FEA Suit on Mandatory Retirement Contribution (Pay Cut)

Below you will see an FEA report, a news media report, and links to other news
reports on the legal battle over cuts to our pay that the legislature and
governor approved this past spring. This is one of the reasons that the UFF is affiliated
with the Florida Education Association (FEA) and other organizations. Most
observers expect the battle over this spring’s legislated 3% pay cut (the newly
mandated contribution to retirement) to end up in the Supreme Court. The
Meyer-Brooks law firm arguing on behalf of state employees (the same firm that
handled our case in the layoffs announced in 2009) does not work cheap, and the
combined resources of all FEA affiliate’s members, including us, will ensure
that Ron Meyer can take the case as far as necessary. There is no certainty of
success, but it is encouraging to know that a good fight is being fought. As
the bumper sticker says, “UFF takes sides, yours.”

Please join UFF if you are not already a member.
Membership forms are available at www.uff-fsu.org

If you are a member, thank you for your support!

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UFF Update, Oct. 20th

Hardly a day passes recently without some discouraging word for public higher
education from the Legislature or the Governor.  Most of you have probably
already seen or heard about the Governor’s posting of faculty salaries from
throughout the State University System.  Although announced with reference to
accountability and transparency, several faculty members have suggested more
sinister motives underly this seemingly sudden interest in transparency on the
part of the Gov. who took the 5th Amendment scores of times when asked about massive Medicaid/Medicare fraud by the company he led.

See:   http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/10/19/2461865/motive-for-posting-florida-profs.html

You can find the salary data at via a link to a spreadsheet at this URL:

http://www.floridahasarighttoknow.com/search_state_payroll_info.html

Many of you have also heard of Gov. Scott’s request to President Barron for a
wide range of information on FSU.  Governor Scott’s letter of Oct. 13 to
President Barron is available here:

http://www.uff-fsu.org/art/Scott-Barron20111013.pdf

And of course everyone has heard that Gov. Scott doesn’t seem to like
Anthropology, Psychology … and various other fields that he believes have
little vocational training content or little value to private sector employers
(see above letter and Miami Herald story on related points, and the link just below).

See The Economist‘s response to Gov. Scott’s attacks on anthropology:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2011/10/education-policy

Closer to home, the news is more encouraging from collective bargaining and
consultations with the FSU Administration/Board of Trustees.

A UFF faculty team met with President Barron and Provost Stokes for almost
two hours on September 30th.  Useful conversations were held on salaries,
position classifications, and assorted other issues.

Faculty and Administration bargaining teams have continued regular meetings
throughout the summer and into the fall.  Recent discussions have centered on
Administration initiatives to revise the Performance Evaluations article (Art.
10), and the teams feel that they are converging on this issue.  The teams are
also planning to discuss or continue discussions on non-tenure track faculty
reclassifications, academic freedom, tenure, the Salary Plan for Professors, and
benefits.  Bargaining sessions are normally held on Wednesday afternoons at the
FSU Training Center and are open to all faculty members.  The next session is
scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 2nd, at 2pm.

Report on University Welfare

Report on University Welfare
for Faculty Senate, September 21st, 2011

By Professor Jack Fiorito, UFF-FSU President

Collective Bargaining

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for 2010-13 was
finally printed and distributed.  If you do not have your copy please let me know.

Bargaining on re-openers for 2011-12 commenced in May, with salaries (Art. 23) automatically re-opened and each side allowed to select two more articles.  The Administration/BOT team chose Performance Evaluation (Art. 10) and Tenure (Art. 15), while the UFF faculty team chose Academic Freedom and Responsibility (Art. 5) and Benefits (Art. 24).  By mutual agreement, the teams will also re-negotiate the Salary Plan for Professors (Art. 25), and long-gestating Non-Tenure Track Faculty issues that cut across several articles.

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Texas, Don't Mess With Florida

UFF-FSU is examining several proposals for major reform of higher education in Florida.  For now, we refer you to the following resource pages:

The Seven Breakthrough Solutions proposed for higher education in Texas are inspiring Governor Scott to consider similar reforms in Florida.  For a humorous analysis of the Texas proposal, see these two 8-minute animated videos, produced by faculty at Texas A&M.  For more formal responses, see Maintaining Excellence and Efficiency at UT-Austin: A Response to the “Seven Breakthroughs Solutions” and Other Proposals and Analysis of Efficiency and Graduation Rates at UT-Austin and Other Public Research Universities in the U.S., both published by the University of Texas – Austin.

We also suggest that you read Breakthrough Solutions for Higher Education: Florida Can Do Better than Texas, the document that President Barron presented to the FSU Board of Trustees at their September 2011 meeting, as well as the associated Tallahassee Democrat article.