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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
22 October 2015
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Chapter Meeting Tomorrow Noon on USF Tampa

Tomorrow Friday the Chapter will meet at 12 noon on USF Tampa in EDU 415. For the rest of this semester, we will be meeting in EDU 415, except we will meet on USF St. Petersburg on November 6, at the Student Center in the Ocean Room. We will have sandwiches, pop, and snacks: benefits of coming to our meetings include brownies and chocolate chip cookies.

Check us out. Join the movement. Bring a colleague.

UFF Continues its Travel Scholarship Program: All UFF Members are Eligible

The USF Chapter of the UFF will award four $ 500 Travel Scholarships for next spring and summer.

All UFF USF members are eligible for one of four $ 500 travel scholarships to be randomly selected at the December 4 UFF USF Chapter Meeting. Any member may submit a proposal - a proposal being a paragraph describing the professional activity for which the travel scholarship will be applied - to us by campus mail (UFF Membership Committee, 30238 USF Holly Drive) or by email; all proposals must be received by December 3. You may join UFF by December 3 and be eligible to apply. See the travel scholarship flyer.

This initiative is part of our membership campaign. If you would like to become active in the UFF USF Membership Drive, contact the Membership Chair, Adrienne Berarducci.

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. Come and join the movement.


If you have been the victim of a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, you have thirty days from the time you knew or should have known of the violation to file a grievance. If you are, and at the time of the violation were, a dues-paying member of the United Faculty of Florida, you have the right to union representation. To contact the UFF USF Grievance Committee, go to the online contact form. For more information, see our web-page on grievances.

Visit Us on Facebook

Visit the United Faculty of Florida at USF Facebook page. This page is a place where UFF members can exchange thoughts and ideas. The page is "public", but only dues-paying UFF members are eligible to post items on the page. If you are a UFF member, ask to join on the page, or contact the Communications Committee. The Committee will invite every UFF member that asks to join. So check us out. UFF members are welcome to join, and non-members are welcome to look.


Benefits and Bargaining

The primary benefits of union membership are union representation if you ever have a grievance, and the knowledge that you are supporting yourself and your colleagues in bargaining and enforcing the contract.

But there are additional benefits. The huge membership of our state and national affiliates has enabled them to negotiate special deals for members for a wide range of goods and services. We take a brief look at opportunities for people who clip coupons.

  • Union Benefits. At the annual FEA Delegate Assembly, the affiliates and businesses announced special deals for union members. For details, see below or click here.
  • Message from the UFF USF Bargaining Committee. Bargaining is underway. For a message from the UFF USF Bargaining Committee, see below or click here.
Correction. In the previous Biweekly, we reported that the State College of Florida currently has a system of multi-year contracts for faculty. That is incorrect: SCF currently has a system of "continuing contracts" which, after a probationary period, provide a level of job security for faculty resembling tenure. The 8 October Biweekly article has been corrected, and the Biweekly regrets the error.

Follow-up on Guns. In the 15 October 2015 Biweekly Extra, we reported that a Florida Senate bill ... Deleting a provision prohibiting concealed carry licensees from openly carrying a handgun or carrying a concealed weapon or firearm into a college or university facility ... was being heard by the Higher Education Committee. On Tuesday, October 20, that committee voted to support the bill, which is now going to the Judiciary Committee. More on this in the next Biweekly.


The United Faculty of Florida is one "union local" of the statewide Florida Education Association, which represents K-20 teachers across the state. With over 140,000 members, the FEA is the largest union in the southeast US. Its legislative body is the FEA Delegate Assembly, and every year, the Assembly meets to hear reports, decide policy, and occasionally elect FEA officials.

Last weekend, the Assembly met in Kissimmee, and this is the first of two reports on that meeting. In this issue, we look at the displays outside of the assembly hall, where affiliate representatives and various vendors offered special deals for union members. With its large membership, the FEA is able to negotiate bargains for union members; in addition, with their multi-million-memberships, the FEA's national affiliates, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, are able to get additional bargains.

The primary benefits of union membership are based on the mission of the union:

  • If your contractual rights have been violated, you have thirty days from the time you knew or should have known of the violation to file a grievance. If you are a UFF member, you have the right to union representation.
  • While all UFF USF employees vote on whether to ratify contracts, only UFF members may run for office or representative seats in the UFF USF Chapter, and only UFF members may vote in those elections.
In addition, the Florida Education Association has a $ 1 million insurance policy to protect UFF members from on-the-job liability.

But the affiliates have arranged for special deals for their members. For example...

  • The Florida Education Association offers scholarships and grants and classroom resources.
  • The National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers offer financial services (credit cards, credit counseling, mortgage assistance, loans, retirement, etc.), insurance (auto, home, health, life, long term care, etc.), and legal services (including 30 minutes free consultation each year).
  • Our affiliates also offer deals on health (health clubs, life line screening, dental and eye care), many travel benefits (from packages to special deals with car rentals), and various discounts from wireless to flowers to books. At the moment there are over 22,000 discounts offered at the AFT member site.
Our membership chair has a van, a SUV and a sedan, and using by deals offered to union members, she saves more money on auto insurance than she pays in union dues.

There are two important points here. One is for coupon-clippers: union dues may be 1 % of salary, but many union members can save money - sometimes more than 1 % of salary - by taking advantage of deals arranged by our affiliates. The other point is more important: businesses agreed to these deals because our affiliates had millions of members, and businesses are interested increasing the volume of their sales. In other words, our affiliates' membership translated into clout.

Clout is the word. Clout is useful in getting a good bargain for veterinary care (one of the benefits), but it is also useful in bargaining and enforcing the contract. Together, we can do what none of us could do separately. If you would like to get some clout, join today!


The terms and conditions of employment are governed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was ratified last year and runs until 2017. However, each year some articles (particularly Article 23 on salaries) are "reopened" for bargaining. Bargaining for the 2015 "reopener" is underway, between the United Faculty of Florida (representing all 1,600+ employees of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit) and the USF Administration (representing the USF Board of Trustees). On October 2 and 16, the two teams met. UFF placed the following items on the table.

  • Salary: 4 % across-the-board salary increase for employees who received a satisfactory annual evaluation. Compression / inversion salary increase for employees employed since 7 August 2000 with a 6-year average satisfactory evaluation and a certain percentage below their Oklahoma State University average salary (deficit) with the salary increase indexed to the amount of the deficit. Continued USF authority to grant ADI (discretionary) salary increases.
  • Instructional Assignment: Limit on the number of different and / or new course preparations per semester and / or calendar year. FTE assigned per instruction of a course based on the number of students enrolled in a class and possibly other considerations. Cannot require anyone to teach an online course.
  • Promotion increases: Increases the percentage for instructors.
  • Appointment: Continuing Multi Three Year Appointments for Instructor II and III and Associate University Librarian and University Librarian. Clarification of appointment language and changes thereto.
The USF Administration did not respond to any of the UFF's proposals. Per the contract, each side is permitted to open two articles (besides Salary, automatically reopened) with restrictions, and the Administration proposed opening Article 16 on Disciplinary Action and Job Abandonment.
  • Article 16: The article currently says that an absence of twelve (12) consecutive days during a semester or 15 % of a term in summer without authorized leave constitutes job abandonment and voluntary resignation. The Administration proposes reducing the current twelve (12) days per semester to three (3) days per semester, and reducing the current 15 % of a term in summer to 5 % of a term.
The USF Administration also floated three additional articles for what it said at this time were for discussion purposes only and not for reopening at this time:
  1. Tenure decisions: Individual colleges may establish probationary periods not to exceed eight (8) years.
  2. Article 24 on Benefits: Section 24.6, the Phased Retirement Program is to be eliminated.
  3. Article 17 on Leaves: Changes wording in Section 17.6 (Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Entitlements) Subsection B (Implementation of FMLA Leave Entitlements) Subsubsection (2) on parental leave for the birth of a child.
Comments on the UFF's bargaining may be addressed to the UFF USF Chief Negotiator, Bob Welker.


Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, October 23, at on USF Tampa, in EDU 415.

There will be sandwiches, chips, and drinks. All UFF members are invited to attend. Non-members are also invited to come and check us out. Come and join the movement.

Membership: Everyone 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.

If you do not want to receive the UFF Biweekly, you can unsubscribe below. If you do not receive the Biweekly, but want to, e-mail a message to gmccolm@tampabay.rr.com.