The Campus Faculty Association Organizing Committee has been talking with colleagues about campus issues and collective bargaining. We’d like to address some questions regarding what a signature on our Mission Statement means, and what it does not mean.
1. Is the mission statement the same as a union authorization card?
NO. A union card is unmistakable―when you see one, you’ll know it! The Mission Statement is quite different―it is a non-binding show of support for the principles in the document, including collective bargaining for faculty at UIUC. Signing the Mission Statement indicates a likelihood of supporting a union if an election is held later, but it does not mean the signer has voted in a card check election now.
A union card, to be valid under Illinois law, needs to meet certain legal requirements. It must include a statement that authorizes the named organization “to be the exclusive bargaining representative.” This language is not on the CFA Mission Statement but is present when there is a union card check campaign underway. The union cards are then filed with the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board to be validated and counted in an election, while the Mission Statement is a sign of support for the CFA’s principles and for collective bargaining.
2. Is there a union card drive on campus right now?
NO. There is no card drive election going on. We are talking with colleagues across the university about campus issues and collective bargaining, but this is not the same as a card drive election.
3. How did faculty at UIC vote for the union?
Faculty led the campaign at UIC. The card check election at UIC was an open, democratic process―faculty organizers, assisted by staff, collected cards authorizing UIC United Faculty/AFT/IFT/AAUP as the certified bargaining agents for the faculty as whole. The union cards met all the strict legal requirements. Some faculty opposed forming a faculty union but an absolute majority of all faculty eligible for membership in the collective bargaining unit signed the cards. In fact, the faculty at UIC voted twice for a faculty union. In 2012, they brought back a second, larger majority of cards after the administration challenged the first vote.
Please contact us by email if you would like more information on CFA and collective bargaining.