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University of Illinois at Chicago Faculty Strike

CHICAGO ― Faculty members at the University of Illinois at Chicago have walked off the job for two days to protest low wages as contract negotiations continue.

Union officials say hundreds of faculty members began striking Tuesday, holding a rally on campus. The strike was set to continue Wednesday.

Professors say 18 months of contract talks have resulted in little progress on key issues.

Joe Persky, president of the faculty union, says the school is refusing to pay professors what they’re worth despite higher tuition and a big reserve fund. He says the university and union bargained all weekend, but the union concluded its core demands won’t be met without a strike.

School administrators have said they’ll continuing negotiating with a federal mediator.

Meanwhile, the flagship Urbana-Champaign campus has released a new report as it attempts to address concerns raised by faculty who aren’t on tenure tracks. The report outlines how instructors and others who aren’t on tenure tracks can be promoted. It also proposes a new title, teaching professor. The job would be focused on teaching rather than a mix of instruction and research.

According to The News-Gazette, the report also encourages offering multiyear contract to instructors who aren’t tenured. Such contracts are rare.

Reliance on non-tenured faculty has increased in recent years. The campus has 363 full-time non-tenure-track faculty members.

Concerns about relatively low pay and job security for such positions have become a national issue.

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