Bargaining Update – April 16, 2021

Dear Colleagues,  

The BOT and UFF teams met on Wednesday to exchange proposals. The UFF team began with a preamble about how our proposals offer the Administration the chance to live up to its designation as an Age-Friendly University, and we proceeded to offer details. 

The first example is in Article 17 (Leaves), where we propose a new category—paid family leave—offering six months of paid leave to care for a sick family member. This addition would acknowledge the need that manyfaculty face to provide care throughout the life course rather than just at its beginning. We also proposed improvements to the existing paid parental leave program:  The first allows two faculty parents to take six months paid leave for the same birth or adoption event, and the second allows a 6-month paid parental leave to be broken into two segments, creating the possibility of coverage for two children over the course of employment.  

The UFF also pursued its age-friendly agenda in Article 24 (Benefits). We present the option of “tapered employment,” whereby faculty age 60 and above can move into part-time status while retaining health benefits.  We also proposed permanently including the Tuition Scholarship for Spouses and Dependents in the Contract rather than maintaining it as an annual Memorandum of Understanding.   

The BOT also presented proposals. In Article 8 (Appointments) the BOT proposed three changes. The first would allow a dean to limit pay for summer teaching to no more than the average compensation rate for all faculty members with teaching responsibilities in a department.  The next would reduce the 4-year contracts for Specialized Faculty in the top rank to 3 years, and a third would change the conditions for the curtailment of employment for Specialized Faculty.  

In Article 19 (Conflict of Interest), the BOT proposed striking most of the language governing sexual relationships with students (e.g., the requirement to end any situation involving supervision/evaluation and the requirement to disclose the relationship to a supervisor) and replacing it with a statement saying that “there shall be no sexual or romantic relationships between faculty members and students.”  We asked how they would define a romantic relationship, and what would happen in cases where the parties disagreed, and they said would bring clarifying language to our next meeting. The proposal includes a provision for pre-existing romantic or sexual relationships.  

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wed., April 28, 2:00-5:00.  

For as long as faculty have bargaining rights, we will continue to press for faculty interests. 

Bargaining sessions are open to faculty, and negotiations in the past have benefited from faculty attendance. 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 Zoom link. 

Regular updates can be found at our webpage:  https://uff-fsu.org/ 

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/ 

All best, 

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

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