NEIU/UPI Fall 2014: The Semester in Review!

Greetings all! I’m writing on behalf of the Executive Board with a review of NEIU/UPI activity last semester.

Get caught up on what we did and get ready for another semester of working together.

Negotiations

While we were away for a cold day last week, members of the negotiations teams went ahead with a scheduled session on Wednesday, January 7. It was important to get back to work, because there have been a number of delays due to planned travel in August and unexpected interruptions through the Fall semester. Thanks to our team members–Marshall Thompson and Zachary Schiffman–who encouraged me to write the administration and ask that the teams push through the inclement weather, and thanks to the Provost for making the session happen.

In the summer, thirty-one articles were TAd (tentatively agreed to) by the teams. The remaining articles deal with workload and compensation.

July 2014 – the UPI team presented positions on workload and compensation.
October 2, 2014 – the Administration presented their response with full contract proposals on workload and compensation.
October 23, 2014 – UPI presented a counter proposal in full contract language.
November 20, 2104 – the Administration presented their next response, and then could not hear ours due to travel and health issues through the end of the Fall semester.
January 7, 2015 – the teams met again and now have sessions schedule twice weekly through the rest of the month.

*REMEMBER: TAd means tentatively agreed to. The entire contract will be presented to you and to the Local president before the contract is finalized.

Activism and Membership Involvement

Participation is the story of the Fall 2014 Semester!

First, shout out: the incredibly successful Sit-In Against Course Cancellations and Mismanagement of the University was the centerpiece of our actions. Congrats and thanks to all who planned and participated in this event. I’m happy that so many of us experienced the delights and realities of democratic society, and a public university, and made sure our perspective was heard.

Second shout out is for the numbers who have come out and participated in our various events thus far this year. Campus neighbors, students and staff joined us at various times, and the membership was out strong at all events. We appreciate the legislative report from WIU/UPI Chapter President and UPI Legislative Chair John Miller at our Membership Conference on- and off-campus. (Still can’t believe 150 of us came out on a Friday!) And the Commemoration of the 2004 Work Stoppage had just the right energy. We understand the gravity of that action, its costs and benefits, and we are ready for future challenges.

Third: huge thanks to the Organizing Committee, the Communications Team, and the Executive Board of the UPI who help make all of this great activity happen!

Unfair Labor Practice Hearing on Course “Freezing”

NEIU/UPI presented their case in a hearing on Thursday, October 30, 2014. We have not yet scheduled a hearing for the administration’s response.

Cause for Continuing Concerns: Sabbaticals

I received a curious email from President Hahs in December suggesting that the administration would reduce the number of sabbaticals contractually mandated in the current contract. They have the same formula on the table in negotiations. To forward a unilateral change in the contract while the proposed change is being presented in bargaining is an Unfair Labor Practice. NEIU/UPI filed a charge on this unfortunate communication with the Labor Board last week. The administration has not yet tried to implement the lesser number of sabbaticals, and I hope this is something that they will retract so the matter can be resolved without further formal action.