Feser's email to non-tenure-track faculty, April 15, 2016
Below is the full text of Friday's email from UI interim Provost Edward Feser to non-tenure-track faculty to clarify the rules about strikes and employee pay.
I am writing to you because you hold a position that is represented by the Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition Local #6546, IFT/AFT/AAUP. The NTFC bargaining team has said publicly that the membership authorized a strike last week and that it is considering a job action as early as the week of April 18. In light of these developments, I want to make sure that you have critical information regarding the current status of our negotiations for a first collective bargaining agreement.
The campus has been engaged in ongoing contract negotiations with representatives from the NTFC since October 2014. The union recently requested bringing in a federal mediator. We've had just two mediation sessions so far and four additional mediation dates are scheduled (April 27, May 11, May 26 and June 11). We have reached tentative agreements on several key items and believe that further progress can be made at the bargaining table. We are disappointed that it appears the NTFC isn't willing to give that process a chance. We have urged the NTFC representatives to continue mediation so that we may work together toward reaching a fair and equitable contract.
Since many of you have asked about rules regarding strikes, I want to clarify them here. While the University recognizes that, under certain circumstances, represented employees have the right to strike, it is equally important to note that individual employees also have the right to choose not to strike and to continue working. Employees who report to work during a strike will be paid by the University for their services, whereas employees who choose to strike will not be paid.
We value the contributions of specialized faculty members. We have taken major steps over the past few years to demonstrate our support, and we are committed to doing more to address your concerns and ensure that you can achieve your career goals.
We remain optimistic that if we work together we can find reach a fair and equitable contract.