What is the SIUCFA?

What is the SIUC Faculty Association?

The Faculty Association (FA) is a professional organization dedicated to the advancement and well-being of higher education by ensuring faculty rights and shared governance at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC).

The FA represents all tenured and tenure-track faculty at SIUC (save for faculty of the medical and law schools). But only faculty who pay dues are members of the FA; members have the right to vote for FA leaders and approve (or reject) proposed contracts with the SIUC administration. These contracts are binding on all faculty and on the SIUC administration. When grievances based on the contract cannot be resolved internally, the FA has the right to appeal to neutral, third-party arbitration to resolve differences.

The SIU Faculty Senate and Grad Council also promote shared governance at SIUC, but the FA is the only organization that negotiates a binding contract between tenured/tenure-track faculty and the administration. Among the provisions of the FA contract are measures to ensure these traditional faculty representative bodies are able to review program changes in a timely manner.

What are some of the things the Faculty Association has accomplished since its organization at SIUC in November 1996?

  • Protection of the status of faculty tenure
  • Faculty participation in shared governance, including:
    – Faculty review of administrators
    – Faculty voice in administrative searches
  • Equity and parity in salaries:
    – Overall higher salaries
    – Incorporation of equity payments into the formula for raises
    – Higher promotion raises for both associate and full professors
    – Making Faculty salaries at SIUC an issue the administration must address
  • Clarified procedures and strengthened due process:
    – Ensured candidates’ right to respond to Chair and Dean reviews in tenure files
    – Streamlined the grievance process
    – Mandated ratification of Operating Papers in all Departments and Colleges

What are some of the benefits of Faculty Association membership?

There is strength in numbers! The higher the level of membership in the FA, the more effective the Association can be during its contract negotiations with the university. That’s the pragmatic reason. Then there’s an ethical issue: Since everyone benefits from the work of the Association, should not everyone share the cost-and the responsibility-of membership?

FA membership means being a part of the only faculty community with a legally protected voice in the decisions that guide our University and its future. Joining the FA gives you the opportunity to take an active role in defining and exercising that voice: by participating in FA meetings, serving on FA committees and in other volunteer capacities, and voting on the contract. Only members of the FA can vote on our policies and contracts.

Becoming a part of the FA community also gives you the opportunity to meet faculty from all the colleges of the university, and to broaden your intellectual, pedagogical, professional, and personal networks of colleagues and friends. At the same time, the FA is there to protect your interests on an individual basis. If you have any difficulties at the workplace–anything from working conditions to difficulties with your chair or colleagues or workload concerns–there are individuals and committees within the FA who are there to help you resolve these problems through informal mediation or through the contractually mandated grievance procedure, including binding arbitration and court rulings.

The FA community is part of a broader state and national organization, the IEA/NEA, with more than 2.5 million members. Through the IEA/NEA, you can obtain auto/life/home insurance premiums that offer substantial savings over other companies. Other benefits include educators’ liability insurance, free legal advice, and various discounts on travel.

Who runs the Faculty Association?

The members elect our officers and representatives every two years. The Departmental Representative Council, composed of one representative from each department, meets monthly to make policy decisions on all matters dealing with the bargaining of contracts with the university.

Leaders of the FA are not paid for their efforts. The Illinois Education Association provides professional staff assistance to the Association through a regional Uniserv Director, who works out of the NEA/IEA’s Carterville office.

How does one join the FA?

Most members arrange for payroll deduction. Dues start when you join: there’s no need for retroactive payment if you join in the middle of the academic year. Most members use payroll deduction. For more information on joining, follow this link or contact  J’Neita Fassel at our local IEA office: (800)431-3730, (618) 997-1363, e-mail: JNeita.Fassel@ieanea.org

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