Bargaining Update – August 9, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

The UFF and Board of Trustees (BOT) teams met last Friday, August 6, to discuss Article 23 (Salaries).

The BOT offered to increase their bonus offer from $1,500 to $1,800.  We pointed out—again—the many reasons a raise would be in order, including that the University of Florida’s BOT team began negotiations by offering a 3% raise. No dice.  They went into detail about FSU’s budget simply not allowing us a raise. We asked if faculty salaries were even a priority to them.  The verbal answer was yes.  The facts indicate otherwise.

The good news is that the BOT team is willing to sign the MOU we proposed that allows Promotion raises and Sustained Performance Increases to go into effect next week.  So that’s a relief.

Next week we will meet remotely on Wednesday, August11, at 2:30—note the slightly later start time.  This session will be unusual in that the main substance will be Impact Bargaining about Covid-19 this fall (click here for the UFF proposal).  We will turn to regular bargaining later in the session. 

Bargaining Link:    https://fsu.zoom.us/j/97472039042

If you are a member of UFF, you are also welcome to our caucuses, which typically occur once or twice during bargaining and at its conclusion.

Caucus link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84593356253

We encourage you to show up! We had a good number of people at this last session, and we believe it made a difference.    

Regular updates can be found at our webpage: http://uff-fsu.org/

The key to a strong collective bargaining agreement is a strong membership base, so if you are not a member, please join! There has never been a more important time for us to stand together. http://uff-fsu.org/wp/join/

All best,

Irene Padavic and Scott Hannahs

Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU

Bargaining Update – July 30, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

The UFF and Board of Trustees (BOT) teams met this past Wednesday, July 28, to discuss salaries and other outstanding articles. 

Over 50 faculty were there to see what “no shame” looks like when the BOT announced its salary offer:  a $1,500 bonus, representing an increase of $300 over their previous offer.  So we can afford yet another macchiato per week!  Not much there to help with the things we really care about, like student debt, mortgages, and putting food on the table for our families.

The UFF presented a Salaries counterproposal that left all our raise proposals in place but proposed $1,700 for bonus rather than $2,000.  Mind you, that bonus amount is contingent on the BOT accepting our other proposals for raises in Across-the Board, Merit, and Market Equity. 

We asked the BOT whether they were willing to take action on the MOU we proposed at our last session that would allow Promotion Raises and Sustained Performance Increases to go through without a delay, but they were not yet ready to answer. 

Seeing as how we have gotten no traction in trying to increase child or family leave provisions (in Article 17, Leaves) or to enable tapered employment as faculty approach retirement (Article 24, Benefits) or to get an actual raise (Article 23, Salaries), we proposed “status quo” on Conflict of Interest/Outside Activity, Article 19).  That means the article would remain as it was when bargaining began.

Next week we will meet remotely on Friday, August 6, at 2:00.  Here is the Zoom link: 

https://fsu.zoom.us/j/97353687538  We encourage you to show up!  Your presence makes a real difference.

If you are a member of UFF, you are also welcome to our caucuses, which typically occur once or twice during bargaining and at its conclusion.  Here is that link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86158995086

Regular updates can be found at our webpage: http://uff-fsu.org/

The key to a strong collective bargaining agreement is a strong membership base, so if you are not a member, please join! There has never been a more important time for us to stand together. http://uff-fsu.org/wp/join/

All best,

Irene Padavic and Scott Hannahs

Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU

Bargaining Update – July 16, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

The UFF and Board of Trustees (BOT) teams met on Wednesday, July 14, to discuss salaries and other outstanding articles. 

We saw a tremendous turnout—45 faculty.  This perhaps flummoxed the BOT team, which sought to cancel the meeting.  The ostensible reason was the UFF’s announcement that we planned to record the public meeting.  We don’t understand the BOT’s reluctance to comply with Sunshine Laws—an excuse to cancel in the face of irritated faculty? An attack of shyness?—but the meeting continued nonetheless after two lengthy interruptions for BOT caucuses and after we offered to suspend our recording plan.

The UFF presented a counterproposal on Article 23 (Salaries) with somewhat lower across-the-board Increases (from 5% in our last offer to 4.5%, which is the latest inflation figure) and Merit Increases (from 2.5% to 2.25%).  We also proposed a Memorandum of Agreement to allow Promotion and Sustained Performance Increases to be implemented even if negotiations about other categories are on-going.

The teams then discussed the BOT’s counter-proposal on Article 19 (Conflict of Interest and Outside Activity). We continue to work together to hammer out a definition of “outside activity” but still don’t see eye-to-eye on consensual sexual relationships with students. 

The meeting ended on a positive note when the teams agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to implement the Tuition Scholarship for Spouses and Dependents with a 25% increase in funding.

Although next week’s bargaining session had been planned for some time, the BOT team cancelled it.  Could it have something to do with the faculty turnout this time around? 

We will meet on Wednesday, July 28, from 2:00-4:00, and will send a link.  We encourage you to show up!  The ball is the BOT court to propose a salary counter-offer, so you should find it interesting!

Regular updates can be found at our webpage: https://uff-fsu.org/

The key to a strong collective bargaining agreement is a strong membership base, so if you are not a member, please join! There has never been a more important time for us to stand together. https://uff-fsu.org/wp/join/

All best,

Irene Padavic and Scott Hannahs

Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU

Bargaining Update – July 9, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

The UFF and Board of Trustees (BOT) teams met on Wednesday, July 7, to hear the BOT’s counter-proposal on Article 23 (Salaries) and to discuss other outstanding articles. 

Did the pandemic upend your professional life and increase your workload?  Perhaps you were heartened by the Administration’s appreciative comments. And perhaps you expected some financial follow-through.  We know we did.  Silly us!  The BOT is offering almost no raises this year.  Virtually none.  Here’s a comparison of proposals.

 UFF-FSU proposalBOT proposalDescriptionNo. faculty receiving 2018Pct. of faculty receiving 2018
Promotions12%/15%12%/15%12% to associate or specialized II; 15% to full or specialized III1036.0%
SPI (Sustained Performance Increase)3%3%Septennial raise for faculty at the highest rank291.7%
Across-the-board raises5%0%   
Merit raises2.5%0%   
Market equity raises$3,000,000$0Supplement to faculty earning less than national averages for their position  
Bonus$2,000$1,200   

The BOT proposal offers raises to approximately 7.7% of faculty.  The rest get a $1,200 bonus, enough to buy a large Vanilla Macchiato every weekday to kick start our flagging motivation.

We are astounded and insulted.  Astounded because FSU’s April 24 “Legisletter” highlighted the $15 million funded request, partially for faculty salaries, following CBA requirements.  Insulted because this is the second year in a row of no across-the-board raises, a situation particularly galling because of the stupendous effort we put into meeting our students’ needs during the pandemic, keeping our departments and units afloat, and doing it without complaint.

It’s time to complain. The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, July 14, from 2:00–4:00We need you to show up to make it clear that faculty believe a fair day’s work deserves a fair day’s pay.  Coincidentally, that’s Bastille Day.  Show up and let your presence register your concern about the direction the BOT team is taking. .Here is the Zoom link:  https://fsu.zoom.us/j/96161024932

We also invite you to attend the UFF happy hour this Friday at 5:00 at World of Beer on Apalachee Parkway (the former Genghis Grill restaurant).  Bargaining team members will be present.

The bargaining session also entailed presenting the UFF’s latest proposal on Article 19 (Conflict of Interest) and the BOT’s proposal for an MOU on the Tuition Scholarship for Spouses and Dependents, which they continue to refuse to put in the CBA. 

Regular updates can be found at our webpage: https://uff-fsu.org/

The key to a strong collective bargaining agreement is a strong membership base, so if you are not a member, please join! There has never been a more important time for us to stand together. https://uff-fsu.org/wp/join/

All best,

Irene Padavic and Scott Hannahs

Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU

Bargaining Update – June 9, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

The UFF and Board of Trustees (BOT) teams met on Wednesday, June 9, and the session was devoted to the BOT team’s counter-proposal on Article 19 (Conflict of Interest/Outside Activity), which centered on two issues: outside activity reports and the types of relationships with students that constitute a conflict of interest.

The BOT wants faculty to report all compensated and some uncompensated outside activity and allow the administration to decide whether each activity represents a conflict of interest. They proposed the following definition:

“Outside Activity” shall mean any activity which is compensated, or any uncompensated activity which is related to one’s profession or subject matter expertise such as consulting, an uncompensated teaching or research appointment, or service on an advisory board.

We have asked for a list of examples of reportable activity. For instance, by “advisory board,” they told us that they were thinking of corporate advisory boards. But would their language also include election to an academic society’s board of directors? We understand the need for the university to protect itself and its faculty, but we want to be sure that faculty members are provided a limited and reasonable list of things to report that could be considered conflicts of interest.

The BOT continues their push to ban “sexual, romantic, amorous, and/or dating” relationships with students. The current CBA language already bans sexual relationships where a supervisory or evaluative relationship exists. We are concerned about including vague terms like “romantic” or “amorous.” Even the definition of “dating” can vary. Is going out for coffee with a student a date? Some might think so. Like the BOT, we abhor exploitation. But since nonconsensual sexual relationships and supervisory/evaluative ones are already prohibited and, of course, sexual harassment is also prohibited by our contract and by law, we wonder what exactly is to be gained by the BOT’s proposed change. We are unaware of cases of faculty sexual misbehavior at FSU that the current CBA language permits. Recent cases have been about faculty violating provisions in the contract; enforcement, not new restrictions, is the issue.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday, June 23, from 2:00–5:00.

Bargaining sessions are open to faculty, and negotiations in the past have benefited from faculty attendance. There is definitely strength in numbers, and we appreciate having you! If you would like to attend, please respond to this message and we will send you the Zoom link.

Regular updates can be found at our webpage: https://uff-fsu.org/

The key to a strong collective bargaining agreement is a strong membership base, so if you are not a member, please join! There has never been a more important time for us to stand together. https://uff-fsu.org/wp/join/

With best regards,

Michael Buchler

Professor of Music Theory

Vice President and Bargaining Team Member, UFF-FSU