UFF Biweekly EXTRA
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
1 April 2014
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We Are Not In Impasse, But ...
This is a letter from United Faculty of Florida (USF Chapter) Collective Bargaining Team - which represents the approximately 1,650 in-unit employees in bargaining - to the USF Community.
The United Faculty of Florida (UFF) Collective Bargaining Team was surprised and disappointed with President Genshaft’s e-mail, addressed to the USF Community and dated March 26, 2014, indicating that "it now looks as though we are moving to impasse proceedings." The UFF Collective Bargaining Team would also like "a new contract that will recognize and reward the value the employees bring to the students, the research enterprise and the larger community."
The UFF Collective Bargaining Team believes that the employees should be aware of the following:
The UFF Collective Bargaining Team will continue to bargain in good faith in an attempt to obtain a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). It will not, however, adopt a policy of "Peace at any price". The UFF Collective Bargaining Team will not accept a new CBA that continues the practice of marginalizing the salaries and benefits of its already underpaid and underappreciated employees. If USF declares impasse, the UFF is well positioned to meet that challenge and will have some of the best labor lawyers in the State of Florida in our corner. There have also been very serious discussions that if USF declares impasse and the USF/BOT eventually IMPOSES its terms and conditions on YOU that a legal challenge may be in order to challenge the constitutionality of the current impasse process.
- The UFF and the USF Board of Trustees (USF/BOT) have engaged in collective bargaining since September 24, 2012 (eighteen months) with numerous proposals being exchanged. Some of the USF/BOT’s past proposals would have given USF the authority to:
How could the UFF agree to such absolute discretionary proposals? The UFF Collective Bargaining Team saw these proposals as "poison pills"; proposals which the USF/BOT had to realize the UFF could not accept, thus in effect prolonging collective bargaining and the effective date of YOUR salary increase in light of (2) below.
- If you have a twelve month appointment, they could change it to a nine month appointment with thirty (30) days notice without your consent, which would result in an 18.2 % pay cut.
- Your dean can determine your summer school compensation on the basis of the financial ability of the college to sustain a summer school program.
- The USF/BOT bargaining team has consistently and emphatically said NO RETROACTIVITY to salary increases. By NOT making YOUR salary increase retroactive to August 7, 2013, USF has saved almost 2.5 million dollars. How were the savings used?
- The term Administrative Discretionary Increase (ADI) refers to dollars, generally 1.0 % of employee salary base per year, which this year would be approximately one million three hundred fifty thousand dollars ($ 1,350,000.00), which the University administration has the authority, but no requirement, to distribute in any amount to any employee.
The UFF asked USF to use its 1.0 % Administrative Discretionary Increase (ADI) authority for 2012-2013 to increase all employees’ salaries by 1.0 % to help offset the 3 % increase in the employees’ contribution to their retirement plans. The University would not agree.
So what did the University do with its ADI authority for 2012-2013? It gave three hundred forty five (345) employees an ADI distribution ranging from fifty dollars ($ 50.00) to fifty thousand fifty five dollars ($ 50,055.00). Thus, approximately eighty percent (80 %) of the employees received NOTHING from said distribution. To make believe that even a majority of the employees are under serious consideration for these dollars does not match reality. It’s thus "PIE IN THE SKY" for most employees.
- President Genshaft has characterized the monetary value of your sick leave as a liability for the University. Let’s be clear, you EARNED your sick leave.
- Let's consider the last USF salary offer, which by the way contained "poison pills" regarding such subjects as layoff and recall, reduction in summer compensation, involuntary change in appointments and reduction in sick leave payout for current employees. The offer was 2.0 % salary pool effective upon signing the agreement and 1.0 % salary pool effective on August 7, 2014. The contract would end on August 6, 2016, with wages subject to renegotiations in year three (2015/2016). The renegotiations on the previous contract are still in progress after eighteen months. Anyone want to take odds on USF giving the employees a nice salary increase effective August 7, 2015. This total 3.0 % from USF, which does not of course include the money from the State of Florida, basically covers 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and probably baring a miracle 2015-2016.
- The big question – Does USF have the money to fund a 4.0 % salary increase for the employees for the 2013 -2014 academic year ending on May 5, 2014? Of course it does. President Genshaft in her 18 September 2013 Presidential Address said, "We value you and that’s why I am reinvesting funds and making available $ 8 million for performance or merit-based increases to base salaries effective January 1st." The Board of Governors, in a letter to President Genshaft on November1, 2013, said USF had a healthy cash reserve. There is NO FINANCIAL CRISIS - and Moody’s agrees.
From the United Faculty of Florida (USF Chapter) Collective Bargaining Team:
Frank Pyrtle, III,
Robert F. Welker, Chief Negotiator
Next chapter Meeting on Friday, April 4, at 12 noon in EDU 316 on USF Tampa.
There will be free sandwiches, chips, and soda pop. 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.
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