UFF Home
UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
21 May 2020
Email not displaying properly? View it in your browser


Impact Bargaining and the Contract

In the previous Biweekly, we announced that we were in "impact bargaining" concerning some effects of the pandemic. On Friday, May 15, representatives of the United Faculty of Florida (representing you) and representatives of the USF Administration (representing the USF Board of Trustees) tentatively agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerning a number of issues that have arisen in the past two months.

  • Ratifying the MOU. The MOU must be ratified in order to come into force, and that means that it must be approved by both the employees of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit and by the USF Board of Trustees. For details, see below or click here.
If ratified, the MOU becomes, in effect, part of the contract. Meanwhile, the pandemic situation is fluid, and the contract itself is supposed to be succeeded by a new contract at the beginning of next year.
  • What's in the Contract. Unlike many colleges and universities that have announced unilateral actions from furloughs to pay cuts, the USF Board and Administration must abide by the contract. So what can the Board and Administration do or not do? For answers, see below or click here.
On a more positive note, from time to time, we recognize the accomplishments of UFF members.
  • Kudos to Professor Heide. Kathleen Heide is being promoted to Distinguished University Professor. For details, see below or click here.
In our last issue, we remembered Roy Weatherford. On May 16, the Tampa Bay Times remembered A 'Happy Warrior' for USF Faculty.

We are saddened to hear of the passing of Professor Phil Smith. A USF professor and later Associate Provost, during the 1990s it was Professor Smith we bargained with, and who heard grievances on behalf of the USF Administration. Our Chief Negotiator, Bob Welker, who often faced him across the table, wrote, "Phil always did an excellent job in representing the university, but he always did it in a professional and cordial manner."

Chapter Meeting Tomorrow on USF Tampa at noon on Zoom

The USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida will meet tomorrow, Friday, at noon on Zoom. On the agenda: logistics for voting on the MOU, opening classes in fall, legislation and government relations, and more.

We will meet tomorrow, and on June 5 & 19, July 3 & 17 & 31, and August 14. Any employee in the Bargaining Unit may attend, but you must have an invitation: contact the Chapter Secretary. Meetings and events are posted on the Events Calendar of the UFF USF Website. Come and check us out.

USF United Support Fund for Food Pantries

Many of our students are struggling during this crisis, and the USF Foundation is supporting the USF Food Pantries to help out. They are accepting non-perishable donations, but one can also make monetary donations for the pantries at St. Petersburg, Sarasota / Manatee, and Tampa.

Join UFF Today!

In order to be a member of UFF, one has to join. To join, 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.

Ratifying the MOU

The United Faculty of Florida and the USF Administration have tentatively agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) addressing some issues that have come up during the pandemic, such as:

These are only some of the issues addressed in the MOU. This MOU will come into force as part of the contract once both the employees of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit (both UFF members and non-members) and the USF Board of Trustees ratify the MOU. UFF believes that the MOU is in the best interests of UFF USF employees and of the university, and strongly recommends that all UFF USF employees vote on ratification, and vote in favor of ratification.

(The employees of the UFF USF Bargaining unit consist of faculty (including instructors, librarians, and assistants in (department) and associates in (department)), with the following exceptions: the only medical faculty in the Bargaining Unit are in the colleges of Nursing and Public Health, and the only chairs in the Bargaining Unit are those in the colleges of Arts & Sciences and Education. For additional complications, see Appendix A in pages 86 - 87 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.)

A bit of context. Impact bargaining typically concerns changes that Management makes, and often Management has the (contractual) right to make, but Management must bargain how the change is made, along with ancillary details. In this case, many of the changes are direct or indirect results of the pandemic, although other changes are results of the USF Board and Administration's responses to the pandemic.

UFF requested impact bargaining because of some issues that had been discussed in informal consultations with the USF Administration. The Administration had already acted on some of them (e.g. the tenure clock and student evaluations for Spring 2020), but the union wanted them nailed down. Of course, the MOU addresses only some of the issues that have come up, and many more are likely to arise: expert opinion is that the pandemic is not ending anytime soon. That means that the pandemic will affect this round of bargaining for the successor contract, and that there may be more impact bargaining as well. Stay tuned.

What's in the Contract

As the costs of the pandemic continue to rise and the probability that states will protect their universities dwindles, colleges and universities are considering furloughs and job cuts, major program cuts, pay cuts, and even cuts in libraries (some of them are already laying off faculty, staff - and administrators; although in some corners there is a feeling that the pandemic is being used as a cover for cuts motivated by non-pandemic concerns).

Unlike other colleges and universities, USF has a faculty union, and the USF Board of Trustees are constrained by the language of the contract. Here are some contractual constraints.

As of now, Florida Governor Ron Desantis is holding off on signing the budget until he finds out how much federal money Florida will receive. Senator Rick Scott is campaigning to stop such federal aid as it consists of bailing out governors (like DeSantis) "who cannot live within their means." Reviewing the situation, the Tampa Bay Times glumly warned, "Get ready for painful budget cuts.".

Educating politicians about the consequences of such budget cuts is the job of the Government Relations Committee. If you are interested in lending your pedagogical skills towards defending higher education in Florida, contact the Chapter Secretary.

Kudos to Professor Heide

We are happy and proud to announce the accomplishments of UFF members, so we are pleased to announce that Kathleen Heide of the College of Behavioral and Community Sciences has been promoted to Distinguished University Professor. Professor Heide is one of the world's leading authorities on youthful violence, especially juvenile homicide, and is much in demand by government agencies, community groups, and the news media. She also received six awards at USF for her teaching, including the Jerome Krivanek Distinguished Teaching Award. She has written four books (all of them in the USF Library) and over a hundred additional publications, and she is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

There are now four UFF members among the distinguished university professors.

Note to members: we can only announce kudos for accomplishments we know about, so if you accomplish something notable, let us know about it.


Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, May 22, at noon, via Zoom. All UFF USF members are welcome: for the Zoom link, contact the Chapter Secretary.

All UFF members are invited to attend. Non-members are also invited to come and check us out. To get the link to Zoom, contact the Chapter Secretary. 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 or contacting the Chapter Secretary. If you do not receive the Biweekly, but want to, contact the Chapter Secretary.