This is going to be a busy year, with a presidential search and a consolidation task force and bargaining a new contract. Faculty and professionals need to get involved in the process.
The USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida will meet tomorrow Friday at noon on USF St. Petersburg in the University Student Center Coral Room, USC 260. There will be sandwiches, snacks, drinks, and sweets. On the agenda: bargaining, consolidating USF, recruiting new members, political action (this is an election year), and USF St. Petersburg issues. Come join the movement.
This fall, we will meet on September 21, October 5 & 19, November 2 & 16 & 30. The September 21 meeting is in USF St. Petersburg and the November 2 meeting is on USF Sarasota / Manatee, location TBD. The other meetings will be on USF Tampa in EDU 261. Come and check us out.
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).
The USF Chapter of the UFF will award six $ 500 Travel Scholarships for next spring and summer. This will be for travel for participation in a professional activity. All applications are due by November 27, and only UFF members are eligible. In addition, no recipient of the Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 cycles of travel grants is eligible to apply. The five recipients shall be selected by lot at the November 30 chapter meeting. For more information, 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 (click here).
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.
Last week, USF posted a letter from USF President Judy Genshaft announcing that she was stepping down, effective 1 July 2019.
Genshaft arrived the year that this fall's incoming students were born, and her tenure to date spans almost 30 % of USF's history. Nearly 80 % of the faculty and professionals in the UFF USF Bargaining Unit have known no other USF president. And USF has changed dramatically in those two decades: Deanna Michael, introducing Genshaft's fall address, said that during Genshaft's tenure here, USF rose from a regional institution to an international one. The media quickly broadcasted accolades, reviewed her tenure here, and noted USF's transformation.
In her fall address, Genshaft similarly emphasized the transformation: "Over the past few years, more than ever before, there has been a common refrain among all the people I talk to about USF: they cannot believe how far we've come." But that progress "...isn't something that can be accomplished in a single year, or just by a few individuals. It takes a team, from staff at every level to faculty to administration...," and addressing her audience she said, "We are on this trajectory because of all of you, and all you have done, so I thank you."
What was not said - but perhaps should be said during election season - is that USF's transformation occurred during an era of growing headwinds from Tallahassee. Once upon a time, Florida's boosters saw USF and UCF as anchors of an I-4 High Tech Corridor, but optimistic ambition has given way to a willingness to accept being a retrograde state (similar if milder malaise hit other states after the 2008 crash).
On another note, the UFF leadership appreciates the professionalism of Genshaft's team. Twice a year, the UFF leadership attends the UFF (statewide) Senate and hear reports of...less-than-professional behavior elsewhere. UFF and the Administration don't agree on many things, but we get along.
Of course, the pundits couldn't resist speculating who would be in Genshaft's chair next August 1. Former USF President Betty Castor said that Genshaft's successor will have to balance competing interests while former USF Chair of the Board Dick Beard grumped about Florida Sunshine Laws complicating the search.
On Friday, the USF Administration announced a Presidential Search Committee. The Committee will consist of one member of the Florida State University System Board of Governors, four USF trustees (one on the USF St. Petersburg board), one USF Sarasota / Manatee trustee, two former trustees, three USF faculty members, the chair of the USF Foundation, the chair-elect of the USF Alumni Association, a community activist, and one student.
By now, everyone in the UFF USF Bargaining Unit should have received an email from the Office of Human Resources entitled 2018-2019 UFF Salary Increase Notification. That notification will list your previous base salary, the three components of your raise effective this fall, and your new base salary. The three components are:
If you have any questions about your raise, we recommend that you ask your departmental office manager or your chair.
The current contract is supposed to be replaced by a new contract next summer, complete with new raises stipulated for next fall. The UFF Bargaining Team will be making reports at UFF USF Chapter Meetings all year, and everyone is invited to listen and make suggestions. Now is the time to starting thinking about what the next contract should look like.
Incidentally, in bargaining, UFF represents all USF faculty and employees in the Bargaining Unit, whether or not they are dues-paying UFF members. USF faculty and employees are not members automatically: you have to join. To join, download, fill in, and mail or email the membership form.
LaSonya Moore is an assistant professor of Special Education at the College of Education in USF St. Petersburg. She received a $ 500 UFF travel scholarship to attend and make a presentation at the November 2017 Conference of the Council for Exceptional Children. Here is her account.
Thanks to the United Faculty of Florida, I was able to attend and present my research at the 2017 conference of the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). My presentation on Variables that affect Urban Teacher Retention in Texas described the results of research conducted on extant state-level data to identify factors that impact teacher retention in urban Texas districts. The regression analysis identified four factors: special education participation rate, teacher tenure average, new teachers, and at-risk students, which significantly contributed to urban teacher retention in Texas. Each year, American schools lose approximately 240,000 teachers to attrition. Researchers suggest that 95 % of the demand for more teachers comes from attrition. In Texas, where the student population grows by 60,000 - 65,000 students per year, teacher attrition rates are twice the national average (16.6 % v. 8 %). While factors driving attrition appear to be multiple and interrelated, such as issues related to professional skills and training, relationships and school cultures, personal factors and employment conditions, which once combined, influence teacher retention and attrition rates. To begin to rectify this situation, ongoing research on the factors that predict attrition and retention must be explored. Thanks to the generous support of the United Faculty of Florida, researchers such as myself can continue to research, present and publish notable implications related to the findings.
Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, September 21, at noon, on USF St. Petersburg, in USC 260.
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