Union situation at UI Chicago misinterpreted

Editor’s note: This letter is in response to a previous article, “Some faculty consider unionization; detractors stress failure of unions at Chicago campus,” published in the Feb. 5, 2014, edition of The Daily Illini.

The previous article, which discussed the debate about faculty unionization on this campus, and implied that unionization has “failed” at UI Chicago, left a lot to be desired in the journalistic accuracy department. 

In fact, faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago held two separate union elections, and both were successful, the second a more decisive victory than the first. 

Unfortunately, the University of Illinois administration has refused to take bargaining seriously, and contract negotiations have dragged on for more than 16 months, despite the best efforts of the faculty union and a federal mediator. 

The point, from the administration’s vantage, seems to be that even if faculty vote in a legal and democratic process for collective bargaining, administration negotiators will stall perpetually in hopes that the organized faculty will just give up. 

That’s not ethical, and it’s not bargaining in good faith.

Susan Davis, professor of communication