Frequently Asked Questions
Loyola University of Chicago/SEIU Local 73 Negotiations and Strike
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 73 continues to threaten a strike and promote a campus-wide walkout on Wednesday, April 4.
SEIU Local 73 has called the strike. SEIU Local 73 represents 350 full- and part-time non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and 10 faculty in the English Language Learning Program (ELLP). It is anticipated that some non-union faculty may also cancel classes and that students (including some of Loyola's graduate assistants with teaching duties) will "walk out," as well.
Faculty who are represented by the SEIU are not required to strike. It is their choice as to whether they teach their classes (or not) during the SEIU strike. We hope that our faculty do not choose to walk out on their students. Until the time of the strike, the University will not know which faculty members and graduate assistants with teaching duties will participate in the strike and which are proceeding with teaching classes as scheduled.
The University is not cancelling classes. However, students should expect that faculty who decide to participate in the strike will not teach their classes as scheduled. All non-union faculty are expected to teach their courses, and administrative and support staff are expected to perform their normal jobs. If faculty (whether in the SEIU bargaining unit or not) choose to participate in an SEIU strike, they are requested to update Sakai out of courtesy to their students. Unless directed otherwise on Sakai, students should report to their classes as usual. If the instructor is not present, students should wait at least 15 minutes before leaving.
If SEIU calls a strike, our students' intellectual, developmental, and spiritual needs will remain our top priority. Loyola has a plan in place to minimize disruption to our students. All University buildings, food and housekeeping services, and scheduled events will continue as usual. However, for even a one-day strike, for example, Loyola estimates several hundred class periods could be cancelled by striking faculty, potentially impacting at least one class for 6,000-8,000 students. We hope that our faculty do not walk out on our students.
If a class does not meet, students will be expected to keep up with the syllabus and related assignments unless you hear otherwise from your instructor. Instructors will inform students of their plans for ensuring all course material is taught as required. Some classes that are cancelled may be rescheduled at a later date. If this is not possible, Loyola will work with students to address other solutions to make up for lost class time.
Classes that are cancelled because of the strike will not have an impact on students' grades.
All University buildings will remain open, and food service and housekeeping at residence halls will continue as usual. Athletic and other events will continue as planned.
We respect the right of everyone to peacefully protest and express their views. If any faculty or students observe disruptive or threatening behavior by strikers or protestors, you should contact Campus Safety immediately. The safety of our students, faculty, staff, and campus is always our top priority.
Some Loyola graduate assistants have been seeking union representation and, as a result, may decide to participate in the SEIU strike. Loyola maintains that graduate assistants are not eligible for union representation. Graduate assistants are admitted to Loyola as students first, based on their academic qualifications, and when they leave us, they receive an academic degree. They are students in every sense of the word. Therefore, they do not qualify as "employees" within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act and are not eligible for union representation-a position that is shared widely by the higher education community.
Loyola is committed to evaluating the support we provide graduate assistants on an ongoing basis and making improvements when warranted, as evidenced by recently awarded stipend increases.
Until the time of the strike, the University will not know which faculty members and graduate assistants with teaching duties will participate in the strike and which are proceeding with teaching classes as scheduled. It is our hope that all faculty and staff will put the needs of our students first.
The Union has encouraged students to participate in its strike by walking out of classes. While we respect the rights of our students to voice their opinions, it is highly disappointing that the Union would seek to disrupt our students' education.
We hope that our faculty put our students' needs first and choose not to engage in a strike of any duration, but especially not a long one. In the unlikely event that the strike extends beyond April 4, the University has a plan in place to ensure our students' education is not disrupted.
It is highly disappointing that the Union would call a strike and disrupt our students' education, particularly given the efforts Loyola has made to reach a fair and reasonable agreement and that we have additional bargaining sessions scheduled. Loyola has made proposals that would make Loyola CAS non-tenure-track faculty among the highest paid non-tenured faculty in Chicagoland. The University's proposals also provide increased job security and greater clarity around appointments/reappointments for non-tenure-track faculty.
Loyola believes contract issues are best settled at the bargaining table, and we have been committed from the very beginning to transparent and collaborative negotiations. Loyola does not want a strike and is eager to resume negotiations in order to reach an agreement. The University has offered to participate in additional bargaining sessions to finalize an agreement as soon as possible.
We value our NTT full-time and part-time faculty and their many contributions to the fabric of our University community. Our goal is to achieve a fair and reasonable contract that is consistent with our commitment to social justice and our Jesuit values. We appreciate that NTT full-time and part-time faculty would like higher wages and enhanced job security. Our proposals include significant increases in compensation (which would make Loyola CAS non-tenure-track faculty among the highest paid non-tenured faculty in Chicagoland), increased job security, and greater clarity around appointments/reappointments. You can read detailed updates of each bargaining session on the bargaining website.
Loyola has reached 17 Tentative Agreements with the Union for CAS NTT faculty and 19 Tentative Agreements for ELLP NTT faculty. You can read about this in more detail on the bargaining website.
Loyola and the Union have already reached agreement on many important topics. The core remaining issues are primarily around job security for part-time faculty, the basis for non-reappointment of faculty, management rights, and the term of the agreement.
Despite significant movement from Loyola, the Union continues to make demands that are not supported by the market and are not standard in many Chicagoland and peer university SEIU contracts.
Our goal is to reach an agreement that is fair and reasonable, as well as fiscally responsible. We work very hard at Loyola to keep costs low and challenge ourselves to be as efficient as possible and good stewards of all of our resources. We must work to keep tuition increases modest and in line with our peers to ensure we can continue to offer a high-quality, affordable education to our students.
Loyola regularly benchmarks our pay and benefits to ensure we are in line with other academic institutions in our geographic region and peer groups. Loyola's offerings are competitive in the marketplace and demonstrate our commitment to, and appreciation for, all of our faculty-and the proposals we have made keep it that way. The University has proposed significant increases in compensation, which would make Loyola College of Arts and Sciences non-tenure-track faculty among the highest paid non-tenured faculty in Chicagoland. Loyola's proposals would give raises to all members of the bargaining unit, including a very significant 33-35 percent increase to the standard per credit hour rate for CAS part-time instructors and annual merit raises for all unionized faculty consistent with those earned by tenured and tenure-track faculty.
While this is very competitive compensation for part-time NTT faculty, as with any part-time employment, it is not practical or reasonable to make a full-time living solely based on part-time employment at Loyola.
No part-time employee at Loyola receives full benefits. We must be mindful of our costs and work to keep tuition increases modest to ensure we can offer a high-quality, affordable education to our students.
Loyola is eager to continue negotiations. We are committed to continuing to bargain in good faith and with a sense of urgency in order to reach a fair and reasonable agreement that is good for NTT faculty, our students, and the entire Loyola University Chicago academic community. Loyola continues to remain open to participating in additional bargaining sessions, as needed, to reach an agreement.
As a leading Jesuit, Catholic University, we take very seriously our commitment to academic freedom and our mission to provide a diverse learning community that values freedom of inquiry, the pursuit of truth, and care for others. This mission extends to each and every member of our campus community.
Updates pertaining to the strike can be found at: LUC.edu/bargaining. Loyola is committed to keeping all stakeholders informed.