Without warning or discussion of the damage it would do to students and schools, Illinois lawmakers imposed a 3 percent threshold on final average earnings salary increases for any education employees participating in the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) or State Universities Retirement System (SURS).

Please sign this petition to encourage lawmakers to reverse this terrible piece of legislation and show educators that their work is valued and that teachers and professors deserve respect.

Tell them to rescind the 3 percent threshold and to support HB 350 and SB 60.

Background

In the final 48 hours of the 2018 legislative session, Illinois’s four legislative leaders sneaked into the budget implementation bill a measure making school districts or universities financially liable for any contribution to those employees’ salaries larger than a 3 percent increase in the final 10 years of their careers. Because educators qualify for a pension after five years and can leave at any time, districts and higher ed institutions would likely institute a 3 percent threshold across the entire contract.

Impact

As a result of this legislation, teachers would likely be denied extra compensation for after-school work that benefits students, such as coaching, directing plays, tutoring in the evenings, taking classes toward advanced degrees and, therefore, devaluing the continuing education of our educators and ultimately harming students. In addition:

Reducing benefits to educators will make the already serious Illinois teacher shortage even worse.

At a time when committees are being formed to try to figure out how to keep graduating seniors from fleeing the state and choosing instead to stay at Illinois higher education institutions, this action will drive professors away from the profession.

This would financially harm the teachers of this state who devote their careers to teaching the next generation of students, impacting their salaries now and in the future, by limiting salary growth to no more than 3 percent, when rates of inflation hover around 2.5 to 3 percent each year.

Please sign this petition to encourage lawmakers to reverse this terrible piece of legislation and show educators that their work is valued and that teachers and professors deserve respect.

Tell them to rescind the 3 percent threshold.

RAFO is delighted to announce that one of our longtime members, Dr. Elizabeth-Anne Stewart, has a new book out! Dr. Stewart teaches composition at Roosevelt and holds a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Malta.

Her new book, titled Mind-Shifting Imagery: Image Guidance for Life Coaches, is a sequel to her earlier books, Image Guidance: A Tool for Spiritual Direction (Paulist Press, 1992) and Image Guidance and Healing(Paulist Press, 1994).

Mind-Shifting Imagery: Image Guidance for Life Coaches provides brief, safe and effective guidelines for using imagery specifically in Life Coaching. This approach can also be used in Spiritual Direction, Pastoral Counseling, Chaplaincy, Psychotherapy and other forms of inner guidance. While she hasn’t used these coaching techniques in her composition classroom, her focus on the use of archetypes, symbolism, and metaphor could be useful in a number of academic disciplines.

To learn more about Dr. Stewart’s early work and how it contrasts with her present focus, you can view this YouTube video.

For more information about her work in Spiritual Guidance, you can visit https://www.elizabeth-annestewart.com.

Hello Fellow Adjuncts,

We hope your year is going well. RAFO would like to offer you an opportunity for your continuing professional development. If you are attending a workshop, conference, seminar to learn new skills, or presenting at a conference, RAFO has a mini-grant available to help you defray your expenses.

Download Professional Development Mini-Grant Application (click the download button in the upper right hand corner).

Review the application form and fill out the information requested. We are accepting applications from now until March 16 for the Spring term. All proposals will be reviewed by the professional development committee, and you will be notified if your application is approved and the amount that will be provided.

If you have any questions about the form or the grant itself, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely, 

Ami Hicks, Ed.D. 
RAFO, Professional Development
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Part myth, part folk tale, during our lunch, Mike Levy spun narratives about his long career of hotel managing, teaching, and reinventing the landscape of the Chicago hotel industry and transferring his knowledge and expertise to Roosevelt University students for nearly twenty years. During Fall 2018, Myron “Mike” Levy decided to retire from teaching at Roosevelt University and put his long career in the Chicago hospitality industry behind him. Bonnie Smothers, Mike, and I joined together on a chilly fall afternoon to share his memories of running the Ambassador West Hotel, his experiences teaching Hospitality and Tourism, and his service with the Roosevelt University Senate.

Mike Levy is a union guy. His experience with both working with union members and being a union member gave him particular insights into the complex relationships between management and workers. Starting a career with the O’Hare Hilton, Mike moved onto the Ambassador West Chicago and finally settled into 18 years at the Midland Hotel in the position of general manager, where he transformed the business and established the Midland Hotel into an ideal destination for out-of-town executives. Over lunch with Bonnie and I, Mike shared his tales of hotel life and the challenges of managing many departments under one roof. In 1986, Mike Levy was named the “Man of the Year” from the Hotel-Motel Associations of Illinois for his contributions within the Chicago hotel industry.

In Fall 1999, prior to RAFO organization, Mike joined the faculty at Roosevelt University teaching Introduction to Hospitality. Over the past twenty years, Mike has taught twelve different classes in the Hospitality and Tourism Department. When speaking of his classroom experiences, Mike shared his enthusiasm for the students and the university while reflecting on the hospitality department and its future. I met Mike Levy during our terms of serving in the University Governance positions of Senate and College Council. As a union member and long standing adjunct faculty instructor, Mike made a point to attend the university events and collaborate with his department’s changing programs and curriculum updates.

RAFO extends heartfelt congratulations to Mike Levy and his family as he takes these steps into a full and well-deserved retirement. Thank you for your service and support with representing our union members and teaching numerous Roosevelt University students.

In solidarity,

Jen Wilson, President and the members of the Executive Committee

Subcategories

RAFO Members:

As lead negotiator for the 2020-2024 contract, I am pleased to announce that your negotiating team and Roosevelt University have come to an agreement. RAFO is extremely pleased with the final outcome and we believe you will be, too. The University was adamant on 0% for the first year, but as an offset for that 0%, we negotiated a signing bonus of $150 for each bargaining unit member that taught either in Spring 2020 or will teach in the upcoming Fall 2020 semester. That then takes us into the final three years of the contract where adjuncts will receive a 2% increase for each of those years.

As I hope you can see from the above, RAFO worked hard to ensure that you are rewarded for the professionalism and integrity all have shown during these unusual and trying times. We are attaching a copy of the final contract for you to review and eventually ratify. The areas that appear in green are changes that were made to the verbiage in the contract that will support RAFO during the upcoming 4 years.  Appendix A reflects the 2% increase for each step in the final three years.

A link with the time will be sent next week for all to join this a zoom meeting, where we can answer your questions about the contract.

In closing, we hope you will be as excited as we are regarding the new contract.

In solidarity,

Don Wlodarski and the RAFO team:

Jen Wilson, Joseph Fedorko, Amelia Hicks, Stan Traywick, Mike Pinsoff and Dennis Tucker