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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
1 June 2017
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Chapter Meeting Tomorrow in Tampa

The Chapter will meet tomorrow Friday at 12 noon in Perkins Restaurant in Tampa, on 5002 E. Fowler Ave. (at the intersection of E. Fowler Ave. and N. 50th Street, on the southeastern corner of USF Tampa). Lunch is on us, and all USF employees are invited, especially UFF members and employees thinking of becoming UFF members. On Friday's agenda:

  • The SEIU campaign to organize adjunct faculty at USF.
  • The Travel Scholarship Program for the summer term.
The Chapter will meet this summer on June 2, June 16, June 30, July 14, July 28, and August 11, at 12 noon. All meetings - except the July 28 meeting - will be at Perkins Restaurant in Tampa on 5002 E. Fowler Ave.; the July 29 chapter meeting will be on USF St. Petersburg at a location TBD. Come and check us out.

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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).

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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.


Adjuncts at USF

Nationwide, most college and university faculty are "contingent" or "adjunct" faculty. Some bring special skills or perspectives to the university. Some are inexpensive. And some would like more compensation and more appreciation. Recently, one of our fellow unions has been organizing adjuncts, and that union is here at USF.

  • Organizing the Adjuncts. Florida's labor relations board has received a petition for an election so that USF adjuncts can vote on whether to have a union. For more, see below or click here.

Organizing the Adjuncts at USF

Once upon a time, back before the state governments started cutting higher education funding, the majority of university faculty held permanent positions. In 1980, 32 % of the faculty were part-time (excluding graduate students), and the AAUP reported that in 1993, 38 % were part-time (excluding students). Now, a majority are part-time.

Adjuncts are often invisible. Since an adjunct is typically assigned some courses to teach, an adjunct will interact with students regularly and perhaps with a supervisor now and then. But without a regular office near faculty offices, and without attending committee and faculty meetings, an adjunct may not be very noticeable to permanent faculty.

The bottom line is that adjuncts are cheap. In Florida, the default is for a full-time university faculty member to teach four courses a semester, which is eight courses a year (excluding summer). A faculty member with an annual salary of $ 80,000 a year will cost $ 10,000 a class; if a faculty member has a lighter course load (for service or research or other special duties), the accounting is still $ 10,000 per assigned 3-hour course. Having an adjunct teach that course for $ 3,000 saves $ 7,000.

(This is off-topic, but what do universities do with that money? A review of two reports suggest that the money goes into maintenance, administration, and student services - especially recruiting and admissions, counseling, student organizations, and athletics.)

Adjuncts often do not have the resources permanent faculty have. They often get low pay, limited or no benefits, little prospect for promotion, and little connection to the department that employs them. According to a recent study, in addition to low pay, other laments included, "Lack of office space, irregular assignments, limited opportunities to select class times or to expand their role, and lack of adequate communications and support from colleagues..., " which contributed to many adjuncts feeling "disrespected or unappreciated." (For more background, see the AAUP Background Facts on Contingent Faculty and Contingent Faculty Positions pages.)

Some universities (like Pennsylvania State University) are taking steps, but at other places, adjuncts are taking the lead to improve their situation - often with union help. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) launched a Faculty Forward effort to organize adjuncts in colleges and universities across the country. One of their recent successes was Hillsborough Community College, whose adjuncts recently voted 339-189 to be represented by SEIU in bargaining and enforcing a contract.

USF may be next. SEIU organizers collected signatures to petition the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission for an election so USF adjuncts can choose whether or not to be represented by SEIU. SEIU is a member of the AFL-CIO, as is one of UFF's national affiliates, the American Federation of Teachers. Last Spring, the UFF Senate voted to cooperate with SEIU's drive, and adjuncts and the SEIU campaign is on the agenda for the Chapter Meeting tomorrow: all USF employees interested in the campaign are invited to attend.

In times like these, it helps to have unions supporting a common mission - whether it is our job conditions or the mission of the university of which we are all a part. And as Benjamin Franklin observed at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, we must all hang together, or assuredly we will all hang separately.


Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, June 2, at Perkins Restaurant, on 5002 E. Fowler Ave., in Tampa. 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.

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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