Happy New Year

Colleagues –

On behalf of the UFF and the UFF Executive Committee, I’d like to wish you
all the very best for the New Year and for the upcoming semester.

2015 was busy and productive. Our bargaining team made good progress in several areas during negotiations, much as the result of years-long discussions.

As many of you are aware, Market Equity raises were implemented for the first time last fall. Both Administration and the UFF agree that these are just a first step to raising
FSU salaries to market levels across the board, and look forward to continued progress in this area during next spring’s bargaining sessions. These raises, added to an across-the-board increase for all faculty, both regular and specialized, and increased amounts available for Administrative Discretionary Increases, placed FSU’s average salary increase at the very top of all schools in the State University System. Our priorities moving forward will be negotiating cost-of-living increases, continued progress in Market Equity, and increased focus on raises for Specialized Faculty. We’re not there yet, but we’re making progress.

For the first time, faculty members on nine-month appointments now have the option
of being paid over twelve months in equal increments. For those who did not have the
opportunity to take advantage of this option last summer, there will be another enrollment period in August 2016.

Legislative priorities will continue to challenge us during the upcoming Session. Again, reflecting faculty sentiment, we will be out front in opposition to bills allowing guns on campus. We are concerned about how the Legislature proposes codifying the same performance metrics for every stage college and university, regardless of specialty, history, or need. This micro-management could result in a punitive application of arbitrary standards rather than a serious, reasoned examination of the quality of each institution. We’ll also be following issues of higher education access and textbook affordability.

More information on each of these issues will be posted as appropriate later this winter. The results of our December faculty poll will be online shortly after January 1, and will be an important factor in determining our bargaining priorities when that process starts in February.

On the social side, we continue to invite colleagues to meet and greet, usually on the last Friday of each month. Our UFF Goes to the Opera event was very well received, with over 120 UFF members and guests in attendance. We are continuing to increase our membership, and are grateful to all who have joined. Once again, we can only be as strong as our numbers.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact any one of us with questions or concerns.
And again, wishing all a productive and Happy New Year.

Very best regards,

Matthew

Tragedy in Oregon

Once again, a campus, this time in Oregon, has been shattered by violence. Once again, families have been torn apart and the lives of their children and parents snuffed out. Once again, a mentally disturbed shooter had easy access to firearms and was able to live out his dark fantasies by taking the lives of innocents. And once again, our national response will be to send our “thoughts and prayers” and then sit idly by and wait for it to happen again. And again. And again. At what point will Americans admit that passively accepting a level of gun violence far exceeding that in any other developed nation is a national disgrace? At what point will voters decide that enough is enough?

But wait. Let’s listen to the gun lobby. Had someone been armed in that classroom, things would have been fine. But would he or she have been able to draw a weapon without being shot first? Would the result have been to increase the carnage? This is not a Western in which a good guy takes out a bad guy with a single shot. Statistics confirm that even trained law enforcement and military personnel miss their targets far more often than not. By the time an armed killer starts a rampage, it’s already too late. Read More →

Market Equity Salary Adjustments.

We get a lot of questions about the new Market Equity raises that were implemented this year for the first time.  This is a new system and required a lot of back and forth bargaining to get a workable solution acceptable to both the administration and the UFF.

Your bargaining team has put together some FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) and answers to help explain how the raises will be calculated this year.  We hope that this category of raises will be funded in the future to fully address the Market Equity issue.

Read More →

Ratification of contract

On August 6 and 7, FSU faculty voted on changes made to the 2013-2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).  The result was unanimous approval of some excellent revisions to the contract.   We planned the vote as soon as possible after reaching agreement with Administration in order to implement salary adjustments as soon as possible.  Thanks to all who were able to cast votes at this time of year.  We’re very grateful to Kris Harper and Michael Buchler for their work in organizing the vote.

Salary increases will be phased in over the next couple of months, depending on the category of the increase. The average salary increase, consisting of promotion, sustained performance, merit, performance and market equity components, will be in the 5% range. A reminder that this is an average, as market equity will not apply to all faculty, and merit increases will vary from department to department. Faculty will be informed of their individual raises by the University.

For further details, please go to this link to read the CBA as amended:

http://uff-fsu.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/BOT-UFF-CBA-2013-16-V2015-07-23-Changes.pdf

Many thanks to our bargaining team for their tireless work:  Irene Padavic, Scott Hannahs, Michael Buchler, Jack Fiorito, Robin Goodman, Nancy Kellett, and Tom Wazlavek.  We look forward to building on these gains in coming years.