Negotiations between University of Illinois-Chicago administration and union-backed faculty resumed Friday, as hundreds of employees remained on strike for a fourth consecutive day.
University officials said the sides had agreed to resume bargaining Friday and could continue talks into the weekend to secure a new contract agreement.
“Reaching a fair and equitable agreement for both parties continues to be UIC’s objective,” Interim Chancellor Javier Reyes and Acting Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Karen Colley said in a statement.
Members of the UIC United Faculty (UICUF) officially went on strike Tuesday after months of negotiations and have been picketing outside university buildings each day.
The union is bargaining for increased base pay along with more job protections for non-tenure track members, including between several months’ to a year’s notice if the university does not plan to renew a lecturer’s contract (more time would be required for those with more seniority).
In addition to increased pay, the union is also seeking “a minimum level of mental health care” for students that includes access to free evaluations for learning disabilities similar to what’s available to students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
On Monday, administrators committed nearly $4.5 million over six years to improve those services for students.
While the sides have reached agreements on several non-pay-related contract issues, UIC officials said they remain “far apart” on compensation. UIC is also seeking a four-year contract, while the union wants a three-year deal.
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