The BOT and UFF bargaining teams met on July 26 to continue negotiations on the Salaries article. As noted in the last Update, the previous week the teams had signed a Memorandum of Agreement insuring that regardless of what happens in the remainder of bargaining, Promotion raises will go into effect with the first paycheck of the academic year.
This week’s session came on the heels of a strong faculty presence at the last bargaining session, a show of support we had hoped would galvanize the Administration team to improve their offer. Our hopes were in vain, as the Administration came in with the exact same offer as the previous week, with 0.35% in the Performance Increase category. That raise would average to about $292 for each faculty member. Some faculty would also receive departmental merit, and still others would receive Promotion, SPI, or deans’ merit raises.
While their past justification was that FSU faculty are already well-paid, this time the justification is that Gov. Scott’s July 19 letter to University Presidents discourages spending legislatively-allocated funds on faculty salaries in favor of spending that will help students avoid debt and obtain jobs. The Administration team went on to note that recurring funds usable for raises were more limited than they had anticipated and that had this letter come out earlier, their offer would have been even lower.
The UFF team responded by pointing out that retaining faculty is the way to maintain the University’s reputation, which is key to employers’ interest in hiring our students into good-paying jobs that allow them to pay off debt. The UFF team also repeated a claim from an earlier bargaining session to the effect that the University has available an operating budget of well over $1.5 billion along with unspent and unrestricted carryforward reserves of $210 million, funds that are not covered by Gov. Scott’s letter.
The UFF nevertheless came up with a counter offer that takes into consideration the Administration’s concerns.
The UFF team also noted that we are unable, using HR-provided data, to replicate the salary averages the Administration is reporting (the averages that place our salaries on a par with UC-Berkeley and UT-Austin). The Administration agreed to produce the details of their method.
The session concluded with plans for future meetings. The UFF was pleased that the Administration agreed to add a bargaining session for the coming week.
Future sessions will be held on Tuesday, August 1, from 9:00 to noon and on Wed., August 9, from 1:00 to 5:00, both at the FSU Training Center. Faculty members are welcome.
The key to a strong Collective Bargaining Agreement is a strong membership base, so if you are not a member, please join! http://uff-fsu.org/wp/join/
Irene Padavic and Scott Hannahs, Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU