Bargaining Update June 1, 2015

In the May 20th negotiations, the teams agreed to make no changes to two open articles, Article 5 (Academic Freedom) and Article 16 (Disciplinary Action and Job Abandonment), in order to concentrate on the remaining open articles, which center on economic issues.  This compromise was made in the face of the parties being unable to agree on exact language that would protect the rights of both faculty and the administration.

Negotiations resume on June 17 to pursue Article 23 (Salaries, including Market Equity) and Article 22 (Sabbaticals).   All faculty members are welcome to join us at 2:00 at the FSU Training Center.  Bargaining Updates are posted on the UFF-FSU website.

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

Bargaining Update 2015-05-18

Bargaining Update 5-18-15

The UFF-FSU and BOT teams began negotiations in February just on Market Equity raises, and the teams reopened several other articles in early May, the typical month for beginning negotiations.

Because of the legislative delay in passing a budget, raise amounts have not yet been discussed, but the teams have informally agreed on many aspects of the distribution plan for Market Equity raises. Any final agreement is contingent on other elements of the final salary package. The UFF-FSU Proposed Market Equity distribution plan can be found here, and the BOT team’s counterproposal can be found here. Both proposals include components to reward merit and time-in-rank at FSU, use national standards to set comparison groups, and insure that all raise-eligible faculty members are brought up at the same time and rate. These are important points of unity. But there is a key difference. Despite the UFF-FSU team’s best efforts, we have not yet been able to convince the BOT to agree to include Specialized Faculty in the list of eligible faculty. While the BOT team’s reasons are unclear, its intransigence is not. The BOT team says it is willing to consider the possibility of adding a special raise supplement for Specialized Faculty in another section of the salaries article, although their proposal is not yet available. The UFF-FSU Article 23 (Salary) proposal is here.

In addition to the Salaries article, each team was allowed two reopeners. The UFF opened Article 5 (Academic Freedom) to add language limiting the authority to make important personnel decisions to faculty, administration, and the BOT. The BOT’s counter-proposal is here. The UFF-FSU also opened Article 22 (Sabbaticals and Professional Development Leave) to improve the sabbaticals program, but the BOT team’s counterproposal is status quo language. The UFF-FSU is drafting an alternative proposal to be presented on Wednesday.

The BOT team opened Article 24 (Benefits) and Article 16 (Disciplinary Action and Job Abandonment), but decided to not pursue any Article 24 changes. The Article 16 issue is about clarifying the language on job abandonment, and the BOT proposal is here. The UFF-FSU verbally proposed an alternative that will be presented as a written counteroffer on Wednesday.

We close with two thoughts. First, the UFF-FSU bargaining team is only as powerful as our membership numbers. The greater our membership numbers, the stronger our voice on behalf of faculty. So if you are not already a member, join! Second, bargaining is open to all, and we encourage faculty to attend.   This week we meet on Wednesday, May 20, at 2:00 in the FSU Training Center (on Jackson Bluff across from the stadium). Watch for emails from UFF-FSU President Matthew Lata about future dates.

Sincerely,

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

Notice of Ratification Vote

NOTICE OF RATIFICATION VOTE

TO ALL MEMBERS OF THE FACULTY BARGAINING UNIT REPRESENTED BY THE

UNITED FACULTY OF FLORIDA – FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY

UFF-FSU

VOTING FOR RATIFICATION OF THE 2014-2015 AMENDMENTS TO THE 2013-2016 COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UFF-FSU AND FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY WILL OCCUR AS LISTED BELOW:

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UFF-FSU Ratification Summary 2014-2015

On September 9th and 10th, faculty will be asked to accept or reject, via a ratification vote, changes to the 2013-2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement.  These changes were negotiated between UFF-FSU and the Board of Trustees.  A list of all changes to the document and the text of all tentatively agreed Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) are presented below, followed by short descriptions of the changes (with hot links to the text).

  1. Article 8 – Appointment
  2. Article 10 – Performance Evaluations
  3. Article 23 – Salaries
  4. Article 30 – Amendment and Duration
  5. Promotion Increase MOA
  6. Winter Break MOA
  7. Instructional Support Faculty MOA

Article 8 – Appointment has been amended so that it now specifies how temporary “bridge funding” will work in cases where a granting agency reduces or redirects funding such that it affects Specialized Faculty holding multi-year agreements.

Article 10 – Performance Evaluation has been amended to clarify that departments may permit merit pay awards for all members of the department/unit.

Article 23 – Salaries specifies raises and bonuses as follows:

  • Continuation of Sustained Performance Increases of 3% for eligible full professors and eminent scholars, and, for the first time, for the top rank of Specialized Facultyworking for seven years or more after their promotion to the top rank.
  • $1,500 performance-based increases for faculty with an overall annual evaluation of at least “meets FSU’s high expectations” on their 2014 performance evaluations.  These increases will appear in the paychecks of Oct. 17.  A lump sum distribution to make up the difference between the August 8 start of the academic year and the Sept. 26th implementation will appear in the Dec. 12 paycheck.
  • Departmental merit raises of 1.55% to be distributed based on Spring 2014 Merit Evaluations. These increases will appear in paychecks on Nov. 7.
  • Deans’ merit of 0.20% of the in-unit salary base to be distributed on Nov. 7.
  • Establishment of a Post-Doc Faculty Mentor Award.
  • Administrative Discretionary Increases of up to 1%.
  • Within the “Awards” section, titles are established for Specialized Faculty who have been recognized with awards conferring distinction.

Article 30 – Amendment and Duration updates the timetable for renegotiations for next year.

Winter Break MOA updates the dates of winter break for in-unit faculty.

Domestic Partner Stipend Policy and MOA renews the policy implemented last year and specifies that retired domestic partners hold the same eligibility status as currently employed domestic partners.

Instructional Support Faculty MOA specifies that Instructional Support Faculty are eligible to be assigned up to 25% teaching but no less than 75% service.

Collective Bargaining Update July 23, 2014

The BOT and UFF-FSU teams met on July 23 and continued discussing salary, but the teams still remain far apart.  On the upside, the BOT team added  ½ a percent to its total offer and is willing to earmark a part of the package to include performance raises to help keep up  with the cost of living.  It is also willing to extend Sustained Performance Increase awards to eligible third-tier Specialized Faculty.  On the downside, however, their package amounts to only 3% (not counting promotion raises and administrative discretionary raises).

The UFF-FSU proposed package totals 5.2%.

The UFF-FSU team is having a hard time understanding why the BOT team is making such a “low ball” offer.   By way of comparison, faculty at UCF just settled salary negotiations that resulted in a 5% raise (3% across-the-board and 2%  merit).   Why should a preeminent university like Florida State come in so much lower?  It would be one thing if this were another year of Legislative cutbacks.  But nothing could be further from the truth.  With a budget of nearly a billion dollars, and with an increase of $41 million, this is not a tight budget year.   The UFF-FSU team needs the BOT to realize, like UCF evidently does, that our university needs competitive raises in order to maintain and improve its position.  Three percent doesn’t cut it.

The teams also discussed the terms of the re-extension of the Domestic Partner benefit agreed to last year, and these negotiations are continuing.