Bargaining Update, June 4

Dear colleagues,

Our eighth bargaining session of this bargaining season was held on Tuesday, June 4. Here’s an update on where we are in the process.

The short of it is that we tentatively agreed to language in Article 21 (Other Faculty Rights), went back and forth four times with salary proposals, and we received a new proposal from the BOT on Article 10 (Performance Evaluations) that enumerates criteria for each Post-Tenure Review (PTR) ranking. I’ll say more about each of these articles below, but—beyond my summaries—I encourage you to have a look at the draft contract language (especially Article 10) and to let us know if you have any questions or comments. As always, joining the union is one of the best ways you can help us advocate for faculty rights and for better pay and benefits. And we encourage you to join us at the next bargaining session: this coming Wednesday, June 12 at 2:00 in the Training Center across from the stadium. As always, we will also stream it via Zoom.

On to the summaries:

Article 21 (Other Faculty Rights): what we have tentatively agreed to doesn’t go as far as we might like in testing every building periodically for radon or in protecting faculty against active shooters, but it offers a lot more than we’ve seen in the past. In particular, the BOT agreed to better-defined radon mitigation practices and “the University administration, with input from law enforcement, faculty, and staff, will review safety protocols and make recommendations for classroom and building safety in the case of an active shooter. A preliminary report will be provided to the parties by December 31, 2024, with a final report by the end of the 2024-2025 academic year.” We are glad to get a definite date on this so that any change won’t be stalled by study after study with no end in sight. The BOT team also crossed off our proposal to consider letting faculty park in unoccupied student spaces. We continue to push for more accessible parking for faculty through other means.

Article 10 (Performance Evaluations):

The administration’s team elected to withdraw their previous Article 10 proposal and substitute it with a new one. As you might recall, we notified them last week that we didn’t see much point in continuing to pass this one across the table until the full PERC rules on our unfair labor practice complaint (regarding enacting PTR without bargaining it). The administration’s new version continues to echo the Board of Governors’ and FSU Board of Trustees’ regulations, including placing tenured faculty at risk of losing their jobs without due process and subjecting faculty to a second disciplinary review for already decided disciplinary cases (double jeopardy).

That said, we encourage you to go through this new proposal (particularly pp. 12–15, where you’ll find the new additions). It answers a persistent UFF criticism that PTR rankings are done without any published criteria for what exceeding, meeting, or not meeting expectations entails. What are these expectations? The administration has enumerated examples of what might lead faculty to be (differentially) rated. They presented this long litany at the end of the day’s bargaining session, so we didn’t really have time to analyze them, but we encourage you to let us know what you find particularly welcome or problematic (again, focus on pp. 12–15 of this PDF). Your comments are always very helpful as we strategize and craft counterproposals for the next bargaining session.

Article 23 (Salaries):

The UFF-FSU team started the ball rolling on Tuesday with a response on salaries (our third such proposal), followed throughout the afternoon by subsequent responses from them, then us, then them. We’ve now had four rounds and the ball is back in our court. Rather than constructing a narrative, you can see who proposed what and how we/they responded in the chart below. I’ll highlight just four points:

  1. Although the BOT has increased the amounts for PTR raises, they still insist on differential raises/bonuses depending on whether faculty are found to meet or exceed expectations (see Article 10 above for what those expectations might be), something we have repeatedly resisted.
  2. The BOT team agreed to offer SPI raises to specialized faculty at the highest rank every five years (instead of the current seven-year cycle), matching the PTR evaluation/compensation cycle. Hooray!!
  3. In the fourth round, we responded to one of their priorities by offering a small amount of deans’ merit, but only on condition that the deans specify what category of our work was meritorious. The BOT team has not ruled out including guidelines, but also hasn’t (yet) gone quite as far toward transparency as we proposed. We also asked that the two categories of merit raises (departmental versus deans’) be specified in faculty’s “compensation history” on Currently, that just shows “merit raises.” We’re trying to take this out of the black box and make sure faculty receive feedback on why they did or didn’t receive deans’ merit.
  4. We continue to advocate for market equity raises to help reduce salary compression and inversion. They continue to resist funding this category.

The upshot: even if it’s slow, there’s progress and movement on both sides. I’ve boldfaced places where each team changed their previous offer.

Bargaining Salary History 2024UFF 3BOT 3UFF 4BOT 4
Sustained Performance Increase (SPI) for Specialized Faculty at the top rank (now every 5 years)3.00%3.00%3.00%3.00%
PTR (Associate Professors who are assigned Meets Expectations)3.00%$2,000 bonus$4,000 bonus$3,000 bonus
PTR (Associate Professors who are assigned Exceeds Expectations)3.00%$4,000 bonus$4,000 bonus$5,000 bonus
PTR (Professors who are assigned Meets Expectations)3.00%3.00%3.00%3.00%
PTR (Professors who are assigned Exceeds Expectations)3.00%5.00%3.00%5.00%
Performance Increase (for all faculty who received higher than Official Concern on most recent annual evaluation)3.20%1.75%3.20%1.75%
Departmental Merit (based on criteria developed by faculty)2.75%0.75%2.50%0.75%
Deans’ Merit0.00%0.25%0.10%0.20%
Market Equity$1,500,000$0.00$1,000,000$0.00
Administrative Discretionary Increases1.00%1.00%0.90%0.80%

That’s all folks! Please join us at bargaining this coming Wednesday and make your voice heard by joining your faculty union.

In solidarity,

Michael Buchler, Professor of Music Theory, FSU College of Music

On behalf of your UFF-FSU Collective Bargaining Team

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