Ratification of contract

FSU faculty are invited to voting on the ratification of the new 2016-2019 contract
on Monday, May 23 and Tuesday, May 24.  All faculty are eligible to vote, regardless
of union affiliation. Voting must be in person.   Polling places and times are as follows:
MONDAY, MAY 23
9am-11am  UNIVERSITY CENTER C ROOM 3101 (Comm.)
10am-12noon  KEURSTEINER LOUNGE (Keursteiner Music Building)
12noon-4pm  STROZIER MAIN LIBRARY LOBBY
1pm-3pm DODD HALL LOBBY
TUESDAY, MAY 24
10am-12noon CAROTHERS LOBBY (East end of building)
11am-1pm  BELLAMY HALL ATRIUM
1pm-3pm  MAG LAB LOBBY
1pm-3pm  STONE BUILDING
PANAMA CITY CAMPUS
11am-1pm LOBBY, FACULTY OFFICE BUILDING
For a description of the changes negotiated to the existing contract, go to the UFF
webpage at uff-fsu.org and look under “news” on the homepage.  The full proposed contract may also be accessed through a link on the May 11 news item.
Please vote and make your views known!
Best,
Matthew

Collective Bargaining Contract Negotiation Update 2016-05-10

The UFF and the FSU Administration have tentatively agreed upon a new 3 year contract.  This year the whole contract was open for renegotiation and changes were made to several articles.  This contract must be ratified by a vote of faculty and by the FSU Board of Trustees.  Look for details on the significant changes to your contract soon:

UFF-FSU Collective Bargaining Agreement 2016-2019

The individual articles tentatively agreed to by your negotiating team are

Article 1:   Recognition
Article 2:   Consultation
Article 5:   Academic Freedom
Article 6:   Nondiscrimination
Article 8:   Appointment
Article 9:   Assignment of Responsibilities
Article 12: Non-Reappointment
Article 17: Leaves
Article 20: Grievance
Article 22: Sabbaticals
Article 23: Salaries
Article 24: Benefits
Article 25: Payroll Deduction
Article 30: Amendment and Duration
Appendix B: Sample Dues Check-off Form
Appendix H: Dispute Resolution

 

Announcement of the conclusion of 2016-2019 contract negotiations

The UFF-FSU bargaining team is happy to announce that the UFF-FSU and the FSU Board of Trustees bargaining teams have reached agreement on all articles. This year was a “full book” negotiation, meaning that all 32 articles were open for renegotiation, although the teams agreed to limit negotiations to just 18 articles.

Highlights

Regarding salary, your UFF-FSU faculty team won improvements in several areas. The tentative agreement specifies one-half a percent in performance-based increases for faculty with an overall annual evaluation of at least “meets FSU’s high expectations” on their latest annual performance evaluation, departmental merit raises of 1.25% based on their most recent (2016) merit evaluation, and 0.25% for deans to distribute according to merit. The teams agreed to a total of $1,000,000 in Market Equity Increases, which for the first time will include Specialized Faculty. The amount of $800,000 will go to address market equity for Tenure-and-tenure-earning Faculty (with a cap of $4,500 per person) and $200,000 will go to address market equity for Specialized Faculty in the Librarian, Teaching Faculty, and Research Faculty categories (with a cap of $3,500 per person). Specialized Faculty in other categories (which are difficult to compare to national data) will receive a performance-based raise of 0.25%.

The teams agreed to increase the number of full-pay, half-year sabbaticals from one per every 40 eligible faculty members to one per every 30 eligible faculty members, representing a 33% increase in the number of such sabbaticals.

The Academic Freedom article has new language specifying that the role of the University is not to shield individuals from expressions of ideas and opinions that may differ from their own and that it is committed to encouraging debate and deliberation of diverse ideas.

Summary and Links for All Changes

Article 1 – Recognition has been amended so that references to “rules” have been replaced with “regulations,” and references to the no-longer-existing Administrative Procedure Act have been removed.  http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-1-Recognition.pdf

Article 2 – Consultation has been changed to remove the limit on the number of University and UFF representatives who may attend Consultations.
http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-2-Consultation.pdf

Article 5 Academic Freedom now has language designed to offer greater protection to faculty exercising their academic freedom rights, and it also now specifies that faculty members, and not an external entity, reserve the right to select instructional materials, define course content, and determine grades. http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-5-Academic-Freedom-TA-2016-04-27.pdf

Article 6 – Nondiscrimination has added explicit references to Title IX, the Violence against Women Act, and the Cleary Act, and it has changed the protected category “religious creed” to “religious status” and added the category “genetic information” to the grounds upon which the university may not discriminate. http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-6-Nondiscrimination-TA-2016-04-27.pdf

Article 8 – Appointment has been amended so that it specifies that the University must provide UFF information on the ratio of tenure-and-tenure-track faculty to specialized faculty by the end of the fall semester instead of two weeks from the first day of classes. http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-8-Appointment-TA-2016-04-27.pdf

Article 9 – Assignment of Responsibilities references to the no-longer-existing Salary Plan for Professors have been stricken, and the article now specifies that the duty assignment for faculty revising distance-learning courses will be commensurate with the time required (not to exceed the equivalent of a 3-credit hour course) and that any disputes will be resolved according to Appendix H (which has been modified to indicate that it covers all aspects of Article 9).

Art. 9:  http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-9-Assignment-of-Responsibilities-TA-2016-04-27.pdf
Appendix H:  http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/App-H-Dispute-Resolution-TA-2016-04-27.pdf

Article 12 – Nonreappointment has been changed to specify that nonreappointed faculty members are to check the University’s vacancy listings and notify Human Resources of vacancies they are interested in. http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-12-Non-Reappointment.pdf

Article 17 – Leaves has been changed so that the date at which 12-month faculty members’ accrued annual leave (in excess of the year-end maximum) rolls over into sick leave is the last full pay period of the current year (rather than December 31). http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-17-Leaves-TA-2016-04-27.pdf

Article 20 Grievance Procedure and Arbitration removes a reference to a Chapter in the Florida Statues that is no longer relevant.  http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-20-Grievance-TA-2016-04-27-1.pdf

Article 22 Sabbatical and Professional Development Leave has been changed to increase the number of half-year, full-pay sabbaticals to 1 per every 30 faculty members (rather than 1 per every 40). http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-22-Sabbaticals-TA-2016-04-27.pdf

Article 23 – Salaries specifies raises as follows:

  • Promotion Increase continues promotion increases of 12% for the second rank and 15% for the top rank, appearing in August 19th paychecks.
  • Continuation of Sustained Performance Increases of 3% for eligible full professors, eminent scholars, and the top rank of Specialized Faculty working for seven years or more after their promotion to the top rank. The increase will appear in August 19th paychecks.
  • Performance-based increases of 0.5% for faculty with an overall annual evaluation of at least “meets FSU’s high expectations” on their 2016 performance evaluations. These increases will appear in September 16th paychecks.
  • Departmental merit raises averaging 1.25% to be distributed based on Spring 2016 Merit Evaluations. These increases will appear in paychecks on October 14.
  • Deans’ merit of 0.25% of the in-unit salary base, with distributions based on merit and with distribution plans to be reviewed by the Provost, appearing in October 14th paychecks.
  • Market Equity adjustments totaling $1,000,000, with $800,000 (capped at $4,500 for any one individual) distributed to General Faculty; $200,000 (capped at $3,500 for any one individual) distributed to faculty in the Librarian ranks, the Teaching Faculty ranks, and the Research Faculty ranks; and raises amounting to 0.25% of their base salary distributed to Instructional Specialists I,II, and III; Assistant Curators/Associate Curators/Curators; Program Directors; Computer Research Specialists; Music Specialists; Scholar Scientist Engineers; Assistants In/Associates In Teaching; Assistants In Research/Associates in Research; and Research Associates/Senior Research Associates. These raises will appear in paychecks on September 30.

For General Faculty (Assistant Professors, Associate Professors, Professors and Eminent Scholars), varying amounts will be distributed based on current salary, Oklahoma State University’s annual national survey of average faculty salaries at public universities in the “Very High Research Universities,” and years in rank, taking into account adjustments for recent merit increases, overload pay, and payments from Direct Service Organizations.

For Teaching Faculty I, II, and III and Research Faculty I, II, and III, varying amounts will be distributed based on current salary, Oklahoma State University’s annual national survey of average faculty salaries at public universities in the “Very High Research Universities” category, and years in rank, taking into account adjustments for recent merit increases, overload pay, and payments from Direct Service Organizations.

For University Librarians, Associate University Librarians, and Assistant University Librarians, varying amounts based on current salary, ARL Annual Salary Survey data for FY 2013-2014 (specifically, Table 6 [b]), and years in rank, taking into account adjustments for recent merit increases, overload pay, and payments from Direct Service Organizations.

  • Administrative Discretionary Increases for increased duties, extraordinary accomplishments, counteroffers, and certain other reasons specified in Sec. 23.9, totaling up to 1% of the faculty salary base.

http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-23-Salaries-TA-2016-04-27.pdf

Article 24 – Benefits includes changed wording about the employers’ contribution to the Optional Retirement Program and the Phased Retirement Program so that it aligns with changes enacted by the Legislature. http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-24-Benefits-TA-2016-04-27.pdf

Article 25 – Payroll Deduction and Appendix B clarify the procedures and forms for faculty who either join the UFF-FSU or terminate their membership, and it also clarifies the procedures and forms for making and ceasing Political Action Committee deductions.

Art 25:  http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Art-25-Payroll-Deduction-TA-2016-04-27.pdf

Appendix B: http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/App-B-Sample-Dues-Check-off-Form-TA-2016-04-27.pdf

Article 30 – Amendment and Duration updates the timetable for renegotiations for the next two years and for the next “full book” contract. http://uff-fsu.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Corrected-TA-Article-30-Amendment-and-Duration.pdf

By mutual agreement, no changes were made to opened articles 16 (Disciplinary Action), 29 (Severability), and 32 (Definitions).

These 2016-2019 changes to the contract will be ready for a ratification vote in May. An announcement of polling dates and times is forthcoming.

The bargaining team comprised Scott Hannahs and Irene Padavic, co-chief negotiators, and Michael Buchler, Jack Fiorito, Robin Goodman, Nancy Kellett, and Tom Wazlavek.

Our ability to bargain a strong contract depends on YOU! The more members we can point to, the greater our strength at the bargaining table.  Raises and the preservation of faculty rights are not gifts from the administration but rather are the result of good-faith and persistent bargaining.

Your union team is an effective voice for you; if you are not a member, please join us and help bolster our bargaining power. You can fill out the form below and mail it to the listed address or e-mail it to jfiorito@fsu.edu.

http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/EarlyEnrollmentForm.pdf

 

 

Congratulations to Jennifer Proffitt

Dr. Jennifer Proffitt, President of United Faculty of Florida, Honored by National Gun Safety Organization

State Union President Vows to Press On to Keep Firearms Off College Campuses

Tallahassee – Earlier this week, the Campaign to Keep Guns off Campus held an awards ceremony in New York City to commend the work of key leaders in different states to defeat proposed laws to allow individuals to carry dangerous firearms on college campuses.  The organization, founded in large part by individuals directly impacted by campus gun violence, has worked in states across the nation to keep university and college campuses gun-free.

Continue reading

Faculty Poll Results

Thanks to all who responded to our “pre -bargaining” poll.  It is essential that we know what faculty think before we engage with our Administration.   On salary issues, respondents are mostly concerned with Market Equity and Cost of Living issues.  Protecting our health care and retirement plans are also important issues.

Bargaining will begin in late February.  If the Legislature does its work, we hope to have a contract ready to ratify by the end of the academic year.   We will keep faculty apprised of our progress during the bargaining process and, as always, will be asking for your input as we go.

Full poll results may be accessed at the links below:

With comments:  http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/UFF-FSU-Fall2015PollResponsesN428Comments.pdf

 

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.