Bargaining Update – April 6, 2022

Bargaining last Wednesday was a flurry of activity, with six proposals passed back and forth.  If you open the links below, be aware that the BOT team puts their counter-proposal changes in yellow.  

 The teams reached their first tentative agreement, on Article 5 (Academic Freedom), which now specifies that academic freedom pertains not only to matters outside faculty members’ area of scholarly interest but to those within it, as well.  It also adds “protected free speech” as one of the freedoms faculty members enjoy.  

The BOT presented a revised proposal of Article 19 (Conflict of Interest) which was the same as their previous one except that it includes an appendix itemizing reportable and non-reportable activity.  The UFF likes the specificity of an appendix and its counter-proposal will include one.  

The BOT also presented a counter-proposal on Article 18 (Inventions and Works) that accepts some of the UFF’s proposals but made changes that strike the UFF as unworkable in their present form, such as seeming to define “appreciable University support” to include salary, past and present.  

The UFF presented a counter-proposal on Article 8 (Appointments) that rejected the BOT’s proposal to reducethe 4-year contracts for Specialized Faculty in the top rank to 3 years and to provide for annual contract renewal.  Contract length is a bright-line issue for us.  When we originally negotiated the provisions covering specialized faculty appointments, the teams had made a deal:  the UFF would agree to a much more rigorous promotion process in exchange for lengthier contracts.  The rigorous promotion process ensures that faculty who reach the top have earned it, and thus it stands to reason that they should have more secure contracts.  It’s unclear why this state of affairs should change.   

The UFF also presented its Article 17 (Leaves) proposal, which turns the existing “paid parental leave” into “paid family leave” and specifies that a faculty member can use it twice in a career instead of just once.  The UFF believes that family-friendliness spans the life course; while some faculty will use paid family leave for birth or adoption, as they do now, others will find it useful for caring for a different relative, perhaps a parent.  And we believe that having the option twice over the course of a career is reasonable. 

The UFF also opened Article 12 (Non-reappointment) to improve clarity and to propose a modified version of just-cause for non-renewal. What that means is that for faculty without tenure, instead of the current practice of offering a vague reason, such as “the best interests of the University” or “the University is moving in a different direction,” the University would have to “provide enough specificity to allow a neutral reader to determine whether the faculty member was non-reappointed for good and sufficient reason.” Our goal in including such language is that it will reduce non-reappointments for arbitrary reasons.  

The next bargaining session is scheduled for this Wed., April 13, from 12:45-2:45.  Please note the earlier-than-usual time.  Bargaining sessions are open to faculty, and we appreciate having you!  Meetings are face-to-face at the FSU Training Center (493 Stadium Drive). We are pleased that faculty are showing up in person and via Zoom.  If you would like to attend remotely please respond to this message and we’ll send you the Zoom link.  

Regular updates can be found at our webpage:  http://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.  http://uff-fsu.org/wp/join/ 

All best, 

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

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