Loyola University Chicago

SEIU Strike

April 4 Update

SEIU Local 73 Negotiations - Update

April 4, 2018

Dear Loyola University Chicago community:

As you know, today Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 conducted a strike and encouraged a student walkout. Loyola University of Chicago is disappointed that the Union chose to strike and asked faculty to walk out on students. Loyola did not want a strike and our negotiating team has bargained in good faith since the start of negotiations (including late into the night on April 2) to avoid one.

It is important for all College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and English Language Learning Program (ELLP) faculty to know that Loyola values our NTT full-time and part-time faculty and their many contributions to the fabric of our University community. Our goal remains as it has been from the start—to achieve a fair and reasonable contract that is consistent with our commitment to social justice and our Jesuit values.

We want to take a moment to address inaccurate information shared in recent SEIU communications. It is important that the Loyola community knows the facts. Specifically, SEIU has accused Loyola of imposing “poison pill” provisions into negotiations at the last minute during our bargaining session on April 2. This is not true.While the Union is correct that Loyola and SEIU were very close to reaching an agreement on April 2, the University did not introduce any new contract provisions around management rights during the April 2 session—which is one of the reasons the Union has stated as the basis for its strike.

Here are the facts:

  • Management Rights: The Management Rights provision that was discussed with the Union on Monday, April 2, was the very same Management Rights provision Loyola had previously provided in bargaining on November 28, 2017. The Union’s lead negotiator, Larry Alcoff, specifically insisted that the discussion of Management Rights be held until late in the negotiations process when the economic provisions had been agreed to. 

    Loyola’s Management Rights provision stipulates that other than what is specifically bargained for in the new labor agreement, the University has the right to operate the University solely at its discretion. This is a fair and reasonable provision to all parties, giving the Union discretion over key employment aspects covered in the new agreement and the University discretion over aspects not covered in the agreement. This type of Management Rights provision is a standard provision in many union contracts, including in the SEIU contracts at Washington University, St. Louis University, and Northeastern University. It is puzzling that the Union would now take issue with this provision and leverage it as a reason for striking.
  • Union Membership and Dues: In an attempt to wrap up all remaining issues and secure an agreement, Loyola provided an updated proposal on this topic to the Union lead negotiator on the morning of Tuesday, April 3. The proposal was updated because the University agreed to the Union’s request that Loyola would collect Union dues from bargaining unit faculty. The language in this proposal is very similar to what is in other SEIU agreements, including those in place at Washington University and St. Louis University.

  • Appointments/Reappointments: The Union is proposing unrealistic restrictions on the University’s ability to use academic judgement in making faculty appointments and reappointments based on credentials, qualifications, and performance. This is a core issue that affects Loyola’s ability to control the quality of our students’ education. It is essential that the University retain the right not to renew a faculty member on a one-year contract if a more highly qualified individual is identified. Importantly, the University has proposed that it will allow some reappointment decisions to be submitted to the grievance procedure. Loyola also agreed that when there is a full-time NTT position open, Loyola will give an on-campus interview to qualified part-time and temporary full-time SEIU-represented faculty.

Loyola fully appreciates NTT faculty’s need for greater job security and has addressed this important issue by proposing longer appointments for both full-time and part-time NTT faculty. To that end, Loyola updated our proposals on April 2 to meet more of the Union’s requests around appointments, including:

  • Reducing the requirements for part-time faculty to be appointed “Adjunct Instructors” who shall receive a two-year appointment.
  • Proposing that the initial appointment for a full-time unionized faculty member (other than temporary faculty) shall be a two-year appointment rather than a one-year appointment. The reappointment of full-time unionized faculty member shall normally be a three-year full-time appointment. After two of these consecutive appointments, these faculty shall be eligible for a five-year appointment.
  • Reducing the reasons for non-reappointment by three.

Throughout these negotiations, Loyola has made proposals that offer very competitive pay, enhanced job security, and greater clarity, consistency, and predictability for appointments—all of which directly meet many of the Union’s requests. In addition to the provisions noted above on appointments/reappointments, Loyola’s economic proposals package includes:

  • Pay increases for everyone in the bargaining unit. This includes a very significant 33–35 percent increase to the standard per credit hour rate for part-time CAS instructors, which would make Loyola CAS non-tenure-track faculty among the highest paid non-tenured faculty in Chicagoland.
  • Annual merit raises that are in line with those earned by tenured and tenure-track faculty at Loyola.
  • Longer appointments for unionized faculty.
  • Creation of a professional development fund specifically for unionized faculty.

Unfortunately, the Union continues to make unrealistic demands that are not found in most Loyola peer university SEIU contracts.

What’s Next?
The next scheduled bargaining session for Loyola and SEIU is on April 20. Loyola is eager to meet sooner in order to resume bargaining and reach a fair and reasonable agreement as soon as possible.

For additional information, please visit the bargaining website.

Sincerely,

Margaret Faut Callahan, CRNA, PhD, FNAP, FAAN
Acting Provost
Provost, Health Sciences Division