Our History


UFF’s origins lie in efforts by faculty to protect academic freedom, defend civil liberties, and end racial discrimination at UF.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, UF administrators fired or denied tenure to outspoken advocates of racial integration and faculty rights. Believing that only a binding contract, with strong grievance procedures, could protect faculty from such harassment, UFF pioneers launched the union in 1968. After nearly a decade of struggle, UFF achieved a state-wide collective bargaining agreement in 1976 and since then has remained a vigorous and effective agent in behalf of academic freedom and faculty rights.

— Bob Zieger, UF Professor Emeritus, History – July 2012.


Read more about UFF’s history as it becomes available here or visit the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program for more information.

Our story began at UF

Robert H. Zieger Prize announced

The Southern Labor Studies Association (SLSA) announces the Robert H. Zieger Prize for the best essay in Southern Labor Studies. This prize has been established with the cooperation of the Zieger family and members of the SLSA. The SLSA encourages the study and teaching of southern wo ... Continue Reading →

In Florida, An Organizing Drive that Doubled the Union

From LaborNotes | By UF Professor Paul Ortiz | July 11, 2011 Florida is not Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s history is Robert LaFollette, the Progressive Party, and the birth of public employee unionism. Conversely, Florida had the Rosewood Massacre and the Ku Klux Klan. A grand jury recently ... Continue Reading →

History and the People Who Make It: Norman Markel

Transcript Edited by Pierce Butler. This is the eighth in a continuing series of transcript excerpts from the collection of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida. Former United Faculty of Florida leader Dr. Norman Markel was interviewed by UF emeritus hi ... Continue Reading →