Conclusion of Negotiations-Sept. 18, 2020

The administration and UFF bargaining teams met this week and finalized contract provisions for 2020-2021, subject to approval by the bargaining unit in a secret ballot ratification vote.

Regarding Salaries, we arrived at a one-time bonus of $1,200.  Recall that faculty also received a $1,500 raise that was negotiated last year and went into effect in August. Promotion raises remain at 12% and 15% and Sustained Performance Increases remain at 3%.  Administrative Discretionary Increases, used for increased duties, extraordinary accomplishments, counteroffers, and certain other reasons specified in Sec. 23.9, are allowable up to 0.80% of the faculty salary base. 

A big win for faculty is a Memorandum of Understanding about the Tuition Scholarship for Dependents/Spousesthat extends the existing scholarship program for dependents to include spouses and graduate, not just undergraduate, credit hours.

We agreed on several changes in Article 13, Layoffs, that represent major improvements.  Whereas the original language offered wide latitude, for example by allowing a layoff unit to be any level of organization as the University deems appropriate, the new language is specific:  “A layoff unit is an organizational unit such as a division, college, or department. The unit is defined as the tenure home or, in the case of specialized or non-tenure-track faculty, the administrative home, that the faculty member was hired into or transferred into. In addition, a layoff unit may be defined as an establishedoperational area or a subdivision of a tenure or administrative home, when the area/subdivision is comparable in most regards to a department.”  We believe this specificity represents a major improvement.

As for layoff ordering, no faculty member without tenure who has more than 7 years of service may be laid off if there are faculty in the unit with 7 or fewer years, an increase from the former 5-year demarcation. In cases where faculty members are equally qualified, there is now a finite list of factors that can be considered.  And whereas previously no tenured faculty member could be laid off in order to create a vacancy to be filled by an administrator, now such a move cannot be made regardless of the tenure status of the faculty member.

By mutual agreement no changes were made to the other opened articles, namely, Leaves, Benefits, and Conflict of Interest/Outside Activity.

Finally, we arrived at a Memorandum of Understanding on the COVID-19 Health Emergency that addresses workplace issues; teaching, research, and service assignments; and tenure and promotion.

Faculty need to vote to ratify these agreements, and we’ll send details soon. Ratification voting matters, and we hope you cast your secret ballot.

We also invite members to come to an online Bargaining Forum happy hour this evening at 5:00.  Members have received an invitation and zoom link from UFF President Matthew Lata, but reply to this email if you want it resent.

Our ability to bargain a strong contract depends on YOU! The more members we can point to, the greater our strength at the bargaining table.  Raises and the preservation of faculty rights are not gifts from the administration but are the result of good-faith and persistent bargaining.  Join here: http://uff-fsu.org/wp/join/

All best,

Irene Padavic and Scott Hannahs, Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU

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