Mission Statement

The purpose of this blog is to deconstruct the rhetoric and strategies of faculty union advocates at the University of Illinois. A consequential decision like this must be based on facts, not spin. Right now only one side of the argument is being presented to faculty. This blog represents the other side of the argument.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014



One of the more controversial aspects of faculty unionization is the requirement that all members of the campus bargaining unit will have to pay “fair share” dues to the union whether they want to or not.

Here is what the CFA is telling people (emphasis added):

Illinois law holds that even faculty who are not members of the union benefit from the union’s presence. Therefore, non-members must pay what is called “fair share” dues which are a percentage of what is paid by union members.

Here is what state labor law actually says (emphasis added):

(115 ILCS 5/11) (from Ch. 48, par. 1711) Sec. 11.
Non-member fair share payments. When a collective bargaining agreement is entered into with an exclusive representative, it may include a provision requiring employees covered by the agreement who are not members of the organization to pay to the organization a fair share fee for services rendered.

The point is clear: “may” is not must.” The union is not required to charge fair share dues. They want to do so because this vastly increases the revenue they collect each year from faculty, and then will share with their state and national union partners.

(This also helps to explain why these state and national unions have invested their own staff and resources in the local union campaign.)

We believe that any decision to require fair share dues should be made in way that includes all affected faculty.

*** This blog is a jointly authored project by two people who believe that the campaign for tenure-track faculty unionization has damaged morale and divided our campus, and that a faculty union, if ever established, would erode academic quality and undermine our highly successful system of campus shared governance, which has earned nationwide praise.

We speak for ourselves. We have no organization behind us, we don’t ask for funding, we don’t pay national hired guns to come in and make the case for us.

We want to start a different campus conversation about faculty unionization, which we believe will be more thoughtful and substantive when people have all the facts.

We welcome and will consider postings from others expressing issues and concerns about faculty unionization. We know that many faculty are very upset about the possibility of working on a unionized campus.

If you see any information here that is inaccurate, please tell us and we will correct it.

If you share our concerns and want to help, please forward these postings to your friends and colleagues, and urge them to do the same. ***