An Illinois court has ruled against the effort of the UIC United Faculty to jointly organize TT and NTT faculty at UIC (University of Illinois Chicago). This does not mean that UIC will not be unionized, as the university has said that it does not object to separate unions for TT and NTT. It looks like the faculty union, while it has the right to appeal the court decision, will move forward with separate unions so as to begin collective bargaining sooner rather than later. For more, check out the UIC United Faculty website and this story from Inside Higher Ed.
I don't frankly understand why the UIC administration has been so adamant in its attempt to keep NTT and TT faculty separate. If it is part of a divide and conquer mentality, that effort is not likely to succeed, I don't think, as separate locals, which are generally part of the same overall union organization (AFT/AAUP in the case of UIC) end up working together in any event. From a purely administrative standpoint, it would presumably be more efficient to have one union contract rather than two. Union activists at the recent NEA Higher Ed conference were themselves split on which sort of structure works better for them--it's not as if the union movement is united in believing that their leverage is better with a local joining TT and NTT, as the two sorts of faculty do sometimes have divergent interests. At any rate, my experience has been that the NTT and TT locals work pretty well together here at SIUC as separate locals, from the union side of things, and that UIC should thus be able to do just fine with two separate unions, if that's what the administration and courts insist upon.
A little burst of blogging this weekend after an extended Spring Break . . .