Retirement Cuts and Legal Challenges

The UFF-FSU Chapter will sponsor a May 24 luncheon featuring attorneys Thomas
W. Brooks and Lynn C. Hearn to discuss legal aspects of recent cuts in
retirement benefits.  Please let me know if you plan to attend so that we can be
sure to have enough food and drink for all.  Here is an excerpt from a
downloadable flyer available at

http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/fly20120524RetCuts.pdf

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Report on University Welfare for Faculty Senate, April 18th, 2012

By Professor Jack Fiorito, Senator and UFF-FSU President

“Welcome” to new, continuing, and returning Senators. This is a good time to review the roles of the Senate and of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF). The Faculty Senate is the voice of the faculty on academic matters, and can express its opinion on “any subject of interest to the University.” (And I will come back to that in a minute.) The UFF is the exclusive bargaining agent for salaries and other terms and conditions of employment. These roles sometimes overlap, but I am pleased to say that we generally have collegial and professional working relations between the UFF and Senate.
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Report to Faculty Senate on University Welfare, March 21, 2012

Collective Bargaining

Faculty voted overwhelmingly in favor of the changes and supplements to our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in last month’s ratification vote.  A special thanks to those of you who voted!

I hope everyone has completed the reading assignments that I announced at last month’s Senate (see the February Senate Minutes).  They will be helpful in appreciating some of the issues under discussion at the bargaining table. Read More →

Another Legislative Session, Another Cut

The Florida Legislature has imposed yet another compensation cut on many faculty members. This year it wasn’t a pay cut per se, but a substantial cut in benefits to members of defined-contribution retirement plans, namely ORP and FRS Florida Investment Plan participants. We are still studying the details of a bill passed on the last day of the 2012 regular session, but it appears to cut 2.28 percentage points off of the State (or employer) contribution. As of July 1, 2012, the State’s contribution will drop from about 7.43% of gross salary to approximately 5.14%, costing most ORP-plan faculty members something on the order of $1800 per year, not including the foregone earnings that those funds might have accumulated in the future when invested in retirement accounts.

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Judge Fulford's Ruling on Pay Cuts

UFF Takes Sides, Yours” is a bumper sticker motto.

Its importance is underscored in yesterday’s ruling by Judge Fulford to the
effect that the legislature cannot ignore its contractual obligations to
university faculty members and other participants in the Florida Retirement
System (whether pension or ORP).  The battle over the effective 3% pay cut
imposed by last year’s legislature is clearly not over, but yesterday’s decision
is nonetheless a major victory for FSU faculty members and other public
employees.

That victory was made possible by the dues of UFF members and others whose
dues supported the legal challenge led by our FEA affiliate.

If you are not already a member, please join the UFF and help to build and
maintain a strong voice for faculty.  You can find a membership form at:

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

To quote another UFF bumper sticker, we can do together what you cannot do
alone.

Links to selected documents relating to yesterday’s ruling by Judge
Fulford:

Tallahassee Democrat story in today’s paper:

http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/td20120307.pdf

Judge Fulford’s ruling:

http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/FulfordRuling20120306.pdf

FEA News Release:
http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/FEA-NewsReleaseFinal-20120306.pdf

FEA Q&A #1:

http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/FEA-Q&A1-20120306.pdf

FEA Q&A #2:

http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/FEA-Q&A2-20120306.pdf