Category Archives: Actions

Fwd: Speak Out next Wed, 1-2 P in the B-wing Courtyard

UPI – be there for this speakout to support our brothers and sisters in AFSCME and thus our own working and teaching conditions.

In solidarity!

Come out, come out, wherever you are! We’re Speaking Out again and really, really want you to join us next Wed 1-2P in the B wing Courtyard.

This has been an extremely difficult time for all of us as we weather this heartless, cruel layoff/bumping process; thankfully it is concluding by next week. That said, as a union we continue to stand in opposition to the process.

The President claims the new budget increases NEIU’s costs for health insurance and pensions. In fact, there’s virtually no increase in these costs. I’m attaching a letter we sent to the President inquiring about this.

Worse yet, it is quickly becoming apparent that there are not enough office staffers left to provide adequate services to our students and to you as faculty for the upcoming fall semester and going forward.

It was great to see so many of you at our last Speak Out. We need you with us again next Wednesday from 1-2P in the B wing Courtyard for another Speak Out! We’ll have a bit of fun – join us to see how- as we demand the layoffs be reversed now. There may be some roles for you to play in the fun part if you’re game! Please see the attached flyer for details.

In Solidarity,
AFSCME Local 1989

Canvassing on Saturday: WE NEED YOU

Please look to the off-campus list for a message about some canvassing UPI and community members will be doing this Saturday, July 29th to help support NEIU, student recruitment, and state funding for public higher ed.

If you have 2 1/2 hours to spare (training at 9:30, canvassing with a partner from 10-12), please join this effort to keep our school funded, to keep students enrolling for this year and years to come, and to stop future situations like the one we find ourselves in now: where we are laying off hundreds of workers our school simply cannot do without.

Can you join us? Email me now! Tim

ACTION ALERT, CALL NOW: Last Day for a Vote on Higher Ed in this Legislative Session



You can reach the Governor at: (217) 782-0244 or email at:
You can find your State Senator and State Representative contact information at:

Below is a message from UPI President John Miller, and we hope a higher ed vote for funding will be called today.

This is urgent and timely and a must do.

Thanks all!


Greetings everyone,

Now, more than ever, we need you to call the Governor, your Senator and your Representative to tell them that our students and universities need a budget NOW! Today marks the last day of the fiscal year and still there is no funding for our students’ MAP Grants and our institutions. This will mark the third consecutive year that our students and universities have been held hostage.

Students have left the state, programs have been eliminated, and many of our colleagues have departed for more stable employment. Our members and colleagues have been furloughed, laid off, had their pay deferred and have given up contractual salary increases just to keep our institutions open. Now, there is a real possibility that higher education funding will once again be kicked to the curb. Governor Rauner’s demand for non-budget reforms that harm many working people and our education system before he will agree to a budget may now result in the loss of accreditation for our institutions ( This is unacceptable!

Our message is simple – Fully fund Illinois Higher Education today to avoid the loss of accreditation and the destruction of our institutions. Our Higher Education partners will also be calling today, but we all need to do our part.

You can reach the Governor at: (217) 782-0244 or email at:
You can find your State Senator and State Representative contact information at:

We are also organizing local canvassing throughout the summer starting July 8th. This is a 2 hour commitment to talk with neighbors about the problems our students and universities are facing and to urge them to help us. Contact your local chapter president if you are willing to help canvass this summer. More details will be available shortly.

In Solidarity
John Miller
UPI Local 4100 President

MUST DO: (Jazz Funeral) March, Monday 6/26, 4-6:00 (be there and please circulate widely to students, colleagues at other universities, family and friends)

Northeastern Illinois University United
sponsored by NEIU/UPI 4100 and NEIU/AFSCME Local 1989

welcomes students, staff, and faculty from all Illinois universities
and we invite our community partners and our union sisters and brothers
to mourn and reclaim the future of Illinois in a . . .


for Higher Education in Illinois and for All Public Education and Social Services in the State
Resurrection is not optional
We are Illinois, and we demand stop gap funding and a state budget

When: Monday, June 26, 4:00 – 6:00 pm (march starts at 4:30)

Where: Hubbard Woods Park, 939 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka 60093

Transportation: Hubbard Woods Metra Station is adjacent to the park, and parking is available if you drive or carpool

What to Wear/Bring:
(1) Academic Regalia and/or Mortar Board (university, 8th grade or kindergarten, high school (all regalia will rock this funeral))

(2) If you don’t have graduation robes, not a problem: please wear a T-Shirt from your university, organization, or school

(3) Flowers to leave as a tribute to our loss and resolve to #FundOurFutureIL

We will have flowers for you, too, and a band playing tunes to march with!
Be ready for an approximately 1.5 mile round trip processional walk!

Are you coming? Please let us know and get updates as 6/26 approaches!

Join us Tomorrow at 1:00 and SAVE THE DATE FOR ACTIONS June 21

Hey UPI – we have the NEIUnited Coalition together and working on actions to get STOP GAP and save Higher Ed in Illinois.

TOMORROW, Friday 6/9 at 1:00 FA 206
we’ll be working on info leaflets and signs
(and the banner idea has some legs too)
Please join us!

SAVE THE DATE and BE THERE: Wednesday, 6/21
7:00 am in Regalia or an NEIU T-Shirt, leafletting at the Winnetka Metro Station
Just a short walk, which we will be marching, to the Rauner homestead

4:00 pm NEIU Workers–is it a potluck or is it a soup line–here on campus
UPI will host our colleagues from across campus and we are getting out the lawn sports games too!

Hope to see folks tomorrow and thanks to everyone for the support thus far!


Report from Today’s Meeting

UPI invited department chairs to meet and discuss the budget crisis and prospects for reorganizing the university to better meet challenges of erratic funding from the state.

I first want to thank everyone for joining the discussion today. Thanks to everyone too for their work throughout the year on behalf of the university.

Vice President Tim Barnett and Constituency Rep Nancy Matthews led and recorded a discussion that will lead to a fuller statement of principles for reorganizing and helping foster the mission and pedagogy of the university. For continuing work together, two lines of activity were identified:

A committee is forming to bring together and further refine examination of budgeting and revenue at the university. The idea is to bring together financial research and perspectives from across groups and make it available for reflection in one place. NEIU/ UPI Treasurer Lisa Wallis, with help from Local Vice President Steve Frankel, will coordinate this group. If you are interested please contact Lisa at or

We began formulating our principles in the day’s conversation, and Nancy and Tim will collect our thoughts thus far and circulate them. We will meet again soon to elaborate and develop this first draft into a statement for further consideration. More soon.

Off-campus, we will continue to remain active this summer: supporting and bringing a higher ed perspective to a Fight for $15 March, Tuesday, May 23, 4:00-6:00 p.m., Daley Plaza. And we will build on and continue our legislative visits.

Stacy Goguen got me on task right after the meeting. In her office I wrote the IFT Legislative Director. He will send us a list of which members are in which districts so we can coordinate strategic visits.

Lastly, one of our points of discussion today was an appreciation of the position our chairs occupy. It is important to have members of the administration in our departments. We recognize that this decentralized dimension of the university’s organization is precious, more efficient, and we will all work to protect this structure.

Many have said they were thankful for the meeting of minds today. I’m not just thankful but also impressed! We are a smart people! It was great to be gathered and thinking together today.

I hope everyone who can will bring those smarts to the last Forward 150 session tomorrow, Friday 5/1, 9:30-11:30 in the Cafeteria.

Pep Talk and Plan of Action: NEIU/UPI Strategies for Responding to the the Crisis Presented Yesterday

UPI – I’m writing with a pep talk and to start outlining strategies as we respond to the budget crisis presented yesterday in President Helldobler’s Town Hall.

First take a breath, grade or think about your accomplishments advising and recruiting, and think about what we have done thus far. We have NEIU and higher ed in the news and that is the outcome of work we have done together with groups across campus and across Chicago and Illinois. People don’t say “I didn’t know there was a problem” like they did last year. Now they ask: “are you guys okay at Northeastern?” In the video report on May Day at WTTW, they mention we were on furlough on 5/1. We are a problem that isn’t being ignored now. Excellent and we have to keep that going.

Yes, we are going to have to be highly mobilized over the summer to get a budget. It’s a challenge but we can do it. Read through the coverage of the Teach Out on 4/27 below and know we accounted for the numbers bringing over 300 students, faculty and staff from NEIU to the capital. We have made this a statewide problem and that’s what we need to do to move the legislature.

Second, have a sound-bite ready at commencement in case you are interviewed. How is the crisis at NEIU hurting your ability to serve students and your own lives and families? (Several of our students were interviewed last week and there will be continuing investigation of our situation.)

Third, let’s all gather after graduation and touch base at Jak’s Tap 901 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60607. Not the best place in town–but not bad!–and it’s easy walking distance from commencement.


April 27, 2017

Pre-Event Coverage

EIU professors to demonstrate at EIU, then Springfield

District address budget impasse, damaging effects on education

“Teach Out” To Take Place on Capitol Grounds – Fox Illinois

WIU Professors to Join Higher Education Rally in Springfield – Peoria Public Radio

Dropbox Link (Still Photos from the Day)

IFT Post – Facebook Live video is linked within this post, and it has nearly 10,000 views!

Event Coverage

Rauner, Madigan Meet for the First Time in 2017 – WTTW Chicago Tonight

IVCC officials, teachers, students speak out about state budget problems while others from around the state do so in Springfield – WCMY 1430 AM

Included in Natasha Korecki’s Morning Wrap-Up 4/28/17 – Politico

Rauner, Madigan hopeful after meeting — should rest of state be? – Chicago Sun-Times

Rauner, Madigan meet for first time since December, offer dueling accounts – Chicago Tribune

Rally held for education funding as budget stalemate continues in Springfield – WGNTV

100 head to Teach Out in Springfield – Daily Eastern News

EIU professors, students ‘teach out’ in Springfield – Journal Gazette & Times-Courier

Hundreds Rally at Capitol for Higher Education Funding – Fox Illinois

Do Your Job video (more to come)

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Strike Support for UIS/UPI 4100 in Springfield

Folks, we need people to go down and help University of Illinois Springfield hold their strike line tomorrow.

Is anyone free Wednesday to drive down for a 9:30 picket? The Local will refund your travel costs.

Please remember how important support is when any chapter takes this dramatic of a step to protect the rights of their members. It will be very much appreciated by them and all of us in the chapter and local if you can make this commitment.

Please email me your availability here on on my off-campus address

In solidarity!

Teaching Resources: NEIU in the Press on THE STORY THAT MATTERS!

Dear UPI – we have been getting press over the past weeks that could be very helpful for teaching your students about the budget crisis in Illinois. I’m sending two letters to the editor by UPI members April Nauman and Jim O’Connor and a profile on NEIU by Ben Joravsky in the Reader.

I’m going to make an assignment out of these readings for my students who can’t go to Springfield on 4/27. Consider using these too if you are staying on campus or going to the Teach Out.

For questions you might have from students about the controversy over this year’s commencement, check out the conversation on the off-campus list. That is an internal UPI exchange that should not be quoted directly. But the perspectives are varied and will be incredibly helpful to read as you are organizing your own view.

In solidarity,


From Ben Joravsky in The Chicago Reader

From James O’Connor, Instructor, English Language Program

From April Nauman, Professor, Literacy, Leadership and Development

IMPORTANT: Teacher sign up and instructions for the Teach Out in Springfield

We have a message below from the UPI 4100 Legislative Committee Chair, our very own Nanette Potee.

We need teachers for the Teach-In! We aren’t lobbying but really taking what we do to Springfield.

The agenda for 4/27 and the instructions for how to be “a teacher” at this event are attached.

Here’s the link if you can take up this job

Read on and please do this!

Hello everyone,

We are in need of many, many teachers for the 27th. Ostensibly, 100+ per session and there are 4 sessions…so you do the math. People are encouraged to sign up for more than one session and are welcome to teach all 4 if you can.

I have attached the final TeachOut instruction document and the day’s agenda.

More importantly, at this point, is the link to share with all of your connections, as anyone can be a teacher: students, parents, faculty, community partners, etc. Each of you on this list is encouraged to post this to all available participants. As people sign up I will be able to track our numbers. We will also more than likely have to recruit people on the busses as we travel on Th.

The sooner we can get commitments the better.

Thank you!
Nanette Potee
UPI Local 4100