Bargaining Update, June 27

Dear FSU Colleagues:

On June 27, the two teams met and made some positive progress, tentatively agreeing to one article and getting very close to agreeing to another. We also passed salary proposals back and forth across the table.

To begin, the UFF team suggested moving Post-Tenure Review (PTR) out of Article 10 (Performance Evaluations) to a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that we can work on after finishing regular bargaining. We think it is problematic to put the article in the contract when it contradicts other articles that are not currently open for negotiations. The administration agreed with our suggestion to take PTR out of Article 10, so the two teams appear close to tentatively agreeing to the remaining changes, including replacing the current five-point annual evaluation scale to a four-point scale, and annual evaluations would now be submitted to the Vice President for Faculty Development and Advancement to serve as a check to be sure that all colleges and departments are following the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) (currently, the evaluations stay at the college level).

The teams did tentatively agree to changes to Article 22 (Sabbaticals and Professional Development Leave), which gives non-instructional specialized faculty more flexibility to split professional development leave (PDL) into smaller chunks of time and retains PDL eligibility to every three years.

For Article 20 (Grievances and Arbitration), the UFF team previously proposed two different potential processes to allow for a third party or neutral perspective at Step 3 of a grievance, which we believe is necessary because the legislature banned arbitration for personnel issues. The BOT team struck both of them (NIRD and Peer Panels). At this meeting, we proposed a third process: allowing for a mediator to help resolve grievances during Step 3, and if the two sides cannot come to an agreement, the mediator would prepare a report for the FSU President to consider before the President makes the final decision (the legislation deems university presidents to be the final arbiter of grievances). We are hopeful that the administration is seriously considering our new proposal.

The teams are still quite far apart when it comes to Article 23 (Salaries), but we are slowly moving in the right direction. 

Here’s the weekly chart. This chart includes our 8th salary proposal and the BOT team’s counter proposal to it. Places where each team changed their previous offer are in bold.

Bargaining Salary History 2024UFF 8BOT 8
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)$5,000 bonus$3,000 bonus
PTR (Associate Professors who are assigned Exceeds Expectations)$5,000 bonus$5,000 bonus
PTR (Professors who are assigned Meets Expectations)5.00%3.00%
PTR (Professors who are assigned Exceeds Expectations)5.00%5.00%
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)1.25%0.80%
Deans’ Merit0.20%0.20%
Market Equity$750,000$300,000
Administrative Discretionary Increases0.80%0.80%

A couple of notes regarding our latest salary proposal.

·         Knowing that some faculty have had to go through the PTR process this year and have received their letters, we have proposed numbers in this proposal. We argued that it is not fair to differentiate between Meets and Exceeds because there were no clear criteria, so faculty did not know what they would be evaluated on for this process, which is why there’s no distinction between Meets and Exceeds in our proposals.

·         We are also proposing that no faculty member at a full FTE should be paid less than $44,000, which would be consistent with the U.S. Department of Labor’s new rules regarding overtime exemption. The BOT team has struck our proposal each time we’ve proposed this, stating that faculty who make less than $44,000 are being paid market rate for their job position. Yet, they are not willing to share with us how they computed the market rate of these low-paid faculty positions.

·         We are glad to see that the administration agreed to adding some criteria for deans’ merit and that they proposed that faculty would be able to request a short explanation regarding the deans’ rationale for their deans’ merit increase.

A HUGE THANK YOU to all who attended via Zoom. We appreciate your support! And we’d love to see you in person, especially as we continue discussing salaries. We seriously consider all feedback on the bargaining process to obtain the best deal for all members of the bargaining unit.

Please join us at bargaining today, July 1, from 2–5 in the Training Center across from the stadium and make your voice heard by joining your faculty union.

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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