The bargaining teams for the USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida (representing the approximately 1,600 employees in the UFF USF Bargaining Unit and led by Robert Welker, of the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy) and the USF Administration (representing the USF Board of Trustees and led by John Dickinson of Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophet, LLP) met on Friday, November 5. Here is the report by the UFF Chief Negotiator, Robert Welker.
The current collective bargaining agreement expired on December 31, 2020. Renegotiations for a successor agreement were to begin no later than August 1, 2020. The first collective bargaining session was held on December 11, 2020, at which the USF Chapter of UFF (UFF) presented collective bargaining proposals. The next collective bargaining session was held on July 9, 2021, where the USF Board of Trustees (BOT) presented collective bargaining proposals. A collective bargaining session was then held on August 20, 2021. The most recent collective bargaining session between the BOT and the UFF was convened on Friday, November 5, 2021, and was most disheartening. The BOT and UFF agreed to a few housekeeping collective bargaining proposals which had been agreed to years ago, but had not been ratified by a vote of the faculty and the BOT. The UFF presented 30 collective bargaining proposals, some represented, some modified and some new, to the BOT most of which were designed to provide the faculty with a reasonably friendly employment environment and monetary and other benefits which they justly deserve. The BOT's response was silence. On the other hand, most of the BOT collective bargaining proposals were, to put it mildly, insulting and demeaning. The most egregious of those dealt with changes in appointment CBA Article 8.4A (which refers to CBA Article 8.3) and CBA Article 23 on Salaries.
Regarding appointments in CBA Article 8.3 and 8.4, the BOT wanted to be able to change, unilaterally, for instance, your 1. title, class code, rank, and appointment status, 2. employment unit, i.e. department, college institute, area, center etc. 3. percent of full-time effort (FTE) assigned 4. salary rate and 5. principal place of appointment all with only thirty (30) days written notice.
Regarding salary the faculty received its last salary increase of 1.5% at the end of November 2019 and with an inflation rate of 1.4% in 2020 and over 5.4% so far in 2021, the USF/BOT's salary offer was:
Proposals presented in bargaining are posted on the Bargaining Page, and the current contract - which remains in force despite its expiration - is also posted. Anyone who would like a more comprehensive report is invited to attend the next Chapter Meeting on Friday, November 19, at 12 noon. The meeting will be online on Zoom; for a Zoom invitation, contact the Chapter Secretary.
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.
Next Chapter Meeting Friday, November 12, 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.
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