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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
26 January 2017
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Chapter Meeting Tomorrow on USF Tampa Campus

The UFF USF Chapter will meet tomorrow, Friday, at 12 noon on USF Tampa in EDU 161. The agenda is posted online and includes:

  • Chapter Election. We encourage all UFF members to get active; all UFF members are eligible to run for a chapter office or a senate or assembly seat.
  • The Contract. The current contract runs to 2019, so we have two years to think about what we want the next contract to look like.
  • Instructor Issues. UFF completed a survey of instructors, and returns are in. One proposal is a Chapter meeting devoted to instructor issues.
(And a last minute addition: discussion of the upcoming UFF Senate meeting.) Everyone is invited to the Chapter Meeting tomorrow. There will be sandwiches, fruit, sweets, and drinks. Come check us out.

We have set up the schedule for the rest of the semester. We meet on alternate Fridays at 12 noon for lunch at union stuff:

  • January 27 on USF Tampa in EDU 161.
  • February 10 on USF St. Petersburg in USC 150 (the Regatta Room).
  • February 24 on USF Tampa in NES 104.
  • March 10 on USF Tampa in EDU 161.
  • March 24 on USF Sarasota / Manatee in a room TBD.
  • April 7 on USF Tampa in NES 104.
  • April 21 on USF Tampa in EDU 161.

We will also have a special meeting on March 31 in EDU 161 to count ballots. Come and join the movement.

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.

$ 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 20, and only UFF members are eligible. In addition, no recipient of the Fall 2016 cycle of travel grants is eligible to apply. The six recipients shall be selected by lot at the April 20 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).


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).

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.


Evaluations and Raises

This is that time of year. Annual evaluations. There can be an upside - annual evaluations bring raises.

  • Annual Evaluations. This is not only a major source of information about individual faculty, but for colleges it is a source of information about departments, and for the State, it is a source of information about USF. For more, see below or click here.
  • e-Disclose and Sticky Little Things. You may notice a slight change in the outside activity / conflict of interest forms. For a story and a caution, see below or click here.
  • How Merit Raises are Computed. The nondiscretionary raises in the current contract are all based on evaluations. For details, see below or click here.
Get involved! Spring is election season, the time to recall that faculty have to organize to have a voice. Two major faculty organizations at USF are having elections this spring:
  • The United Faculty of Florida is electing chapter officers and representatives. UFF is a volunteer organization, so your colleagues need YOU. Send in the Nomination form (and self-nominations are encouraged) to the Election Chair by March 3.
    Incidentally, the statewide UFF is also conducting elections for state officers and national representatives. UFF members should watch the mail for details.
  • The USF Tampa Faculty Senate is electing senators. The Tampa Senate is the primary faculty voice in academic affairs at USF Tampa, and it meets once a month during the academic year. Send in the Nomination form (and self-nominations are encouraged) by February 17.
    (The USF St. Petersburg and USF Sarasota / Manatee senates are on different schedules, and all three senates elect representatives to the System Faculty Council, which represents faculty on academic matters for the USF system as a whole.)
The bottom line is that democracy is hard work...and if you don't use it, you lose it.

Annual Evaluations

It's evaluation time again, and evaluations are governed by Article 10 (pages 20 - 25) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Annual evaluations are the primary machine for getting merit raises (and, in a perfect world, justifying assignments); they also affect promotion and retention. (They can also be used to leverage other kinds of raises, either discretionary or by moving from one line to another, higher paying line.) In addition, some of this information is reported into aggregate form to the State, which uses that information in deciding whether USF is doing a good job and possibly deserves more money.

Some things to keep in mind (other than the usual warning not to wait until the last minute):

  • The FAIR reporting system takes your assignment from your AFD/FAR forms, so the first thing to do is to check the AFD/FAR form to make sure that that its information is correct.
  • The student evaluations - numbers and comments - appear in the report generated by the FAIR system, but the evaluation committee can't just look at those. The contract says The teaching evaluation must take into account any relevant materials submitted by the employee, including the results of peer valuations of teaching, and may not be based solely on student evaluations when this additional information has been made available to the evaluator. Teachers may provide class materials, results of exams, evidence of student progress, etc., and evaluators must look at this additional material.
  • While research, scholarship, and creative activity can just be copied and pasted into relevant boxes in the Research Module in the FAIR form, this is not good for a faculty member, that member's department, or the university. The reason is that (except for the annual report), research / scholarship / creative activity information comes from Vita-Bank. So help USF protect its bottom line, and enter all this into Vita-Bank.
And this is activity, so don't forget to report grant applications, even if they aren't funded. After all, funding is increasingly a crapshoot, and sensible administrators want to support faculty who try.

And after the evaluation is returned, employees may respond.

e-Disclose and Sticky Little Things

While we're looking at Business Systems, a word about e-Disclose. You may have noticed some nags from the USF Office of Audit and Compliance about reporting "outside activity" and possible "conflicts of interest" in the e-Disclose system, a Business System accessible via myUSF. Here is what it's about. Florida State Statute Chapter 112, Part III requires that "... public officials be independent and impartial and that public office not be used for private gain other than the remuneration provided by law. The public interest, therefore, requires that the law protect against any conflict of interest ...."

This law applies to public officers and employees, which means us. And it is not just the academic journals that are getting huffy over conflicts of interest.

The e-Disclose form recently changed - thanks to union nagging. Previously, there were questions like "Do you have an employment or contractual relationship with a business entity that is doing business with the USF System?" The answer was Yes or No. But suppose that you have season tickets to football games at Raymond James Stadium, which has a business relationship with USF. Since "No" was not the technically correct answer even though it was the sensible answer, UFF persuaded the Administration to change the answers to "Yes" versus "Not Applicable".

A sticky little thing, but the law is made up of many sticky little things, sticky little things that can get people in trouble, and watching out for sticky little things is part of what UFF does.

How Raises are Computed

Last year, the UFF and the USF Administration signed a contract that included raises for last year, this year, and next year. Most of the raise money goes to merit raises, which means that they depend entirely on the results of the evaluations. (Some money went towards discretionary raises, which can be distributed by using any system that does not violate civil rights laws, but that goes to only a few people.) Here is how it works.

Last year, the contract called for a 3 % average raise. What that means is that because the total salary for all employees in the Bargaining Unit was just over $ 143 million, employees got raises adding up to 3 % of $ 143 million, or $ 4.3 million. That did not mean that each employee got a 3 % raise; the Board of Trustees rejected that proposal. Instead, each employee's raise depends on that employee's annual evaluation, as follows.

Suppose an employee works in Department X, and that the total payroll for Department X was $ 1 million. Then 3 % of $ 1 million, or $ 30,000 in raises, was distributed to the employees in Department X. But first, only employees who were satisfactory or better got raises. Each employee who was at least satisfactory got a number between 3 and 5 for their annual evaluation: the numbers of all the employees in Department X are added up. Suppose that that total was 60. Then each employee's share of the $ 30,000 is their share of evaluation points. For example, if Dr. Smith got a 4 for his annual evaluation, he got 4/60 of the evaluation points, and 4/60th of $ 30,000 is $ 2,000, so Dr. Smith got a $ 2,000 raise. On the other hand, if Dr. Jones got a 5 for her evaluation, 5/60 of $ 30,000 is $ 2,500, so Dr. Jones got a $ 2,500 raise.

Notice that the raise does not depend on title, current salary, or anything besides the evaluation. So if Dr. Smith was a full professor earning $ 100,000 a year, a $ 2,000 raise is a 2 % raise. But if Dr. Jones was an instructor earning $ 50,000 a year, a $ 2,500 raise is a 5 % raise. Raise amounts depend on merit alone.

The nondiscretionary raises for this year and next year will be computed the same way, only for 2 % of the payroll this year and 2 % next year rather than 3 % of the payroll. After that, we will be bargaining a new contract, and any UFF member with ideas about how raises should be computed is invited to contact our chief negotiator. The next contract will require a lot of work, and the Bargaining Team would appreciate volunteers.


Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, January 27, on USF Tampa, in EDU 161.

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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