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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The final minutes from the February 12, 2014, consultation with FSU administration representatives can be found here: Consultation Minutes 2 12 14 Final
Bargaining for the 2014-15 reopeners commenced on April 30, and the teams agreed to Negotiating Ground Rules and gave overviews of the changes they seek. The BOT team opened Article 8 Appointment and Article 9 Assignment of Responsibilities, with the goal of seeking changes in regard to Specialized Faculty, and the UFF team opened Article 24 Benefits and Article 29 Severability. Two other articles open automatically: Article 23 Salaries and Article 30 Amendment and Duration. The teams also plan to discuss an MOA on Winter break.
The teams met on May 7, 14, and 21 and made progress on the open issues. We reached a Tentative Agreement on Article 8 Appointment that specifies how temporary “bridge funding” will work in cases where a granting agency reduces or redirects funding such that it affects Specialized Faculty with multi-year agreements. The teams also engaged in “Interest-Based Bargaining” around Article 24 Benefits and agreed to set up a joint labor-management committee to discuss improvements in benefits, but negotiations continue on the issue. The UFF-FSU team presented a proposal for Article 23 Salaries on May 21, and the BOT team is considering it. The BOT team presented a proposal on Article 9 Assignment of Responsibilities and the teams discussed it.
The following press statement was published the morning of May 21, 2014, before the Presidential Search Advisory Committee met.
UFF-FSU Has “Lost Confidence” in Presidential Search Process
Calls on search committee to make fundamental changes moving forward
The United Faculty of Florida, Florida State University Chapter has followed the work of the Presidential Search Advisory Committee whenever and wherever possible. Our representatives have attended every public meeting and have provided input and feedback in all possible forums. Our organization and the faculty members we represent remain committed to this university and hope that this search process will bring us the leadership we need to join the ranks of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning here in the United States, if not the world. However, we have serious concerns over the process thus far and believe that fundamental changes need to be made moving forward.
Hundreds of faculty members responded to our 2014 UFF-FSU Faculty Poll.
A summary version of the report can be found at: http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/FacPollApr2014NCPost.pdf
An expanded edition of the report that includes faculty comments that help to clarify and elaborate upon the quantitative results can be found at: http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/FacPollApr2014Post.pdf