This is a busy week for bargaining, and on Monday the BOT and the UFF team met for Impact Bargaining regarding the Covid-19 Pandemic. We will meet again this Thursday at 10:00 to discuss Layoffs and possibly Impact Bargaining, as well.
The UFF team had made an initial Impact Bargaining proposal a couple of weeks ago, the BOT responded, and on Monday the UFF presented its response, which you can read here. This version shows the BOT language (blue) and the latest UFF language (red). Yellow highlighting shows wording that the teams had agreed to in the Spring MOU.
Our proposal differs from the BOT’s in two main ways. The first is that we want all faculty members working remotely to have the explicit right to take care of their children and dependents during the emergency. Their language had elided the issue, simply stating that faculty working remotely should establish a schedule so that they may meet their work obligations and their family obligations. The second is that for faculty who must report to work, we want exemptions for those with a health vulnerability or who are caring for or living with someone who has a health vulnerability. Their language had pointed to a series of modifications faculty who have “high-risk concerns” may request, including remote work, options for physical distancing, alternative work locations, reassignment, modified or flexible schedules, and/or the use of personal leave. The problem as we see it is that whereas a faculty member might seek remote work, the administration might instead permit, for example, only physical distancing and personal leave. Their wording also leaves unclear what constitutes a “high-risk concern,” whereas we would like a clear statement that includes living with a person with a health vulnerability.
We are bargaining again this Thursday at 10:00 a.m on the topic of layoffs, although there is the possibility that we will also engage in impact bargaining.
Bargaining sessions are open to faculty, and negotiations have benefited from the many faculty who have been coming to sessions. There is definitely strength in numbers, and we appreciate having you! If you would like to attend, please respond to this message and we will send you the links when we receive them.
We also invite members to come to an online Bargaining Forum happy hour this Friday at 5:00. Members (note that this event is only for members) will receive an invitation and zoom link from UFF President Matthew Lata.
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. https://uff-fsu.org/wp/join/
Irene Padavic and Scott Hannahs, Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU