U. of Illinois at Chicago Strike Showed Unusual Support for Contingent Faculty

Faculty members at the University of Illinois at Chicago walked off the job this week in an unusual display of unity behind the cause of improving the working conditions of instructors who work on a contingent basis, off the tenure track.

The campus faculty’s labor union, formed in 2012, is seeking as part of its first contract to have the minimum pay of full-time, contingent faculty members increased to $45,000 annually from $30,000, with part-timers to get comparable raises prorated to the share of the day that they work.

The two-day strike that the union called for Tuesday and Wednesday, after 18 months of contract negotiations, was heralded by its leaders as the first faculty-led walkout in the campus’s history.

Although the nation’s labor unions for college faculty members often have struggled to reconcile the demands of contingent faculty members with the demands of those on the tenure track, the Chicago strike sends a clear signal to colleges elsewhere that the two sides are capable of working together to remedy inequities in how they are treated.<Read more.>

Via Peter Schmidt, The Chronicle of Higher Education.