Dear UPI Members,
Thank you for being an active member of the University Professionals of Illinois Local 4100. By working together, we remain strong against the attacks on Illinois Higher Education. We have and will continue to fight to protect our students, institutions, and members against those who would rather see us without a voice. We are strongest when we stand united and fight together to preserve our hard-fought gains negotiated by our union.
We are disappointed, though not surprised, by this morning’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 case, a lawsuit backed by Rauner, corporate CEOs, wealthy elites and other anti-union organizations designed to weaken and eventually break public sector unions. They see all of us as a threat and can only rely on an ideological court to achieve their ends as their other attempts have failed in the public sphere.
Despite the Court’s decision, we are more energized and defiant. Over the last several months, many of our colleagues have joined UPI for the first time. We are stronger today because this attack. We will never quit, no matter what. Please know that as members, the Janus decision will in no way compromise the UPI’s ability to protect rights and benefits negotiated in our contracts.
For those who have not signed your membership cards, we urge you to join with your colleagues and become a member today. You can join through an online membership form available at: https://m.ift-aft.org/card or contact your Chapter President. When we organize together, we can protect our students, institutions, and working conditions. Our collective voice is the only means we have to protect our pensions, health care, compensation, work load, and many other negotiated benefits as well as our students access to high quality institutions.
Together, we will continue to collectively bargain for everyone—members and non-members alike— in all of our UPI bargaining units.
We expect anti-labor groups to not end their attack. They are well-funded and have been set up for more than a year waiting for a favorable Supreme Court decision. You may be contacted by some of these groups trying to convince you to leave your union. They may use the argument that you can pocket the union dues and still retain representation. They do not realize that union representation earns increased salaries and work place protections that more than offset the dues we pay. The problem is that without your membership, although you are still covered, our voice becomes weaker.
Another tactic that these groups use is to tell you that they will represent you …for a fee. The “fee” is actually an insurance policy. It does not negotiate for you; the Janus decision does not change the union’s relationship with your University.
If one of these groups contacts you, we ask you to contact your Chapter President or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions about the UPI, the Janus decision, or the rights, protections and benefits you receive as a UPI member, please contact us. You can call us directly at 312-663-5916.
Together, we are stronger! We are linked together through our commitment to educate our students. Nothing will stand in our way.
John Miller, UPI President