United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
15 January 2015
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Chapter Meeting Tomorrow Noon in Tampa
Tomorrow Friday the Chapter will meet at 12 noon at CDB Restaurant, just east of USF Tampa, on 5104 E. Fowler Ave.
On the agenda: the Election Committee will present a schedule of the election (click here) for approval by the Chapter. If approved, we will broadcast a Biweekly Extra with a Call for Nominations.
Here is the meeting schedule for the spring semester:
All meetings will be at noon, and we will serve lunch. All employees of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit are invited. Tomorrow, there will be pizza and salad and drinks. Check us out. Join the movement. Bring a colleague.
- Tomorrow, Jan. 16, at CDB Restaurant.
- Jan. 30, on USF St. Petersburg, in the Student Center in the Ocean Room.
- Feb. 13, on USF Tampa, in MSC 3704.
- Feb. 27, on USF Sarasota / Manatee, location TBA.
- Mar. 13, on USF Tampa, in MSC 3704.
- Mar. 27, Apr. 10 & Apr. 24, on USF Tampa, location TBA.
$ 500 Travel Grants for New UFF Members - and for UFF Members Who Recruit New Members
The USF Chapter of the UFF will award four $ 500 Travel Scholarships for summer and fall.
This initiative is part of our membership campaign. If you would like to become active in the UFF USF Membership Drive, contact the Membership Chair, Jill Brasky (click here).
- UFF USF employees who join UFF this Spring (as of April 23) are eligible for one of two scholarships to be randomly selected at the April 24 UFF USF Chapter Meeting. For information on how new members (or non-members who would like to join UFF) may apply, see the flyer for new and prospective members (click here). Non-members wishing to be eligible must have their membership forms in our hands by April 23. Proposals must also be in our hands by April 23, and two proposals from new members will be randomly selected for funding.
- Current UFF members who recruit at least one new UFF member are eligible for one of two scholarships to be randomly selected at the April 24 UFF USF Chapter Meeting. For information on how UFF members may apply, see the flyer for UFF members who would like to recruit new members (click here). Notice that recruiters should put their name on the membership form for the new member. If a new member is recruited, the new member is eligible for one of the scholarships for new members and the recruiter is eligible for one of the scholarships for current members. Again, membership forms and proposals must be in our hands by April 23, and two proposals by recruiters will be randomly selected for funding.
Join UFF Today!
Download, fill in, and mail the membership form (click here). 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.
If you have been the victim of a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (click here), you have thirty days from the time you knew or should have known of the violation to file a grievance. If you are, and at the time of the violation were, a dues-paying member of the United Faculty of Florida, you have the right to union representation. To contact the UFF USF Grievance Committee, go to the online contact form (click here). For more information, see our web-page on grievances (click here).
Visit Us on Facebook
Visit the United Faculty of Florida at USF (click here) Facebook page. This page is a place where UFF members can exchange thoughts and ideas. The page is "public", but only dues-paying UFF members are eligible to post items on the page. If you are a UFF member, ask to join on the page, or contact the Communications Committee (click here). The Committee will invite every UFF member that asks to join. So check us out. UFF members are welcome to join, and non-members are welcome to look.
IN THIS ISSUE
Tenure, Grievances, Travel ... and Elections, Too!
Happy New Year! Yes, this is the season of New Year's resolutions, and for those of us who are simply not getting that book done, or those articles out, we know what the resolutions are. This is a serious matter, and not just for those of us on the tenure track. Productivity has become a field of research and we will be looking at various aspects of the subject this semester.
UFF will conduct a Tenure (and Promotion) Workshop on February 13, from 2 pm to 4:30 pm (just after the Chapter Meeting) on USF Tampa in the Marshall Student Center, room MSC 3704. While all faculty and professionals are invited to the Chapter Meeting, the workshop is for UFF members; however, we will have membership forms for anyone who wants to join.
- Getting Ahead First of all, it's a long runway, and that means looking ahead. For more, see below or click here.
In addition, since our main business is bargaining and enforcing the contract, we take the opportunity to remind you what to do if your contractual rights are violated.
Also in this issue:
- What to do if you get in trouble. It does happen - the USF Chapter of UFF represented 25 USF employees in grievances in 2013 as well as three grievances that the Chapter filed itself, and helping several other employees without resorting to the grievance process. So what do you do if you get in a predicament? For answers, see below or click here.
It's never been easier to join the movement.
- Travel Scholarship. The Chapter will award four $ 500 travel scholarships in April, two to UFF members who recruit new members, and two to new UFF members. For details, see below or click here.
While the integrity of the tenure and promotion decision-making processes is critical for the university and its faculty, for most applicants the issue is not how the application packet is put together or handled. It's the content.
For faculty with assignments in research, scholarship, and creative works, this means establishing "...an original, coherent and meaningful program of research and/or creative scholarship and to have demonstrated and clearly documented a continuous and progressive record of research and creative scholarship indicative of potential for sustained contribution throughout his or her career," to quote the new guidelines (click here).
For faculty with assignments in teaching, the primary concern is "teaching effectiveness" as measured in student outcomes, which "... requires a thorough knowledge of the subject; the ability to communicate that knowledge clearly through media appropriate to the subject, discipline, and the needs of students..." Since both the subject and pedagogical techniques are evolving (in fact, the Twenty-first century may well see a revolution in education comparable to the Nineteenth century revolution in medicine), this also implies substantial productivity.
Either way, this is not about starting to think about tenure or promotion six months before the packet is due. The work starts years in advance.
The trick, as Thomas Edison put it, the trick is to do your homework. Of course, it's not that simple. There seem to be a number of skills and habits involved. Fortunately, as this is a revolutionary era for education, some cognitive scientists, educational psychologists, and even business psychologists (!) have been identifying and dissecting those skills and habits.
So the Biweekly will be running an occasional series on getting the homework done. Meanwhile, we will conduct a Tenure (and Promotion) Workshop on February 13, from 2 pm to 4:30 pm on USF Tampa in the Marshall Student Center, room MSC 3704. The workshop is for UFF members; however, we will have membership forms for anyone who wants to join.
What to do if you get in trouble
The union bargains the contract, but a contract is just a piece of paper if the parties don't abide by it. That is why the union also enforces the contract, and it enforces the contract by filing grievances when the contract is violated.
A grievance is a formal complaint that the contract was violated. It is not a complaint that someone was stupid or unfair: acting stupidly or unfairly is not a violation of the contract. A grievance asserts that a specific item in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (the contract) was violated, it describes how the violation took place, and it proposes a remedy. The union may file a grievance on behalf of a union member it is representing, or it may file a grievance on its own behalf.
Last year, UFF filed grievances on behalf of 25 union members and three grievances on its own behalf: 25 union members is nearly five percent of the membership. UFF also handled a number of issues quietly without filing grievances.
Union members have the union when they get in trouble. Any employee in the UFF USF Bargaining Unit may file a grievance on their own, but lawyers can be expensive and many lawyers are inexperienced in labor matters. We do not know how many non-members suffer in silence, but UFF members can turn to the union.
UFF can represent any employee in a grievance if and only if that employee was a member at the time of the violation. If you believe that you were a victim of a violation, the first step is to contact the Grievance Committee: they may be contacted via their web-page (click here). It is important to act quickly because a grievance must be filed within 30 days of the time the employee knew or should have known of the violation; a grievance may always be withdrawn, but a late grievance is dead.
In addition, if an employee is at a meeting with a supervisor, and it starts turning into a disciplinary meeting, the employee has the right to stop the meeting in order to get union representation.
The travel scholarships are back!
At the end of this semester, the UFF USF Chapter will award four $ 500 travel scholarships to UFF members as part of our recruiting drive. Two scholarships will be awarded to UFF members who recruit new members this semester; two will be awarded to UFF members who joined this semester. For details, see our flyer to UFF members interested in recruiting new members (click here) and our flyer to interested non-members (click here).
This is part of our recruiting drive, and if you would like to help, contact Jill Brasky (click here), our Membership Chair.
Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, January 16, at CDB Restaurant, just east of USF Tampa, on 5104 E. Fowler Ave.
There will be pizza, salad, and drinks. 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.