November 16th Update to Faculty Senate

Report on University Welfare for Faculty Senate, November 16th, 2011

By Professor Jack Fiorito, UFF-FSU President

I heard that my report was missed last month!  I will try to make it up to you in a brief
update on UFF and Faculty Welfare since my previous report in September.


UFF representatives met with President Barron and Provost Stokes on September 30th.  It was our first consultation with both a President and Provost, and a useful conversation.  We are impressed with our administrative leadership and mindful that our common interests far surpass our differences.


Collective Bargaining

Weekly bargaining sessions since September have focused on the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s (CBA) Article 10 on Performance Evaluations. The Administration/BOT team has pushed for more detailed rating categories for annual evaluation and other changes, and we are close to tentative agreement on a five-category scheme to replace the current
three-category scheme.  Our faculty team has stressed maintaining a strong role for faculty in peer review and in designing the evaluation process and in merit pay distributions.  As I listened to comments and questions in
the “open discussion” session just concluded, I could not help but be reminded of some of the important provisions in Article 10 on evaluations, including limitations on the role of student perceptions. In upcoming sessions, we will discuss evaluation further, and also focus on some the faculty team’s agenda, including academic freedom and non-tenure track faculty concerns.

You probably heard that the merit bonus determination process is moving forward, but due to various delays the distribution of merit bonuses is now scheduled for December 16th paychecks. One might say the merit distribution system has rusted from disuse, and we are pleased that the Administration seems determined to change that.  The updated MOA on merit bonuses is available at:

Amended Merit Bonus MOA

Contract Enforcement

Contract enforcement gives meaning to our CBA.  A variety of cases are in process, including some arising over possible  misapplication of our agreement regarding Salary Plan for Professors increases.

At the Ledge

It could be worse.  That may sound like cold comfort, and by itself it is.  I can assure you that UFF state leadership and leaders in UFF’s Florida Education Association (FEA) affiliate are carefully monitoring developments in legislative committees.  They are also developing strategies for optimizing outcomes for faculty.  It is indeed a highly constrained optimization problem we face, but we will do our utmost to protect and advance faculty and university interests.  I am deliberately vague, but I encourage all of you to attend our December 15 luncheon featuring FEA’s Director of Public Policy Advocacy and FSU alum Jeff Wright.

Upcoming Events

  • Thursday, December 15th, 12:30 pm.  Lunch with Jeff Wright, FEA, in the Askew Student Life Center (SLC) Rooms 101A-D.  Tentative topic:  “It Could Be Worse (And How Faculty Can Make It Better).”

Questions?   Thank you for your time.

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