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UFF Biweekly EXTRA
United Faculty of Florida -- USF Chapter
29 October 2020
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Letter to All USF Faculty

From Arthur Shapiro, President, USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida


We have a special announcement to make. Tomorrow Friday, October 30, at 5 PM, UFF will host a Town Hall dealing with early retirement. A recent questionnaire resulted in a considerable number of us indicating an interest in such an opportunity. Fortunately, both Steve Permuth and Karin Braunsberger have volunteered to be our discussants. This presentation will focus on Section 8.4A of the UFF USF Collective Bargaining Agreement (see page 10), particularly sections (i) and (j), as well as the recent questionnaire. Please contact the Chapter Secretary to get into the session using Zoom.

Recognizing that we face challenging, no -- daunting times, UFF sponsored a Town Hall on Friday, Oct. 23 at 5 PM on Zoom, which focused on making sure that all faculty understood their situation at this time. I introduced the Executive Committee and Committee Chairs. Karin Braunsberger and Susan Ariew acted as hosts. Ninety-four faculty participated.

Long-time St. Petersburg UFF USF Vice-President Steve Lang reported briefly on the public school superintendents' reactions to the administration's proposal to eliminate the College of Education's undergraduate teacher education program. His report was that the superintendents were extremely upset that they weren't consulted ahead of time and, secondly, that their chief source of quality teachers was being eliminated. They maintained that this would lead shortly to severe teaching shortages.

The major focus of the Town Hall was on the legal protections afforded by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the UFF and USF administration. This major portion was led by equally long-time UFF USF Chief Negotiator Bob Welker, who has been negotiating for close to a quarter of a century. Welker made a number of major points among which were:

  • Tenured faculty cannot be non-reappointed
  • Non-tenured faculty with two years experience must be given a semester employment if non-reappointed
  • Non-tenured faculty with five or fewer years of experience must be given a year employment if non-reappointed
  • The administration to this point has not chosen the unit(s) to be declared as layoff units
  • The administration cannot decide to enact a salary reduction
  • Furloughs cannot be implemented unless the faculty member is approached individually and agrees in writing
Other points were made, but we are merely summarizing major issues. The initial presentation was recorded and posted on Facebook.

This townhall, and the townhall tomorrow evening, were inspired by the proposals for budget cuts presented by the USF Administration; these proposals were described in the previous Biweekly and in the news media. At yesterday's Faculty Senate meeting, USF President Currall and USF Provost Wilcox repeatedly emphasized that the proposal was a proposal intended to initiate discussion and that the final recommendations to make to the USF Board of Trustees will be composed in December, after engaging with faculty and stakeholders. President Currall will be in a townhall meeting livestreamed tomorrow Friday from 2:30 pm to 4 pm, and we encourage everyone to attend.

We are equally interested in meeting other needs. For example, Steve Lang recently offered a workshop on tenure and promotion, and will offer another in spring. If you have another workshop or Town Hall topic please inform the Chapter Secretary.

Join UFF Today!

Download, fill in, and mail or email 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.

Plan to Vote!

Early voting is now underway, and Election Day is November 3. All mail ballots must be received by Election Day. For more information, visit the Florida Division of Elections or your local county election supervisor: here are the links to the supervisors of Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota counties.

USF United Support Fund for Food Pantries

Many of our students are struggling during this crisis, and the USF Foundation is supporting the USF Food Pantries to help out. They are accepting non-perishable donations, but one can also make monetary donations for the pantries at St. Petersburg, Sarasota / Manatee, and Tampa.


Chapter Meeting Friday, November 6, at 12 noon, via Zoom: for an invitation, contact the Chapter Secretary.

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 UFF USF members.

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