The teams met Friday to discuss and present articles. The UFF was grateful to the BOT team for accommodating our scheduling conflict by shifting the meeting date. We were also happy to have faculty attend in person and online. Remember these sessions are open to faculty; your presence matters, and it’s nice to meet you when you’re there!
The UFF team opened by voicing our concerns over last week’s BOT counter on Article 19 (Conflict of Interest/Outside Activity), wherein they proposed some new language and struck our proposed language protecting faculty. We have heard from faculty, and we share their concerns that the language to prohibit consensual “verbal, non-verbal, or physical contact” (what does that NOT cover?) with any student over whom the faculty member exercises “academic authority” (what is that?) is so broad and vague that a faculty member could be accused, investigated, and disciplined for consensual, legal, and ethical behavior with someone they didn’t even know was a student. Additionally, an outside party could weaponize an anonymous complaint against a faculty member, and the BOT’s proposed language may not even require a sexual encounter to bring on career-damaging accusations. We believe (and we stated) that the BOT’s language poses a particular danger for LGBTQ faculty and that there needs to be a serious discussion about safeguards for faculty.
The BOT team listened and stated that they are open to continuing the discussion. They said they share the concern that everyone involved needs to be protected, and they look forward to our language changes that address protections for faculty. The BOT did stress that they see this matter as an ethical obligation and not as something “to be bought” from the UFF, for example, with higher performance increases. (This seems counter to their calling these several articles “a package” when they presented them before.)
The session continued with Article 12 (Non-Reappointment). Last session, we proposed to treat C&G-funded and E&G-funded faculty the same: faculty with 2 or fewer years’ service would get 19.5 weeks’ notice, and those with more than 2 years’ service would receive a year’s notice. The BOT’s counter lowered the notice periods for C&G-funded faculty back down to 30 and 90 days. They also again struck the UFF language that would safeguard the length of continuous service for a successful grievant, arguing that it pre-fashions a remedy that is usually up to an arbitrator to determine.
We think that the notice for those faculty on “soft-money” is too short to find other employment. After all, PIs should know well in advance that funding is ending. Our team countered with notice as soon as practicable but no less than 90 or 180 days. We also clarified the language regarding the service time of a successful grievant. We await their reply.
Lastly, the BOT presented their latest low offer on Article 23 (Salaries) and our team countered again:
|Performance (also called across-the-board)||2.25%||6.50%|
|Market Equity||0||$1.5 Million|
|Administrative Discretionary Increases (ADI)||1.25%||0.25%|
The BOT proposed language requiring a written explanation for a Dean’s Merit increase but only if it is “more than 10% of the faculty member’s base salary.” We noted that the threshold for any explanation was so high as to be useless, and they replied that 10% is consistent with other processes requiring review, but they were open to negotiating it.
The UFF team believes that the movement up or down of 0.25% here and there is still disappointingly slow progress toward an agreement that addresses all the salary problems we detailed last week. We still object to their over-reliance on Dean’s Merit over Departmental Merit and their lack of attention to Market Equity. It’s progress, though, and we will continue to press the faculty’s case for bigger increases.
Both teams do still agree on the continuation of Promotion Increases of 12% for the second rank and 15% for the top rank and on the continuation of Sustained Performance Increases of 3% for eligible full professors, eminent scholars, and the top rank of Specialized Faculty every seven years after their promotion to the top rank. Accordingly, the UFF team proposed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to ensure that these increases become effective for those faculty in August. We await the BOT response to this and our counteroffer on salaries.
The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wed., July 13 from 2:00 – 5:00. Our union’s efforts at the bargaining table are most effective when faculty attendance is high: if you care about Salaries, please come! Bargaining sessions are open to faculty, and we appreciate having you! Meetings are face-to-face at the FSU Training Center (493 Stadium Drive). If you would like to attend remotely, we welcome that, as well! Please contact Chandler Blount <[email protected]> to receive the Zoom link. (Alternatively, if you retained a previous bargaining Zoom link, it will still work.)
Regular bargaining 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/