Chicago Sun-Times: U of C's non-tenured faculty vote to unionize

Ian Pajer-Rogers |

From Chicago Sun-Times:

by Maudlyne Ihejirika

An overwhelming majority of non-tenure-track faculty at the University of Chicago have voted to join the Service Employees International Union Local 73 — becoming the first faculty at a Chicago-area institution to embrace that union’s 2 1/2-year-old national “Faculty Forward” movement.

“It is in everyone’s interest to reverse the trends that have marginalized our profession,” said U of C lecturer Darcy Lear. 

“I’m glad that our success today may help empower other part-time and full-time faculty to change the status quo for their families and students. We are thankful for the support of hundreds of tenured faculty, students and alumni who stood with us every step of the way.”

U of C spokesman Jeremy Manier said the university will begin negotiations with SEIU for a collective bargaining agreement governing terms and conditions of employment for the 169 faculty.

U of C Provost Eric D. Isaacs also sent messages to all faculty on Wednesday, saying, in part: “I greatly value the contributions of every member of our community to our shared mission of intellectual engagement, teaching, and research, and I thank you for your dedication to our students and to the University.”

The U of C faculty filed a petition on Oct. 29 with the National Labor Relations Board, seeking to unionize. “Faculty Forward” seeks better pay and job security for nontenured faculty, who make up the majority of the nation’s higher education workforce.

Read the full article from Chicago Sun-Times.