Bargaining

UFF-UF serves as the bargaining agent that negotiates the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA, or “contract”) between faculty in the bargaining unit and the university. The contract specifies, among other things, salary, benefits, academic freedom, tenure, assignments, evaluations, and job security. Collective bargaining is led by a faculty team, with assistance from professional staff and expert legal counsel. Members are welcome to express their concerns and share their priorities for bargaining. They are also encouraged to self-nominate for membership on the Bargaining Committee. Contact bargaining@uff-uf.org

 

Bargaining Team News

November 5, 2018 — Tentative Agreement on 2018-2019 Salary Negotiations: Goals, Outcomes, and Next Steps

On Thursday, November 1, the United Faculty of Florida (UFF-UF) bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with representatives of the University of Florida’s Board of Trustees (UF-BOT) on salary increases for the 2018-2019 academic year. The agreement is a modest victory for members of the UFF-UF bargaining unit and represents a positive first step toward the upcoming full contract negotiations which will begin in Spring 2019.

The following is a brief report on the bargaining team’s goals, the progress and outcome of negotiations, and the next steps for both UFF-UF and the larger bargaining unit.

Our Goals and Proposal

During the negotiations that led to this agreement, the UFF-UF Bargaining Team could only negotiate Articles 24.4 (General Salary Increases) and 24.7 (Salary Increases for P.K. Yonge Faculty Members) of the 2017-2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement. (Link to Article 24).

Our ability, therefore, to improve our colleagues’ working conditions was limited, as we could only negotiate faculty members’ salaries.

Moreover, we entered bargaining in an unfavorable position. The UFF-UF negotiating team has undergone considerable turnover in recent months. Because of this turnover, we had little time to seek faculty input on bargaining goals and found ourselves up against a BOT-imposed bargaining deadline of November 1.

Despite these obstacles, however, we were determined to reach the most favorable agreement possible. We therefore entered negotiations with two ambitious goals:

    • First, we wanted to reward UF’s hard-working long-term faculty for their role in making UF both a preeminent and a top-ten public university.
    • Second, we wanted to ensure that UF’s lowest-paid faculty received a generous portion of the $6.5 million UF had put on the table for pay increases.

To support these goals, we opened negotiations with a proposal to distribute the available $6.5 million equally amongst all member of the bargaining unit. This proposal would have resulted in a $3,500 across-the-board raise to all in-unit employees’ base pay, with an extra 1% merit raise available for those faculty members who met their departments’ merit criteria. Additionally, we proposed increasing promotion raises from 9% to 15%, bringing UF’s standards into line with those of other Florida public universities.

The Outcome

Given Florida’s strong economy, UF’s recent successes, and President Fuchs’ commitment to “market and merit” raises, we entered negotiations with high hopes. Unfortunately, the BOT team chose to retrench and offer only a one-time bonus, initially demanding that the funds be allocated entirely to merit pay.

Despite this disappointing counteroffer, however, the negotiating team was able to wrest a 1% across-the-board, one-time bonus for all faculty, with a $1,000 minimum for our lowest-paid colleagues. The remainder of payout will be allocated as a one-time, 3% merit bonus, with these funds distributed according to individual departmental guidelines.

Thus, while the current agreement falls far short of our opening offer, it nevertheless provides a short-term boost to long-time faculty members’ compensation for 2018-2019 and delivers a disproportionate share of the allocated funds to faculty members who make less than $50,000. 

The Path Ahead

Moving forward, UFF is committed to:

  • raising base salaries
  • rewarding meritorious performance, and
  • addressing UF’s poor diversity and gender equity rating

With the bargaining unit’s collective support, we can enter negotiations for the full Collective Bargaining Agreement on a stronger footing than we entered this recent round of negotiations.

If we stand together and build a bold vision that reflects our shared goals, we can help redress some of UF’s persistent inequalities, ensure we have the resources to deliver world-class education and research, and advance UF further toward its top-five goal.

The text of the tentative agreement is available here (pdf): Article 24 11.01.2018 Tentative Agreement

 

 

October 25, 2018:  Negotiations begin over 2018-19 Raises

The bargaining team met with the team negotiating on behalf of the Board of Trustees to discuss the annual re-opener of Article 24, Salaries. The teams presented their respective proposals:
UFF-UF Article 24 Proposal1
BOT Article 24 proposal1

UFF-UF Collective Bargaining Team members
Candi Churchill, Chief Negotiator
Bill Keegan (FL Museum of Natural History)
Martin Sorbille (Spanish and Portuguese)
Hélène Huet (Library West)
Sean Trainor (Management Communication Center)
Rosana Resende (Latin American Studies & Anthropology)
John Bourn (PK Yonge)
Macy Geiger (PK Yonge)

UF Board of Trustees Bargaining Team members
Bill Connellan, Chief Bargainer
Chris Hass, Associate Provost
Maureen de Armond, Assistant VP, HR
Kevin Clarke, Associate Director of Employee Relations, HR

 

September 10, 2018: UFF and UF Bargaining Meeting – requesting reschedule until after 9/13 Council Meeting

Notes will be posted here prior and after the meeting. The meeting is scheduled from 2-4pm in 2002 Farrior Hall. There will be no livestreaming of the bargaining meetings for now. Notes will be posted before and after each meeting.

August 17, 2018: Bargaining Team and UFF-UF President Meeting

Laurie Taylor and Hélène Huet from the Bargaining Team met with UFF-UF President Raúl Sanchez from 10-11am in Library West 212 to review work to date, discuss concerns, and ensure strong communication is in place for moving forward. The Bargaining Team requested units of release time to be assigned to a member (and noted a recommended candidate not currently on the official team, if the person is available) to do data analysis for salaries specific to UF designated peer institutions, normalized for the region and cost of living, and normalize for specific fields/areas, for spring 2019, fall 2019, and summer 2019, if possible. The Bargaining Team members also requested release time to have someone work specifically on diversity, for supporting peer to peer work in cultural change to improve working conditions in regards to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The meeting affirmed UFF-UF’s commitment to strong, open communication on bargaining and to procedural justice as a core concern for processes.

 

August 7, 2018: UFF and UF Bargaining Meeting

Notes will be posted here prior and after the meeting. The meeting is scheduled from 10am-12pm in Pugh 210, and we are confirming the link for livestreaming. Notes following the meeting:

The UF and UFF Bargaining Teams met from 10-11am in Pugh 210, with full teams in attendance. Zoom was not an option with the equipment in place, so for the next meeting, the team will ensure equipment is brought in to support viewing the meeting via Zoom. The meeting covered introduction and reviewed the process, including noting that this reopener is only for the salary (Article 24) and is on what UF has already planned and announced with the one time bonus. We are in the process of scheduling the next meeting, where UF will present the offer in the language of Article 24 and with the prior announcement.  This meeting is likely to be the week of September 10.  Once the meeting is scheduled, this page will be updated with the date and location.

 

July 26, 2018: UFF-UF and FEA Call on Bargaining

UFF-UF and FEA held a conference call meeting on 7/26/2018 from 3-3:30pm. We used a free conference call number (712-775-7031, meeting ID: 831-773-884). The agenda was: 1. Introductions of all who can make it, experience in bargaining, role on this call; 2) Overview of the process when requesting to bargain when a changed working condition arises, as applied for this example  3) Presumed next steps and planning. In attendance: Laurie Taylor, Oscar Crisalle, Candi Churchill, and Emily McCann.

 

July 20, 2018: UFF Members Asking on New Parking Charges

Faculty members have been discussing concerns on the planned increase in costs for parking decals, as explained in this news article. UFF is discussing preparing the request to UF to negotiate on this.

 

July 11, 2018: UFF and UF Bargaining meeting scheduled

UFF and UF Bargaining meeting on salaries, scheduled for Tuesday, August 7, from 10am-12pm. Data: The Bargaining Team is currently compiling data from prior reports. These will be shared to inform on the process. Several members have expressed interest in having FEOs available for in-unit faculty. Informing the discussion on that are reports on sabbaticals and professional development leaves, along with other sources to inform the full process:

 

July 3, 2018: Bargaining Team, Meetings, and Data

      • The Bargaining Team is confirmed, and available for discussion on any questions on the process: bargaining@uff-uf.org
        • Chief Negotiator (Bargaining): Laurie Taylor (Libraries)
        • Committee: Hélène Huet (Libraries), Martin Sorbille (CLAS-Spanish), Bill Keegan (Florida Museum of Natural History)
      • The Bargaining Team will meet on July 10 from 2-3pm in Library West 212. Please join us if interested. Meetings with UF will be scheduled soon for the salary discussions, and will be disseminated along with notes and plans. Also, we are expecting to livestream the meetings with UF to keep everyone informed on the process. We will also schedule the 2019 full contract meetings as soon as possible to give the greatest oppportunity to hold the dates.
      • The Membership Committee is working to schedule a town hall in Fall.

 

July 7, 2017

Tentative Agreement Reached

The bargaining team and the university’s representatives have reached a tentative agreement on salaries for 2017-18. The agreement allocates approximately 5% of the bargaining unit’s base pay for raises.

For several years now, UFF has been calling the administration’s attention to some significant problems related to UF faculty salaries, including inequity with our national peers. While clearly more remains to be done to improve our compensation, we feel that this agreement is a good first step in resolving some of these issues.

Here are the details of the tentative agreement:
        • 3% of base is to be allocated for merit raises, effective on January 1, 2018.
        • approximately 2% of base is to be spent on equity increases. Deans shall consult with chairs in determining these equity increases during the fall semester. All equity raises would be retroactive to August 2017.

This agreement is subject to ratification by members of the bargaining unit. We will hold a vote on ratification early in the fall semester, 2017. The specific contract language of this agreement can be found here: Article 24 final mark up 2017 (pdf)

May 8, 2017

FACULTY UNION DEMANDS ACTION ON SALARIES

Negotiations between the United Faculty of Florida (UFF-UF) and the University of Florida Board of Trustees over faculty salaries. As it did last year, UFF-UF will propose an increase of 6.5%, to be made up of a 2.5% general cost-of-living adjustment and 4% distributed according to approved departmental merit criteria.

UFF-UF proposes this increase as a crucial first step in closing the gap between faculty salaries at the University of Florida and those of our peer institutions, including UC Berkeley, UNC Chapel Hill, University of Illinois, and University of Michigan.  “UF cannot recruit and retain top-notch faculty when it is apparent, even in the public record, that faculty salaries consistently lag those of benchmark institutions” said Steven Kirn, Chapter President of UFF-UF.

UF’s President Kent Fuchs acknowledges that lagging faculty compensation is a concern, even as he has repeatedly emphasized the faculty’s central role in raising UF to one of the top public institutions in the nation.* Last year, an independent Special Magistrate concurred, writing, “UFF’s proposed faculty wage increases will contribute to improving the UF’s position in comparison to its peer universities on the national level.”  He also rejected the administration’s claims that such increases would jeopardize university finances. UF has a $1.5 billion endowment, with $148 million in unrestricted net assets. It has the largest reserve of funds, both in dollars and in percent of operating budget, of any university within the Florida state university system. For three years in a row, UF has been awarded extra funding from the State of Florida as a “preeminent” institution.

UFF looks forward to working with the Board of Trustees’ representatives to achieve fair salaries for all faculty and resolve this impediment to the University’s aspirations to national preeminence.

Information on faculty salaries, with comparisons to peers, is available here (link).

*”We also appreciate that competitive salaries and support are critical in attracting and retaining the world’s best faculty and graduate students.  We are committed to achieving employee compensation and graduate student stipends that match our peers.”  —W. Kent Fuchs, UF President, State of the University Address, Sept. 24, 2015
“Let me share what I believe is the only truly important and necessary ingredient for raising our stature. It is simply our faculty. Thus, whatever we do as administrators or staff should directly or indirectly enhance the stature of the faculty and their excellence in scholarship, education, and impact on society. … I firmly believe our rankings, our preeminence, and our metrics will take care of themselves if we recruit and promote the very best faculty and provide an environment in which they can be successful.”
— W. Kent Fuchs, President, UF, State of the University Address, August 25, 2016