Bargaining Update, May 22, 2024

Dear FSU Colleagues,

On May 22, we finally received a response to our salary offer from April 3. We also talked about Article 20 (Grievances and Arbitration), Article 21 (Other Faculty Rights), and Article 22 (Sabbaticals and Professional Development Leave). Let’s begin with salaries:

Bargaining Salary History 2024UFF 1BOT 1UFF 2
Sustained Performance Increase (SPI) for Specialized Faculty at the top rank (BOT=every 7 years) or top two ranks (UFF=every 5 years)3.00%3.00%3.00%
PTR (Associate Professors who are assigned Meets Expectations)3.00%$2000 bonus3.00%
PTR (Associate Professors who are assigned Exceeds Expectations)3.00%$4000 bonus3.00%
PTR (Professors who are assigned Meets Expectations)3.00%2.00%3.00%
PTR (Professors who are assigned Exceeds Expectations)3.00%4.00%3.00%
Performance Increase (for all faculty who received higher than Official Concern on most recent annual evaluation)3.20%1.50%3.20%
Departmental Merit (based on criteria developed by faculty)4.00%0.50%3.00%
Deans’ Merit (based on unknown criteria applied by deans)0.00%0.50%0.00%
Market Equity$2,500,000$0.00$2,000,000
Administrative Discretionary Increases1.00%1.00%1.00%

As a reminder, the two teams are quite far apart when it comes to Post-Tenure Review. The BOT team continues to propose the draconian PTR guidelines passed by the Board of Governors that basically reduce tenure to five-year contracts. The BOT salary proposal splits PTR between four categories: Associate Professors who Meet Expectations would only receive a $2000 bonus for receiving Meets Expectations; Associate Professors who Exceed Expectations would only receive a $4000 bonus; Professors who Meet Expectations would receive a 2% raise to base salary; Professors who Exceed Expectations would receive a 4% raise to base salary. One of our major concerns is that there are no criteria to distinguish between Meets Expectations and Exceeds Expectations. If you are a tenured faculty member, you could receive Exceeds FSU’s High Expectations or Substantially Exceeds FSU’s High Expectations for the past 5 annual evaluations but can receive a PTR rating of Meets Expectations and not know why as the decision is arbitrary. Furthermore, the BOT PTR proposal includes Does Not Meet Expectations, which means you only get one year to improve or be dismissed, and Unsatisfactory, which would mean you are dismissed immediately.

UFF’s proposal is based on annual evaluations and only has two categories: Meets or Does Not Meet Expectations. Everyone who Meets Expectations would receive a 3% raise, and those who do not receive a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP).

For specialized faculty, the BOT’s Sustained Performance Increase proposal of 3% to base only includes the top rank every 7 years, which is status quo. The UFF proposal includes the top two ranks every 5 years.

For the performance increases, the UFF proposal is based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data on inflation, which was 3.2% at the time we made our first proposal on April 3. The BOT team proposed just 1.5%, effectively an “across the board” salary reduction of 1.7%.

When it comes to merit, UFF had proposed that 4% of the total salary base (around $8 million) be allocated based on department merit criteria. The BOT proposal only includes 0.50% for department merit and another 0.50% that is divided according to whatever the deans determine is worthy of merit this year, (and each dean has their own unknown criteria when allocating this money). UFF does not agree with deans’ merit without clear and transparent criteria so that faculty know how they are being evaluated for such merit—it’s impossible to work toward meeting unstated criteria. For our counter, we proposed 3% department merit and no arbitrary deans’ merit. The UFF is not willing to waive the right for criteria determining merit to the administration. Instead, the administration, if they so desire, can give discretionary raises though Administrative Discretionary Increases (ADI).

For Market Equity, which remains a $14 million problem, the UFF team had proposed $2.5 million allocated to market equity. The BOT team proposed zero. If we want to continue to be competitive, fixing the market equity problem is key. Performance raises less than the rate of inflation only exacerbates the problem. In our counter, we proposed $2 million.

As a last item, the BOT team removed the $40,000 (~$20/hr) salary rate floor that the UFF had proposed for all faculty.

The other proposals will sound similar to the previous week’s proposals. For grievances and arbitration, the BOT team’s proposal once again rejected our NIRD proposal that would allow for an independent panel at Step 3 of a grievance (our proposal is based on a process already in place at FIU); the BOT proposal inserted language from the law that was passed that eliminated arbitration, and thus, the final decision regarding grievances that deal with personnel issues would be made by the University President.

For Other Faculty Rights, the BOT team agreed to our request of retesting buildings that had radon issues no less than 10 years after the previous test, but not to our request that all buildings be tested every 10 years. Our last proposal asked them to reconsider their position.

For Sabbaticals and Professional Development Leave, the UFF team once again proposed that Professional Development Leave remain at every 3 years, as it has been for many years without issue.

Our next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, May 29, 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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