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

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.

Read More →

March 2011 Bargaining News Report: NTTF Reclassification

The UFF and the BOT, via a joint BOT-UFF committee, have been working for several months on a plan to reclassify Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTTF) positions. The initial impetus for this plan came from a Faculty Senate Report and from UFF-FSU survey results consistently revealing employment security as a top concern for NTTF. The plan provides a framework to address these issues. Essentially, the Joint Committee has worked out how the Collective Bargaining Agreement can be changed to accommodate the reclassification plan.

Several key elements are still under discussion at the joint BOT-UFF committee. In the report (see link below) these elements are highlighted. The remainder of the plan can be considered tentatively agreed upon. Please note that the the joint committee will recommend its final report to BOT and UFF negotiators as a basis for further negotiations. Assuming those negotiations produce an agreement, that agreement must then be ratified by the BOT and the faculty. Further, some aspects of the report will require approval by the Public Employees Relations Commission.

Some important parts of this plan include:

  • Continuing Multi-Year Agreements (a/k/a “rolling contracts”) for some NTTF (after promotion)
  • Honorific “professor” titles on a case-by-case basis, subject to appropriate tenured faculty approval
  • Mission-specific (teaching, research, research support, service) classifications, with more descriptive working titles
  • Provision for possible conversion of NTTF positions to tenure track positions

The NTTF Working Draft is available at this link:

Negotiations are expected to reopen in May. We will be soliciting input later in the spring, but faculty members are welcome to send comments to Scott Hannahs, Co-Chair of the faculty bargaining team <shannahs@fsu.edu>.