By Sophia Corso
The University of Illinois-Chicago has given into the demands of its unionized faculty members’ demands after they went on strike last week, according to a university press release published this week.
UIC United Faculty, the labor union representing more than 1,500 members of the university’s faculty, “won” pay raises for its workers and stronger retention requirements for its non-tenured faculty members.
According to a report from Book Club Chicago, starting salaries in this tentative contract for non-tenured members will increase from $51,000 to $60,000.
Baseline salaries for tenured faculty also saw an increase from $65,000 to $71,500. On top of these substantial pay increases, the newly agreed-upon contract “establishes new standards for yearly raises.”
For context, the average annual salary for a professor in the state of Illinois is just over $60,482–which is right around what starting professors at UIC will now be making. If that’s the case, then the average salary for these unionized faculty will presumably be much higher than this state average.
The report also noted that union members will receive an immediate $2,500 raise to adjust for inflation but did not make clear if that is in addition to the starting salary raises or not.
In addition to these hefty pay raises and benefits, the university also made “a handshake agreement to expand mental health resources on campus, such as free psychological assessments for students.”
BREAKING! We won! Strike suspended! Feel free to notify your students that classes will resume tomorrow (Monday). Much, much more information is forthcoming, as well as a membership meeting where you all will vote on whether or not to ratify this contract.
More info in email! pic.twitter.com/e7rY6wNwkJ
— UIC United Faculty (@UICUF) January 23, 2023
The agreement comes after the union was without a contract with UIC for nine months, leading union faculty members to go on strike early last week.
Undergraduate students at UIC, who pay tens of thousands of tuition dollars each year, were left unable to attend classes and reap the learning benefits they paid for while their ungrateful professors were out on the side of the roads holding up signs.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, is known for her radical support of Critical Race Theory and LGBTQ agendas in the classroom. She took to Twitter to express her excitement about the situation.
Although this strike may have led to a nice benefit for the university’s professors, the funding for these raises is not going to come out of thin air. Taxpayers and tuition payers are going to have to foot the bill, and students will never get back the instruction time they missed while their professors were standing out on the streets demanding more money.