FIU’s Resolution in Support of FSU’s Resolution

Florida International University’s Faculty Senate passed the following resolution today:

The Faculty Senate of Florida International University expresses its support for the following resolution adopted by the Faculty Senate of Florida State University:

“Be it resolved that we, the members of the Florida State University Faculty Senate, call upon the Presidential Search Advisory Committee not to recommend Senator Thrasher as a candidate for President of FSU. We further call upon the Board of Trustees not to hire Senator Thrasher as the next President of FSU. Senator Thrasher lacks the stated qualifications required for the position, whereas the other three finalists meet those qualifications. We encourage all faculty members to participate fully in the interview process and to submit comments.”

Resolution in Support of the Faculty Senate

The UFF-FSU Executive Council passed the following resolution:

We endorse the FSU Faculty Senate’s resolution stating, “Be it resolved that we, the members of the Florida State University Faculty Senate, call upon the Presidential Search Advisory Committee not to recommend Senator Thrasher as a candidate for President of FSU.  We further call upon the Board of Trustees not to hire Senator Thrasher as the next President of FSU.  Senator Thrasher lacks the stated qualifications required for the position, whereas the other three finalists meet those qualifications. We encourage all faculty members to participate fully in the interview process and to submit comments.”

UFF-FSU Ratification Summary 2014-2015

On September 9th and 10th, faculty will be asked to accept or reject, via a ratification vote, changes to the 2013-2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement.  These changes were negotiated between UFF-FSU and the Board of Trustees.  A list of all changes to the document and the text of all tentatively agreed Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) are presented below, followed by short descriptions of the changes (with hot links to the text).

  1. Article 8 – Appointment
  2. Article 10 – Performance Evaluations
  3. Article 23 – Salaries
  4. Article 30 – Amendment and Duration
  5. Promotion Increase MOA
  6. Winter Break MOA
  7. Instructional Support Faculty MOA

Article 8 – Appointment has been amended so that it now specifies how temporary “bridge funding” will work in cases where a granting agency reduces or redirects funding such that it affects Specialized Faculty holding multi-year agreements.

Article 10 – Performance Evaluation has been amended to clarify that departments may permit merit pay awards for all members of the department/unit.

Article 23 – Salaries specifies raises and bonuses as follows:

  • Continuation of Sustained Performance Increases of 3% for eligible full professors and eminent scholars, and, for the first time, for the top rank of Specialized Facultyworking for seven years or more after their promotion to the top rank.
  • $1,500 performance-based increases for faculty with an overall annual evaluation of at least “meets FSU’s high expectations” on their 2014 performance evaluations.  These increases will appear in the paychecks of Oct. 17.  A lump sum distribution to make up the difference between the August 8 start of the academic year and the Sept. 26th implementation will appear in the Dec. 12 paycheck.
  • Departmental merit raises of 1.55% to be distributed based on Spring 2014 Merit Evaluations. These increases will appear in paychecks on Nov. 7.
  • Deans’ merit of 0.20% of the in-unit salary base to be distributed on Nov. 7.
  • Establishment of a Post-Doc Faculty Mentor Award.
  • Administrative Discretionary Increases of up to 1%.
  • Within the “Awards” section, titles are established for Specialized Faculty who have been recognized with awards conferring distinction.

Article 30 – Amendment and Duration updates the timetable for renegotiations for next year.

Winter Break MOA updates the dates of winter break for in-unit faculty.

Domestic Partner Stipend Policy and MOA renews the policy implemented last year and specifies that retired domestic partners hold the same eligibility status as currently employed domestic partners.

Instructional Support Faculty MOA specifies that Instructional Support Faculty are eligible to be assigned up to 25% teaching but no less than 75% service.

Collective Bargaining Update July 23, 2014

The BOT and UFF-FSU teams met on July 23 and continued discussing salary, but the teams still remain far apart.  On the upside, the BOT team added  ½ a percent to its total offer and is willing to earmark a part of the package to include performance raises to help keep up  with the cost of living.  It is also willing to extend Sustained Performance Increase awards to eligible third-tier Specialized Faculty.  On the downside, however, their package amounts to only 3% (not counting promotion raises and administrative discretionary raises).

The UFF-FSU proposed package totals 5.2%.

The UFF-FSU team is having a hard time understanding why the BOT team is making such a “low ball” offer.   By way of comparison, faculty at UCF just settled salary negotiations that resulted in a 5% raise (3% across-the-board and 2%  merit).   Why should a preeminent university like Florida State come in so much lower?  It would be one thing if this were another year of Legislative cutbacks.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  With a budget of nearly a billion dollars, and with an increase of $41 million, this is not a tight budget year.   The UFF-FSU team needs the BOT to realize, like UCF evidently does, that our university needs competitive raises in order to maintain and improve its position.  Three percent doesn’t cut it.

The teams also discussed the terms of the re-extension of the Domestic Partner benefit agreed to last year, and these negotiations are continuing.

Collective Bargaining Update July 16, 2014

The UFF and Board of Trustees teams spent Wednesday’s bargaining session negotiating salary but remain far apart.  Differences center on the total amount of salary money and on its distribution.  The BOT team offered a package amounting to 2.5% of the total faculty salary base to be distributed solely on the basis of departmental merit and deans’ discretion.

The UFF team pointed to the $21 million allocation from the legislature in addition to the $20 million preeminence funding and offered a package totaling 5.5% of the salary base to be distributed according to the priorities indicated by the spring UFF poll (performance-based increases, market equity, departmental merit).

Top priority is performance-based raises to be accorded to all faculty whose annual ratings fall above “official concern,” with the intention of keeping up with the rate of inflation and not adding to the market equity problem.  The UFF-FSU team has been hopeful about performance-based raises, given the size of the legislative allocation and Trustee Allan Bense’s comment that it was a “good legislative session, so hopefully professors and staff will do okay this year.”  Those funds were partly designated to help FSU reach its preeminence goals through recruiting and retaining faculty.  What could be more central to the goal of faculty retention than a good salary package?  It is difficult to see how FSU will achieve its goals with the BOT team’s current salary offer.

The UFF team also has been hopeful about the prospect of addressing the long-standing market equity issue during this session, since faculty have been hearing statements from top administrators about their commitment to remedying the problem this year.   Unfortunately, there appears to be a mismatch between the administration’s words about acting this year and their bargaining proposals.  To see no market-equity remedy, on top of an unwillingness to put any funds towards cost-of-living adjustments, ensures that the problem will worsen.

The UFF-FSU’s third priority is departmental merit, in keeping with the goal of ensuring that any high-productivity “good year” for a faculty member never slips past unrewarded.

The UFF and BOT teams agree on keeping promotion raises at 12% and 15% to encourage and reward faculty for advancement.

Bargaining is scheduled for the rest of the summer, and salary is the top issue.  We encourage all interested faculty to attend on Wednesdays at 2:00 in the FSU Training Center.

Collective Bargaining Update June 18, 2014

The bargaining teams met on June 18, and the BOT team presented its counterproposal on Article 23 Salaries.  The BOT proposal was disappointing in offering very little merit increases, no cost of living adjustments, and no market equity adjustments, all high priority issues identified by the UFF spring faculty poll. The UFF-FSU team argued that by offering no “performance-based” or “across the board” raises and by doing nothing to address market equity, the BOT proposal would exacerbate salary compression and inversion.   During a caucus the UFF-FSU team put together a counterproposal and presented it to the BOT team. For reference the UFF-FSU team pointed out that at UNF even the admin has proposed “performance-based” increase of 4% as a COLA and funds for market equity.

The teams also signed a Memorandum of Agreement clarifying the ability of Instructional Support Track faculty to be assigned up to 25% of their time for teaching, as specified in the CBA. The next bargaining session is scheduled for July 9.

Collective Bargaining Update June 10, 2014

The teams met on May 28 and June 6.

The BOT team presented a counterproposal on Article 24 Benefits and the teams continued to discuss the issue.  The UFF-FSU team presented a proposal on Article 30 Severability, and the teams discussed it, as well.  The BOT team anticipates having a salary counter-proposal on Article 23 Salary by June 18, so the parties agreed to schedule the next bargaining session for that date.

UFF-FSU Press Statement about the Search and the Petition June 10, 2014

More than 1,400 Members from FSU Community Demand a Reset of the Presidential Search

Petition and comments to be presented at June 11th meeting

 On Wednesday, June 11, The United Faculty of Florida, Florida State University Chapter, will present to the Presidential Search Advisory Committee and to the Chair of the FSU Board of Trustees more than 1,400 signatures on a petition calling for a reset of the presidential search to ensure that it is fair, open, inclusive, and transparent. UFF-FSU has been involved in the presidential search process from the beginning and has pointed out several concerns regarding how the search process has been and continues to be conducted in an inappropriate and highly unusual manner. This irregular process includes a missing deadline for applications, a job advertisement inconsistent with the criteria adopted by the Presidential Search Advisory Committee, a recommendation to interview just one candidate who at that point had not submitted application materials, a large search committee with too few faculty and student representatives, and a process that appears to be tainted by political maneuvering.

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