Report on University Welfare

Report on University Welfare
for Faculty Senate, September 21st, 2011

By Professor Jack Fiorito, UFF-FSU President

Collective Bargaining

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for 2010-13 was
finally printed and distributed.  If you do not have your copy please let me know.

Bargaining on re-openers for 2011-12 commenced in May, with salaries (Art. 23) automatically re-opened and each side allowed to select two more articles.  The Administration/BOT team chose Performance Evaluation (Art. 10) and Tenure (Art. 15), while the UFF faculty team chose Academic Freedom and Responsibility (Art. 5) and Benefits (Art. 24).  By mutual agreement, the teams will also re-negotiate the Salary Plan for Professors (Art. 25), and long-gestating Non-Tenure Track Faculty issues that cut across several articles.

Bargaining teams met throughout the summer and signed Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) on implementing the Salary Plan for Professors, merit bonuses, and Winter Holidays, and reached a tentative agreement (TA) on salaries.  Key terms in the salary and merit agreements are:

  • 3% performance-based base pay increases with a $1500 minimum
  • $900 per FTE faculty member merit bonuses with $750 of that to be distributed on the basis of established faculty-developed merit criteria and procedures, but subject to administrative review, and the remaining $150 for deans’  to distribute based on merit
  • Promotion increases at the usual rates (9 or 12 percent)
  • Up to 0.50% (roughly $600K) of the salary base for Administrative Discretionary Increases (ADI) in base pay for in-unit faculty

Discussions continue on non-salary issues.  Conversations have focused on evaluation, but we expect to take up tenure, SPP, and NTTF issues soon.

Consultation

A consultation with President Barron at the end of June included helpful discussions on several of the issues just mentioned as well as others.

Contract Enforcement

“It’s just a bunch o’ words if you don’t enforce it.”  Contract enforcement activities
continue.  For example, as noted in our recent State announcement, our Grievance
Chair managed to persuade the administration to reverse a misguided negative
promotion and tenure decision for a deserving assistant professor.  A reminder of a previous instance of successful contract enforcement arose in a Trustee’s recent comment, in referring to the 2009 layoff plan, that “I was disappointed that such a
carefully crafted plan by the Provost, which the Board overwhelmingly approved
for faculty reductions, was totally thwarted in arbitration through the CBA.”

At the Ledge

Are you ready to be lashed?  Our future state Senate President Gaetz was quoted in Tuesday’s media saying that the Legislature should “lash Florida’s higher education system … to the needs and realities our economy.”  Although perhaps to many an innocuous statement by itself, in the context of others’ enthusiasm for the “Texas Plan” and other ill-considered initiatives, this remark underscores that we are in for many challenges in the months ahead.  This seems like a good time to restate the maxim “In unity there is strength.”  We must be united.

Upcoming Events

  • A few seats remain available for our catered luncheon next Wednesday featuring “A Conversation with Our New Provost.”   Brown-baggers and dieters are welcome, of course, if space is available.
  • A consultation between UFF faculty and FSU administration representatives is scheduled for Friday the 30th.
  • Bargaining, contract enforcement, and building strength through unity continue.  Please note that bargaining sessions are public meetings and the UFF faculty team would welcome any Senator who might like to sit in.

Questions?   Thank you for your time.

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