Bargaining Update 5-18-15
The UFF-FSU and BOT teams began negotiations in February just on Market Equity raises, and the teams reopened several other articles in early May, the typical month for beginning negotiations.
Because of the legislative delay in passing a budget, raise amounts have not yet been discussed, but the teams have informally agreed on many aspects of the distribution plan for Market Equity raises. Any final agreement is contingent on other elements of the final salary package. The UFF-FSU Proposed Market Equity distribution plan can be found here, and the BOT team’s counterproposal can be found here. Both proposals include components to reward merit and time-in-rank at FSU, use national standards to set comparison groups, and insure that all raise-eligible faculty members are brought up at the same time and rate. These are important points of unity. But there is a key difference. Despite the UFF-FSU team’s best efforts, we have not yet been able to convince the BOT to agree to include Specialized Faculty in the list of eligible faculty. While the BOT team’s reasons are unclear, its intransigence is not. The BOT team says it is willing to consider the possibility of adding a special raise supplement for Specialized Faculty in another section of the salaries article, although their proposal is not yet available. The UFF-FSU Article 23 (Salary) proposal is here.
In addition to the Salaries article, each team was allowed two reopeners. The UFF opened Article 5 (Academic Freedom) to add language limiting the authority to make important personnel decisions to faculty, administration, and the BOT. The BOT’s counter-proposal is here. The UFF-FSU also opened Article 22 (Sabbaticals and Professional Development Leave) to improve the sabbaticals program, but the BOT team’s counterproposal is status quo language. The UFF-FSU is drafting an alternative proposal to be presented on Wednesday.
The BOT team opened Article 24 (Benefits) and Article 16 (Disciplinary Action and Job Abandonment), but decided to not pursue any Article 24 changes. The Article 16 issue is about clarifying the language on job abandonment, and the BOT proposal is here. The UFF-FSU verbally proposed an alternative that will be presented as a written counteroffer on Wednesday.
We close with two thoughts. First, the UFF-FSU bargaining team is only as powerful as our membership numbers. The greater our membership numbers, the stronger our voice on behalf of faculty. So if you are not already a member, join! Second, bargaining is open to all, and we encourage faculty to attend. This week we meet on Wednesday, May 20, at 2:00 in the FSU Training Center (on Jackson Bluff across from the stadium). Watch for emails from UFF-FSU President Matthew Lata about future dates.
Scott Hannahs and Irene Padavic, Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU