Category Archives: Reminders

BE THERE: events tomorrow for UPI and for the university

UPI – we have a UPI Membership Meeting, Golden Eagles, Thursday 7/13 at 12:00 Noon.

Then later that afternoon at 4:30 join us for a Budget Celebration!

Alarmist Brewing and Tap Room
4055 W. Peterson Ave

We’ve got some good news on the financial picture re our furlough repayments but still have some other questions we will try and work through by noon. We’ll at least be able to make a cogent report.

Additionally, this membership meeting is an important one for me and Tim. I’m going on sabbatical in the Fall and stepping down for the remainder of my term on August 15. Tomorrow will begin our welcome and thanks to Tim Barnett as NEIU/UPI President!

Remember to attend President Helldobler’s Town Hall on the good news of the state budget in the morning at 9:00 in the Bryn Mawr Campus Auditorium.

It’s going to be a busy day people!!

BE THERE: Thursday 7/13 Membership 12:00 and Budget Celebration 4:30

Hey all – remember we have a UPI Membership Meeting, Golden Eagles, Thursday 7/3 at 12:00 Noon.

And then we hope as many as possible can skip on over to a Budget Celebration later that afternoon at 4:30:

Alarmist Brewing and Tap Room
4055 W. Peterson Ave

We have not only solidarity but success to celebrate!

We’ll get a better sense Thursday of what it all means and celebrate all of our work over the past two years without a state budget.


UPI Membership Meeting – Friday 6/2, Noon to 1:00, Golden Eagles

UPI – we will meet as a union tomorrow, Friday 6/2 at Noon in Golden Eagles. This is a membership meeting without any guests invited, but we will be reaching out to our chairs again later this month to join us for a follow-up of our collective discussion.

Our agenda will be (1) how we can assist and support our colleagues who are facing layoffs? (2) how will UPI members be affected by the state’s budget crisis? and (3) how will our actions now prepare us to participate in and help define the future of the university?

We hope to see as many of you as possible and appreciate the effort to make a Friday meeting in the summer.


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.

HEADS UP 12 Month Contract Folks (ASPs and Librarians), Summer Teaching People

If there is any confusion about your status as a member of UPI, and you are asked about furlough days beyond the 6 or 8 that have been negotiated, please tell your supervisor that you are in UPI and contact me immediately.

The continuance of furlough days for other members of the university will not affect UPI members unless we are asked to negotiate further furlough days. This has been more of an issue for those on 12 month contracts but we all need to be aware.


Fwd: SHARED GOV BALLOT (Deadline Tues May 9)

Last day for voting on governance: please do so now and thanks to those who have already voted.


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Erick Howenstine
Date: Wed, May 3, 2017 at 3:28 PM
Subject: SHARED GOV BALLOT (Deadline Tues May 9)
To: EH

Dear members of the Faculty Assembly:

Please find at the bottom of this email the link to the ballot for the Spring 2017 elections. We had 47 self-nominators, nominating themselves for 70 seats on faculty governance — an excellent turn-out thank you! The winners of these elections will represent faculty interests on committees and councils. I’d like to also encourage everyone to be involved in shared governance by contacting their representatives when the need arrives.

To that end, please bookmark the Shared Governance Website:

On that web page you will see membership, activities, functions, and the organizational structure of shared governance. Any of these bodies can establish and maintain their own section of this site by contacting . Also please look forward to a Faculty Senate D2L “course” called Faculty Voices, which will be available for sharing information, discussions, surveys, etc – we will take advantage of the course tools to strengthen governance on an on-going basis. I’d like also to recognize the administration’s support and encouragement of shared governance, as it has done in many ways in recent years.

Finally, thanks to Henry Owen and Shannon Saszik who put together the ballot and made this election possible Spring term. Henry serves on the UPBC, the Advisory Committee to the Library, the Faculty Council on Finance and Administration, and the Faculty Senate. Shannon is member and Secretary of the Faculty Senate and serves on the Faculty Council on Academic Affairs and the Graduate College Advisory Committee.

Here is the link to the ballot, which is already open and will close midnight Tuesday May 9. Votes will be tallied and a second ballot, for the At-Large seats, will go out May 10.

Erick Howenstine
Chair, Faculty Senate

UPI Agreement in Place: Furlough notification, irrevocable election to retire

Dear UPI:

I waited to write about the announcement below until I checked my interpretation of the email with the administration.

(1) UPI has a furlough agreement in place, which we have voted on and signed, and it remains in place. (Attached here for your convenience.)

(2) UPI has not been asked to negotiate further furloughs. (This does not mean such a request can’t happen in the future, but we will again go through the process of polling the membership and bargaining if we are asked to negotiate further.)

(3) NEIU/UPI members may be exempt from furloughs this spring if they have signed an irrevocable intent to retire by December 2019.

Please note that whereas the maximum days of pay we will lose before the next school year is 8(TP/RP) or 6 (I/ASP/SRP), our non-negotiated coworkers will continue to have pay deducted. Please be supportive of those who are not in unions and make roughly the same salaries of those of us who do have collective bargaining protections.


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Richard J. Helldobler
Date: Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 5:23 PM
Subject: Furlough notification, irrevocable election to retire
TO: University Community

FROM: Richard J. Helldobler, Interim President

DATE: April 28, 2017

RE: Furlough notification, irrevocable election to retire

I regret to inform all employees that the implementation of the University’s furlough program will continue:

— Administrative and Professional (A&P): ongoing
— Civil Service: after 30 days
— Negotiated employees: in accordance with University negotiations with bargaining units
— Student aides: prohibited from working on Mondays and Fridays during the furlough period

It was my hope that our elected officials in Springfield would have passed and signed a lifeline bill, but, regrettably, they did not. I would have preferred to inform employees in person, but a State Universities Civil Service System (SUCCS) 30-day notification rule requires me to share this news with you today. I have made arrangements to have an Open Forum for all non-negotiated employees (A&P and Civil Service) at noon on Thursday, May 11. More information will be forthcoming.

Finally, I am providing employees the option for irrevocable election to retire. This option has been developed to exclude from the furlough program those eligible employees who plan to retire by December 31, 2017, provided they submit the proper notification by May 31, 2017. More information will be provided next week.

MUST DO TOMORROW – May Day Activities On and Around the NEIU Campus!

Monday, May 1 is May Day and all members and allies of the furloughed NEIU community are invited to join in!

7:30 am
Begin the day with NEIU signs and shirts in support of CTU and our K-12 Allies in CPS.
may Day March walk-in at Mather High School, 5835 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago IL 60659

9:30 am
NEIU Furloughed and Dancing Back!
Brunch and a Maypole dance under the LWH East portico, Maypole on the east lawn along St. Louis. Be there for this and make it our last fu day and last hurrah! We need funding and to stop this craziness, get back to teaching and teach the future of Illinois

11:00 am
March to the Brown Line and the May Day March at Union Park
Bring your signs and let’s get ready to kick up some support of the diverse community at NEIU and throughout our city. No wall, no deportations and full state funding for higher education and all public education in Illinois.

1:00 pm
Rally for Immigration Justice – May 1 / 1 de Mayo March Begins in Union Park at 2:00 pm, Washington and Ashland
It’s time to join our city NEIU and March for racial justice, labor, immigrant rights, gender equality, disability rights, education and to send a big fat no to anyone who would attack these precious dimensions of the American experience. NEIU/UPI is a member and sponsor of the May Day Coalition. For more information and statement go to

Labor and Movement Rally
The Chicago Federation of Labor is hosting this culminating rally downtown with speakers from around the city. In solidarity and see you at Daley Plaza, corner of Washington and Dearborn

Here or in Springfield we are Teaching Out!

Hey all – it’s been a busy and wonderful day getting stuff ready for tomorrow.

We are driving down in cars and there will be 7 buses leaving NEIU in the morning! We have a ton of students going.

Couple of tips and requests:

  • People are asking if there will be room on the bus if they haven’t signed up. YES! Please encourage everyone to come.
  • You should get to Lot F between 6:30 to 6:45 and no later than 7:00 for the send off party. Buses leave at 7:30.
  • Bagels and croissants before we board. There will be speakers too.
  • If you are an early riser come out and wave us off even if you aren’t going!
  • Please remember to pack food. We will have snacks but it’s going to be a long day and you will need a lunch.

Get some sleep!

In solidarity!!!