I think I was the first to cover the story of the move by Chicago’s Columbia College adjuncts to disaffiliate from the IEA.
This week In These Times published a report on it.
The IEA took the unusual step of endorsing Kirk Dillard, a Republican candidate for Illinois Governor who lost to the private equity near-billionaire and viciously anti-union Republican Bruce Rauner during the 2014 primaries—moves many members strongly disagreed with.
The vote also comes from what they saw as a threat to their independence. The union’s website states that there is a risk of the IEA taking over the P-fac local, which is what precipitated the December 22 initiation of a motion to amend P-fac’s constitution and disaffiliate from the IEA, which would then be voted on by P-fac members. In December, the IEA sent a letter of audit to P-fac, which P-fac argued would be the first step to an IEA takeover.
Beverly Stewart, the IEA Higher Education Council Chairperson, denies that charge and notes that the IEA has never taken over a local before.
Though the vote for disaffiliation was lopsided, some P-fac members have criticized the speed of the process: disaffiliation took place between semesters, during the winter break, when not all teachers were on campus. Union officials say the timing was forced by IEA and the audit letter.
“P-fac isn’t rushing to try to get something done before we’re all back on campus,” says Carroll. She says IEA bylaws require the entire process to be completed within four weeks.
According to the P-fac Facebook page, of the 585 P-fac members eligible to vote, 286 ballots were cast. The final tally was 232-50 in favor of disaffiliation.
Because of “poaching” agreements between the major unions, designed to prevent them from stealing members from one another, P-fac would not be able to reaffiliate with another union for at least a year. For that time, they would be independent, though their contract will remain intact. After a year, P-fac can affiliate with another union, but a P-fac spokesperson says they do not currently have plans to do so.
Despite the overwhelming vote for disaffiliation, support for the move within the ranks of P-fac, is not universal. Joe Fedorko is a member of P-fac through his adjunct position at Columbia, but he is also president of the Roosevelt Adjunct Faculty Organization, the IEA local for Chicago’s Roosevelt University’s adjuncts. A vocal opponent of disaffiliation, he says it goes against the very idea of a union.
“I think it’s totally unjustified on P-fac’s part,” he says. “They [P-fac leadership] don’t like when anybody tells them what they should do. This is just them trying to place themselves over the labor movement.”
But for Carroll, and the overwhelming majority of voting P-fac members, the choice is a simple one. “We’re connected to a state affiliate union that doesn’t represent our interests.”
And my friend and blogging colleague Glen Brown also posts on adjuncts today.
University and College Adjunct Faculty Remuneration per Course in Illinois:
All Illinois: $2,700
All 4-year private not-for-profit: $3,000
Pay is based on three-credit courses.
Augustana College: $4,500 per course
Aurora University: $2,400 – $4,000 per course
Benedictine University: $2,250 – $2,750 per course
College of DuPage: $2,440 – $4,880 per course
Columbia College: $1,400 – $6,360 per course
DePaul University: $3,000 – $6,000 per course
Dominican University: $2,300 – $3,200 per course
Eastern Illinois University: $3,000 – $7,667 per course
Elgin Community College: $2,118 – $3,360 per course
Elmhurst College: $3,000 – $3,227 per course
Illinois Institute of Technology: $3,000 – $9,500 per course
Illinois State University: $3,500 – $6,400 per course
Illinois Wesleyan University: $3,000 per course
Lake Forest College: $6,500 per course
Lewis University: $2,700 – $3,000 per course
Loyola University: $4,000 – $12,000 per course
North Central College: $780 – $2,460 per course
Northeastern Illinois University: $5,475 per course
Northern Illinois University: $2,700 – $5,000 per course
North Park University: $2,680 -$4,800 per course
Northwestern University: $3,000 – $8,586 per course
Oakton Community College: $2,000 – $6,000 per course
Roosevelt University: $2,100 – $4,750 per course
Southern Illinois University: $3,000 – $6,000 per course
University of Chicago: $3,500 – $5,000 per course
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: $2,625 – $8,400 per course
University of Illinois at Chicago: $4,000 – $8,000 per course
University of Illinois at Springfield: $5,500 per course
Waubonsee Community College: $1,875 – $2,100 per course
Wheaton College: $2,775 – $3,700 per course
The above information is from The Adjunct Project.