Bargaining Update, June 21, 2024

Dear colleagues,

Our tenth bargaining session of this bargaining season was held on Friday, June 21. Here’s an update on where we are in the process.


  • We passed salary offers back and forth, making modest gains in both the amount of raise allotted and the categories of raise funded.
  • We made further progress on the Sabbaticals and Leaves article, which—both sides now agree—will provide more flexibility for specialized faculty without reducing the frequency of their leaves. Only a few details remain.
  • We discussed new ideas for mitigating the legislature’s removal of arbitration for personnel matters, creating a situation where faculty cannot appeal to a neutral umpire as part of the grievance process. The administration again handed us an evaluations article that, again, echoed all of the Board of Governors’ and FSU Board of Trustees’ regulations, including placing tenured faculty at risk of losing their jobs (which might happen to as many as 21% of UF faculty’s that went through PTR this year). We are still waiting (as we have been since March) for the full Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC) board to rule on this clear violation of our contract.

If you want to help us advocate for better and fairer salaries, for the protection of tenure, and for faculty governance, there’s no better way to do so than joining your union. And if you’re already a member, WE THANK YOU for your support! We would also welcome your greater involvement. As a music theorist, I certainly had no special skills when I became involved. But as academics, I imagine we’re all pretty good at learning on the job.

Okay, on to the details:

Article 10 (Performance Evaluations):

There was one new proposal by the administration and, at least on its surface, it seems like a good one: currently, our annual evaluations don’t move beyond our deans/directors. They propose that evaluations would now be seen by the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement (currently Janet Kistner). They claim that this would serve as a check to be sure that all colleges and departments are following the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). If so, that added step might prevent complaints down the line.

Despite that slightly new verse, the administration team was still singing the same chorus we’ve been hearing since before this season of bargaining even began: they claim that they need to follow the Board of Governor’s regulation and put its language on Post-Tenure Review (PTR) into the contract, despite the facts that:

  • it clearly violates other (non-open) articles in our contract,
  • the BOG is not party to our negotiations, and
  • the preliminary findings by the PERC hearing officer were in our favor, stating that the BOT has committed an unfair labor practice by instituting PTR prior to the conclusion of negotiations, needed to “cease and desist” and pay our legal fees.

Article 20 (Grievances and Arbitration):

We were frustrated by last week’s negotiations on this important article. To recapitulate: the legislature has kneecapped our ability to seek arbitration in the rare instances where grievances are not settled at the university level… and at the university level the administration holds all the cards (they decide, after all). We have been trying to mitigate this legislative attack on our right to seek the judgment of a neutral umpire, and we really (perhaps naïvely) thought that our latest attempt would be embraced by the administration, which surely doesn’t want to appear to favor autocratic justice. Our latest attempt didn’t remove any rights from the administration or give any new rights to faculty; it simply offered faculty the option of seeking the opinion of a Faculty Senate (not union) peer panel to hear their case and make a recommendation to the President before the final decision was rendered. It would provide the faculty and the administration the opinion of a neutral jury before the president makes a final decision and before the faculty member perhaps pursues a court appeal.

We began by quoting from John Budd’s 2021 textbook, Labor Relations: Striking a Balance:

“Unilateral management control undermines the whole point of collective bargaining: Without a balanced dispute resolution procedure for grievances, workers and workplace justice are at the mercy of employers and markets, which is exactly the situation that the NLRA and public sector bargaining laws seek to improve upon.” (Budd, 321.)

The administration had previously crossed off our peer panel proposal, saying that it duplicates a peer panel option in Article 16 (Discipline), but we pointed out that most grievances are not about discipline. Co-Chair Jennifer Proffitt offered a litany of examples of recent grievances (anonymized), highlighting issues such summer course assignments, faculty who have been prohibited from participating in governance, timing of family leave, intellectual property rights, and faculty improperly not being allowed to apply for promotion. After making what seemed like a pretty good case (yes, I’m biased), an attorney on their side referred to our proposal as “nonsensical” and stated that they tuned out as Jennifer was enumerating cases that demonstrate the need for a peer panel that considers issues other than discipline.

Perhaps my sense of what makes sense is askew? Perhaps we were boring? (I think we were scintillating!) But, as we’re the only ones in the room who are regularly evaluated (rewarded, even!) on our teaching skills, I’m guessing that the problem isn’t ours. Come to a bargaining session and see for yourself! We’ll hone our proposal and try again tomorrow (2–5 in the Training Center). We truly believe that our proposal benefits both faculty and administrators.

Article 23 (Salaries):

We are ever closer to agreement on salaries, though Post-Tenure Review remains a stumbling block. We are trying to find a way that we can agree on the reward amount for PTR, even if we cannot come to agreement on the procedure. (Again, PTR itself is a legislative mandate; the way they’re going about it is not.) We appreciate that the BOT has now agreed to devote some money toward market equity, which helps faculty who are compressed or inverted compared to their more junior colleagues.

Here’s the weekly chart! I’ve boldfaced places where each team changed their previous offer.

Bargaining Salary History 2024UFF 7BOT 7
Sustained Performance Increase (SPI) for Specialized Faculty at the top rank (now every 5 years)3.00%3.00%
PTR (Associate Professors who are assigned Meets Expectations)Pending PTR Negotiations$3,000 bonus
PTR (Associate Professors who are assigned Exceeds Expectations)Pending PTR Negotiations$5,000 bonus
PTR (Professors who are assigned Meets Expectations)Pending PTR Negotiations3.00%
PTR (Professors who are assigned Exceeds Expectations)Pending PTR Negotiations5.00%
Performance Increase (for all faculty who received higher than Official Concern on most recent annual evaluation)3.00%2.00%
Departmental Merit (based on criteria developed by faculty)1.5%0.75%
Deans’ Merit0.20%0.20%
Market Equity$1,000,000$250,000
Administrative Discretionary Increases0.80%0.80%

So it goes. Please join us at bargaining tomorrow (Thursday, June 27) from 2–5 in the Training Center across from the stadium 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

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.