We’re happy to report that UFF and FSU Administration have reached an agreement on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will help define faculty rights during the current health emergency. Negotiations began in mid-March. We note that Administration already implemented some of our proposals during the negotiation process.
Our priorities included the following, and we have to be happy with the results of our negotiations during this difficult time. We are grateful to the Administration for working with us to achieve them:
- Protecting new course content and delivery materials created as a result of the transition to remote teaching. These will be treated as any other course content as defined by our contract and applicable law.
- Excluding ratings from student course evaluations (SPCI) when conducting annual evaluations unless the faculty member requests to have them included. This applies to all courses for the Spring Semester of 2020, and to future semesters for courses required to transition to online. Note that after Spring 2020, it will not apply to courses normally taught online.
- Acknowledging the emergency’s impacts on a faculty member’s ability to present their scholarship, research, or creative activities. These impacts must be considered when promotion/tenure reviews are conducted. This provision applies to annual reviews through 2023.
- Permitting faculty members to work remotely if they so choose, with the exception of those designated as on-campus essential employees.
- Recognizing that the emergency challenges faculty progress towards professional and scholarly achievement. As a result, tenure-earning faculty will be granted a one-year extension of the tenure clock. Faculty may opt out of the extension if they wish.
- Guaranteeing 80 hours of Emergency Paid Sick Leave as per the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. If this entitlement is exhausted, and faculty cannot complete their assignments remotesly, they may qualify for Paid Administrative Leave through the end of April.
The situation changes day to day. There will certainly be continued discussion with Administration, as we start our regular bargaining process later this spring, and as things develop into the Fall.
We are all working together to get to the other side of this unprecedented situation. Please don’t hesitate to respond with questions and comments.