Membership Survey: Responses Requested!

Visiting Academic Professionals at UIUC are protected by a contract that expires on August 15, 2022.  A bargaining team will be representing VAPs to secure a renewed, even better contract. Please fill out the following survey so the bargaining team can best represent everyone’s interests: https://go.illinois.edu/VAPsurvey

And remember, only members will get to vote on the contract. If you aren’t a member, sign up today! (When it asks you for classification, please choose Higher Education — Education Support Professional, and for membership type choose Higher Ed- ESP Quarter Time. This does not correspond to your work status as full-time of not, it relates solely to our dues level)

Service Time and Notice Rights

Note: We are discussing service time here as used to calculate notification rights, not for SURS which is a different calculation discussed here

There have been a number of questions about service time (i.e. for notification rights) for Academic Professionals under the University statues and credit for visiting service.  Below is our best understanding of the current rules and practices of the University of Illinois covering termination contracts and notice of appointments. These are covered in several places online:

UIUC Provost Communication #11 here.

University of Illinois Statue, Section 11 here.

Visiting Academic Professionals

There is a 30 day courtesy notice for non-renewal of appointment for VAPs under the collective bargaining agreement.  On top of this, the university has a past practice of honoring Notice of Appointments unless there is termination for cause.  So, for example, if your NOA is through August 15, they usually will not end the appointment before that date.

If you transition to a non-visiting academic professional position, does service time in the VAP position count? Maybe. Under the collective agreement, you can carry service time over into your non-visiting AP position (1.0 FTE) if the following apply:

  1. You have been a 1.0 FTE VAP in the same position and the same unit for 36 months (3 years).  You can carry over 2 years of service time into the new position if the other criteria are met.
  2. The non-visiting position has the same title as the visiting one (e.g. Visiting Research Scientist to Research Scientist — Yes; Visiting Research Scientist to Senior Programmer– No.)
  3. The position is within the same unit.  (e.g. Visiting Research Scientist at Department of Mathematics to Research Scientist at Department of Mathematics– Yes; Visiting Research Scientist at Department of Mathematics to Research Scientist at NCSA–No)

What happens if as part of the move to non-visiting your unit is reorganized into something else? Then, this is determined on a case-by-case basis by AHR where they examine whether the new position reports to the same supervisor (i.e. the position not a person), whether the people you interact with are the same and whether the duties are the same as the previous unit. If the answers to those questions are yes, then the service time will transfer into the new non-visiting AP position.

Non-visiting Academic Professionals

The only positions that have notice rights (i.e. they have to give you notice before eliminating a position for programmatic or budgetary reasons) are those with 1.0 FTE.  This means if you hold two AP titles with less than 1.0 FTE in both positions, you do not have any notice rights. This also means if you have a less than 1.0 FTE AP position and less than 1.0 FTE position in a another employee class (e.g. non-tenure track faculty), you also no notice rights even if both positions add up to 1.0 FTE.

We include the full relevant text from the statue below, but first want to highlight something that APs should be aware of in calculating service time:

5. Computation of length of service will be on the basis of continuous employment in campus academic administrative and professional positions (or similar service at the university level for employees of the university administration). On a case-by-case basis, credit may be given for all or part of their relevant experience in other University of Illinois positions.

In practice, this has meant that if you change job titles or units, you reset the clock on service time. For example, lets say you are Asst Director of Curriculum Development at 1.0 for 6 years and are then moved into a different titled position, Associate Director of Learning Services.  This means the clock is now reset and your service time starts from 0. This doesn’t apply in the case where you are promoted from Assistant to Associate within the same job track (i.e. Asst Director of Curriculum Development to Associate Director of Curriculum Development. Or, Programmer to Senior Programmer, etc.). This also can change if you move to a different unit. For example, if you are a (non-visiting AP) programmer in the Department of Physics, but then move to a (non-visiting AP) programmer position at the NCSA, your service time is calculated from the beginning of the most recent appointment.

From Section 11 of the Statues:

1. Except as provided in 2 and 3 below, written notice of nonreappointment shall be given by the Board of Trustees to academic professional employees in accordance with the following schedule:

Length of Full-Time Service to the University
(in full appointment years completed)
Minimum Notice of Nonreappointment
Less than 4 years 6 Months
4 years or over 12 Months

2. Written notice of nonreappointment shall be given by the Board of Trustees to an academic professional employee on an appointment which notes that it is subject to receipt of funds in accordance with the following schedule [i.e. you have a * in your NOA next to salary– you position is funded from soft funds (grant, etc.)]:

Length of Full-Time Service to the University
(in full appointment years completed)
Minimum Notice of Nonreappointment
Less than 4 years 2 Months
4 years or over 6 Months
plus 1 additional month for each additional full appointment year of service to a maximum of 12 months’ notice
10 years 12 Months

3. Written notice of nonreappointment shall be given by the Board of Trustees to an academic professional employee who is the director of intercollegiate athletics or a coach of an intercollegiate athletic team in accordance with the following schedule:

Length of Full-Time Service to the University
(in full appointment years completed)
Minimum Notice of Nonreappointment
Less than 4 years 3 Months
4 years or over 6 Months

Anti-Muslim & Anti-Immigrant Actions of Trump Administration

Dear Members,
 Over the last few days the new Trump administration has stumbled from one mess to another.  On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order banning entrance to the US from citizens or dual-citizens of several Muslim majority countries even to those with permanent residence status.  This has wreaked havoc for many in our campus community and many friends, colleagues and family members beyond campus.
This administration’s actions have been deeply immoral, embarrassing and incompetent. The leadership of AAP stands in solidarity with our friends, colleagues and students affected by the xenophobia, fear-mongering and ineptitude of this administration. While many of you feel unwelcome and look to an uncertain future, please know that you have friends and allies here on campus in our organization and in the broader campus community.  We strongly support the statement made Saturday by Martin McFarlane, the Director of International Students and Scholars Services at UIUC: “You are wanted at the University of Illinois. You are needed here. And you are valued here.”

In solidarity,
Joseph Roy, President
Lisa Bievenue, Treasurer
Jason Mierek, Secretary
Dan Hahn, Past President

December Update

Statement on IPAC

The leadership of our association endorses President Killeen’s IPAC plan to provide accountable and stable funding for the University of Illinois. Earlier today, the Council on Academic Professionals announced their support of IPAC as well (https://illinois.edu/emailer/files/114359/ipac_oral_statement.pdf). This plan sets high standards that will benefit the students and citizens of Illinois while providing a reasonable investment in the present and future of the state.  Further, removal of the onerous state regulations as outlined in the plan will increase innovation and decrease the regulatory costs that do not benefit our students.  We encourage our members and all who wish to see the University of Illinois system succeed, to  contact your state representative or senator and encourage them to support this plan (currently HB6623).  You can find out how to contact them here:  https://app7.vocusgr.com/WebPublish/controller.aspx?SiteName=UnivILAlumni&Definition=Home&SV_Section=Home

Please consider calling their office rather than email, as it is more effective. If you have any questions on this, please contact us.

At the state and national level, there have been a number of disappointing events that affect members in our local.

FLSA Change

A court in Texas issued an injunction against the Department of Labor’s new FLSA guidelines from going into effect (see here).  This means the new overtime rules will not go into effect on our campus. It seems unlikely that the new Department of Labor secretary will follow through with the implementation or defend it in court, but we don’t know yet if that is the case. The University has decided to go ahead with pay increases that were promised, however, in response to the FLSA rules. We are happy the University has chosen to do this as it follows our understanding of the relevant law and the collective agreement.

Health Insurance/AFSCME Labor Board Ruling

AFSCME lost its challenge before the state labor board (see here). They are still waiting on a written ruling and then it is likely that AFSCME will appeal.  The consequences on University employees could be dire:  There is the possibility that all state employees health insurance premiums will double retroactively to June 2016 (and they would be withheld from paychecks from the remainder of the year). The University’s presentations over the summer provide a little hope that might not happen.  A a minimum the University wants the state to allow employees to choose a new plan and not allow the increases to apply retroactively.  There is still much uncertainty around this issue and it might not be resolved soon.

Gift Days

In some positive news, the University has gifted employees three more holidays during the winter break.  Most units shut down between December 25 to Jan 1 and employees are forced to take vacation days for the days not covered as a holiday or gift day during that time.  The association, under the collective bargaining agreement,  quickly confirmed to the University we agreed with their policy* and did not need to negotiate this (any change in benefits can be negotiated by the local). We are grateful to President Killeen and the leadership of each of the campuses for providing these extra days this year and hope they continue to do so in future years.

*There are some employees who will not get these days off because of the critical nature of their positions.  They have the right to use these at later date during the school year. If they don’t use them by the end of the calendar year, they lose these days (similar to the floating holidays).  If there are problems or concerns with how this has been implemented in your unit, please contact us at aapillinoisedu@gmail.com