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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
22 September 2016
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You're Invited to a Social! Monday, September 26, starting 6:00 pm, in St. Petersburg

UFF invites all USF faculty and professionals to a Fall Social next Monday, September 26, starting 6 pm, in St. Petersburg. We will be at Ferg's Sports Bar at 1320 Central Avenue. Come and check us out.

Chapter Meeting Tomorrow in USF Tampa

The UFF USF Chapter will meet tomorrow, Friday, at 12 noon on USF Tampa, in EDU 257. Everyone is invited to the Chapter Meeting. There will be sandwiches, snacks, sweets, and drinks.

We will continue to meet on alternate Fridays at noon. The schedule for the rest of the semester is:

  • September 23, October 21, and November 18 on USF Tampa in EDU 257.
  • October 7 on USF Tampa in NES 103.
  • November 4 on USF Sarasota / Manatee in B224.
And December 2, details TBA. All UFF USF employees, dues-paying UFF members and non-members, are invited for pizza, salad, and drinks. Come and join the movement.

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; see also the main article (left).

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.


The UFF Senate Meeting

The UFF Senate is the primary policy-making body of the United Faculty of Florida. Twice a year, UFF senators from across the state meet to hear reports, set policy, review the budget, make motions, and plan for the future. This last weekend, the UFF Senate met in Tampa.

  • Highlights from the UFF Meeting. Among other things, the agenda included grievances (and litigation), union organizing, and plans for the legislative session next spring. For more, see below or click here.
  • Election Season. While the mainstream media obsesses over the presidential election, other races and referenda are important for faculty and students and the university as a whole. So we are encouraging all eligible citizens to register and vote. For details, see below or click here.
Speaking of voting, by now all employees in the UFF USF Bargaining Unit should have received a ratification ballot packet (from the UFF Bargaining Team) in a white 9 × 12 envelope.
  • If you have not received one, please contact the Chapter Secretary to get one.
  • All ballots must be in our hands by September 29, so mail yours in today.
Ballots will be counted on Friday, September 30, at noon, in EDU 257. All employees in the UFF USF Bargaining Unit are invited to watch democracy in action.

Highlights from the UFF Meeting

132 senators met last weekend in Tampa. Here are some highlights.

  • Grievances and Litigation. One of the union's major duties is defending UFF members who get in trouble, and that means lawyers. Peter Caldwell, a lawyer for the Florida Education Association, described some of the kinds of cases he gets, such as direct dealing (the Administration trying to bargain directly with employees, circumventing the contract), retaliation (the Administration retaliates against an employee for union activities - which is a violation of state and federal law), discrimination (!), etc. And the Contract Enforcement Committee (CEC), which oversees grievances throughout the state, reported that they had just won two employee dismissal cases. The CEC reported that there were a lot of grievances lately, and most of those that reached the CEC were from the universities. Apparently the colleges are behaving themselves.
  • Union Organizing. UFF Executive Director Marshall Ogletree described some ongoing union organizing. Faculty at Tallahassee Community College recently voted for UFF representation, and faculty at State College of Florida did so on Monday. Faculty and professionals at two more institutions should be voting soon, and UFF is receiving queries from faculty at other institutions. And employees at two local newspapers, the Lakeland Ledger and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, have just voted for union representation. "This is America," said Ogletree: "Take advantage of your rights."
  • The Next Legislative Session. We expect a lot of legislation on higher education next spring, and UFF is preparing to educate legislators on the needs and value of higher education. The UFF Senate unanimously recommended that the Florida Education Association oppose uniform ("one-size-fits-all") performance metric based funding for higher education. The Senate was particularly disturbed by the punitive aspect of Florida's system, which cuts allocations to institutions with low numbers, thus denying them resources that would be useful in addressing whatever deficiencies that they may have.
We had two guests, Florida Education Association President Joann McCall and National Education Association Secretary-Treasurer Princess Moss, both of whom spoke to us about the upcoming election (see below). Moss told us that the NEA now represents over 227,000 higher education faculty (out of 3.2 million members altogether): our colleagues are increasingly recognizing that organizing a union is a way to get a voice in how things are done.

Election Season

The UFF is a single "local" of the Florida Education Association, whose president visited the UFF Senate last weekend. President Joann McCall reminded us that the Fair Districts Initiative (which restricted gerrymandering in Florida) was one of the FEA's major victories: the Legislature must now draw state house, state senate, and congressional district lines without favoring either party. But now that the districts are more competitive, and more voters have real choices, it is up to those voters to COME OUT AND VOTE.

The National Association of Secretaries of State have designated September as National Voter Registration Month, and September 27 as National Voter Registration Day. The NASS grumps that according to the Census Bureau, 62 million eligible citizens are not even registered to vote, and advertises a link to Can I Vote to encourage people to register.

The deadline for registering to vote in the November 8 General Election is October 11. Vote-by-mail ballots must be sent out between October 4 and October 11, so people who want to vote by mail should register early. Early voting dates and locations may vary by county, so one should also check your friendly neighborhood county supervisor of elections (although the Florida Secretary of State states that they are October 29 - November 5):

County supervisors of elections should post locations for early voting and for voting on Election Day. Also, once the contents of the ballots are finalized, sample ballots should be available online (you can also request one be sent to your home address).

Sample ballots are important because voters can find out in advance who and what are on the ballot, and check them out. Many times, voters have not researched Jack Smith or Jane Jones in advance and so either don't vote or vote for the one with the nicest name. Sample ballots enable preparation.

The ancient principle is silence betokens consent. When you don't vote, you effectively consent to whatever decision is made by those who do vote. The ballot is a way to be heard.


Chapter Meeting Friday, September 23, on USF Tampa, in EDU 257.

There will be sandwiches, snacks, sweets, 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.

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