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.

Proffitt, a communications professor at Florida State University, has been a leader in the opposition to bills in the Florida Legislature over the past two years that would lift Florida’s current ban on firearms on university and college campuses.  Dr. Proffitt is no stranger to the debate and has studied the impacts of mass shootings on school campuses and the resulting media coverage since the Columbine tragedy in 1999 while a classroom teacher in nearby Colorado Springs.  She served as the President of UFF-FSU Chapter in 2015 when a mass shooting at FSU served as the impetus for filing the bills to lift the current gun ban and helped organize the coalition to beat the bill back.  Last year, she was elected by the members of UFF to serve as the state president of the faculty union and helped lead the fight this year under her new role. She has served as the voice of the faculty across Florida who, like the rest of the higher education community, are overwhelmingly in opposition to lifting the current gun ban.

The national recognition of her effective advocacy to keep guns off campus in Florida is a testament to the strong coalition that exists between Florida-specific organizations and the national movement to bring some semblance of sanity to the contentious debate over gun policy that continues to grip the country.  In a statement issued shortly after the ceremony, Proffitt said, “The notion that dramatically increasing the number of deadly weapons on our campuses is good public policy has been and continues to be pure folly driven by the gun industry lobby. It represents a fundamental threat to our students, faculty, staff, and members of the general public who use these public facilities. It is also a threat to the spirit of Higher Education, for the guarantee of a safe space for exploring and challenging intellectual inquiry is paramount.”  She also said, “I am honored by this recognition by the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, but it is important to note that these recent victories are the result of the tireless efforts of faculty, students, parents, and families across Florida.  This award is also for all of them.  UFF will continue our state and national partnerships and mobilize every time this bad public policy rears its ugly head.”

 

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.

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