Bargaining Update, May 15, 2024

Dear FSU Colleagues:

The two teams met to bargain on Wednesday, May 15, and to cut to the chase, we still haven’t heard anything about salaries, despite the fact that we were told (four weeks ago) that we should expect a response three weeks ago. As noted last week, we are, as always, especially eager to bargain salaries, and we were told Wednesday that we may see a salary proposal at next week’s bargaining session. What we did discuss was Article 20 (Grievance Procedure and Arbitration), Article 21 (Other Faculty Rights), and Article 22 (Sabbatical and Professional Development Leave).

As discussed in a previous bargaining update, due to recent legislation that prohibits arbitration for personnel issues (please note that this is currently being challenged in court), we had presented a new process called the Neutral Internal Resolution of Disputes Procedure (NIRD) that would allow for a neutral third party to adjudicate a grievance that was not resolved satisfactorily at the Step 2 level. Without a process like NIRD, the final decision would be determined by the University President, which can certainly be problematic when it comes to fairness and due process. A grievance process where the review of the decision is by the same decision maker is fatally flawed. It is rare that a grievance moves to the final level (Step 3), but nonetheless, a neutral process is essential to ensure impartiality in decision making. The BOT team deleted the NIRD in their last proposal. We added it back.

We are very close when it comes to Article 21, which covers environmental and safety issues. The BOT team agreed with our safety proposal, which calls for a review of FSU’s campus safety plan with input from faculty and staff. However, the BOT team’s proposal did not outline how often buildings would be evaluated for radon. Ours does.

For Article 22, the BOT team agreed to codify a specialized faculty process for determining who receives a one semester full-pay Professional Development Leave. However, the BOT once again proposed changing how often specialized faculty members could apply for Professional Development leave from every 3 years, as it has been for many years without concern, to every 6 years. We heard from several specialized faculty members who were alarmed by the move from 3 to 6 years. If you are a specialized faculty member who has an opinion about the BOT’s proposal, please contact us.

Our next bargaining session is scheduled for this Wednesday, May 22, from 2-5 at the FSU Training Center (across from the stadium). We greatly appreciate those of you who attend bargaining. The BOT team notices when faculty attend sessions, so if you can, please plan to attend in person, or you can attend online; we will send the Zoom link before the next bargaining session.

The key to a strong Collective Bargaining Agreement is you! If you are not a member, please join. If you have questions about membership, please contact [email protected].

All the best,

Scott Hannahs, Research Faculty III, National High Magnetic Field Lab

Jennifer Proffitt, Professor, Communication

Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU

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