Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining requires an employer and the representative of its employees (i.e., a union) to meet at reasonable times, confer in good faith about mandatory subjects of bargaining—such as pay, benefits, and other conditions of employment—and put into writing any agreement reached, if requested by either party. Neither party, however, is required to agree to a proposal by the other, nor must either party make a concession to the other. Loyola is bargaining in good faith but is under no legal obligation to agree to anything that it determines is not in the best interest of our students or the Loyola community. Finally, no aspect of the negotiations is guaranteed. Faculty members in the bargaining unit could receive more, the same, or less than they currently receive in compensation and benefits.

SEIU Local 73 has the sole authority and exclusive right to negotiate with Loyola on the bargaining unit’s wages, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment. That means your legal rights to negotiate terms and conditions of your employment are transferred to the Union. Loyola may not extend different terms to you or any members of the bargaining unit regardless of need or merit, except as agreed to by the Union.

No. The contract will apply to all faculty members included in the bargaining unit, regardless of whether they approve of the contract or not

Yes. SEIU Local 73 is free to trade away existing benefits enjoyed by the faculty in exchange for terms important only to SEIU Local 73–for example, a Dues Check-Off Clause, which requires an employer to deduct dues from an employee’s paycheck and remit them directly to the Union. In fact, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has specifically stated, “In the give-and-take of bargaining a union is free to give up items important to employees in exchange for dues check-off clauses.” (La-Z-Boy, 281 NLRB 338 (1986))

Generally, unions poll employees in order to develop their initial proposals. After that, there is so much discussion, fine-tuning, what-ifs, and compromises that take place during the negotiations that it becomes impractical to involve the employees in each decision that is to be made. While the Union may solicit faculty concerns, the Union cannot guarantee that some, or any, of those concerns will be addressed in the collective bargaining agreement. There is no way for an individual faculty member to ensure that his or her concerns are adequately addressed as a small bargaining team negotiates the collective bargaining agreement.

Under an SEIU contract, faculty may find themselves subject to “one size fits all” rules and restrictions during negotiations and, ultimately, under a collective bargaining agreement. It is very difficult for the Union to take every faculty member’s unique needs and preferences into consideration during negotiations. What may be important to you may not be as important to the negotiation committee or consistent with SEIU’s national agenda. In addition, the SEIU is your exclusive bargaining agent and, under federal labor laws, it would be illegal for Loyola to bargain with individual faculty, or with groups of faculty, within the bargaining unit. We encourage you to review and compare existing SEIU contracts, some of which can be found here.

That is unlikely based on what other SEIU locals have negotiated at other institutions. In their contracts with The George Washington University and American University, SEIU agreed that these schools would retain broad discretion to determine what courses are offered and who will teach them, including language stating, “Decisions regarding who is taught, what is taught, how it is taught, and who does the teaching involve academic judgment and shall be made at the sole discretion of [the school].”

As in any negotiation, a union contract negotiation is a give-and-take process and the law does not establish a set timeline for negotiations. It is not unusual for a collective bargaining agreement to have 30 or more distinct subjects or articles. Each of these must be discussed and agreed to for the contract to be completed. In the end, a first contract can take many months, or even years, to negotiate. Employers are often unable to make pay or benefits adjustments during contract negotiations.

No. Not all contract negotiations result in a final agreement. In fact, the law expressly states that the obligation to bargain in good faith "does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession..."

In the event of a deadlock, the parties may agree to involve a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to help reach an agreement. The involvement of a mediator, however, does not guarantee that agreement will be reached. The Union also has the option of calling a strike to try to force the University to agree to its proposals. It is also possible that the Union may either accept the University’s final offer or simply “walk away” and abandon the negotiations. At this time, no one could possibly know what the outcome might be.

Loyola is committed to bargaining in good faith and with a sense of urgency in order to reach a fair and reasonable contract that is good for CAS NTT faculty, students, and the entire Loyola University Chicago academic community. We will continue to work constructively and collaboratively with the Union to reach an agreement that provides NTT faculty with competitive and fair compensation and benefits; greater clarity, consistency, and predictability for appointments, appointment length and scheduling; and a rewarding work environment.

Our goal is a contract that is consistent with our commitment to the common good, and one that allows Loyola to live up to our promise to make a high-quality education affordable to our current and future students. We must always remember our first priority is to our students and their intellectual and spiritual formation. This will continue to be the lens through which we view these negotiations and all of our efforts. 

Loyola University Chicago and SEIU currently have CAS bargaining sessions scheduled for the following dates:

  • Friday, January 19
  • Friday, February 2
  • Wednesday, February 14
  • Tuesday, March 6
  • Wednesday, March 28
  • Friday, April 20
  • Monday, May 14
  • Tuesday, May 29 

Loyola is committed to adding other dates, if needed, to reach an agreement in the coming weeks. We are intent on ensuring progress at the table and on reaching an agreement as soon as possible this semester.

The Loyola University Chicago bargaining committee includes: Joe Tilson – chief negotiator, lawyer with Cozen O’Connor; Tom Kelly – Loyola’s Senior Vice President for Administrative Services; David Slavsky, PhD – Loyola’s Director of Core Curriculum; John Frendreis, PhD – Professor of Political Science; and Constantin Rasinariu, PhD – Chair of Physics.

SEIU Local 73 Bargaining Team: Larry Alcoff – chief negotiator

The parties have reached agreement on topics such as defining the issues to be bargained, a labor management committee, union rights, academic freedom, health and safety, and a number of others. In the negotiating sessions ahead, the parties will address issues of great importance to CAS NTT faculty, including compensation and benefits, appointments, evaluations, promotions, professional development, workload, and duties.  

CAS and ELLP are different faculty groups with different responsibilities and requirements. As such, their labor agreements must be individual to them and reflective of their specific duties and roles. 

With respect to unionized faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences, the University is not a party to any proceeding challenging the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board. 

Please know that we are committed to bargaining in good faith and with a sense of urgency in order to reach a fair and reasonable contract for unionized faculty in the college, as well as ongoing and transparent communications. 

We encourage all NTT faculty to stay informed throughout the negotiations. This is an agreement for you—and it’s important you know the facts. If you have questions about the collective bargaining process, you should submit questions via this form. We also encourage you to frequently visit this site,, for the latest information and updates about the collective bargaining process.