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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
26 January 2012
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Tomorrow, the UFF USF System Chapter will meet at USF-St. Petersburg in DAV 217 (see the campus map of USFSP; parking is available in the parking garage labeled FPF). This is part of the Chapter's policy to meet at all USF System campuses regularly; the UFF USF Chapter will meet at USF-Sarasota/Manatee on February 24 and at USF-Polytech on March 23. As always, all UFF USF Bargaining Unit employees are invited to check us out; all UFF members may participate (including voting on business before the chapter) and all participants and guests are invited to have sandwiches and soda pop. Come and join the movement.


Tomorrow, Friday, U.S. Senators Bill Nelson and Dick Durbin will hold a Congressional hearing on Florida's new voter suppression law. The Florida Democratic Party is organizing a rally preceding the hearing: the rally starts at 11:30 am at the Hillsborough County Courthouse at 800 E. Twiggs Street in Tampa, and the hearing starts at 1:00 pm. For more, see the flier.


At the February 10 UFF USF Chapter meeting, Michelle Young will make a presentation on the benefits of UFF membership. Membership benefits include not only union standards like the right to representation in grievances, to run and vote in statewide UFF and UFF USF Chapter elections of officials and representatives, subscription to higher education journals, but also special deals in insurance, finance, travel, etc. arranged by our state and national affiliates. For an idea, see the FEA webpage on member benefits, the NEA webpage on members benefits, and the AFT webpage on member benefits to see what our state and national affiliates are currently offering. And come to our February 10 UFF USF meeting at 12 noon on USF-Tampa in EDU 150 to find out more.


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 future litigation); greater opportunities for influencing the bargaining agenda; special deals in insurance, travel, legal advice, and other packages provided by our affiliates (there will be a presentation on these benefits at our February 10 Chapter Meeting); free insurance coverage for job-related liability; and the knowledge you are supporting education in Florida. And if you join now, you will get a $ 100 rebate dues rebate. Come and join the movement.


UFF buys attention and good vibrations with campaign contributions, but DUES MONEY DOES NOT GO TOWARDS CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. So the UFF Political Action Committee needs your help! You can download, fill in, and mail the PAC paycheck deduction form to contribute ONE DOLLAR out of each paycheck towards the PAC fund. You do not need to be a UFF member to contribute.


ELECTION SEASON. The United Faculty of Florida is a democratic organization, and this is election season. For a description of how democracy works in our union, see below. Please note that the nomination deadline is March 10: any employee who is a UFF member by then will be eligible to vote in the chapter election, and to run for office. We strongly encourage all UFF members to consider casting their hats into the ring.



The United Faculty of Florida is a democracy, partly participatory and partly representative, and since it is a volunteer organization, any UFF member who wants to put in the time and effort is encouraged to participate.

The USF Chapter elects its officers and representatives each spring, and last week a Biweekly Special sent to UFF members (yes, we do send occasional messages to UFF members only) contained a Call for Nominations. Here is how democracy in UFF at USF works. The Chapter has four elected officers, the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer. That Chapter also elects senators to go to the biannual UFF Senate meetings, in which union policy is set for the entire state in higher education. The Chapter also elects delegates to go to the annual Florida Education Association Delegate Assembly, which sets union policy for the entire state in K-20 education.

Each spring, the USF Chapter of the UFF elects officers and representatives. The current officers and representatives are listed on the UFF USF webpage of contacts; their terms will end on April 1, when incoming officers and representatives take their positions. In addition, the UFF USF senators and alternates (and committee chairs) make up the UFF USF Chapter Council.

If you are a UFF member, we strongly encourage you to consider running for an office or a representative position. WE NEED CANDIDATES ESPECIALLY FOR REPRESENTATIVE POSITIONS BECAUSE RECENT MEMBERSHIP GROWTH WILL RESULT IN US BEING ALLOCATED MORE SEATS. If you are not a UFF member, if you join by March 10 you will be eligible to not only vote but also to run in the spring election. The deadline for nominations is March 10:

  • Nominations should be sent to the Election Chair, Professor Steve Tauber. A letter of nomination must contain the name of the nominator and the name of the nominee, and should have usable email addresses of both. All nominations must be confirmed by the candidates.
Here is what all candidates must submit (as we require contact information):
  • Name
  • Campus address, phone, and email address
  • Home address, phone, and preferred email address
Candidates are encouraged to submit a short (250 words or less) self-description or campaign statement, and may submit a URL to a website voters may visit to get a better idea of the candidate. These statements and URLs will be posted at the UFF USF website at http://uff.ourusf.org/main/index.php, where information on the election is currently posted.

Incidentally, the statewide UFF is also democratic: elections are every other year, and the next election is next spring. FEA and other affiliates have their officers elected by the representatives we elect to send to the Delegate Assembly and other bodies, so the entire leadership is answerable directly or indirectly to the members of the union. And this being a volunteer organization, all UFF members are strongly encouraged to participate.

Speaking of participation, readers may have noticed that on the contacts page there are appointed chairs of four committees. Yes, and three of those committees need YOUR help. If you are interested in helping with:

  • Helping colleagues in trouble, contact Sonia Wohlmuth, the chair of the Grievance Committee; or
  • Recruiting UFF members (and activists), contact Muslim Ali, the staff support for the Services (& Membership) Committee; or
  • Helping with the UFF USF Biweekly and other communications, contact Gregory McColm, the chair of the Communications Committee.
And of course, feel free to form your own interest group to lobby the Bargaining Committee: contact Bob Welker, our Chief Negotiator, for details.


Next Chapter Meeting tomorrow, Friday, January 27, at noon, in DAV 217, on USF –St. Petersburg.

Sandwiches & sodas are provided by the union, and all UFF members are invited to attend. Non-members are also invited to come and check us out. Come and join the movement.

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 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.

If you do not want to receive the UFF Biweekly, you can unsubscribe below. If you do not receive the Biweekly, but want to, e-mail a message to mccolm@usf.edu.

The UFF also sends out a biannual hardcopy newsletter, Uncommon Sense, to the entire unit. Past issues of Uncommon Sense are posted on-line. Articles from past issues of the Biweekly are also posted on-line.