members typically work on one-year contracts and are not part of the tenure system that offers professors and others job protections. The union wants longer contracts.

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