Bargaining Update, August 5, 2011

Bargaining Update
August 5, 2011

Summary: The UFF and the BOT bargaining teams met Monday, August 1st and Wednesday, August 3rd to continue salary negotiations (Article 23 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement or CBA) that began in June and continued throughout July.
The good news is that both sides are in substantial agreement about implementing a three percent (3%) raise; the only disagreement on this issue is whether or not the lowest-paid faculty receive a minimum payment, which is what the UFF proposes and the BOT is considering.

The bad news is that agreement on the salary article has been delayed. The BOT (Board of Trustees) bargaining team claims that the delay might mean that none of the upcoming academic year’s salary changes–including promotion raises and the three-percent raise–can be administered by the start of the new pay period. The UFF is willing to meet continually to reach an agreement, would sign an agreement today that permits these raises to go through, and will negotiate to have any raises applied retroactively if agreement isn’t reached before the first paycheck. The dispute centers on the language of the one-time “merit” bonus. The UFF believes that the evaluation procedures as written in the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement), elaborated in department bylaws, and approved by various levels of the administration must be respected. The BOT team instead wants to circumvent the language in the contract and retroactively apply a different distribution scheme.

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CBAs (Contracts), Bargaining, and Web Updates

Have you received your 2010-2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (the white contract)?

Through the help of many generous volunteers, we have completed our initial distribution effort. With almost 1700 represented faculty (also known as “covered by the contract,” “in unit,” or “part of the General Faculty Bargaining Unit” at FSU), a distribution effort spread over several weeks, summer holidays, and other complications, we have surely missed a few of you. Please let me know if you have not yet received the new (white cover) “CBA” ([email protected] ). We will do our best to get one to you as soon as possible.

Collective bargaining continues for the 2011-12 academic year. Negotiations resume Monday at 2pm at the FSU Training Center. We hope to wrap up salary negotiations then, that is, to come up with new salary provisions to replace some of the current provisions in the 2010-13 CBA. We then plan to move on to some previously tabled issues, including academic freedom, evaluation, and new classifications for non-tenure track faculty.

Web Updates! Our UFF-FSU web site and email lists have undergone a major overhaul. Please take a look at the new web site (same address, ) and tell us what you think. We are trying to make it easy to find information, and easier to provide updates (you won’t notice that initially). You will immediately notice a different look and feel for the revamped web site. So please take a look, and direct your comments to the Chair of our ad hoc committee on web redesign, Prof. Phil Steinberg ([email protected] ). We have also updated our email list servers, but you will probably not notice more than a slight difference. You got this message, right? Glitches and gremlins in the changeover are possible of course, and we apologize in advance for any problems that may arise.

July 2011 Bargaining Update

Negotiations between the UFF and the Board of Trustees (BOT) for the 2011-2012 began in late spring and are ongoing. Below are some key points about bargaining progress and what is on the agenda:

The UFF bargaining team is pleased to announce that we are near agreement on Across the Board raises (ATB). Last year, while negotiating the one-time-ATB payment, we proposed implementing a raise rather than a one-time-payment. The president said that he would try, and we are happy that he has now agreed to make last year’s bonus a raise to base salary. We appreciate the efforts on the part of the president and the Board of Trustees to find funding for raises, particularly in a year of drastic budget cuts and political intransigence at the state level. The president recognizes that the faculty deserve to be rewarded. A few important details remain to be resolved, but the UFF team has every intention of coming to an agreement by the August 5th deadline that the BOT team says is required so the raises will appear in the first paycheck of the academic year.

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March 2011 Bargaining News Report: NTTF Reclassification

The UFF and the BOT, via a joint BOT-UFF committee, have been working for several months on a plan to reclassify Non-Tenure Track Faculty (NTTF) positions. The initial impetus for this plan came from a Faculty Senate Report and from UFF-FSU survey results consistently revealing employment security as a top concern for NTTF. The plan provides a framework to address these issues. Essentially, the Joint Committee has worked out how the Collective Bargaining Agreement can be changed to accommodate the reclassification plan.

Several key elements are still under discussion at the joint BOT-UFF committee. In the report (see link below) these elements are highlighted. The remainder of the plan can be considered tentatively agreed upon. Please note that the the joint committee will recommend its final report to BOT and UFF negotiators as a basis for further negotiations. Assuming those negotiations produce an agreement, that agreement must then be ratified by the BOT and the faculty. Further, some aspects of the report will require approval by the Public Employees Relations Commission.

Some important parts of this plan include:

  • Continuing Multi-Year Agreements (a/k/a “rolling contracts”) for some NTTF (after promotion)
  • Honorific “professor” titles on a case-by-case basis, subject to appropriate tenured faculty approval
  • Mission-specific (teaching, research, research support, service) classifications, with more descriptive working titles
  • Provision for possible conversion of NTTF positions to tenure track positions

The NTTF Working Draft is available at this link:

Negotiations are expected to reopen in May. We will be soliciting input later in the spring, but faculty members are welcome to send comments to Scott Hannahs, Co-Chair of the faculty bargaining team <[email protected]>.