UPDATE: Non-tenure Track Faculty Ratify First-Ever Contract

May 02, 2016

UPDATE: The Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition Local #6546 announced on Friday that union members on the University of Illinois Urbana campus had approved a tentative agreement. The five-year contract has a retroactive start date of August 2014 and runs until August 2019.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Non-tenure track faculty were back at work Monday for the last three days of spring semester classes at the University of Illinois Urbana campus.

Members of the Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition Local 6546 voted Sunday end their strike and return to the classroom, after negotiators reached a tentative agreement Saturday on a five-year contract that’s retroactive to 2014.

Negotiators working with a federal mediator reached their agreement on Saturday, capping off two days of bargaining that continued even after union members took to the picket line.

Union president Shawn Gilmore says he believes the strike helped accelerate the bargaining process.

The five-year agreement adds additional increases in base pay for non-tenure track faculty in the 4th and 5th years --- and a compromise on the issue of multi-year agreements for longer-serving faculty. Gilmore says that single-year agreements will continue. But once non-tenure track faculty members begin their sixth year, each one-year renewal will include an additional year of employment guaranteed.

“So you could still be laid off or not renewed,” said Gilmore. “But it would come, still, with that one-year additional guarantee. So everyone would at least have that. That’s obviously a provision we will work on in the future. But that’s a good measure of security for our people.”

Gilmore says the additional-year provision is similar to what Academic Professionals receive on the Urbana campus, but not quite what non-tenure track faculty receive on the U of I’s Chicago campus.

The administration said in a weekend statement that the new contract “preserves the flexibility of units to offer multiyear contracts according to their own needs and financial capacity”.

NTFC members will take a ratification vote on the tentative contract on Thursday.

UPDATE: The Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition Local #6546 announced on Friday that union members had approved the tentative agreement. The five-year contract has a retroactive start date of August 2014 and runs until August 2019.

CORRECTION: This story has been revised to show that three days of classes remained this week in the University of Illinois Urbana campus spring semester, not two. --- JM 5/2/16

Story source: WILL