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UIS non-tenure-track faculty unionize

Once the union is certified, faculty will be members of University Professionals of Illinois.



Springfield, IL – Today, full-time, non-tenure-track faculty who teach at University of Illinois in Springfield filed union membership authorization cards with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB), expressing their intent to unionize. Their union will represent the 35 full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members at the university.


Jennifer Whalen, an English instructor and member of the union’s organizing committee, was thrilled to see this effort take shape: “The community we’ve built this semester is so inspiring. Non-tenure-track faculty across the UIS campus agree that by forming a union we can better advocate for each other and our many students. A strong contract with longer appointment terms ensures students are supported by experienced instructors through multiple stages of their academic journey.”

Non-tenure-track faculty have been working towards building a union since the beginning of the semester. In forming a union, they are seeking clear and transparent working conditions, equitable wages, and fair paths to promotion and job security. A union contract will give them the voice they need to advocate for their profession and their students.


“We are so proud that more and more workers in higher education are coming together to form unions,” said University Professionals of Illinois (UPI, IFT Local 4100) President John Miller. “We know that the way to improve our campuses and give our students the best education possible is by joining collectively in one voice and advocating for better working and learning conditions.”


Once certified, the group will become part of UPI Local 4100, which is affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers.


The authorizations cards will now go under review by the IELRB. Given the large majority of cards filed by the bargaining unit, it’s expected for their union to be certified without question in the coming weeks.


The newly formed union will represent 35 full-time non-tenure-track faculty at UIS. They will be members of the University Professionals of Illinois (IFT Local 4100), the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and the American Federation of Teachers.


The Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT) represents 103,000 teachers and paraprofessionals in PreK-12 school districts throughout Illinois, faculty and staff at Illinois’ community colleges and universities, public employees under every statewide elected constitutional officer, and retirees.



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