First, hoping that all are healthy and safe during these trying times. The situation changes day to day as we try to discern the path forward.
UFF is continuing to work on your behalf, both at FSU and on the state level. As you know, we wrote and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Administration in April that is a guide for all concerned as we try to mitigate the effects of the emergency. As the situation in the fall becomes clearer, we will be considering what we need to do to maintain protections for faculty so that we may provide the best possible service to our students and to the University. This is an ongoing process. Please continue to let us know when issues arise that may be in violation of the MOU, not covered by current agreements, or may otherwise negatively affect faculty and our ability to do our jobs. We need to know what you think.
Our regular yearly bargaining will begin next week. In addition to the Salaries article, which is open every year, both UFF and Administration can open two articles each for possible changes. Our first meeting is Wednesday, May 20, from 2-4pm on Zoom. This first session tends to be more on the technical side, but these are open meetings, and all are welcome to attend and observe. We will start with non-monetary issues, as the state budget is still in flux. We haven’t yet received the Zoom link from Administration, but if you’d like to attend (eavesdrop), please let me know, and I’ll send the link when we get it.
The budget for next year is a huge question, as most are anticipating a special session of the Legislature during the early summer to revise what was passed earlier this year. The statewide UFF Leadership Council and the Steering Committee have been meeting on a regular basis to try to anticipate what may be coming at us. We are expanding and focusing our Government Relations Committees so that we may react quickly when we need to do that. We will be holding two statewide Town Halls during the month of June, one focused on COVID response issues and the other on Legislative issues. Participants will include state legislators and representatives of the Florida Education Association (FEA), the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). We are also following the HEROES bill – the latest relief (and Higher Education friendly) bill that will soon pass in the U.S. House of Representatives.
This is uncharted territory for everyone. Communication is vital. We need everyone’s voice and everyone’s help. If you are not yet a UFF member, please consider joining us. http://uff-fsu.org/wp/join/
One day at a time.
Professor of Music
President, UFF/FSU Chapter