September, 2014 Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,
Welcome back to the new semester! As you know, quite a bit has happened at SIUC over the summer, in addition to the (relatively) fabulous weather.  While SIUC has gained a new President, Chancellor, and Provost, we also have two new Faculty Association Executive Committee members: Holly Hurlburt (Secretary), and David Anthony (Treasurer).  Bargaining on a new contract began in May, and in July, an administrative law judge found in favor of the FA in an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) case challenging the furlough days imposed in 2011. Here are some details on what’s been going on:


The Association team has met with the Administration team 4 times so far.  Two of these meetings were joint training sessions to learn the methods of “Interest Based Bargaining,” which emphasizes identifying mutual interests, a variety of options and alternative solutions, and consensus decision making.  The Association team has also been meeting separately to discuss issues confronting Faculty and the campus and possible areas of mutual interest for discussion at the bargaining table. We have drafted a bargaining platform, which is attached to this email. We look forward to a cordial and constructive bargaining process for our successor agreement.

As many of you know, in July a judge for the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board (IELRB) found in favor of the FA, NTTFA, and ACSE in the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) case filed on our behalf by the IEA against the SIUC administration. The case was filed in 2011, after the administration declared an impasse and imposed furlough days. The IELRB judge found that the declaration of impasse by the administration was illegitimate, and that their conduct while bargaining was “indicative of bad faith.” The judge’s remedy called for repayment of four days lost pay to those employees represented by the three unions, plus 7% interest. The administration has opted to appeal this decision to the full IELRB board, and while they have the option of further appeals (regular court, state supreme court), the evidence suggests an eventual final decision in our favor. (See the entire decision at This decision amounts to a legitimation of the principles of good faith collective bargaining and comes at an especially crucial time, as the above unions and GAU enter contract negotiations with the new university administration. The FA will provide updates on the progress of the case as that information is available.  

Faculty Association grievance representatives have had several successes enforcing the SIUC Faculty’s contractual rights.  Some cases were brought to resolution through meetings with the Administration; others have advanced to arbitration, where FA reps and our local IEA staff have had an excellent record.

The FA has successfully resolved or settled several workload cases without arbitration (in CASA Science, COEHS, and Library Affairs), where operating paper rules or the contract’s 24 credit hour equivalency rule have been violated. Resolutions have included restoring release from teaching duties for program directors and enforcing workload limits. FA grievance representatives and the IEA staff also won a COLA workload grievance through arbitration: the arbitrator found that a chair, who had singled out a faculty member for a disparate workload assignment, acted in an arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory manner in violation of the fundamental principles of due process. The Faculty member was awarded back salary for the course overloads.

Other arbitration resolutions include a case where the arbitrator found that then Provost Nicklow acted arbitrarily when he ignored arrangements already approved by the chair and dean, and forced a Faculty member to take unpaid leave before authorizing outside employment to deliver a series of lectures overseas. The Faculty member was awarded back pay.  An arbitrator has also ruled that Chancellor Cheng violated the contract when she engaged in consultations with the Provost over a promotion and tenure case that was later subject to the Chancellor’s review following the decision of the Judicial Review Board. Other issues in this grievance are still pending with the arbitrator.

Finally, in addition to the furlough ULP, a Faculty member has won a cash award for another Unfair Labor Practice charge. In this case, the Labor Board found that the Administration violated the Labor Act when a dean singled out the Faculty member for his union activity and denied him an interim chair position.

These victories were possible because the affected Faculty members came to the FA in time for us to initiate a grievance within the contractual time limit of 30 days following the action or decision in question.  Our grievance victories also depend on having a contract that provides the rights we defend. As we negotiate our next agreement, this is the time to get involved in establishing and maintaining these rights, so that they are there when we need them.

The FA continues to bargain Credit Hour Equivalencies (CHE) for departments that don’t currently have them in their operating papers.  We’ve completed two amendments thus far and have made some headway on others. We’re hoping to make more progress as the new administration settles in.  Currently we are discussing the issue of the total amount of credit someone receives for the life of a task (ex: advising a graduate student through a PhD).  The CHE team is led by Dr. Jyotsna Kapur of Cinema and Photography.

As you can see, Faculty Association volunteers have been working hard to protect your rights and quality of life, as well as to maintain and build the quality of our University.  As always, we need your help.  If you are already a member, please consider getting more involved in our work.  To volunteer your time, energy, and ideas, contact Rachel Stocking ( If you haven’t joined yet, remember that our strength depends on our numbers. Becoming a member is easy, and it’s the right thing to do. It helps foster a sense of community among Faculty while strengthening our presence at the bargaining table. Whether you’re someone who has been at SIU for many years or you’re a new arrival, please join today. For information about joining, contact Natasha Zaretsky (, co-Chair of the FA membership committee.

And remember to check out the attached Bargaining Platform!

For the Executive, Bargaining, Grievance, and Membership committees,
Rachel Stocking

President, SIUC Faculty Association

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