Bargaining Update–July 20, 2022

The teams met Wednesday to present and discuss articles, but the most contentious issue was salaries. The BOT team presented their latest offer on Article 23 (Salaries), and the UFF team countered:

Performance (also called across-the-board)2.50%6.25%
Department Merit1.00%1.25%
Dean’s Merit1.00%0.15%
Market Equity$250,000$1.25 Million
Administrative Discretionary Increases (ADI)1.00%0.50%

While we were pleased to see the BOT team finally included some nominal funding for market equity raises, overall, the BOT team only increased their offer by 0.14% of the faculty salary base (they moved 0.25% from Dean’s Merit and added it to Performance; the 0.14% represents the addition of Market Equity).

After the UFF team presented a counteroffer, the BOT team scolded us, declaring that they started with “a robust number” (please see the BOT’s first offer here) and that the two teams were not going to meet in the middle of the UFF team’s original proposal and the BOT team’s original counteroffer. The BOT team also stated that their offer is the most “generous” offer that they have made in recent years. Well, yes, it is better than the zero offered for Performance and other raises for the last two years, which is why faculty expect and deserve a higher salary proposal. The BOT team once again made it clear that their priority is Dean’s Merit, and we made it clear that Performance and Market Equity raises are the faculty’s priorities (as expressed in the spring 2022 UFF-FSU faculty poll). As one of the 30-plus faculty members on the Zoom call stated regarding the BOT’s focus on Dean’s Merit, “The idea is to reward the ‘superstars’ and leave the rest of us scrambling for crumbs.” Another faculty member noted, “EVERYONE experiences increases in cost of living. Picking and choosing is not appropriate.”

As noted in the last bargaining update, President McCullough and the Board of Trustees have stated publicly that retention is important. The focus on Dean’s Merit suggests that only certain faculty members are worth retaining. Some faculty members will benefit from the discretionary nature of Dean’s Merit while others will not as the administration picks winners and (mostly) losers. In the most recent two years in which Department Merit and Dean’s Merit were offered (2017 and 2018), roughly 80% of faculty received Department Merit while only about 26% received Dean’s Merit. Without criteria, we don’t know how your dean determined that one faculty member is more deserving than another. We have warned the administration that we are about to witness the Great Resignation firsthand, as faculty across campus are updating their resumes and CVs to search for other positions. Without meaningful Performance raises, retention becomes much more challenging, and compression and inversion become more difficult to overcome.

The BOT team said that they are nearing their salary limit, so now is the time for faculty to show that they want a more meaningful salary offer by attending the next bargaining session scheduled for Wednesday, July 27, from 2-5 (information regarding location can be found below). If it is at all possible, please attend in person and encourage your colleagues to attend in person as well. Having faculty in the room is an effective and visible way to support the UFF team’s position. Having faculty members attend via Zoom also helps because we do let them know how many faculty attend virtually, but your physical presence sends a powerful message that we are all in this together.

A big thank you to the faculty who have attended in person and virtually these last few weeks. Please continue to do so!

Another way to show the BOT team that a more meaningful salary offer is needed is by signing the petition that will be sent out Monday in a separate email. Please consider signing it and encouraging your colleagues to sign it as well. We are asking the administration to propose meaningful Performance raises that demonstrate that they value all faculty members who meet or exceed “FSU’s High Expectations” (CBA Article 10.3).

As we noted in the last update, because both teams do agree on the continuation of Promotion Increases and of Sustained Performance Increases, the UFF team proposed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to ensure that these increases become effective for those faculty in August. The BOT added a “poison pill”—a provision that would also reinstate the BOT’s now-expired authority to grant discretionary raises to individuals. The ability to withhold this authority from the BOT—and your visible support–are the most significant leverage the UFF faculty team holds in these negotiations.  We offered the MOA once again without the “poison pill” and hope that the BOT team will reconsider so that faculty will receive these raises that they have earned and deserve on time.

The BOT team presented a counteroffer for Article 12 (Non-Reappointment). We appear to be close to an agreement, but the sticking point is the amount of notice a faculty member on “soft money” who is not on a multi-year contract should receive if they are not being reappointed. We presented a counter proposing longer notice, and we eagerly await the BOT’s response.

The UFF team’s counter to Article 19 (Conflict of Interest/Outside Activity) included time limits for reporting and notification and a provision requiring clear and convincing evidence if discipline is beyond a letter of reprimand. The BOT countered without a specific time frame for notifying a faculty member that there will be an investigation and without the clear and convincing evidence provision. The BOT team noted that the just cause provision in Article 16 (Disciplinary Action and Job Abandonment) already provides a procedure for disciplinary action, but that they would consider a time frame for notification that is longer than the one week that we had proposed.

As noted, the next bargaining session is scheduled for Wed., July 27 from 2:00-5:00. Our union’s efforts at the bargaining table are most effective when faculty support is evident, so if you care about salaries, please come! 

Bargaining sessions are open to all faculty. Meetings are face-to-face at the FSU Training Center (493 Stadium Drive).  If you would like to attend remotely, please contact Arash Fahim <[email protected]> to receive the Zoom link. (Alternatively, if you retained a previous bargaining Zoom link, it will still work.)

Regular bargaining updates and the entire CBA can be found under “UFF At Work” at our webpage:

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.

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