Happy New Year

Colleagues –

On behalf of the UFF and the UFF Executive Committee, I’d like to wish you
all the very best for the New Year and for the upcoming semester.

2015 was busy and productive. Our bargaining team made good progress in several areas during negotiations, much as the result of years-long discussions.

As many of you are aware, Market Equity raises were implemented for the first time last fall. Both Administration and the UFF agree that these are just a first step to raising
FSU salaries to market levels across the board, and look forward to continued progress in this area during next spring’s bargaining sessions. These raises, added to an across-the-board increase for all faculty, both regular and specialized, and increased amounts available for Administrative Discretionary Increases, placed FSU’s average salary increase at the very top of all schools in the State University System. Our priorities moving forward will be negotiating cost-of-living increases, continued progress in Market Equity, and increased focus on raises for Specialized Faculty. We’re not there yet, but we’re making progress.

For the first time, faculty members on nine-month appointments now have the option
of being paid over twelve months in equal increments. For those who did not have the
opportunity to take advantage of this option last summer, there will be another enrollment period in August 2016.

Legislative priorities will continue to challenge us during the upcoming Session. Again, reflecting faculty sentiment, we will be out front in opposition to bills allowing guns on campus. We are concerned about how the Legislature proposes codifying the same performance metrics for every stage college and university, regardless of specialty, history, or need. This micro-management could result in a punitive application of arbitrary standards rather than a serious, reasoned examination of the quality of each institution. We’ll also be following issues of higher education access and textbook affordability.

More information on each of these issues will be posted as appropriate later this winter. The results of our December faculty poll will be online shortly after January 1, and will be an important factor in determining our bargaining priorities when that process starts in February.

On the social side, we continue to invite colleagues to meet and greet, usually on the last Friday of each month. Our UFF Goes to the Opera event was very well received, with over 120 UFF members and guests in attendance. We are continuing to increase our membership, and are grateful to all who have joined. Once again, we can only be as strong as our numbers.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact any one of us with questions or concerns.
And again, wishing all a productive and Happy New Year.

Very best regards,

Matthew

Tragedy in Oregon

Once again, a campus, this time in Oregon, has been shattered by violence. Once again, families have been torn apart and the lives of their children and parents snuffed out. Once again, a mentally disturbed shooter had easy access to firearms and was able to live out his dark fantasies by taking the lives of innocents. And once again, our national response will be to send our “thoughts and prayers” and then sit idly by and wait for it to happen again. And again. And again. At what point will Americans admit that passively accepting a level of gun violence far exceeding that in any other developed nation is a national disgrace? At what point will voters decide that enough is enough?

But wait. Let’s listen to the gun lobby. Had someone been armed in that classroom, things would have been fine. But would he or she have been able to draw a weapon without being shot first? Would the result have been to increase the carnage? This is not a Western in which a good guy takes out a bad guy with a single shot. Statistics confirm that even trained law enforcement and military personnel miss their targets far more often than not. By the time an armed killer starts a rampage, it’s already too late. Continue reading

Market Equity Salary Adjustments.

We get a lot of questions about the new Market Equity raises that were implemented this year for the first time.  This is a new system and required a lot of back and forth bargaining to get a workable solution acceptable to both the administration and the UFF.

Your bargaining team has put together some FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and answers to help explain how the raises will be calculated this year.  We hope that this category of raises will be funded in the future to fully address the Market Equity issue.

Continue reading

Ratification of contract

On August 6 and 7, FSU faculty voted on changes made to the 2013-2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).  The result was unanimous approval of some excellent revisions to the contract.   We planned the vote as soon as possible after reaching agreement with Administration in order to implement salary adjustments as soon as possible.  Thanks to all who were able to cast votes at this time of year.  We’re very grateful to Kris Harper and Michael Buchler for their work in organizing the vote.

Salary increases will be phased in over the next couple of months, depending on the category of the increase. The average salary increase, consisting of promotion, sustained performance, merit, performance and market equity components, will be in the 5% range. A reminder that this is an average, as market equity will not apply to all faculty, and merit increases will vary from department to department. Faculty will be informed of their individual raises by the University.

For further details, please go to this link to read the CBA as amended:

http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/BOT-UFF-CBA-2013-16-V2015-07-23-Changes.pdf

Many thanks to our bargaining team for their tireless work:  Irene Padavic, Scott Hannahs, Michael Buchler, Jack Fiorito, Robin Goodman, Nancy Kellett, and Tom Wazlavek.  We look forward to building on these gains in coming years.

Notice of Ratification 2015

NOTICE OF RATIFICATION VOTE
TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE FACULTY BARGAINING UNIT REPRESENTED BY THE
UNITED FACULTY OF FLORIDA – FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY
UFF-FSU

VOTING FOR RATIFICATION OF THE 2015-2016 AMENDMENTS TO THE 2013-2016 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UFF-FSU AND FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY WILL OCCUR AS LISTED BELOW:

THURSDAY, 6 AUGUST
9 am – 11 am: UC “C” 3101 (Communication)
10 am – 12 pm: Kuersteiner (Music) 213
1 – 3 pm Dodd Hall Lobby
Noon – 4 pm: Strozier Main Lobby

FRIDAY, 7 AUGUST
10 am to Noon: Carothers Lobby (east end of building, 1st floor)
11 am – 1 pm: Mag Lab Lobby
11 am – 1 pm: Bellamy Atrium (1st Floor – entrance facing Strozier)
1 pm – 3 pm: Stone Building Atrium Lobby (west end of building)

On the Panama City Campus:
9 am to Noon: Holley A301 Dean’s Conf. Room

ALL MEMBERS OF THE FACULTY BARGAINING UNIT ARE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE REGARDLESS OF UNION MEMBERSHIP.

THE MEETING TO CONDUCT THE VOTE AND COUNT THE BALLOTS IS OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE BARGAINING UNIT REGARDLESS OF UNION MEMBERSHIP.

VOTING SHALL BE BY SECRET BALLOT OF BARGAINING UNIT MEMBERS. BARGAINING UNIT MEMBERS SHOULD BRING IDENTIFICATION TO VERIFY VOTER ELIGIBILITY.

VOTES SHALL BE PUBLICLY COUNTED AND THE RESULTS ANNOUNCED AT THE CONCLUSION OF VOTING AND COUNTING AT EACH VOTING LOCATION. THE FINAL TALLY SHALL BE ANNOUNCED AT 5:30 PM ON FRIDAY, 7 AUGUST, IN THE STONE BUILDING ATRIUM

THE 2013-2016 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT AND THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR INSPECTION AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:

UFF-BOT Collective Bargaining Agreement 2013-2016 as of 2015-07-23

NOTICE OF RATIFICATION VOTE
UNITED FACULTY OF FLORIDA – FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

Ratification Summary for 2015-2016

On August 6 and 7, 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 23 – Salaries
2. Article 30 – Amendment and Duration
3. Winter Break MOA

Article 23 – Salaries specifies raises and bonuses as follows:

  • Promotion Increases: 12% for the second rank and 15% for the top rank.
  • Performance Increases: 0.5% of current salary for virtually all faculty members, effective August 28.
  • Departmental Merit: 1.75% of the salary base is committed to the departmental merit pool to be distributed according to faculty-approved merit procedures (an increase from last year’s 1.55%). Effective October 9.
  • Deans’ Merit: 0.35% of the salary base is committed to the dean’s merit pool (up from last year’s 0.2%) to be distributed at the discretion of deans, effective October 9.
  • Sustained Performance Increase: 3% of current salary for faculty in the top rank (e.g., Professor, Research Faculty III, Teaching Faculty III, University Librarian) who qualify based on Sustained Performance Evaluation or comparable criteria, effective August 10.
  • Specialized Faculty Performance Increase: An additional 1% of current salary for Specialized Faculty only, effective August 28.
  • Market Equity adjustments for General Faculty (Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, Professors and Eminent Scholars): Varying amounts based on current salary, Oklahoma State University’s annual national survey of average faculty salaries at public universities, and years in rank, taking into account adjustments for recent merit increases, overload pay, and payments from Direct Service Organizations. A total of $2,000,000 will be distributed, with a cap of $10,000 each. These increases will go to approximately 550 UFF-represented faculty members and will average approximately $3,600, effective September 25.
  • Up to 1% of the UFF-represented faculty salary base (more than $1 million) for Administrative Discretionary Increases (ADI) such as counteroffers, extraordinary accomplishments, and increased duties.

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.

Bargaining Update June 1, 2015

In the May 20th negotiations, the teams agreed to make no changes to two open articles, Article 5 (Academic Freedom) and Article 16 (Disciplinary Action and Job Abandonment), in order to concentrate on the remaining open articles, which center on economic issues.  This compromise was made in the face of the parties being unable to agree on exact language that would protect the rights of both faculty and the administration.

Negotiations resume on June 17 to pursue Article 23 (Salaries, including Market Equity) and Article 22 (Sabbaticals).   All faculty members are welcome to join us at 2:00 at the FSU Training Center.  Bargaining Updates are posted on the UFF-FSU website.

Sincerely,
Scott Hannahs and Irene Padavic
Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU

Bargaining Update 2015-05-18

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.

Sincerely,

Scott Hannahs and Irene Padavic, Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU

2015 FACULTY POLL RESULTS

Thanks to the hundreds who responded.   A reminder that the UFF bargains for the entire faculty.  We need to know what you think!   We also need your support.  The more members we have, the more effective our bargaining is going to be.

THE GENERAL MOOD

After recovering from lows in 2009 after faculty cuts, satisfaction and morale have flattened over the last three years.   Very few (14%) feel that loyalty to the University is returned, and that faculty members are sufficiently rewarded for their efforts (24%).   A large majority (73%) feel that administrators have inappropriately high salaries when compared with faculty.  Everyone agrees this needs to change.

Continue reading