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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
7 April 2016
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Chapter Meeting Tomorrow on USF Tampa in EDU 314

The UFF USF Chapter will meet tomorrow, Friday, at 12 noon on USF Tampa in EDU 314. Everyone is invited to the Chapter Meeting tomorrow. There will be sandwiches, chips, sweets, and drinks. Two particular items on the agenda:

  • Tie-breaking. In the election for representatives of the UFF USF Chapter in the UFF Senate and the FEA Assembly, there were ties. The ties will be broken by lot at the chapter meeting tomorrow.
  • The theme is Getting Ready for Another Year. With election complete, the next order of business is: what are our plans for the coming year? All UFF members are strongly encouraged to come to discuss UFF's agenda for the next year.
And the Grievance Chair will make a presentation on Article 11 on Evaluations in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

$ 500 Travel Grants for UFF Members

The USF Chapter of the UFF will award six $ 500 Travel Scholarships for summer and fall. This will be for travel for participation in a professional activity. All applications are due by April 21, and only UFF members are eligible. The six recipients shall be selected by lot at the April 22 chapter meeting. For more information, see the Travel Scholarship Flyer.

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, Adrienne Berarducci (click here).

A New Effort for Adjuncts

A new effort to organize adjuncts is underway: a Tampa Bay Adjuncts Coalition is holding an organizational meeting (and rally) on Saturday, April 16, from 4 pm to 6 pm, at Lakewood United Church of Christ, 2601 54th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712. UFF is not affiliated with this effort, but we are watching with great interest.

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; see also the main article (left).

Grievance workshops. For those who attended the grievance workshops on March 24 and March 31, the next two are today, April 7, and next week, April 14, each one from 1:45 pm to 3 pm on USF Tampa in CPR 355. If you missed them, there will be a workshop on USF St. Pete on May 6, from 10 am to 3 pm, on USF St. Petersburg in USC 258 (the Palm Room). All USF faculty and professionals are invited, and UFF members are especially asked to bring a colleague.

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.

USF Grant Writing Workshops

The USF Tampa College of Arts & Sciences is continuing its workshops on writing grant proposals. An NIH Workshop will be held on May 13 from noon to 2:30 pm. Click here for more information.


Planning for Next Year

Students may be thinking of summer, but we are planning for next year. This is the time for classroom assignments, committee assignments, perhaps even promotion or tenure. Similarly, the union is making plans for the coming year, and at tomorrow's Chapter Meeting, we will start making plans. Everyone is invited. Here are some thought items.

  • More Than Just Salaries. Unions deal with all kinds of issues, from sabbaticals to assignments. And we are exploring how we can do a better job. For details, see below or click here.
  • Unions Mean Higher Salaries. Still, salaries are important, and they are a metric for the effectiveness of unions. Some recent studies suggest that unions are bringing home the bacon. For details, see below or click here.
Meanwhile, readers may recall that our contract is enforced using the grievance process: both USF employees in the bargaining unit and the UFF USF Chapter itself may grieve violations of the contract.
  • Tomorrow's Grievance Topic is Evaluations. Our Grievance Chair, Dan Belgrad, will discuss Article 11 on Annual Evaluations.
  • Grievance Workshops. The USF Chapter is holding four successive workshops on various aspects of the grievance process on four successive Thursdays. The first two were on March 24 and March 31, and the next two will be on April 7 and April 14, each one from 1:45 pm to 3 pm on USF Tampa in CPR 355. For anyone who was unable to attend these workshops, there will be a make-up workshop on Thursday, May 6, from 10 am to 3 pm, on USF St. Petersburg in USC 258 (the Palm Room). All USF faculty and professionals are invited, and UFF members are especially asked to bring a colleague. Please RSVP to Dan Belgrad.
And a reminder. USF employees may join the sick leave pool during April. For more information, see the sick leave pool page.

More Than Just Salaries

The United Faculty of Florida is just a group of your colleagues - about 500 at USF - working to make USF a better place to work. Officially, this is done by bargaining and enforcing a contract. The contract deals with academic freedom, faculty governance, nondiscrimination, appointments and non-reappointments, assignments, evaluations, layoffs, tenure and promotion, discipline, intellectual property, conflict of interest, grievances, sabbaticals, sick leave, and of course, salary and benefits.

All our work is done by volunteers: anyone who wants to help out is welcome (just come to a chapter meeting: the next one is tomorrow, Friday, at noon, in EDU 314).

  • The Bargaining Committee consists of UFF members who meet with the Administration's bargaining team and bargain the contract. (Nothing much to report since the March 15 Biweekly Extra.)
  • The Grievance Committee consists of UFF members who handle grievances, i.e., complaints about contract violations. The committee is seeking more members (there will be a workshop on USF St. Pete on May 6, from 10 am to 3 pm, on USF St. Petersburg in USC 258 (the Palm Room)).
And we have some other committees (reaching out to UFF members and to employees at USF).

There is always room for improvement, and recently the Florida Education Association asked us to think about some questions, such as:

  • Communications. How could communications be made more effective? How should chapter meetings, events, traditional and social media, and other systems be set up so that people can address the issues that concern them?
  • Participation. How can the union be made more accessible and get greater participation in decision-making and building the union? (And how might we more effectively ... educate ... local politicians?)
  • Building Bridges. How can the union build connections to other grassroots organizations such as the faculty governance systems, other unions (for staff, graduate students, and police) and other organizations in the USF community?
  • Vision. Where are we going and how might we get there? What do we want for USF, the USF community, and in particular, the faculty and professionals in the bargaining unit?
So come with your ideas. Tomorrow, Friday at noon in EDU 314.

Unions Mean Higher Salaries

Conventional wisdom holds that when an institution - either non-profit or for-profit - has a union, salaries are higher. (And conversely, throughout the United States, salaries remained flat as union membership declined.) But is this just true for traditionally unionized positions (electrician, nurse, firefighter, etc.), or does it also apply to higher education?

Two recent studies suggest that it does.

Like many academic / professional organizations, the American Psychological Association periodically surveys their profession to find out how they are doing. Among other things, the APA's 2014 - 2015 Report on Psychology Faculty Salaries compared unionized public universities with non-unionized public universities, and they concluded that at unionized public universities, salaries for tenured and tenure-track faculty tends to be 10 - 12 % higher than at non-unionized public universities; non-tenured instructors tended to have salaries 18 % higher.

It would be interesting to know what the numbers are in other fields.

Last weekend, a paper on Monetary Compensation of Full-Time Faculty at American Public Regional Universities: The Impact of Geography and the Existence of Collective Bargaining was presented at a panel meeting at the 43rd Annual National Conference of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions. This was a study of regional institutions that were members of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (which has seven members in Florida: FAMU, FGCU, FIU, UCF, UNF, USF-Sarasota/Manatee, and UWF, all having the United Faculty of Florida representation). Among the institutions and faculty they surveyed, they reported that fulltime faculty at unionized rural institutions had total compensation averaging 11 % higher than those at non-union institutions, that faculty at unionized suburban institutions had total compensation 37 % higher, and that faculty at unionized urban institutions had total compensation 25 % higher.

Of course, there are other regional effects. For example, northeastern universities tend to pay more than southeastern ones. And small institutions seem to pay less than larger ones. And this was just of some AASCU members. And according to folklore, the greater the proportional union membership, the greater the clout at the bargaining table. Still, it is suggestive. See the Inside Higher Ed article for a rundown.

Monetary compensation is a major item in bargaining, and the surveys suggest that unions do improve the terms and conditions of employment of the people they represent.


Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, April 8, at on USF Tampa, in EDU 314.

There will be sandwiches, chips, 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.

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