The BOT and the UFF-FSU teams met the last two Wednesdays to begin bargaining over the Salaries article and to continue discussing the other four open articles.
Regarding salaries, the BOT team proposed the following amounts:
Departmental Merit: 0.25%
Deans’ Merit: 0.10%
Market Equity: 0
Performance (cost of living) 0
Their proposal for Administrative Discretion Raises (for increased duties, extraordinary accomplishments, counteroffers, and certain other reasons, at the discretion of the Administration) would be limited to no more than 1% of the faculty salary base.
They proposed no change from previous years in two other categories: Promotion raises of 12% (when promoted into the second rank) and 15% (into the third rank) and 3% directed to Sustained Performance Increases (which go to faculty in the top rank after each seven year period of satisfactory performance in that rank).
The UFF faculty team was surprised by the complete lack of funding for Performance and Market Equity increases and by the pitiful amount proposed for Departmental Merit. We were also gobsmacked that the BOT team is seeking to allocate almost 30% of merit funds to deans to distribute rather than allocating all merit money to departments to distribute.
The BOT team’s response to our claim that this salary proposal was laughable was that the budget is extraordinarily tight this year.
The UFF countered with this proposal:
Departmental Merit: 2.0%
Deans’ Merit: 0
Market Equity: $2 million
We have no objection to their proposed amounts for Promotions and Sustained Performance.
The logic behind the UFF counter-proposal stems from several considerations. Faculty responses to the Spring, 2018, poll showed that when asked to pick their top priority, 47% chose “keeping up with the cost of living,” 27% chose “correcting existing salary inequities” and 24% chose “recent meritorious job performance.” Thus, our Performance amount takes into account the rate of inflation of about 2.2%, and we propose reasonable amounts in the Market Equity and Departmental Merit categories. Increasing inequality was a major concern for us. We pointed out that the BOT plan to fund neither cost of living nor market equity insured that compression and inversion are guaranteed to worsen for current faculty. The many new faculty being hired at market rate will be under-market in short order and likely to consider their other options (as will current faculty). We went on to explain that their proposal for Departmental Merit is flat-out demoralizing. To be rewarded for our hard work and success in teaching, research, and service with a mere one-quarter-of-one-percent (just one-fifth the amount allocated last year) makes a mockery of the concept of reward for meritorious performance. As for our zeroing out Deans’ Merit, we explained that since Deans are in a better position than most to appreciate the University’s constrained resources, they should be happy to forego this money and to allocate it to departments’ judgments. Indeed, we said, they should respond to the claimed need for belt-tightening by refusing raises themselves.
The BOT team prefaced their salary offer by noting that they only have about a third as much “new money” as last year. We reminded them that the University has other available resources to fund faculty pay.
As for the other open articles, we made some progress on Article 32 (Definitions), discussing possible wording for “Base Salary” and for “Leaves of Absence.”
Bargaining resumes this week on Wednesday, April 4, from 2:00-5:00 at the FSU Training Center. Faculty members are welcome.
The key to a strong Collective Bargaining Agreement is a strong membership base, so if you are not a member, please join! https://uff-fsu.org/wp/join/
Irene Padavic and Scott Hannahs, Co-Chief Negotiators, UFF-FSU