FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why did LUC faculty form a union? 

Who is in charge of our union? 

Who is negotiating with the administration?

How does a union work? 

What is Faculty Forward? SEIU? 

What have others achieved by forming a union? 

How much are dues? 

 


The Basics

 

Why did LUC faculty form a union? 

Because we want to improve our working conditions and make sure teaching and scholarship are a priority at Loyola. With our union, we will have a stronger, more unified voice for our profession. More than 60 percent of LUC faculty are off the tenure track. While we love teaching at Loyola, creating more equitable and predictable employment conditions for non-tenure track faculty will enhance the quality of our students’ educational experiences. Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions.
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Who is in charge of our union? 

We make all of the decisions for our own union. We will have officers and approval of contracts will be decided by a majority vote, but all members can help shape our union through bargaining surveys, serving on committees, and electing officers. All of the proposals for our contract will come from us. And during the process of achieving a contract with the school, we will decide when the proposed contract is good enough to be ratified by a majority vote.
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Who is negotiating with the administration?

The Bargaining Team is made up of volunteers from our membership of the union, including both part-time adjuncts and full-time lecturers, and the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. We are being supported by staff from SEIU, including Elizabeth Towell, a professional organizer, and Larry Alcoff, our “union rep” – a professional negotiator.

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How does a union work? 

Having a union empowers people to make positive changes where they work. Having a union does not guarantee any particular improvement or benefit, but a union is the tool that working people, like college and university faculty, use to make improvements where they work. Alone, we have very little power to improve our working conditions. We might ask our department chair for certain changes, but an individual has very little leverage in such conversations. What we want may be beyond the power of the department chair and under control of the administration, with whom we as lone individuals have even less leverage. By coming together as a group, however, we are capable of exercising real power and negotiating for the changes that we want in our working and teaching conditions. Through the power of collective bargaining, instructors across the country have won a voice at the table and the right to negotiate with their college and university administrations.
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What is Faculty Forward? SEIU? 

As non-tenure track faculty, we have decided that forming a union with SEIU Faculty Forward is the best way for contingent faculty to receive the respect, recognition and security we deserve. SEIU is the Service Employees International Union. SEIU represents 75,000 members in public and private higher education in the United States—40,000 are college and university faculty. Overall, SEIU is home to roughly 2 million members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including tens of thousands of Illinoisans.

SEIU has a long history of reaching out to people in occupations most other unions consider too difficult to organize–including non-tenure track faculty. The effort here at Loyola is part of SEIU’s nationwide Faculty Forward campaign to unionize non-tenure track faculty. The union staff are involved with campaigns at other Chicago-area colleges and have a national pool of knowledge and resources to draw on.
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What have others achieved by forming a union? 

Across the country, faculty have negotiated contracts that have won: pay increases, the establishment or expansion of professional development funds, “just cause” clauses protecting members from arbitrary discipline or discharge, and a defined rate of compensation in the event of course cancellation, among other improvements. Because this is our union, what we achieve in bargaining will reflect our priorities and issues specific to Loyola University Chicago. Most importantly, forming a union will allow us to have a voice in determining our working conditions.
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How much are dues? 

Forming a union allows us to pool our resources and make a bigger difference on campus. Dues, are 2 percent or $2 for every $100 you earn.
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