Bargaining Update: May 8, 2023

Dear FSU Colleagues,

The bargaining teams met for the second time on Monday to discuss the Salaries article.  The BOT team began with a counteroffer to the UFF-FSU offer from last Wednesday.  This is where we left off last week and picked up on Monday:

 UFF #3 (from May 3)BOT #3 (presented May 8)
Sustained Performance3% every 5 years3% every 7 years
Performance (also called across-the-board)4.98%3.5%
Departmental Merit2.00%0.50%
Deans’ Merit0%0.75%
Market Equity$750,000$650,000
Administrative Discretionary Increases (ADI)1.00%1.00%

There were many things on which the two teams still agreed.  We both agree on 3% Sustained Performance Increases (SPI) every 7 years. (Originally, we felt this should be a 5-year cycle to be in line with the upcoming 5-year cycle of post-tenure review, but we have agreed to wait until the regulations and policies regarding that are finalized.)  Both teams also agree on the continuation of Promotion Increases of 12% for the second rank and 15% for the top rank.

The BOT team, however, continued to focus on Deans’ Merit, even raising it to 0.75% from their own last offer of 0.50% from last Wednesday.  They told us that they had done some research and found that about 99% of faculty get Performance raises, so they didn’t see that as an award for merit.  They stated that about 80% of faculty get Departmental Merit, so they liked that more than Performance, but Deans’ Merit only goes to about 45% of the faculty, so there must be “more scrutiny in Deans’ Merit,” because, they reasoned, fewer people get it.    

We pointed out that 99% of the faculty meeting or exceeding FSU’s High Expectations, and some of them substantially exceeding those expectations, is a good thing and should be rewarded, especially as we are concerned that retaining quality faculty will be an increasing problem in coming months.  We continue to ask for the cost of inflation from March 2022 to March 2023, which is 4.98%, because all faculty are affected by the cost of living and shouldn’t continue to lose ground in real dollars due to inflation.

We also do believe that faculty should be rewarded with merit increases, but we disagree that deans are best positioned to distribute those increases both knowledgeably and transparently.  In the latest annual faculty poll, you told us that you prefer that merit increases be based mainly on peer recommendations (i.e., Departmental Merit) over deans’ discretion by a ratio of 4 to 1.  When deans are scrutinizing which faculty should receive Deans’ Discretionary Merit increases, what criteria do they use?  Any guesses?  Give up?  Well, there aren’t any criteria.  With Departmental Merit, there are standards as required by the Collective Bargaining Agreement and outlined in departmental bylaws.  Also, it appears that Deans’ Merit is 4 to 5 times more likely to go to general faculty rather than specialized faculty even though specialized faculty make up about 45% of the bargaining unit.  We find that alarming.

By the way, if you’d like to conduct your own research on how merit money is awarded in your department, remember that according to our Collective Bargaining Agreement, a printed report detailing the amount received in each salary increase category by faculty members in a department is available on request to any faculty member of that department.  See Article 23.12 for more information about what must be contained in the report.

We presented a couple of proposals, as did they, and we ended the session with the following positions:

 UFF (offer #5)BOT (offer #5)
Sustained Performance3% every 7 years3% every 7 years
Performance (also called across-the-board)4.98%4.00%
Departmental Merit1.25%0.75%
Deans’ Merit0.10%0.50%
Market Equity$750,000$750,000
Administrative Discretionary Increases (ADI)1.00%1.00%

We are getting closer!  We will present our next counteroffer when we bargain on Wednesday, May 10, from 2-5pm.  Please note that the Wednesday session will be held in Westcott 211A and 214D instead of our usual venue.

Remember that our union’s efforts at the bargaining table are most effective when faculty participate and attendance is high, especially face-to-face in the room.  If you care about Salaries, please make every effort to attend!  If you need to attend remotely, please contact Brian Arsenault <mailto:[email protected]> for the Zoom link. (Alternatively, if you retained the previous bargaining Zoom link, it will still work.) 

Regular bargaining updates can be found 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! It is more important than ever for us to stand together. 

All the best,

Brian Arsenault, Assistant University Librarian

UFF-FSU Bargaining Team Membe

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