Report to the Faculty Senate April 22, 2015

by Professor Jennifer Proffitt

Bargaining and Consultation
As noted last month, the UFF-FSU bargaining team has been in negotiations with the BOT team regarding market equity distribution plans. The next bargaining session is scheduled for April 29. At this meeting, we will continue discussing market equity, and we will also begin our regularly scheduled negotiations as per the CBA. This year, each side will open two articles plus the salary article. Reopeners this year include sabbaticals, academic freedom, discipline, and benefits.

Our next Presidential Consultation with President Thrasher, Interim Provost McRorie, VP Kistner and other FSU administrators is scheduled for May 6.

With all of these meetings ahead of us, it is really important that all faculty members complete the impending UFF-FSU faculty poll. Your responses to questions regarding salaries, evaluations, evaluations of administrators, and so on, truly help us help all of you in bargaining and consultations. So please take the poll, which should be up and running next week, and encourage your colleagues to take the poll as well. This is a great opportunity for all faculty to have their voices heard.

Elections for UFF-FSU President and other leadership positions will be mailed shortly to all members. If you are a member, please be sure to mail your ballot back and encourage your colleagues to do so as well. As you may know, I have been elected statewide UFF president—my term begins August 15. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the UFF-FSU Chapter president, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Chapter throughout my term as statewide president.

Social events
The rain held off for our UFF-FSU Day at the Ballpark, and we were treated to not one but two games because athletics decided to move Sunday’s game to Saturday for a doubleheader due to Sunday’s weather forecast. My alma mater lost both games, but on the bright side that means FSU was victorious.

Government Relations
It looks like the guns on campus bill and the secrecy bill are more than stalled, but we will continue to monitor these bills, for as they say, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. As you may have heard, FSU faculty members who spoke against the guns on campus bill were threatened with ethics complaints by the gun lobby. We haven’t received any documents to suggest that the complaints were filed yet, but UFF stands behind us, ready to defend our First Amendment right to speak on matters critical to our universities, our faculty, and our students.

There’s been some talk about extending the session due to the wide gap between the House and Senate budgets due in large part to a battle over Medicaid expansion, but at this point it looks like it will actually be a special session. Things change rapidly during the last week of session, which is next week, so what I am reporting now may well change.

We have also been working on the textbook affordability bill, and we were successful removing the requirement that we use the same textbook for three years. We met with members of the House and Governor’s office to try to make the reporting requirements for textbooks palatable for all stakeholders.

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