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UFF Biweekly EXTRA
United Faculty of Florida -- USF Chapter
20 November 2022
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Federal Court blocks Anti-WOKE Act

On Thursday, a federal court enjoined part of the Individual Freedom Act, aka the Anti WOKE Act, aka the STOP WOKE Act. (This is now Florida Statute 1000.05(4), restricting what and how teachers teach about racial or sexual discrimination.) Chief United States District Judge Mark E. Walker of the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division, ordered that the Board of Governors "take no steps to enforce" Statute 1000.05(4) and items (2), (3), and (4d) of the Board's corresponding regulation.

This action was the result of a joint motion by plaintiffs in two lawsuits. On behalf of USF Professor Adriana Novoa and USF student Sam Rechek, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE); and on behalf of FAMU Professor LeRoy Pernell and seven other plaintiffs, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed motions for an injunction against implementing the Individual Freedom Act.

The ruling won not only national but international attention. But the fight isn't over, for the Guardian reported that that ruling will be appealed - and sources told The Washington Post that the case(s) are likely to continue for years.

But if quality education - and in particular, quality higher education - is to have a future in Florida, we must continue to fight.

A Petition in Addition

The primary enforcement mechanism of the above "Individual Freedom" (Anti-WOKE) Act is Florida Statute 1001.706(6) [scroll half-way down], which the Board of Governors may implement via a proposed regulation on Post-Tenure Faculty Review. This regulation would strip tenured faculty who violate the "Individual Freedom" Act of their tenure and their job. The regulation has been posted for public comments, and comments must be entered by November 24. (Yes, Thanksgiving.) While the United Faculty of Florida has posted some talking points for those who wish to enter comments, it is more effective for members of the public to enter their own comments in their own words. Comments can be entered on the Comment page: scroll down to Chapter 10, and Submit a Comment to BOG 10.003.

In addition, the United Faculty of Florida has started a petition. Feel free to share the petition with friends, family, neighbors, etc. The United Faculty of Florida (UFF) are asking you—our local, statewide, national, and international allies—to help defend tenure and academic freedom from attacks on the working, teaching, and learning conditions of Florida’s higher education community. Right now, the Florida Board of Governors is considering a regulation that will virtually eliminate tenure in the state’s university system. One of the ways you can support our fight is by signing this petition and sharing it widely among your family, friends, colleagues, and community allies. UFF will present this petition and the full list of signatures directly to the Board of Governors as part of our ongoing collective actions to stop this regulation in its tracks. Please sign and stand in solidarity with us today!

Meanwhile, the business of bargaining and enforce a contract continues, so the USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida is seeking information about working conditions here at USF.

Survey of ALL Faculty

Your faculty union needs hard data on working conditions for all faculty and professionals - both union members and non-members; this data is critical for bargaining and enforcing the contract. If you have already taken this survey, thank you. If not, please take it now; it takes only fifteen minutes, and your help is greatly appreciated.

We created one survey for each of the colleges, so please scroll down and click on the link designated for your college.

Thank you!

Your UFF USF Team.


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