Yesterday, the CFA announced broad and widespread support for a faculty union, among both tenure track and non-tenure track faculty. The CFA is moving towards majority support, and hopes that by further publicizing their intentions, they can gain momentum and begin the process of becoming a union. On February 5th at 10:00 AM, University of Illinois faculty will be speaking in favor of unionization, and GEO members will be present to demonstrate their support. For over 40 years, the CFA (formerly the Union of Professional Employees) has been and will continue to be beneficial for the future of the University of Illinois.
GEO Co-President Clayton Alsup adds: “The GEO is excited to work with the CFA as they work to form a union. It sends a clear statement to the University of Illinois administration that we are prepared to stand in solidarity in order to maintain high quality education and working conditions at our university. A unionized faculty will be better able to serve both their own members and their students.”
Susan Davis, Professor of Communications and the press officer for the CFA, stated that the CFA was in part inspired by the GEO’s resolute defense of graduate student tuition waivers. The CFA hopes that by becoming a union, they will be able to defend faculty rights in a similar manner. One of the many facets of their agenda will be improving the working conditions of non-tenure track faculty, for example, by providing a firmer sense of job and wage security. The GEO is highly invested in this cause—the working conditions of the faculty have a direct effect on the working and learning conditions of graduate and undergraduate students.
Chanee Anderson, the chair of the GEO’s Solidarity Committee, explained, “like the graduate employees of UIUC, our faculty devote countless hours, resources, and sacrifices to make this the great institution that it is. Where anyone’s call of duty requires giving of themselves, their rights and voices as laborers must have a respected place.”
The CFA’s organizing affiliates are the American Federation of Teachers, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, and the American Association of University Professors. For more information about the CFA and their mission, visit their website.