April 29, 2013
Today in the last meeting of the year of the Academic Senate, it was announced that the Senate Executive Committee might meet over the summer to examine wages, benefits and working conditions.
We in the CFA have spent the past two years talking with our colleagues about salaries, benefits, working conditions. Clearly our efforts have attracted the attention of the central administration, which has finally taken serious notice of these concerns. However, our discussions have also revealed that the vast majority of faculty voices are not usually part of the top-down policy-formulating and decision making process. This newly announced and vaguely constituted committee may or may not come up with recommendations; it is a very small step.
The CFA wants to emphasize that only a legally binding collective bargaining agreement can effectively and fairly resolve salary disparities, improve retirement benefits and family leave policies, guarantee a fair and transparent grievance process, and address many of the other issues that affect the faculty. We also point out that anything granted by administrative fiat can also be taken away. Collective bargaining is the best path to protect and enhance working conditions here at UIUC.
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