February 2012: Collective Bargaining Update

The teams closed the 2011-2012 contract negotiations with agreements that can be found here. Later this month you will be asked to ratify the agreement.

Even though we formally re-opened negotiations for the 2012-13 year in late January, we have been steadily bargaining since May of 2011 on several issues, mainly: nontenure-track (specialized) faculty reclassification project, Performance Evaluations, the Salary Plan for Professors, Promotion & Tenure, Academic Freedom, and Domestic-Partner Benefits. The teams also renegotiated minor changes resulting in MOAs on Voluntary Separation Program, Winter Holidays, and our contract’s Amendment and Duration (Article 31). Details are below the fold.
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UFF-FSU Update, January 20th, 2012

UFF President Tom Auxter provides an update on legislative developments affecting Florida higher education in a document available at:

http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/WhatWeFaceNow18January2012.pdf

Collective bargaining continues today at 2pm at the FSU Training Center.

This week’s “University Welfare” report to the FSU Faculty Senate, focused on Senate-related NTTF issues, is available at:

http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/fs20120118.pdf

Email Migration Alert!

FSU IT folks have alerted us that as a result of the upcoming Jan. 25th final stage of the email migration process, certain FSU email addresses, possibly including the address by which you are subscribed to UFF-FSU lists, will no longer work.  If in the next few weeks you begin to sense that you have not heard from the UFF-FSU Chapter lately, please email to me with the current address you would like to use for your subscription.

Best regards,

Jack Fiorito (jtfiorito@comcast.net), President

UFF-FSU Chapter

January Update

Happy New Year! Hope you had a refreshing break. Volunteers and UFF staff have continued to work for FSU faculty these past few weeks, as indicated in part in the balance of this update.

1. At the “Ledge.” President Barron has noted that the initial state budget discussions have NOT included plans for large cuts to higher education, and that is an improvement over the last several years. Yes, that is arguably a sad statement about the sorry climate for higher education in Florida, given the underfunding reflected in continuing “brain drain” losses of our colleagues to better-funded institutions, and in many other ways such as growing class sizes. With the Speaker of the House opening this session blasting what he perceives as mediocrity (could that have something to do with funding?), hundreds of bills filed, and our current political leaders’ track records on ideas for improving higher education, it is difficult to be optimistic. Stay tuned.

2. Collective Bargaining: Faculty and Administration/BOT teams met for their first 2012 session on Tuesday and agreed to take up Non-Tenure Track Faculty reclassification project issues and revisions to the Salary Plan for Professors as their first agenda items in upcoming sessions. Other agenda items carried over from 2011 bargaining include faculty performance evaluations, promotion, tenure, and benefits. The teams are scheduled to meet most Fridays for the remainder of the semester. Salary issues will of course be on the agenda once again as well.

3. We’re pleased to announce success in two grievances filed on behalf of Salary Plan for Professor (SPP) applicants who were initially denied SPP raises (9%). Both grievants were represented by the UFF (at no cost — membership has its benefits!) and our Grievance Chair (Dr. Lee Stepina) was able to persuade the Administration that SPP awards were merited in both cases.

4. We are still trying to obtain adequate information on December’s merit bonuses. The initial report from the FSU Administration (see http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/FacultyMeritBonusesDecember2011.xlsx) is problematic in several regards. We are also multiple faculty members’ complaints.

5. DRAFT consultation minutes are available from our Dec. 15th meeting with President Barron, Provost Stokes, and other Administration representatives. The draft minutes appear to have garbled the discussion in a few places, so please keep that in mind if you review those DRAFT minutes (http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/PresidentConsultation12-15-11MinutesDRAFT.pdf).

6. In case you missed it, an interesting editorial referencing FSU faculty salaries appeared in yesterday’s Tallahassee Democrat. See http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/tdedit20120112.pdf.

Best regards,

Jack Fiorito, President

UFF-FSU Chapter

P.S. Support the team that works for you! If you are a UFF member, thank you. If not, join today and help build a stronger voice for FSU faculty. See www.uff-fsu.org for more information.

 

Report on University Welfare for Faculty Senate, December 7th, 2011

Collective Bargaining

We’ve had just one bargaining session since the last Senate meeting.  In contrast to most of our weekly sessions since May, which have focused on the Administration/BOT’s desire to revise performance evaluation procedures, we addressed academic freedom (Article 5), domestic partner benefits, and revisions to the Salary Plan for Professors (Article 25).  At UFF urging, we have a session scheduled for tomorrow at 2pm in UCA 6200 to review issues in the Non-Tenure Track Faculty reclassification project.  All faculty members are welcome to attend that session.

The merit bonus determination process is moving forward.  We are unfortunately hearing of some implementation procedures that appear to be at odds with our Memorandum of Agreement, and we are investigating.

Consultation

UFF representatives will meet with President Barron and Provost Stokes on December 15th.  The merit bonus implementation will probably be on our agenda.

At the Ledge

Recent encouraging words from Governor Scott about education funding may present a case of a silver lining preceding a dark cloud.  We certainly welcome the Governor’s belated realization that education investments are critical to Florida’s future.  How the budget is funded is of course a concern.  I can note, however, that the UFF is paying attention to both sides of the aisle in the Florida Legislature.

Upcoming Events

  • Tomorrow, Thursday, December 8th, 2pm in the “HR Suite” at UCA 6200, faculty and administration bargaining teams will review issues in the draft agreement on Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTTF) reclassification.
  • Thursday, December 15th, 12:30 pm.  Lunch with Jeff Wright and Pat Dix, FEA, in the Askew Student Life Center (SLC) Rooms 101A-D.  Tentative topic:  “It Could Be Worse (And How Faculty Can Make It Better).”  Lunch is free to UFF members and guests, $12 for others.  RSVP to me (jtfiorito@comcast.net)

Questions?   Thank you for your time, and Happy Holidays to all!