UFF Home
UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
12 March 2015
Email not displaying properly? View it in your browser

Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday noon

The next chapter meeting will be tomorrow Friday, March 13, at 12 noon, on USF Tampa campus, in EDU 150. There will be sandwiches, chips, and drinks. All employees of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit are invited. Check us out. Join the movement. Bring a colleague.

UFF Chapter Elections

(and statewide elections, too)

The USF Chapter has completed the spring election, but the statewide UFF election is still underway. All UFF USF members should have received a ballot packet (in an overstuffed regular envelope), so if you haven't received one, contact the Chapter Secretary.

Thanks to all UFF USF members for their participation and support.

$ 500 Travel Scholarships 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 next spring and summer.

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. 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. 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, 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. For more information, see our web-page on grievances.

Visit Us on Facebook

Visit the United Faculty of Florida at USF 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. 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.


The Election

The United Faculty of Florida is a representative democracy in the sense that its officers and representatives are elected. It's a participatory democracy in the sense that any member may attend a Chapter Meeting and be heard - and vote on motions before the Chapter. In between, we have several committees that do the basic work of of the union - like handling grievances and bargaining. (We always have lots of grievances - and there will be bargaining this year over this year's raise, and whatever other issues the two sides decide to "reopen".) We just elected officers and representatives, and here are the results of the election.

  • Elected Officers. As often happens in volunteer organizations, the four incumbent elected officers ran unopposed. For more, see below or click here.
  • Representatives. There was a lot of turnover in the Chapter Council, which consists of senators and those alternates whose name appeared on the ballot. For more and the Delegation, too, see below or click here.
Changing the subject, a piece of legislation for our graduate students:
  • Fee Waivers For Graduate Students Two related bills to waive some fees for graduate students are under consideration. For more, see below or click here.
And a reminder.
  • Two Committees on Contractual Issues. The contract mandates the formation of two joint UFF-Administration committees, one on student evaluations and one on works and property. This is a common first step towards developing policies and getting language into future contracts. For this rerun of an article from the previous Biweekly, see below or click here.
The UFF USF Communications Chair is a bit on the fritz, so this and the next two or so biweeklies will be a bit spartan.

Elected Officers

There are four elected officers, and in this election, the four incumbents ran unopposed. Here are the elected officers.

Art ShapiroPresident
Steve LangVice President
Greg McColmSecretary
Sonia WohlmuthTreasurer


The UFF Senate is the primary policy-making body of the union, and the USF Chapter was allocated 20 senate seats. The President serves ex officio, and there were 20 candidates for the remaining 19 seats. Here is how those races turned out. All 20 candidates will serve in the Chapter Council.

Elizabeth Arandasenator
Jill Braskysenator
Karin Braunsbergersenator
Pablo Bresciasenator
Kathleen Carvalho-Knightonsenator
Cecil Greeksenator
Steve Langsenator
Alex Levinesenator
Mariam Manzursenator
Greg McColmsenator
Adriana Novoasenator
Vic Peppardsenator
Steve Permuthsenator
Patricia Pettijohnsenator
Frank Pyrtle IIIsenate alt.
Harry Vandensenator
Bob Welkersenator
Milton Wendlandsenator
Rick Wilbersenator
Sonia Wohlmuthsenator
The Delegate Assembly is the primary policy-making body of our affiliate, the Florida Education Association, which represents K-20 teachers across the state. The USF Chapter was allocated seven seats, but got only three nominees. All three (Greg McColm, Steve Permuth, and Art Shapiro) were elected. We did get fifteen eligible write-ins, and the Chapter shall select the four other delegates at the Chapter Meeting tomorrow. Thanks to all who participated.

Fee Waivers For Graduate Students

Two bills, House Bill 925 on Postsecondary Education Fees and Senate Bill 1420 on Postsecondary Education Fees, both requiring "state universities to waive specific fees for graduate students with certain appointments," are now being heard in committee.

The fees in question include financial aid fees, technology fees, fees for security, access or identification cards and fees relating to the use of facilities.

The UFF supports this legislation, and rallies to support these bills are being held in Gainesville on March 13th and in both Tallahassee and Tampa on March 18th.

If you have strong feelings about this legislation, feel free to inform your legislators. Recall from the previous Biweekly that the most effective communication during a legislative session is a brief, clear, and polite phone call with a single, short message. See the contact information for House members and Senate members.

Two Committees on Contractual Issues

Over the years, successive contracts address major issues that the two parties bring to the table. It took a long time to get language addressing issues like domestic partner rights, or promotions for instructors. And one route is to bring both sides together to study the issue. This joint effort can lead to policy changes and, ultimately, to contract language.

Article 24 of the 2014 - 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (the contract) gets the ball rolling on three issues.

  • Tuition assistance. Section 12 mandates "...a system wide committee to explore the subject of tuition assistance for spouses and children of bargaining unit members."
  • Student evaluations. Section 13 mandates "a system wide committee ... to discuss all aspects of evaluation by students of the teaching/instruction by employees."
  • Intellectual property and works. Section 14 mandates "...a system wide committee ... to discuss all aspects of the recording, reproduction, retention and use by the University of an employee’s work product and presentations employed by an employee in teaching/instruction in the traditional classroom, online, distance learning and all other forms of delivery."
The Section 13 and Section 14 committees are now up and running. If you have any questions, comments, or issues you would like to share with these two committees, you may contact their chairs:
  • Professor Steve Lang of the Section 13 committee on student evaluations.
  • Co-chairs Associate Dean Paula Knaus and Associate Professor Chris Davis of the Section 14 committee on work products and presentations.


The next Chapter Meeting will be tomorrow, Friday, March 13, at 12 noon, on USF Tampa, in the Education Building, room EDU 150.

There will be sandwiches 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 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 gmccolm@tampabay.rr.com.