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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
13 February 2020
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The Faculty Union Senate

The United Faculty of Florida (UFF) is a democracy, partly participatory and partly representative, and the primary policy-setting body of the UFF is the Senate. Last weekend, 113 UFF senators from universities and colleges across the state met in Tampa to hear reports and make policy. The big issues were dealing with the legislature and a membership campaign.

  • Onwards and Upwards. UFF is growing, which means that we are more effective in helping our colleagues and advancing education in Florida. For details, see below or click here.
The UFF USF Biweekly continues to run short accounts by recipients of the travel scholarships.
  • Making Kin Instead of Babies. Jennifer Wolgemuth of Educational Measurement and Research made a presentation at the Congress for Qualitative Inquiry. For more, see below or click here.
Meanwhile, it's Election Season! This spring, we will be electing officers and representatives of the UFF USF Chapter. All union members - and only union members - may participate by running for office or representative seats, and by voting. (BUT YOU CAN JOIN TODAY AND PARTICIPATE: click here for the membership form.) The elective positions are:
  • The officers, i.e. the president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer.
  • The representatives, i.e., the senators (who represent USF at the biannual meetings of the UFF statewide Senate) and the delegates (who represent UFF at the annual meetings of the Florida Education Association).
We have issued a Call for nominations and posted a nomination form. All nominations must be made in writing and confirmed by February 28 and all nomination materials are due by February 28. Only those who are members by February 28 may participate in this election. We urge everyone to get involved.

Chapter Meeting Tomorrow on USF Tampa at noon in SOC128

The USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida will meet tomorrow Friday at noon on USF Tampa in SOC128. Lunch is on us. On the agenda: the recruitment campaign, election mechanics, and the spring election.

This semester we will be meeting at noon on alternate Fridays, on February 14 & 28, March 13 & 27, and April 10 & 24. One meeting will be on USF St. Petersburg and one will be on USF Sarasota / Manatee, and the rest will be on USF Tampa in SOC128. Meetings and events are posted on the Events Calendar of the UFF USF Website. Come and check us out.

$ 500 Travel Grants for UFF Members

The USF Chapter of the UFF will award six $ 500 Travel Scholarships for next spring and summer. This will be for travel for participation in a professional activity. All applications are due by December 4, and only UFF members are eligible. In addition, no recipient of the Fall or Spring cycles of travel grants is eligible to apply. The six recipients shall be selected by lot at the December 6 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, Debra Sinclair (click here).

Bargaining Survey

Bargaining will be in earnest, and the UFF USF Bargaining Committee would like to know what's important to you. As UFF represents all UFF USF employees, we would like everyone, members and non-members alike, to fill out the survey. Here is the link to the survey form.

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.

We are on Social Media

Yes, we are on social media.

If you want to help with media matters, contact the Communications Committee chair.

Onwards and Upwards

The United Faculty of Florida represents faculty in all Florida state universities and many state colleges (and one private college), and twice a year, each university or college "chapter" sends representatives to the biannual Senate meeting. This time, the primary issue was: a major national effort to cripple unions has backfired, and this is the time to go on the offensive and defend public education more vigorously and proactively.

Unions are under attack in this country, and during the past few years, several states - including Florida - have passed anti-union legislation to try to cripple unions. Public employee unions are a particular target. But public employees have responded by joining their unions, and union members have become more active. For example, despite the recent Janus v. AFSCME decision that public employers and unions may not sign contracts requiring all represented employees to pay for union representation, public employee unions have not contracted. In fact, many public employees were alarmed by the Janus decision and became active.

At the UFF Senate meeting, senators were informed that instead of despairing, Florida teachers became more involved. In 2018, the Florida Legislature passed a bill requiring that every union for K-12 teachers that didn't have the majority of the employees it represented as dues-paying members have all of its members sign up annually. The idea was to cripple teachers' unions for those school districts where only a minority of the teachers were dues-paying members. But in every school district in Florida, enough teachers joined so that in each district, a majority of the teachers were union members, rendering the law moot.

In fact, with 147 thousand members, the Florida Education Association (FEA) is the second most rapidly growing state affiliate in the United States.

UFF is a "union local" of the FEA, and UFF membership statewide has doubled in the last eight years, to about 8,500 members. Among the universities, the chapters with the greatest growth also saw recent union victories.

And as unions gain more members, they are more able to defend the rights, privileges, and ideals of their members - including excellence in education and scholarship. Tallahassee may be coming round on this, not only because Florida's business community is becoming impatient with Tallahassee's pursuit of educational mediocrity, but also because the FEA has launched a campaign, which started with a rally in Tallahassee, where UFF (statewide) President Karen Morian spoke, noting that since the 2008 - 2009 recession, Florida's higher education funding has been cut 13 % while cost of living went up twenty percent. (There will be second rally in Orlando on Saturday.)

We are on the move, and if you want to find out what's going on, come to the Chapter Meeting tomorrow, Friday, at noon, on USF Tampa, in SOC128.

'Making Kin Instead of Babies'

Jennifer Wolgemuth is an associate professor of Educational Measurement and Research. She received a $ 500 travel scholarship to participate in the 15th Congress of Qualitative Inquiry last year in Urbana-Champaign. This is her account.

Thanks to the support of a UFF travel award, I presented Making Kin in Post-Qualitative Mentoring with ten doctoral students at the 2019 International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry (ICQI). Our paper was featured in a Highlighted Session alongside other prominent scholars’ reflections on 'mentoring' as philosophical practice. Building on discussions in a doctoral seminar on Post-Qualitative Research, our paper made use of Donna Haraway's (2016) concepts of 'kin' and 'compost' to theorize mentoring beyond conventional, hierarchical, human-centered understandings. As 'making kin instead of babies,' mentoring is an entangled process that continues the field of qualitative research by connecting bodies, ideas, concepts, possibilities in the rich, mucky compost of everyday living in the academy and elsewhere. Beyond the conference, the mentoring session was the impetus for a book I am co-editing, Inquiring-Together: Philosophical Mentoring in Qualitative Inquiry, under contract with Routledge. Our paper will be included in the edited book, and lead authored by the doctoral students/ scholars/ collaborators/kin.

If faculty or students are interested in qualitative research, please reach out! Graduate students from across the university run a Student Organization for Qualitative Methodologies. I direct a Graduate Certificate in Qualitative Research and lead a faculty Qualitative Advisory Group. All are welcome!


Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, February 13, at noon, on USF Tampa, in SOC128.

We will have lunch at the meeting. 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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