Frequently Asked Questions

What is a union?
A union is an organization that allows employees to negotiate as a group – rather than as individuals – over aspects of their work. Those aspects generally include wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. For educational employees, including SIU non-tenure track faculty, the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Act defines the guidelines for establishing a union and the rules that employees and their employer follow when negotiating a contract.
Can I be punished for supporting the NTT FA?
No. The law strictly prohibits your supervisor or other agents of the administration from intimidating you or depriving you of your legal rights to participate.
How does collective bargaining work?
Collective bargaining is a democratic process. The President of the NTTFA appoints a Bargaining Team made up of your colleagues; many of whom that have attended special training. These volunteer committee members meet with the Administration Bargaining Team to negotiate on your behalf and draft a collective bargaining agreement which becomes a legal document when ratified by both parties.
What is a contract?
The contract is the end result of collective bargaining. It contains the mutually agreed terms and conditions of employment.
Who decides what issues are included in the contract?
You do! All non-tenure track faculty are surveyed before bargaining to find out what interests are most important. You develop the agenda and set priorities for the entire bargaining unit.
Who participates in contract negotiations?
The NTTFA President appoints a bargaining team (typically about 5-7 people). Your representatives negotiate with representatives of the SIU Board of Trustees. The negotiating team members are selected for their particular expertise and to ensure that a wide variety of interests are represented at the negotiating table.
When is the contract final?
All dues-paying members of the NTTFA will have an opportunity to vote on the contract. The contract is not ratified until the membership of the Association votes to approve it. Non-members do not vote.
Will I have to strike?
While strikes are legal and generally a last resort, they are the exception rather than the rule. During the previous decade, IEA averaged about 5 strikes (.05%) per year — and that’s out of more than 950 locals. Academic strikes are rare in Illinois and the nation. Most contracts are settled amicably through reasoned discussion, debate, and compromise.
What can be gained through collective bargaining?
When faculty discuss their concerns as a group, they quickly realize that they are not alone in their concerns. Through collective bargaining, you gain a unified voice. Through collective bargaining, change can be both dramatic and beneficial. Even if you already enjoy certain benefits of employment, placing them in a legally-binding contract ends your status as “at will” employees whose work policies can be unilaterally changed at the will of your employer.
Is there any real point to collective bargaining in tight economic times?
We think so. Collective bargaining is even more important in tight economic times when the budget priorities are critical. Without collective bargaining, it is unlikely that an individual would have the ability to evaluate the actual economic circumstances of the University — or to help develop a constructive solution to those circumstances.
How much are dues?
Annual Dues are pro-rated by gross monthly salary level for the nine-month academic year with ten equal payroll deductions over ten (10) months, or an annual direct-payment to the Association Treasurer. The current dues amounts for 2013-14 are:
  • Level 1 – $3,500+ monthly gross – monthly dues $68.10
  • Level 2 – $2,400 – 3,499 monthly gross – monthly dues $38.75
  • Level 3 – less than $2,400 monthly – monthly dues $24.00

The majority of the dues go directly to the IEA and NEA which support you in a multitude of ways. Visit the Dues Allocation page to see how our IEA/NEA dues are used to help us. Our local association also receives $40 per year in local dues from the amounts above to support the local operations and activities of the NTTFA.

What do I get for my dues?
A: IEA and NEA offer a wide variety of programs and services to members, including professional bargaining consulting, legal services, legislative support for public education in Springfield and Washington DC, budget and salary research services, outstanding liability protection, and publications that include a peer-reviewed journal about academic work and an annual overview of US higher education. With 2.7 million members nationwide, IEA and NEA can also offer a variety of consumer benefits such as top-of-the-line credit cards, insurance plans, tax-deferred annuities, consumer education guides, home mortgage plans, attorney referral program, and other cost-cutting benefits. Visit the IEA website listing of these benefits.

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