Bargaining Update – June 24 2020

The teams met on Wednesday for a discussion we had hoped would include the BOT’s response to our counter-proposal on Layoff and Recall (UFF’s Counter-proposal on Article 13).  Alas, that response was not forthcoming, which disappointed us as well as the 15 faculty visitors.  

Instead, we mostly discussed the BOT’s Counter-proposal on Tapered Employment. The UFF team had proposed the program as a new section in the Benefits article that would allow a faculty member heading towards retirement to reduce work hours (with a corresponding pay cut) without losing the employer contribution to health-insurance. The BOT’s counter-proposal included no wording on health-care benefits, added the requirement of a dean’s annual approval, and specified a maximum of three years. In short, it offers no incentive for faculty uptake.  Indeed, its provisions are hardly different from what is currently in place, as described in Article 8.5(a)4  and in the Department of Management Services guidelines (kindly provided by the BOT team and stipulating that someone working 75% or higher is eligible for the full state contribution).

The Tapered Employment discussion was wide-ranging.  The BOT team asserted its belief that the State Group Insurance system was unlikely to allow the University to kick in money to make up the difference in health-insurance premium. It was also skeptical that moving a senior faculty member to part-time and replacing them with an adjunct or less-senior person would save money in every instance. We replied that it is an open question as to whether the insurance system would forbid such an action and that replacing the half-time duties of a person far advanced in their career (and salary level) would generally cost less than retaining that person at their full salary.

The final topic was a provision in the BOT’s Conflict of Interest/Outside Activity proposal that requires faculty to sign a form acknowledging that they have reviewed University policies on outside activity. The UFF noted that when you add this form to other requirements, such as Cyber Security training, FEAS, and FACET, the paperwork burden becomes a substantial portion of faculty members’ Assignments of Responsibilities. 

Bargaining sessions are open to all faculty, and if you would like to attend the next one (Wednesday, July 1 at 3:00), please respond to this message and we will send you the link when we receive it.  The UFF is also hosting another forum to answer members’ questions this Friday, June 26, at 5:00. UFF-FSU President Matthew Lata has sent the link, but members who need a reminder are free to write us.

The key to a strong Collective Bargaining Agreement is a strong membership base, so if you are not a member, please join! There has never been a more important time for us to stand together.

All best,
Irene Padavic and Scott Hannahs, Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU

About Scott Hannahs

UFF-FSU Co-Chief Negotiator
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