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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
29 November 2018
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Our contract, the Collective Bargaining Agreement, is supposed to be succeeded by a new contract in the summer of 2019, and bargaining is underway. One of the top items is Article 23 on Salaries. In this issue, we look at salaries under the current contract, and what options we have in bargaining a new contract.

This is the contract between the USF faculty and professionals of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit (represented by the United Faculty of Florida) and the USF Board of Trustees (represented by the USF Administration, led by an private lawyer acting as the Board's Chief Negotiator). This is a contract that is to be agreed to by both sides, so just because the union puts a proposal on the table doesn't mean the Administration has to accept it. But we all would be better off with an equitable contract, so we bargain with that in mind.

    Salaries and the Contract. Raises and bonuses are mandated (or, for one category of raises and bonuses, authorized) by the contract. The current contract provided for "merit" and discretionary raises, as well as promotional raises, but the details make all the difference. For some details, see below or click here.
  • Salaries at USF. So what actually happened under the current contract during the last three years? For details, see below or click here.
With the last three years in mind, we are now to bargain the next raise. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, the UFF USF Biweekly continues to run short accounts by recipients of UFF travel scholarships. The deadline for travel scholarships has passed, and the recipients will be selected at tomorrow's chapter meeting.

  • Fire and Ice, Wind and Water. Geoscience professor Jennifer Collins visited Iceland as part of her research and for developing a study abroad program. For details, see below or click here.
Meanwhile, the USF Consolidation Implementation Committee invited faculty to a town hall meeting on Wednesday, December 5, from 11:30 pm to 12:30 pm, in MSC 4200. Like other major events, this is noted in the Calendar on the UFF USF Webpage.

And Happy Holidays to Everyone. The USF Chapter of the UFF is participating in the West Central Florida Federation of Labor's annual Toy Drive (see announcement below), and everyone is invited to donate new, unwrapped toys for foster children. But however you celebrate any of the five zillion holidays of this season - from the Japanese celebration of the return of Amaterasu to the pre-Christian Latvian celebration of Ziemassvetki (which included singers dressed in costumes going from house to house) - we wish everyone Happy Holidays. See you next year.


Chapter Meeting Tomorrow on USF Tampa

The USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida will meet tomorrow Friday at noon on USF Tampa in EDU 261. There will be sandwiches, snacks, drinks, and sweets. On the agenda: electing the Election Committee, selecting travel scholarship recipients, preparing for next spring (especially bargaining and consolidation), and other issues. Come join the movement.

This is the last meeting this fall. The Chapter will meet next on Friday, January 11, at noon, at CDB Restaurant, at 5104 E. Fowler Ave., in Temple Terrace, just east of USF Tampa.


The Annual Toy Drive conducted by the West Central Florida Federation of Labor will collect new, unwrapped toys for children ages 0 - 18. Toys can be brought to tomorrow's Chapter Meeting (see above) or delivered to the receptionist at the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, on USF Tampa, in CMC342, by Tuesday, December 4. The Children's Home Society of Florida has provided us with a list of gift ideas.

Union members may also bring toys to the West Central Florida Federation of Labor Holiday Social on Tuesday, December 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the IBEW 824 building on 6603 E. Chelsea Str., in Tampa. For more information, see the flyer.

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 Contract on Salaries

Historically, the union and the USF Administration bargain four types of raises:

  • Promotional raises. For most permanent faculty, there are two promotions during one's career at USF, first one for the promotion from Assistant to Associate Professor or for the promotion from Instructor I to Instructor II, and second for the promotion from Associate to Full Professor or for the promotion from Instructor II to Instructor III.
  • Merit Raises Proportional to Annual Evaluations. Within each department, each employee gets a raise whose cash amount is proportional to their annual evaluation.
  • Raises Proportional to Salary. Each faculty member with a sufficiently high annual evaluation receives a fixed percentage raise.
  • Administrative Discretionary Increases. The Administration may hand out money for counter-offers, to award particular accomplishments, as part of particular programs (e.g. promotion to Distinguished University Professor), or just because the Administration likes that employee.
Over the years, the union has gradually built up the promotional raises - most notably, winning promotional raises for instructors - and the Administration has always insisted on its Discretion. In the last round of bargaining, for the 2016 - 2019 contract, the union proposed Raises Proportional to Salary, and warned that Merit Raises Proportional to Annual Evaluations might result in lower percentage raises to highly paid faculty. But the Board's Bargaining Team argued for a merit system that would have been even more unkind to many highly paid faculty (!), so we compromised on the traditional Merit Raises Proportional to Annual Evaluations.

The contract provided for Merit Pay Raises for 2016, 2017, and 2018, averaging 3 %, 2 %, and 2 %, respectively. ("Average" means that some get more, some get less, it averages out to that much overall.) In addition, the USF Administration had the authority to award Administrative Discretionary Increases up to an average of 1 %, 1 %, and 1 %, respectively. In theory, the average salary increase over those three years (compounded annually!) would be between 7.16 % and 10.33 %, depending on how much discretionary money the Administration decided to hand out.

(The 7.16 % and 10.33 % did not include promotional raises, so we would expect the actual averages to be noticeably higher.)

So, with an eye towards the U.S. Department of Labor's calculation that the cost of living went up 6.33 % from October 2015 to October 2018, how did that turn out?

Salaries at USF

We compare two snapshots of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit, the first pay period ending in October 2015 (when there were 1,660 employees in the Unit) and the first pay period ending in October 2018 (when there were 1,689 employees in the Unit). We could start by observing that the mean Annual Base Salary increased from $ 85,724 to $ 94,332, an increase of 10.04 % (compare that with contract's mandate of an average increase of between 7.16 % and 10.33 % plus promotional raises), but such an estimate conceals a lot of statistical noise.

So a slightly less crude estimate would first exclude all employees who were not fulltime or whose status was not active during either snapshot. We also exclude employees who were not in the same position in 2018 as in 2015 (thus excluding almost all promotions). That leaves 857 of the 1,276 survivors, and for these employees:
  • For 216 employees on 12-month contracts, the 2015 salary went from a mean of $ 86,549 and median $ 79,000 to a 2018 salary of $ 96,621 and median $ 88,845, so the mean increased by 11.6 % while the median increased by 12.5 %.
  • For 641employees on 9-month contracts, the 2018 salary went from mean $ 87,130 and median $ 79,663 to a mean $ 94,969 and median $ 87,802, so the mean increased by 9 % and the median increased by 10.2 %.
Often, the lower the median with respect to the mean, the greater the inequality of distribution.

But how did employees do as individuals? Let's look closely at the 216 12-month employees and 641 9-month employees whose circumstances generated less statistical noise. Looking at the individual percentage increases of each of the 12-month people, the mean raise was 12.4 % and median was 9.4 %. Interestingly, 12-month employees who had higher salaries in 2015 tended to get higher percentage raises:

12-month employees are a more heterogeneous group, and we should note that there seems to be a subgroup of 12-month employees whose percentage raises declined as their 2015 salary increased.

This inversion was more noticeable among the 9-month employees, whose mean raise over the three years was 8.9 % and whose median raise was 7.8 %. And for this larger group of employees, the union's warning that the Merit Raises Proportional to Annual Evaluations Alone might ding higher-paid employees seems to have proven prescient:

Don't forget, the Cost Of Living went up 6.33 %, so anyone's salary who did not go up by that amount did not keep up.

Bargaining is a regular topic at Chapter Meetings, and everyone who would like to hear tomorrow's report by YOUR Chief Negotiator, on bargaining the next contract, is invited to join us tomorrow (Friday) noon in EDU261.

Fire and Ice, Wind and Water

Jennifer Collins is a professor in the School of Geosciences at USF. She received a $ 500 UFF travel scholarship to reconnoiter Iceland. Here is her account.

After a successful study abroad course I offered examining the physical geography of the United Kingdom, I considered other possible study abroad opportunities. My own study abroad experience was one of the best years of my life. I believe all students gain from having these international experiences exploring the globe and different cultures. I strongly recommend reconnaissance for planning a more seamless experience. With the UFF travel award, I had this ability to do such reconnaissance in Iceland. My colleague suggested a course called Fire and Ice, but after my reconnaissance, it made me realize that a future course offering could be even more encompassing, possibly called Fire and Ice, Wind and Water. Ice: Iceland's glaciers, the different parts of the glacier and the glacier's impact on Iceland (as well as melting of the glacier on the rest of world). Fire: the volcanoes and the impact that eruptions have had on Iceland as well as around the world. Remember the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull, which resulted in flight cancellations world-wide. Wind and water: for example, Iceland's coastal features such as sea arches. Reconnaissance is important deciding what is feasible and considering locations that would enhance students' learning experience.


Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, November 30, at noon, on USF Tampa in EDU 261.

We will have lunch at the meeting. All UFF members are invited to attend. Non-members are also invited to come and check us out. Come and join the movement.

Our website is http://www.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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