Non-tenure faculty strike at U of I

Non-tenured faculty and others picketed on the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign campus Tuesday as part of a two-day strike.

The strike was called by the Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition on Tuesday and Wednesday, after the union and the university failed to agree on a contract despite more than a year of negotiations and two mediation sessions, said coalition president Shawn Gilmore, a lecturer of English.

“The main thing that affects our employees is that we’re all on single-year contracts when many of us should be on multi-year contracts,” Gilmore said. “That is clear in our policy documents. Multi-year contracts are in effect at the University of Illinois Chicago for the non-tenured faculty.”

The coalition represents about 500 university faculty, most of whom spend the majority of their time teaching students, Gilmore said.

In a statement to the campus, university leaders said the strike does not help the process of negotiating a contract. They point out the university and NTFC have tentatively agreed on 14 points, but they add that the academic freedom guarantees and shared governance for non-tenure faculty should be decided through existing university governance methods, not through contract negotiations. University leaders also argue multi-year contracts should be awarded based on performance, not mandated by a contract.

Additional negotiation sessions are scheduled for April 27, May 11, May 26 and June 26.