We are meeting tomorrow, Friday, at USF Sarasota / Manatee, but first, we are entering the party season...
on November 14
in St. Petersburg
USF will hold a social at Ferg's Sports Bar on Monday, November 14, starting at 6 pm. Ferg's is at 1320 Central Ave, and USF faculty, professionals, friends and relatives are invited. Come check us out.
HOLIDAY & TOY DRIVE PARTY
Every year, the USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida participates in the West Central Florida Federation of Labor's toy drive. This year we are collecting toys at a party, and you are all invited.
Wednesday, November 30, at noon, in the Marshall Students Center, in the Sabal Room (on the third floor, just to the right and around the corner from Top of the Palms).
We will have lunch and sweets and union bigwigs to answer questions like, "Just who is the West Central Florida Federation of Labor anyway? and how does that affect me?" We will also be collecting toys for the toy drive: please bring new, unwrapped toys in their original packaging, for children ages 0 to 17 (don't overlook the teens). UFF members can turn in their travel scholarship applications (see below). Come and check us out.
Chapter Meeting Tomorrow in USF Sarasota Manatee
The UFF USF Chapter will meet tomorrow, Friday, at 12 noon on USF Sarasota / Manatee, in room B 224. Everyone is invited to the Chapter Meeting. There will be sandwiches, snacks, sweets, and drinks.
The schedule for the rest of the semester is:
All UFF USF employees, dues-paying UFF members and non-members, are invited for lunch. Come and join the movement.
- November 18 on USF Tampa in EDU 257.
- Holiday Party on November 30 at Noon in the MSC Sabal Room. For details, see above.
- Thursday, December 1, at noon, at CDB Restaurant.
UFF Continues its Travel Scholarship Program: All UFF Members are Eligible
The USF Chapter of the UFF will award six $ 500 Travel Scholarships for next spring and summer.
All UFF USF members are eligible for one of six $ 500 travel scholarships to be randomly selected on the December 2. 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 1. You may join UFF by December 1 and be eligible to apply. See the travel scholarship flyer.
Small print: Effective this term, a recipient of a travel award will not be eligible for another award for one year.
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; 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.
IN THIS ISSUE
The Florida Education Association (and Other Affiliates)
Today, we look at our affiliates, but first, some important news.
Now, on to our affiliates. The United Faculty of Florida is part of a larger association of unions, and being in a larger association means that we can pool our resources to...
- The Administration informs us that the pay raises mandated by the new contract appear in the November 25 paycheck. We recommend that you see your immediate supervisor to determine your most recent annual evaluation and how it was employed to calculate your salary increase.
The Florida Education Association, of which UFF is a part, met two weeks ago, and this is as good a time as any to not only review that meeting but also to review the association of which UFF is a part.
- Hire lawyers for bargaining and enforcing contracts,
- Educate politicians and the public, and
- Get staff support and other resources for the things that unions do.
Meanwhile, next Tuesday is Election Day! Just five more days, and then we can return to regularly scheduled programming. If (ahem!) you haven't voted yet, please do so: remember, politicians ignore citizens who don't vote. The deadline for requesting mail-in ballots has passed, and mail-in ballots must be received by Election Day. Early voting ends Saturday in Hernando, Manatee, Pasco, and Sarasota counties (check links for times and locations) and ends Sunday in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties. And one can always vote on Election Day itself. Check out the October 20 Biweekly on Who We Are Voting For and the Biweekly Extra on the General Election for more information.
- A Little Help From Our Friends. UFF is one "local" in the Florida Education Association (FEA), which is itself a state affiliate of two national unions - one of which is part of an even larger organization. For details, see below or click here.
- The FEA's Delegate Assembly. The Delegate Assembly is the primary policy-making body of the FEA, and it met two weeks ago to discuss the election, elect union officials, and address several pressing issues - in particular, institutional racism. For details, see below or click here.
A Little Help From Our Friends
The United Faculty of Florida is part of a much larger organization, and sometimes it is helpful to be part of a much larger organization. Some UFF grievances have costed upwards of a hundred thousand dollars, and it helps to have a state organization that has handled lawsuits with legal bills approaching a million dollars. (And during bargaining, it helps to have access to a large database and legal advice.)
And those of us with long memories remember when Governor Jeb Bush attempted to get rid of the UFF altogether; UFF got $ 1.5 million and staff support from our affiliates to fight back. So who are these affiliates with the lawyers, staff support, and the like?
The USF Chapter is one of twenty-eight chapters of the United Faculty of Florida, which is a statewide union "local" of the Florida Education Association, which represents K-20 teachers and other professionals across the state of Florida. The FEA has over 140,000 members and is the largest state affiliate of any union in the southeastern USA. Most of its locals are county-wide organizations representing teachers and professionals in districts within that county.
The FEA was formed when the Florida state affiliates of the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) merged - largely in response to Governor Bush's attempts to break unions in Florida. With over three million members, the NEA is the largest labor union in the country. The NEA provides services (including educational grants), educates politicians, pundits and the public, and helps state affiliates that need help.
Meanwhile, the AFT has a very similar role, but unlike the NEA (which is independent), the AFT is a member of the American Federation of Labor / Congress of Industrial Organizations. The AFL-CIO is not itself a union; it is an association of unions. It provides mechanisms for unions to work together, even on the local level. In the Tampa Bay area and environs, the West Central Florida Federation of Labor is the local AFL-CIO organization, and it is a place where electrical workers, teachers, postal workers, nurses, journalists, construction workers, and other union activists can exchange ideas and plan joint activities. Like the annual toy drive (see the announcement at upper left).
People of common interests have organized groups from the American Chamber of Commerce to the American Medical Association to the National Rifle Association. We are all individuals, but as Ben Franklin observed, we hang together or we ... hang ... separately.
The FEA's Delegate Assembly
The primary policy-making body of the Florida Education Association is the Delegate Assembly, which met in Orlando on October 20 - 22. Every year there is a theme, and this year it was Every Student, Every School, Every Day. Former President Bill Clinton dropped by ...
FEA Vice President Fred Ingram, President Joanne McCall, former US President Bill Clinton, and FEA Secretary Treasurer Luke Flynt
... and told us that when he was a student, he wouldn't have made it through school if it wasn't for music (readers may recall his saxophone).
Some theories about the origins of music and language have them linked through poetry, and the most compelling speakers at the Delegate Assembly were the Florida / Viking Freedom Writers from Miami Norland Senior High School. They write poetry and perform it (check them out on You-Tube). (This is not the movie starring Hilary Swank; the Viking Freedom Writers program is run by Precious Symonette, Miami Dade Teacher of the Year). Many of the students have hard times, and much of their poetry was about poverty and loneliness. They were minority students, and some of their poems were about facing prejudice.
The Viking Freedom Writers
There were sixteen new business items, and one of them was to provide resources for addressing institutional racism. Institutional racism was defined as, "The norms, policies and practices that are structured into political, societal and economic institutions that have the net effect of imposing oppressive conditions and denying rights, opportunity, and equality to identifiable groups based upon race or ethnicity." David Johns, the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans led a panel discussion - which included two freedom writers - which largely concluded that educators should listen to student concerns.
The FEA also passed a motion, made by statewide UFF President Jennifer Proffitt, that "FEA will work closely with UFF to oppose uniform (one-size-fits-all) and punitive performance-metric-based funding for higher education."
FSU delegate Michael Buchler seconds the motion by UFF (statewide) President Jennifer Proffitt
One final nag. November 8 is Election Day: don't forget to vote!