Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition Local #6546: Education First

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EDUCATION FIRST Round Color EDUCATION FIRST Square ColorShawn Gilmore
President, NTFC Local #6546

In the September issue of The Public i, I introduced the revamped Non-Tenure Faculty Coalition (NTFC Local #6546), the union that represents more than 500 non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty on the UIUC campus. I noted some of the reasons we formed a union more than a year ago, and the issues we’ve faced since.

For the coming year, NTFC will continue to organize, and mount a campaign for better working conditions and improved salaries for NTT faculty. Our motto: Education First.

Our union represents over 500 non-tenure-track faculty from across the campus in a wide variety of settings. These faculty are experts in a vast range of topics, and serve in a wide range of roles at the University. Some primarily teach coursework (myself included), some do primary research (individually or in group labs), some train specialists, or do field work, or direct programs, or some combination of any of those activities. We are legally united by the kinds of contracts that govern our work and our legal certification, but more importantly, we are united by our belief in the educational mission of the University of Illinois, and we are going to fight to put education first.

You’ll see us using this slogan throughout the semester—on buttons and posters, on fliers and at our actions—but this is about more than just rhetoric. The members of our union believe in the mission of this University: Learning and Labor. We comprise more than a fifth of the full-time faculty, but much of the educational mission of the University falls to us. We take this seriously and will be working throughout the year to highlight the ways that our members contribute to this University that we want to see improve. Our members have identified respect, stability, and professionalism as primary goals we need to support our positions and the educational mission of the University. We are asking for community support to help us spread our message.

What can you do? Check us out on facebook: “like” us and follow our updates. Come to our public events. For contact information and to organize community support you can look at our web page at We look forward to working with progressive members of the CU community who share our goal: Education first.

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