Bargaining

Your your UFF-UF bargaining team is currently negotiating with the UF Board of Trustees’ (BOT) bargaining team over the terms of the 2020-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Everyone in the bargaining unit (UFF member or not) will have the chance to approve or reject the signed agreements for the new collective bargaining agreement in a ratification election. Signed and proposed articles are available via the following links:


RECORDED MEETINGS


UPDATES

17 May 2020 (Impact bargaining)

After two months of impact bargaining, UFF and the UF administration have agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) over emergency policies implemented in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that impact your contract. 

Summary of Memorandum of Understanding

This MOU includes provisions aimed at protecting faculty members’ intellectual property and ensuring that their performance during this crisis is evaluated appropriately. The MOU’s main points are as follows:

  1. Faculty will maintain ownership and control of all course materials used in remote instruction (unless previously contracted).  
  2. Pre-tenure faculty may extend their tenure probationary period by one year.
  3. Course instructors will receive an automatic satisfactory evaluation or higher for Spring 2020 courses in which they received an average instructor evaluation score of 3.30 or higher. Course instructors with an average instructor evaluation of 3.30 or lower will be evaluated within the context of the COVID-19 crisis and will be eligible for the normal range of evaluation outcomes.
  4. Course instructors may petition to exclude Spring 2020 course evaluations from their performance records.
  5. UF will direct Chairs (or their equivalent) to consider the impacts of the COVID-19 emergency on faculty members’ instruction, research, scholarship, creative activity, and service when evaluating their annual performance. 
  6. P.K. Yonge faculty may exclude the student performance component from their annual evaluations. Also, if a P.K. Yonge faculty member chooses to waive their evaluative feedback for the current school year, their 2018-2019 evaluation will determine their annual adjustment.

Some exceptions to the provisions above apply. Please read the full MOU for details.

This MOU modifies the 2017-2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Except for modifications associated with this MOU, all terms and conditions of the 2017-2019 CBA remain in effect. UFF and the UF administration will bargain a new MOU on COVID-19 impact for the Fall 2020 semester. 

For this MOU to take effect, it must be ratified by a vote of the bargaining unit. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, this vote can be conducted online. Mmembers of the bargaining unit should receive a separate email from “Helios Voting Administrator” with a link to the voting website and a unique username and password. Voting will begin Wednesday, May 20 at 6 am, and conclude on Friday, May 22 at 6 am.

UPDATE: MOU ratified by a vote of the bargaining unit on May 23, 2020.


10 April 2020 (Impact bargaining)

At the April 9 bargaining session, the Board of Trustees’ (BOT) bargaining team offered a counter-proposal to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) our bargaining team proposed last week. The teams are not yet in full agreement, but they are making progress.

Most significantly, the BOT team has agreed to include in a final MOU the provost’s proposal of a one-year extension to the probationary period for faculty who are tenure-accruing or permanent-status-accruing. This means that once the MOU is ratified, the extension will become legally binding, and faculty may file a grievance if it is not applied fairly and evenly.

Perhaps the most significant disagreement lies in the area of performance evaluations:

We propose that there be no negative impacts on a faculty member’s performance evaluation during the COVID-19 health emergency, when teaching and research have been—and will continue to be—significantly disrupted. There may be positive impacts, particularly regarding teaching.

They propose that disruptions caused by the emergency be acknowledged by department chairs and directors in the normal course of performance evaluation, and that faculty amend their annual activity reports to explain how the emergency has affected their teaching and research.

We think our proposal is fairer, as it will not rely on discretion and interpretation, which may vary considerably from unit to unit. And we think it is easier to implement, which is an important consideration at a time when all faculty, including chairs and directors, must continue to deal with enduring and emerging disruptions.


14 March 2020 (Impact bargaining)

During this difficult and extraordinary period, when all of us at UF are preparing for the onset of COVID-19 while striving to minimize its disruption to our students’ education, it’s important that faculty rights not be overlooked or abrogated. With this in mind, the UFF-UF bargaining team has taken steps to begin impact bargaining with the Board of Trustees’ (BOT) bargaining team.

As its name suggests, impact bargaining addresses the effects of decisions made by management, often in extraordinary circumstances such as our current one. The goal is not to reverse those decisions but to account for their consequences. In this way, impact bargaining differs from collective bargaining, which is more comprehensive and far-reaching.

Your bargaining team has proposed to the BOT bargaining team a list of terms that should apply while current situation obtains. Here are some of them:

  • That the transfer of instruction to online formats have no negative impacts on supervisory reviews or annual faculty evaluations.
  • That student evaluations have no negative impact on annual faculty evaluations.
  • That UF make accommodations for faculty whose work hours may be disrupted because their children have been sent home due to school closures.
  • That faculty be given up to ten extra days of paid sick leave if they contract COVID-19 or are otherwise required to self-quarantine.
  • That a representative of UFF-UF be included in the university’s crisis management team.

We hope the BOT will agree to our proposal, which we think is sensible and humane. Whatever the response, we will pass word on to you as soon as possible.

In the meantime, please refer to UF’s Keep Teaching website for guidance and resources. And please share with us your concerns and ideas.


28 Feb. 2020

As you know, your UFF-UF bargaining team is negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with representatives of the UF Board of Trustees (BOT). Thus far, it has secured several significant gains, made progress on long-term goals, and held back some significant threats.

You can see all the changes that have been tentatively agreed to here.

In addition, here are some bargaining highlights:

Summer pay contributing toward retirement. The university will provide matching contributions to an employee’s retirement plan—not just for base pay, as is already the case, but for additional summer appointments. Ultimately, the goal is to require matching retirement contributions for all salary and compensation, and to phase out the misuse of OPS. This change would put UF in line with all Florida school districts and most state employers.

Justification for non-renewal of non-tenure-track faculty. The team has secured contract language that requires UF to provide justification for the non-renewal of a non-tenure-track faculty member’s appointment. Previously, the CBA only required the university to notify non-renewed faculty. This change will allow non-renewed faculty to file a grievance should the university’s action violate the CBA.

Multi-year contracts for non-tenure-track faculty. For the new CBA, we will not be able to secure mandatory multi-year contracts for non-tenure-track faculty. However, this remains our long-term goal, and in the meantime our proposals seem to have convinced the administration to take advantage of existing contract provisions to begin offering more multi-year contracts to non-tenure-track faculty. In addition, both sides are looking for ways to increase promotion opportunities and improve the promotion process for non-tenure-track faculty.

BOT policy on sexual and romantic relationships between faculty and students. In 2019, the BOT issued a ban on sexual or romantic relationships between faculty and students. The bargaining team is committed to negotiating a contract provision that ensures a safe learning environment for students while also protecting due process for members of the bargaining unit. You can read UFF’s current counter-proposal here.

Losses we have prevented. The UF Board of Trustees’ team has backed off of several proposals that we found unacceptable. These include: designating Human Resources to lead investigations over grade disputes; forcing major concessions over the sick leave pay-out upon retirement; and expanding post-tenure reviews.

Until bargaining is completed and a new CBA has been ratified, the current CBA remains in effect. The process of getting to the new CBA remains difficult but doable. Your membership and support will be critical, as important issues remain on the table, including faculty evaluations, tenure and promotion, salary, nondiscrimination, conflict of interest, provisions specific to P.K. Yonge, and paid leaves.

Here’s what you can do to help the bargaining team, your colleagues, and yourself:

  • Attend our upcoming bargaining sessions. A full calendar of bargaining sessions is available on the UFF-UF webpage. At our next scheduled meeting—March 12, 3:30pm in Room 212 of Library West—we should hear back from the BOT’s team on the topics of paid parental leave and tenure and promotion. If these are of particular interest to you, please join us.
  • Once the bargaining process has concluded, plan to make your voice heard. Changes will go into effect only after members of the bargaining unit (and, separately, the BOT) ratify the complete CBA. We are looking for a team to organize this vote. If you can help, please write to the Membership Committee at membership@uff-uf.org.
  • If you are not yet a UFF-UF member, join today and support the United Faculty of Florida. The stronger our membership, the greater our impact at the bargaining table and beyond.

16 Dec. 2019

For the past nine months your UFF-UF bargaining team has been negotiating with the UF Board of Trustees’ (BOT) bargaining team over the terms of the 2020-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Our team has proposed a series of improvements to the current CBA. Their team has not yet responded to most of them, nor has it put many proposals of its own on the table. Because of this, we expect bargaining to continue well into Spring 2020.

Fortunately, until these negotiations conclude, and until a new CBA is ratified by the faculty and the BOT, the current CBA will remain in effect.

In the meantime, we will continue to fight for:

  • a better program of paid family, medical, and parental leave
  • affordable childcare
  • job security for non-tenure track faculty
  • higher pay and better working conditions for P.K. Yonge faculty
  • salary minimums, increased promotion raises, and equity raises
  • stronger tenure protections

But we can win these only with your solidarity and support. Please help us, and thereby help yourself and your colleagues, by planning to attend bargaining sessions when these resume in January.


12 Dec. 2019

In April 2019, our bargaining team proposed a comprehensive overhaul of Article 21 of the current Collective Bargaining AgreementThis article covers family, medical, and parental leaves.

Here is what we put on the table:

  • 19.5 weeks of paid family, medical, and parental leave—essentially, the same program UF had previously piloted, and which was both successful and affordable
  • Subsidies for childcare to ensure that costs don’t exceed 5% of a faculty member’s salary, or $250 per week (whichever is lower).

Eight months later, the Board of Trustees’ bargaining team has yet to respond.

When UFF made this proposal, bargaining team members Lisa Scott and Hélène Huet noted that family, medical, and parental leave policies are “cornerstones of workers’ rights, basic matters of workplace equity, and simple tokens of gratitude to the people who have generously chosen to nurture a new generation of humans and to take care of another.” We still hold to these claims, of course, and we encourage our counterparts to do likewise.

Equitable leave policies and affordable childcare affect everyone, directly and indirectly. Help us fight for them:

  • attend bargaining sessions when they resume in January
  • attend Board of Trustees’ meetings and events where UF administrators gather.

Let these people hear from you about how these policies affect your ability to do your job and serve UF’s students.


12 Sept. 2019

On September 12, the bargaining unit voted on and ratified the proposed 2019-2020 salary agreement between UFF-UF and the UF Board of Trustees. The final tally was 264 in favor, 3 opposed, 0 invalid (267 total votes).

The agreement, which describes a raise package of $5.5 million, will take effect October 1, 2019.


27 August, 2019

Bargaining Unit to Vote on Salary Agreement, Sept. 11-12

SUMMARY OF SALARY AGREEMENT

On Tuesday, August 27, your United Faculty of Florida (UFF) Bargaining Team and representatives of the University of Florida Board of Trustees (BOT) finalized a raise package for the roughly 1,800 members of the UFF bargaining unit. The text of the tentative agreement can be found here: Article 24_Fall 2019 (pdf).

Under this agreement, which would take effect October 1, returning faculty members would receive:

  • A 1% across-the-board raise
  • A 2% merit pool, with raises determined by departmental bylaws
  • A $325 salary supplement for 12-month faculty earning less than $67,000
  • A $200 salary supplement for 9-month faculty earning less than $55,000

Finally, the package allots roughly $100,000 for faculty member raises at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School. These raise funds will be used to pay for annual and performance adjustments, with any remaining funds paid toward across-the-board raises.

All members of the bargaining unit will have an opportunity to vote YES or NO on this raise package. Under Florida law, the agreement cannot take effect unless ratified by the unit. We encourage a YES vote. You do not have to be a UFF member to vote.

WHEN AND WHERE TO VOTE

All members of the bargaining unit can vote during the following dates and times, at these locations:

  • Weds., September 11
    • 10am-2pm at Library West
    • 10am-2pm at the Reitz Union
  • Thurs., September 12
    • 10am-2pm at Library West
    • 10am-2pm at the Reitz Union

The votes will be publicly tallied at Library West on Thurs., September 12, at 2:15 pm.

Bargaining unit members at P.K. Yonge have already been informed of their voting locations and times by their UFF representative.

WHAT YOU’RE VOTING ON

This raise package, which totals $5.5 million, breaks down as follows:

  • $1.85 million for across-the-board raises
  • $3.7 million for merit raises
  • $46,450 for salary supplements
  • $100,000 for raises at P.K. Yonge (allocated by the State, not by UF)

 

HOW WE GOT HERE

This raise package represents the culmination of four weeks of negotiations with the BOT. At the beginning of negotiations, the BOT team was clearly willing to consider alternative allocations of the 1% across-the-board raise funds. Unfortunately, at the last minute, they changed course.

For close to three weeks, both teams worked toward an ambitious proposal that would have directed more than $800,000 toward new salary minimums. These minimums would have affected 175 faculty members and set the minimum salary for most 9-, 10-, and 12-month faculty at $55,000; $61,000; and $67,000 respectively. These figures are based on the MIT Living Wage Calculator, which sets the annual living-wage salary for a 1-parent, 2-child family in Alachua County at roughly $58,000.

Under this proposal, the average raise for affected faculty would have exceeded $6,400 while most 9-month faculty members would have seen only $24 less per paycheck than they would have under the current raise package. In addition to easing the financial burdens of the lowest-paid faculty, these minimums would have also advanced UF’s faculty diversity and inclusion goals by ensuring that single parents, first-generation faculty, and individuals emerging from poverty or debt could live securely and do their best work at UF.

However, in the last week of negotiations, representatives of the BOT abandoned these proposals, instead falling back on far more modest salary supplements for lecturers and librarians only. After further negotiations, the Bargaining Team was able to expand these supplements to all 9- and 12-month faculty, irrespective of title.

WHERE WE GO FROM HERE

Having concluded this salary reopener, the UFF-UF Bargaining Team will now resume negotiations for a new, three-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. During these negotiations, the Bargaining Team will continue to argue for appropriate salary minimums. We will also fight for other salary and benefits proposals that were restricted under the narrow terms of the reopener. These proposals include:

  • Increasing promotion raises from 9% to 15%
  • Reinstating Sustained Performance Evaluation raises for senior faculty
  • Securing equity raises for long-time employees
  • Winning 19.5 weeks of fully paid family and parental leave

To help the Bargaining Team achieve these and other goals, please join UFF-UF, get involved, and turn out for our upcoming bargaining sessions.

2 July, 2019

Salaries

On June 28, President Fuchs announced salary increases for faculty of 1% across the board, and 2% merit, subject to negotiation with UFF-UF for in-unit faculty.  The University (UF-BOT negotiators) has not made a salary proposal to UFF-UF during our negotiations.

Recognizing that a major issue for all in-unit faculty is reliable and predictable raises, we presented our compensation priorities for in-unit faculty to UF-BOT negotiators at our bargaining session on July 2.  Please click on the link to see our 5 main proposals.

UFF-UF is committed to improving the salaries of all UF faculty. We are bargaining to obtain reliable and predictable raises with multi-year salary agreements. Our current proposal amounts to less than 10% of the UF Performance Funding for 2019-2020. UF-BOT has not offered any proposals regarding salary yet.

30 April, 2019

PK Yonge Presentation Summary

On Tuesday, April 30th, the United Faculty of Florida (University of Florida chapter) Bargaining Team met with representatives of the UF Board of Trustees (BOT) at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School (PK) to present proposed CBA changes specific to PK.  In PK’s presentation, Macy Geiger and John Bourn argued for two major changes: proper compensation of time and more equitable salaries.

Teachers at PK commit themselves to research and reflection on their own practice, and share what they learn with other educators across the state, the nation, and the globe.  They investigate and evaluate new ideas in teaching and learning to make learning and academic success attainable for all members of their diverse student community.  PK teachers consistently perform way above the state average, and 71% of the faculty have higher education degrees; 18% have a specialist or a doctorate degree.  Even with this high caliber of teaching, PK Yonge is ranked 67th out of 75 school districts in Florida in terms of teacher pay, while the state of Florida is ranked 45th in the nation in terms of teacher pay. Thus, Bourn and Geiger mainly advocated for an increase in PK teacher salaries to make them more compatible with their neighboring Alachua School District salary schedule.

Here is the link to the presentation to learn more about the specific changes proposed for PK.

23 April, 2019

Lisa Scott, Professor of Psychology and Lab Director, and Hélène Huet, European Studies Librarian, gave a presentation on family leave and childcare, proposing changes to Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

They argued for two major changes to UF’s parental leave policy and family and medical leave policy. The latter policy provides leave not only for an individual’s illness, but for the illness and care of immediate family members. They proposed to give in-unit employees 19.5 weeks of Paid Family and Medical Leave and 19.5 weeks of Paid Parental Leave. They argued that having a child or taking care of a sick or aging family member is neither a sickness nor a vacation, and that employees should not, therefore, be required to use either vacation or sick days for these life events. They also introduced contract changes to ensure faculty members have access to affordable high quality child care on campus.

They concluded by saying that UF should “recognize paid family, medical, and parental leave as well as accessible, affordable childcare for what they are: cornerstones of workers’ rights; basic matters of workplace equity; and simple tokens of gratitude to the people who have generously chosen to nurture a new generation of humans and to take care of another.”

You can find the presentation here and the modified Article 21 here.

16 April 2019

On Tuesday, April 16, the Bargaining Team of the UFF-UF met for the third time with representatives of the UF Board of Trustees (BOT) to continue negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. This session was devoted to a series of proposals concerning the university’s non-tenure track faculty. During the session, Drs. Rosana Resende and Sean Trainor gave a detailed presentation outlining the rationale behind these changes and the benefits they will bring to both NTT faculty and the larger university community.

You can find the presentation here and the proposed articles here.

In addition, the Board of Trustees team proposed changes to Article 18: Faculty Member Performance Evaluations and Evaluation File. These changes are designed to use the performance evaluation process to weaken job security and tenure protections. The BOT wants both to increase the number of performance evaluations of faculty and to allow for any unsatisfactory findings in these evaluations to be the justification for potential job termination, including the termination of tenured faculty.

The proposed changes to 18.6.c would allow the administration to evaluate the performance of a faculty member over a period of up to three years, in addition to conducting the regular annual performance evaluation of the same faculty member. The proposed changes to 18.8 (Sustained Performance Evaluations) would severely diminish tenure. According to this proposal, just one unsatisfactory performance evaluation would be enough to automatically trigger a sustained performance improvement plan developed by the administration. If the improvement plan’s specific performance targets set by the administration are not met within a time period specified by the administration, the administration can take “appropriate actions” against the faculty member. More specifically, the administration can file a grievance to terminate the tenured faculty member.

2 April 2019

The Bargaining Team of the United Faculty of Florida (University of Florida chapter) met for the second time with representatives of the UF Board of Trustees (BOT) on Tuesday, April 2. Both parties had previously agreed to discuss modest, uncontroversial changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement during the April 2 session.

Some of the BOT’s proposed changes did, in fact, represent modest changes to the CBA. In addition of updating university terminology and correcting stray typos, the BOT team proposed welcome language outlining the university’s commitment to hiring faculty from historically marginalized groups [proposed change to Article 12.1 (a)]. They also offered a proposal to prevent the university from stringing along visiting professors on an endless series of one-year appointments [proposed change to Article 12.4 (i) (1)-(3)].

Nevertheless, the bulk of their proposals represented a subtle but dramatic assault on the principle of shared governance as well as the union’s institutional independence.

An Assault on Shared Governance

The most threatening of the BOT’s proposals took aim at departments’ ability to choose their own faculty. Ostensibly intended to lighten the load of UF’s overtaxed search committees, the BOT’s proposal would require that only one-half of a search committee’s members come from the college conducting the search [proposed change to Article 12.2 (c)].

This proposal departs dramatically from the current requirement that three-fourth of a search committee’s members comes from the department conducting the search. If this proposal were to take effect, members of the department conducting the search could be wholly absent from their own department’s search committee; and administrators from outside the department could play an even larger role in job searches than they already do.

While the UFF Bargaining Team recognizes that many of our colleagues are currently overtaxed, we’re unconvinced that the current situation demands fundamental changes to the structure of job searches. After all, most of the current searches are connected to the 500 one-time job openings UF announced last year. The current rush of job searches, in other words, will likely return to a slow trickle in the near future. Faculty members, therefore, would be foolish to abandon a foundational principle of academic governance to solve a problem that will probably disappear before the new CBA takes effect.

In addition to the BOT’s proposed changes to search committee composition, they also introduced tentative contract language that would require departments to vacate their existing departmental bylaws, develop new ones by the end of the upcoming contract period (2022), and revise their bylaws every three years thereafter [proposed change to Article 9.1 (d)].

Here too, the UFF Bargaining Team recognizes that the BOT’s proposal respond to a real problem: many departments’ bylaws are, indeed, out-of-date, ill-suited to faculty members’ needs, or fail to comply with provisions of the CBA. But the UFF Bargaining Team believes that the current proposal is too inflexible and fails to respect departments’ right to self-government. The UFF Bargaining Team therefore rejects the BOT’s proposed changes. Instead, we argue that departments should have the ability to reauthorize their existing bylaws; and that any changes to departmental bylaws should be specifically aimed at bringing these regulations into compliance with the CBA.

An Attack on the Union’s Independence

In addition to their attempts to erode norms of shared governance, the BOT also proposed changes with negative implications for UFF’s institutional independence. Specifically, the BOT team proposed contract changes that would strip the faculty union of its ability to finance its own release time [proposed change to Article 4.4]. Currently, the small number of union release time units that faculty members receive are paid for by the university itself. UF pays for these units because, historically, it has recognized union activity as part of a faculty member’s rightful responsibilities. As such, the university provided release time to enable select members to devote their full attention to shared governance and collective bargaining.

In addition to this university-financed release time, however, the union has also retained the right to finance it own faculty release time. Retaining this union-financed release time is essential to the well-being of the United Faculty of Florida. Should the state or federal government pass legislation or enact regulations prohibiting university-financed release time, the union must have an alternative means of doing so. Retaining this right, therefore, is a matter of both principle and pragmatism: if administrators can get paid for their role in shared governance, representatives or labor must be able to do the same.

Finally, the BOT team proposed changes that would strip UFF of its right to deduct voluntary union dues from members’ paychecks if such an activity were banned by state or federal law [proposed change to Article 5.8]. At first glance, this proposal looks uncontroversial. But, in fact, it’s quite insidious. Under the terms of this proposal, UFF would be directly subject to state and federal law rather than Florida’s Public Employees Relations Commission (PERC). This distinction matters because PERC has historically functioned as a buffer between anti-labor politicians and labor unions themselves – protecting the latter from the punitive or unconstitutional efforts of the former.

Practically speaking, then, the BOT’s proposed language means that, were the state or federal government to enact legislation stripping unions of their right to deduce dues (an approach the state legislature attempted with teachers’ unions in 2011), UFF would immediately lose access to members’ dues – even if PERC or another judicial authority ultimately found the law unconstitutional. Intentionally or unintentionally, the BOT’s proposal thus puts the faculty union in a position where state or federal legislators could instantaneously deprive our institution of its financial lifeblood.

By contrast, the UFF Bargaining Team wants contract language ensuring that UFF’s right to automatically deduct members’ voluntary dues remains intact until the end of the new CBA – regardless of the whims of state or federal law. Such an approach accords with accepted legal principles, which hold that new laws or regulations cannot retroactively invalidate the provisions of a collective bargaining contract.

UFF-UF’S Proposals

The UFF Bargaining Team arrived at the negotiating table with its own set of proposed changes. Most of these changes were – in accordance with the UFF and BOT teams’ informal agreement – largely routine. The UFF Bargaining Team, for instance, proposed several changes that would ensure faculty members or departmental administrators with uncommon titles are covered by contract language that refers to deans or department heads. The UFF team also offered up some modest changes that would make it easier for retired or emeritus faculty to access health or recreational facilities [proposed changes to 25.9 (a) (5)]. And lastly the team proposed contract language that would define the term “just cause” according to the terms of a frequently-cited court decision [proposed change to Article 27.1 (a)].

Far more consequentially, the UFF team told BOT representative that it plans to allow various contract “waivers” to expire at the end of the current CBA. The term “waivers” refers to contract passages in which the union has voluntarily “waived,” or ceded to management, one or more of its legal rights.

Jettisoning these waivers serves two purposes. First, many of these waivers are bad in their own right. But, just as important, waivers are valuable bargaining chips. Several of these waivers, for instances, pertain to activities the UF administration regards as indispensable — including the ability to determine discretionary salary adjustments for administrators. By threatening to pull them, the faculty union gains useful leverage.

Allowing these waivers to expire therefore represents a win-win for the faculty union. If we succeed in eliminating them from the contract, we win a superior CBA. If not, we can at the very least make the administration “buy” these waivers back: trading contract changes favorable to UFF in exchange for retaining one or more of the existing waivers.

Click here to view UFF-UF proposed contract changes.

 26 March 2019

On Tuesday, March 26, the Bargaining Team of United Faculty of Florida (University of Florida chapter) met with representatives of the UF Board of Trustees to open negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The current three-year agreement will expire on December 31, 2019.

The UFF Bargaining Team began the session with a prepared statement. Co-Chief Negotiator William Keegan introduced the Bargaining Team’s plan to fight for a CBA that helps make UF a more just, secure, and productive workplace. More specifically, Dr. Keegan announced the Bargaining Team’s goals. These goals include:

  • Job security and a streamlined promotion process for non-tenure track faculty
  •  Higher pay and better working conditions for P.K. Yonge faculty
  •  Paid family leave
  •  Pay equity and cost-of-living raises, and
  •  Stronger tenure protections for tenure-line faculty.

Dr. Keegan concluded his statement by announcing the Bargaining Team’s intention to modify the following articles of the CBA: 3, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30, 32, 33, and 35, as well as Appendices A, B, E, and F. The BOT team then offered their own list of articles to negotiate, which includes articles: 4, 5, 8, 9, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21.

The BOT team announced, moreover, that it could not discuss salary or pay until the state legislative session concludes in May. And, more distressingly, the team revealed that it would not be prepared to discuss family leave until the fall. Despite signing a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2016 agreeing to “establish a task force to develop a comprehensive leave policy for the campus,” the Board of Trustees team still has no meaningful policy proposal in hand.

The session closed with the UFF and BOT teams tentatively scheduling future bargaining sessions on April 2 (2:00 -3:30pm / 210 Pugh Hall); April 16 (2:30-4pm / 150 Pugh Hall); April 23 (2:30-4pm / 112 Library West); and April 30 (2:30-4pm / P.K. Yonge). Both teams agreed to introduce modest changes to the CBA during the April 2 session.

Click here for the full text of Dr. Keegan’s opening statement.

April Bargaining Dates (posted 3/28/2019)

–          April 2, 2:00 -3:30 pm in Pugh 210.

–          April 16, 2:30-4:00pm in Pugh 150.

–          April 23, 2:30-4:00pm in room 212 (Nygren Studio) of Library West.

–          April 30, 2:30-4:00pm at PKY (room TBD).

Results of Faculty Survey on Bargaining Priorities Released (posted 3/18, 2019)

2019 Bargaining Survey Report

All faculty are encouraged to attend our first bargaining session on Tues., 26 March, from 2:30-4pm in 150 Pugh Hall.

Bargaining Team surveys faculty on bargaining priorities (posted 2/11, 2019)

The team asks bargaining unit faculty to take a 5 minute survey, available here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SV5TYPY

Survey closes February 22.

Tentative Agreement on 2018-19 salary negotiations ratified by bargaining unit (posted 11/28, 2018)

The agreement calls for a one-time lump sum bonus to all members of the bargaining unit. The money available for this bonus is equal to 4% of all in-unit faculty members’ salaries.

This bonus will be awarded as a 1% across-the-board bonus to all eligible faculty, with faculty whose salary is below $50,000 receiving a lump sum payment of $1,000, prorated to their FTE;  and 3% merit payment allocated according to department by-laws. P.K. Yonge faculty will receive a comparable one-time lump sum payment.

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

This agreement was ratified by the bargaining unit and the Board of Trustees. It went into effect Dec. 21, 2018. 

Tentative Agreement on 2018-2019 Salary Negotiations: Goals, Outcomes, and Next Steps (posted 11/5, 2018)

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.

 

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