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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
1 November 2012
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ANNOUNCEMENTS

CHAPTER MEETING TOMORROW AT USF SARASOTA / MANATEE

Tomorrow, Friday, the UFF USF Chapter will meet in B229 on USF Sarasota / Manatee. Here are Google's instructions for driving from USF Tampa to USFSM, USFSM's instructions for reaching the campus, and the USFSM campus map. For the rest of this semester, we will meet on alternate Fridays, at 12 noon, with sandwiches, soda, and chips, on November 2 at B229 on USF Sarasota / Manatee, on November 16 at CPR 345 on USF Tampa, and on November 30, we will meet in SOC 145 on USF Tampa. All USF faculty and professionals are invited to come and check us out. The meeting schedule is generally posted on the right hand side of the UFF USF website.

NOVEMBER 6 IS ELECTION DAY!

If you are eligible to vote, and you haven't voted yet, THEN VOTE! Voting is not a privilege or a luxury; it is a right and an obligation. Voting on Election Day will be from 7 am to 7 pm at the location on your Voting Registration card. If you cannot locate your card (or if it is old; voting locations do change from election to election), you can check your voting location by visiting your County Election Supervisor. Here are Tampa Bay Area county supervisors of elections:

You must bring a valid photo / signature ID such as a driver's license or Florida ID card, military or student ID. Check your Supervisor of Elections website for lists of IDs accepted in your county. For more, see our Election 2012 web-page and our Get out the Vote flyer. And it can be useful to check wiki-like authorities like Ballotpedia and Project Vote Smart.

THANKS TO ALL WHO FILLED IN THE SURVEY

The UFF USF Bargaining Team which will be bargaining the successor to the current 2010 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (i.e. the contract between USF faculty and professionals and the USF Board of Trustees) conducted a survey of UFF USF employees during the past few weeks. Those were the Biweekly Special Reminders that all UFF USF employees have received recently. The Bargaining Team thanks all who responded. Since bargaining is a bit like poker, the Bargaining Team will not make the results public, but will use the results when determining priorities.

JOIN UFF TODAY!

Download, fill in, and mail the membership form. Benefits of membership include the right to run and vote in UFF chapter and statewide elections; representation in grievances (UFF cannot represent a non-member in a grievance or litigation); special deals in insurance, travel, legal advice, and other packages provided by our affiliates; free insurance coverage for job-related liability; and the knowledge you are supporting education in Florida. AND YOU CAN JOIN NOW AND AFTER A TERM AS A DUES PAYING MEMBER, YOU WILL RECEIVE A $ 100 REBATE. Come and join the movement.

IN THIS ISSUE

ELECTIONS, ELECTIONS, ELECTIONS

The Florida Education Association represents teachers at all levels, from kindergarten to college, and education professionals across the state. The strongest voice for education in Florida, the FEA represents over a quarter of a million public and private employees in collective bargaining and contract enforcement. The United Faculty of Florida is one of the FEA's "union locals", representing higher education. This fall, the FEA's attention has turned to elections both national and internal.

  • Tuesday is Election Day. This election will be critical for Florida's future, and that doesn't mean just the mediagenic races that means the entire six-page ballot. For more, see below.
  • The FEA's Annual Meeting. The FEA's Delegate Assembly met two weeks ago, heard reports, conducted business ... and (as befits a democracy) elected leaders. For more, see below.

TUESDAY IS ELECTION DAY!!

Tuesday, November 6, is Election Day, and we strongly urge all eligible citizens to vote. Since the ballot is six pages long, you should probably go over your sample ballot in advance and bring your ballot with you to the voting booth. For last minute information on races and issues, see the West Central Florida Federation of Labor list of endorsements posted at the UFF Votes site as well as endorsements posted, or to be posted, by the Lakeland Ledger's Recommendations, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune's Voter Guide, Tampa Bay Times' Ballot Guide, the Tampa Tribune's Ballot Choices, the League of Women Voters Recommendation to vote against all referenda, and the outline of the ballot in the previous Biweekly.

Voting is from 7 am to 7 pm, although anyone in line as of 7 pm has the right to vote that day if they stay in line. Before going to vote, you should be sure of your polling place: if you go to the wrong location, you will be sent to your own polling place to vote. And bring photo ID: voters without photo ID will be required to cast "provisional ballots".

As the ballot is six pages long, you should probably go over your sample ballot in advance and bring your sample ballot with you to the voting booth. Since other voters may not prepare in advance, there may be lines and long waiting: this is the time to remember that during the Revolutionary War, Benjamin Franklin was often kept waiting by French diplomats, so he brought something to do (work, usually) while waiting.

Despite the media's hyperventilation about undecided voters, many races and issues in this election will be decided by turnout even the presidential race, according to Tampa Bay Times columnist Adam Smith. And remember: some of the most important races and issues are towards the bottom of the ballot, especially the legislative races and the judicial retention elections. As the Tampa Bay Times observed, not voting can have counter-intuitive results, so we strongly urge voters to take the entire ballot very seriously.

THE DELEGATE ASSEMBLY

The United Faculty of Florida is but one union "local" of the Florida Education Association, whose primary policy-making body, the FEA Delegate Assembly, meets each October in Orlando. The Assembly consists of delegates elected by union members in the locals; last spring, UFF members elected the delegates representing UFF. (Most locals are county organizations representing teachers in county districts.)

The FEA is a federal-style representative democracy, and one of the major items was electing the leadership. President Andy Ford ran unopposed, and so was re-elected. Incumbent Vice President JoAnne McCall was challenged by Volusia Teachers Organization President Andrew Sparr; Ms. McCall and Mr. Spar both stressed movement and institutional strength, e.g. membership growth and the union's role in educating politicians and the public. In the end, Ms. McCall was re-elected.

Andy FordJoAnne McCall

In addition to other elections and business, there was a report on outstanding litigation. During the last two years, the legislature has passed a number of dubious bills, and the FEA has taken several of them to court. (Litigation is expensive: another example of where union dues money goes.) For example, Senate Bill 2100 of the 2011 session imposed a 3 % income tax on Florida public employees on the rationale that the money was for our pensions -- but of course it also made the budget easier to balance. The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments on September 7 and can issue their opinion at any time; the Florida Supreme Court is the last court of appeal on this issue.

Litigation is expensive, and some bad bills are not unconstitutional, so it probably would be best to elect legislators who don't approve bad laws. One more reason to take the small races seriously this Election Day.

LOGISTICS

The next Chapter Meeting is tomorrow, Friday, November 2, at 12 noon, at USF Sarasota / Manatee in B229.

Sandwiches, chips, and soda will be provided by the Chapter, and all UFF members are invited to attend. Non-members are also invited to come and check us out. Come and join the movement.

Membership: All employees in the UFF USF System Bargaining unit is eligible for UFF membership: to join, simply fill out and send in the membership form.

NOTE: The USF-UFF Chapter website is http://www.uff.ourusf.org, and our e-mail address is uff@ourusf.org.

About this broadcast: This Newsletter was broadcast from uff.ourusf.org, hosted at ICDsoft.com, and is intended for all members of the UFF USF Bargaining unit (USF faculty and professionals at most departments). A (usually identical) version will be broadcast to USF-News and USF-Talk from mccolm@usf.edu.

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