The bargaining teams met Wednesday to discuss one new proposal and one counter proposal from the BOT and two UFF counter proposals.
We first discussed the BOT’s new proposal regarding Article 10 (Performance Evaluations). On first viewing, our team did not see any major changes but rather small clarifications, such as distinguishing between Tenure Review Reports and annual reviews before tenure. However, we plan to look at the language carefully to make sure we are not missing anything before we counter.
We then turned to UFF’s counter proposal on Article 18 (Inventions and Works). UFF proposed clarifying language regarding the definition of “Appreciable University support” to not include negligible use of basic resources (such as email or an office phone). UFF also removed the term “field of expertise” and similar terms in favor of “institutional expertise” to make clear that University ownership claims would be limited to areas in which the faculty member is employed. After reviewing the contracts of other state university system collective bargaining agreements, UFF proposed retaining the status quo language regarding the division of proceeds between the University and the inventor so that it would remain a 60/40 split.
The second UFF counter proposal we discussed was for Article 19 (Conflict of Interest). Because, as noted, “field of expertise” is difficult to determine, UFF proposed instead a definition of “institutional expertise” to mean more specifically “a faculty member’s specialization in teaching, research, clinical, or creative activity at the University.” UFF also replaced the worrisome language regarding the definition of “Conflict of Interest” with language based in statute defining conflict of interest as “a situation in which regard for a private interest leads to disregard of a public duty or interest,” and UFF added unequivocal language stating that such conflict of interest shall not “abridge faculty members’ rights to academic freedom and freedom of expression guaranteed in Article 5.” UFF also proposed revisions to reportable and non-reportable activity in the new Appendix K. UFF deferred its counter proposal to the BOT’s proposed language regarding consensual sexual relationships with students until a later date.
We were pleased to see that the BOT’s counter proposal for Article 21 (Other Faculty Rights) largely accepted UFF’s new proposal that campus buildings be regularly inspected to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff. This includes replacing filters for air handling units according to manufacturers’ guidelines, regular radon testing, and inspections for mold and other biological hazards every four years. The BOT also agreed to notify faculty if remediation is needed for radon, mold, and other biological hazards in their buildings. Where the teams differed was in the details regarding the types of filters that will be used, which UFF clarified in its counter proposal. We think that the teams are very close to an agreement, and we are happy and relieved that the BOT agreed to address our proposal and concerns regarding campus building safety.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wed., May 11, from 2:30-5:00. Please note the later-than-usual start 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 bargaining 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/
Jennifer Proffitt, Vice President and Bargaining Team member, UFF-FSU