A colleague asked me to share this letter from the AAUP chapter here, which I am very happy to do:
In recent days our attention has been focused on the administration’s refusal to acknowledge the decision of our graduate students to unionize. While we were focused on that, the administration also took action against our non-tenure-track colleagues. The AAUP is calling a meeting to begin organizing the support of tenure-track faculty for our non-tenure-track colleagues.
What: Meeting to Support Our Non-Tenure-Track Colleagues
When: This Friday, February 23, 2-3pm
Where: Swift Hall Common Room
Why is this meeting suddenly needed? Non-tenure track faculty at the University of Chicago voted to form a union in December of 2015, and for more than two years now they have been negotiating their first contract with the administration. Yesterday, the administration bargaining team unveiled its proposal for teaching load, salary, and benefits. It included provisions like the authority to strip non-tenure track faculty of their non-teaching duties and replace them with extra teaching, up to 8 courses a year (a 33% increase in courseload). With respect to pay, they proposed a 0-2% raise for the 2019-2021 academic years. For the lowest paid and most vulnerable, it was the worst: in the first year of the contract, part time lecturers would receive pay of $4400 or $5500 for each course they teach, with no health insurance.
It is our understanding that the non-tenure stream faculty are now considering the possibility of authorizing their bargaining committee to call a strike for early in Spring Quarter.
At Friday’s meeting, non-tenure track faculty members, including members of their bargaining committee, will tell us about their negotiations, answer any questions we have, and discuss the possibility of a strike. They will also explain what support from tenure track faculty they might need in their effort to win a fair and inclusive contract.
If you cannot attend this Friday’s meeting but would like to be involved in supporting our non-tenure-track colleagues (e.g. by signing a letter of support), please send an email saying so to: email@example.com.