University of Chicago Faculty Win Improvements in 1st Union Contract

Non-tenure track faculty voted nearly unanimously to ratify their first union contract with the University of Chicago on Friday. After two years of negotiations, the administration agreed to important improvements for the faculty members and their students, including up to 49 percent wage increases for some, paid parental leave, increased job stability, capped language course sizes and professional development funds.

“We’re so proud that by working with our university, we’ve negotiated and ratified a first contract that will significantly improve all of our lives and make the University of Chicago a better and more just institution for all,” said Jason Grunebaum, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations. “We hope our victory will serve as an example of what faculty and administrators can accomplish by working together.”

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The new SEIU Local 73 members hailed the victory as an important landmark in the growing fight to improve higher education in Chicago and across Illinois. Non-tenure track faculty at the University of Chicago were the first in the state to win their union with SEIU Local 73.

Inspired by these gains, non-tenure track faculty at Loyola University Chicago are doubling down on their calls for a fair contract. After nearly two years of negotiations, hundreds of faculty and went on strike and walked out on April 4. Negotiations resume this week and faculty say they’re prepared to act if the administration refuses to agree to a fair deal.

“It’s so encouraging to see the University of Chicago working with non-tenure track faculty to improve working and learning conditions,” said Alyson Paige Warren, an English instructor at Loyola University Chicago. “We hope that Loyola will follow this example, but we’re prepared to act again if they refuse to agree on a fair contract.”

Follow #TimesUpLoyola for updates on negotiations.

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