Dismay over pension legislation
April 22, 2014
Faculty are already dismayed by pension reform legislation that is likely to prompt a brain-drain come summer.
Chris Kennedy’s remarks about how faculty ought to take action add bewilderment to dismay. Why are faculty not “up in arms, walking out of the classroom protesting?” That’s only a step one takes with the protection of a union. Public employee unions throughout Illinois have been diligently battling to bring their pension concerns to the attention of Springfield for years.
But faculty efforts to have their voices heard in that way have been consistently stymied by the University administration, which has spent taxpayer money taking the UIC United Faculty to court rather than supporting faculty efforts to be heard.
We have been assured that faculty don’t need a union — that the shared governance structure, with a strong Board of Trustees at the helm, will protect our interests. So which is it, Mr. Kennedy?
If the Board of Trustees can no longer protect the academic integrity of a world-class institution by protecting our pensions, then it’s time for it to lend its support to the existing faculty union at the Chicago campus and the creation of one here on the Urbana campus.
Kirstin Wilcox, Lecturer of English, LAS