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UIUC Non-Tenure Faculty Union Ratifies First Contract After Strike

By John K. Wilson

The Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition (NTFC) Local #6546 members ratified their first-ever contract with the University of Illinois administration on May 5, 2016 by an overwhelming vote. The five-year contract (through August 2019) provide full-time NTT faculty with three month advance notice rights, gives long-term faculty at least one year of job security beyond their current one year position.

NTFC Local #6546 was formed in 2014 as joint project of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, and the American Association of University Professors.

After 18 months of negotiations, NTFC members went on a two-day strike on April 19 and 20, 2016. NTFC members and supporters walked out a second time a week later before the labor agreement was reached on April 30.

Shawn Gilmore, President of NTFC, declared: Im incredibly pleased that our members fought for and have now ratified a contract that will stabilize the working lives of non-tenure-track faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Gilmore cited the support of our partner unions, as well as faculty and students from throughout the campus community and beyond.

The agreement covers all full-time clinical, teaching and research non-tenure-track faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, except those affiliated with its Law, Veterinary and Medical Schools.

Protection of academic freedom is also part of the agreement, along with participation of NTT faculty in faculty governance.