Dear UPI Members:
Please take the survey on the 4-day work week for summer and make sure you fill in comments in the slot that seeks comments.
I am baffled by what this policy is supposed to achieve. My major concern for the university is that we are diminishing and/or destroying the value of “our product”–of, that is, the quality of education we provide our students. I always thought of NEIU as an oasis. We provide a diverse student body of traditional and non-traditional students the very best of what higher education has to offer. That approach used “to sell” given the current preoccupations of the institution. Formerly, we were all about giving a place of security and promise to an array of students and community members. I worry this 4-day week could be just another harried inconvenience that drives students away, like the uncertainty of scheduling that we experienced this past fall.
I also think this policy would present contract issues.
But please make sure you tell the administration what you think!
The university has begun a dialogue around a 4-day work week over summers. This schedule would consist of 4 10-hour days of work (such as Monday through Thursday from 7:30AM to 5:30PM), with Fridays off. This would require a full shut down of the university on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If implemented, this change would take effect Summer 2015.
- During shut down, police will be on duty
- During shut down, BBH will be cooled
- During shut down, faculty will have access to offices, labs, and studios under normal procedures (same as Sundays)
- Course schedule will not change
- With approval from supervisors, employees (excluding faculty) can opt to work regular hours over Monday through Thursday and use 7.5 vacation hours to make a full week.
- Employees (excluding faculty) working a Monday-Thursday schedule will be charged 9.25 sick or vacation hours if taking a day off between Monday and Thursday.
A significant change like this requires careful consideration of input from all areas of the University. Therefore, please take a moment to answer a few questions. We want to hear how a 4-day work week would affect you both professionally and personally.
Please use the following link to access the survey:
The survey only takes about 10 minutes to complete. Please respond by Friday, May 2nd.
Richard Helldobler, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
We’ve got an action packed week this week.
- Membership Meeting, TH 4/24 @ 3:00 Lower Level Library Classroom
- College of Ed, Constituency Meeting and (Make-up Membership Meeting), FRI 4/25 @ Noon SU 003 (The Fishbowl in the Cafeteria)
And TODAY REMEMBER the provost is having a Town Hall @ 3:00 in Alumni Hall.
Cheers and in solidarity,
Dear College of Education Members:
Please join us for a COE Constituency Meeting, Friday, 4/25 at noon, Rm. TBA. We have questions we want to ask you for the Negotiations Team.
We’re sorry to schedule the membership meeting on Thursday when you are having your College Assembly, but we will get you caught up on all important information items on Friday.
Happy weekend all and in solidarity,
Dear UPI – greetings and happy weekend folks!
We’ve got a membership meeting next week, Thursday, 4/24 @ 3:00 in the Lower Level Library Classroom. Come and hear a report on negotiations, grievance, Unfair Labor Practices and plans for the rest of the spring and summer.
How can we stay tuned-in and support the Negotiations Team over the summer? Come join us and hear our plans.
First step toward a full spring and summer?
Save the date for a UPI Sponsored MAY DAY TEACH-IN on THE UNIVERSITY and THIS UNIVERSITY, Thursday May 1 at 3:00. We will announce the room soon. Please give your students a heads-up now and ask them to come.
The UPI Executive Board
And thanks to all of the NEIU/UPI members who helped support them during their Two-Day Strike and throughout their entire struggle! Appreciation from their leadership and members of our example, and our support, has been inspiring and heartfelt. Best of luck to them as they move through ratification and into implementation.
UIC UF Members:
After almost two years of collective bargaining, the University of Illinois at Chicago United Faculty (Local 6456) has successfully negotiated a tentative agreement on labor contracts for tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty. The settlement was not an easy one and required a two-day work stoppage, the threat of an open-ended strike, an appeal for binding arbitration, and massive email and social media pressure on President Easter and the Board of Trustees. While not all goals were achieved in this round, many aspects of work life and professional conditions were dramatically improved. The contract will extend through next year for TT and NTT faculty, and we negotiated faculty compensation that is above the “last best and final offer” that was on the table. The contract remains to be voted on by union members.
Ratification meetings for members will take place at the Student Center East Tower, Tuesday, April 22, Room 302 from 1pm to 3pm, and Wednesday, April 23, Room 605 from 1pm to 3pm. All members will receive printed contracts at the meeting. Ballots will be accepted at the meetings and at UH, SEO, and SPH on Thursday, April 24 and Friday, April 25 from 10am to 3pm.
If you want to know the content of the contract please come to the membership meetings. In order to guarantee a fair and open vote on the full contract, the UICUF bargaining committee and the Administration cannot release the details of the contracts until the membership meeting. Only members can attend and vote, but membership cards will be available at the meetings and at the voting stations for those wishing to join the union at this time.
UIC United Faculty
Mark you calendars for these two union events.
We will have a membership meeting, Thursday 4/24 at 3:00 in the Lower Level Library Classroom. Join us for updates on negotiations and other union work.
We will have a MAY DAY Teach-in (on May Day 5/1) one week later at 3:00 in the Lower-Level Library Classroom.
Also everyone, please remember Sharon’s Town Hall tomorrow 4/17. It’s in Alumni Hall at 3:00. We should all try to go to that! I keep learning stuff at the Board of Trustees and I think we should each and all get out and make it to the administration’s events as well as the union’s.
I persist in the habit of thinking we are all one university. Let’s make sure we keep up this vision!
I think it’s very important for us to be at this Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, 4/17 in Alumni Hall at 3:00. As you know, I have raised concerns about the direction and future of the university. Provost Helldobler wrote to the university yesterday, with what I think was a very helpful continuation of the discussion many of us have initiated, and we should continue it in the spirit of collaboration he suggests.
I sometimes think that the perspectives of the faculty and the administration are difficult to bridge. Often times they are not. But at other times what can seem to be outright contradictions and obfuscations to us, may really be confusions to them. Let’s make this Town Hall, and bridging that gap, a priority and be ready to speak up as well as listen.
I hope you can find some time tonight–and maybe bring your class–for North by Northeastern. I’ll be there with parts of Politics Club and my daughter, and we can’t wait to see it!
Congratulations and thanks in advance to Cyndi Moran, the students performing tonight and the Department of Communication, Media and Theatre.
The 5th Annual North by Northeastern Media and Performance Festival will take place on Tuesday, April 15th at 7pm in the Recital Hall. Please come check out student videos, audio pieces, and live performances.
This year we will also combine NxNE with our 2nd Annual CMT Day, a celebration of the achievements, internships, and awards of CMT students. All students, faculty, family, and friends are welcome! We hope to see you there!
Please do not miss the opportunity to go to this Presentation by SURS. I think you should reschedule things if you need to do so. It is imperative that those of us near retirement get informed and I think it is important for everyone to be at these sessions.
Thanks for your attention to this and all the best,
There will be an SURS presentation on pension reform changes on Thursday, April 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., in Alumni Hall. Members should bring a copy of their 2013 Benefit Summary Statements to the presentation, available from their member account at www.surs.org.
To assist you in determining how the recent pension law changes will affect your annuity, the SURS website has an estimator that will allow you to enter a current and future date (after July 1st) to determine any changes. You will need your SURS ID number which can be found on an employee’s SURS October 2013 statement or by contacting SURS for your ID number. SURS may be called at 217-378-8800 or (800) 275-7877.
Any employee considering retirement in the near future is encouraged to contact SURS for more information.
I asked the following at the Board of Trustees yesterday and have emailed these queries to President Hahs, Chair Azcotia and the other members of the Board this morning.
In solidarity and with thanks for your support and incredible excellence in service of our students,
The Executive Board of NEIU/UPI has charged me with the task of formally asking why academic departments are being asked to plan for 5 and 10 percent cuts to their budgets.
Let me give you an overview of the Board. We are 5 Instructors, 2 tenured librarians, 2 Academic Support Professionals, and 11 tenured professors from across all three colleges. We have, as a group, served on search committees for deans and provosts. Several of us have been graduate advisors and facilitators. We have worked in the administration as chairs and as directors. We are published and produce creative works. We have chaired and led curriculum development and led the formation of governing structures on this campus.
In short, our Executive Board represents and reflects the university professionals who make NEIU the place of excellence that it is.
When people driving on the Kennedy see the new El Centro and think “what goes on there at Northeastern,” they will be asking what are we doing and what is our membership doing.
We are asking why drastic and destructive cuts in instruction are being planned for this university.
Is it in fact the case that only the Colleges are being cut? Are the other sections of the university not being asked to cut their budgets by 5 and 10 percent?
Why is Academic Affairs expanding its budget by hiring a communications specialist to write emails for the office, while at the same time departments are being asked to diminish their course offerings?
Are we draining money from teaching and our mission of excellence to pay for the purchase of land to build buildings?
At a Finance Committee meeting earlier this year, I said I was personally agnostic on the prospect of building dorms and other growth on campus.
I am not, however, agnostic on the prospect of gutting the excellence of this university’s teaching mission.
I am against it.
We are against it. And we are against steps that damage our ability to teach non-traditional as well as traditional students.