Quick Ref

To: Tenure Track Faculty

Dear Colleagues:

Today I wrote to part-time and full-time non-tenure-track academic appointees who teach courses at the University to officially inform them that the Service Employees International Union has filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board seeking to represent these appointees. To keep you apprised on this issue, I have included below the communications that I sent today to these colleagues.

As these messages make clear, we are urging all eligible voters to gather as much information as possible and to educate themselves on the pros and cons of union representation, as well as the inherent uncertainty involved. Because the election will be decided by the majority of votes that are actually cast, not by a majority of those eligible to vote, it is important that as many eligible voters as possible participate in this important decision. In some similar recent union elections at other universities, the outcomes, which are binding even on those who don't vote, were determined by less than 50 percent of eligible voters. The University is in discussions with the Service Employees International Union to help ensure that the lead-up to the election is orderly and fair. Our goal is to provide factual information to help eligible voters make an informed decision.

I appreciate your ongoing role in this dialogue, bearing in mind the legal considerations reflected in the memorandum that I sent last weekend. In the coming days you may find all of our recent communications on this topic on the Provost's Office website. Please feel free to contact my office if you have any questions.

Sincerely yours,

Eric D. Isaacs
Provost 

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To: Non Tenure Track Faculty

Dear Colleagues:

You have just received an e-mail announcing that the Service Employees International Union has filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking to represent a University-wide group of approximately 400 part-time and full-time non-tenure track academic appointees who teach courses at the University. (The Union's petition specifically excludes those teaching at Chicago Booth, the Law School, the Graham School and the Pritzker School of Medicine). The Union is seeking a mail-in ballot election beginning on November 20 and ending on December 8. In the election, voters will be asked to mark a ballot indicating whether they want the Union to be their exclusive agent for determining pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment at the University.

The decision of whether to cede to an agent the authority to bargain for your future pay, terms of appointment, benefits and working conditions is an important one for you. If the Service Employees International Union bargains on your behalf, your pay, benefits, terms of appointment and working conditions could improve, diminish or stay the same. Your relationship with the University, your department, school or division will change in ways that cannot be foreseen. In light of this inherent uncertainty, you should educate yourself about what collective bargaining will mean for you and what it would mean to be represented by this Union.

The outcome of the election will be decided by a majority of the votes that are actually cast, not by a majority of those eligible to vote. In some similar recent union elections at other universities, the outcomes, which are binding even on those who don't vote, were determined by less than 50 percent of eligible voters. Therefore, it is essential to make your voice heard by voting.

The University is in discussions with the Union to help ensure that the lead-up to the election is orderly and fair and that the bargaining unit is appropriately defined. Our goal is to provide factual information to help eligible voters make an informed decision. Ultimately, the decision about whether you want the Service Employees International Union to be your agent is up to you, and we do not presume to tell you how you should vote. Rather, we urge all eligible voters to gather as much information as possible, educate themselves about the pros and cons of union representation, ask questions, examine the many and complex issues thoroughly, and make an informed and reasoned decision.

You are members of the University academic community, a cornerstone of the distinct culture of our University. You play an integral role in that community and in the life of our students. We look forward to communicating with you in the coming days and weeks about the election. Please feel free to contact my office if you have any questions.

Eric D. Isaacs
Provost