On the ballot, it says to place the ballot in the small envelope provided in the packet, seal it, and then place the small envelope in the ballot box. This is an error: we ask employees to place the small envelope inside the regular envelope (already stamped and sealed), print your name at the upper left corner, sign your name in the upper left corner, seal it, and mail it. We apologize for the confusion.
The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst crisis to hit the USF community, and one of the hardest parts is not knowing what is coming. We have received warnings and projections and even optimistic plans, but what September will look like, we do not know.
But we do know one thing. We are all of us the University of South Florida, and we are stronger together then apart. And for nearly half a century, the United Faculty of Florida has represented USF faculty in bargaining and enforcing the contract. That contract provides us with some protection against unilateral or panicky management decisions.
Hurricane Season is upon us, and as usual, we are advised to prepare rather than wait until the last minute to buy water and batteries. The same rules apply to conditions of employment at USF; we should prepare rather than wait until the last minute - or after the last minute - to act.
That is why the UFF acted by bargaining a Memorandum of Understanding to address some of the problems we faculty may face this September. For example...
If you are assigned to teach courses this fall, and you or someone you live with are at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness - you are over 65; you have a chronic heart, kidney, liver, or lung disorder; you have diabetes or a blood or immune system disorder; etc. - you shall have priority to teach an online course.
Since decisions are being made (or unmade) during the summer, if you are are of higher risk, you should tell your chair or supervisor now: online courses require a lot of preparation. Whatever comes in September, we should prepare in advance, and make sure we have the batteries and water we need.
In that same spirit, we ask those of you who are not members to join. In normal times, people wait until trouble is clearly coming; well, trouble is coming. We do not know if there will be layoffs or additional classes or other hardships, but we do know that there will be hardships. The time to prepare for them is now.
You can join by filling in the online form. Thank you,
President, USF Chapter of the UFF
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. Here is the membership form. Come and join the movement.
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.
Chapter Meeting Friday, June 5, via Zoom: for an invitation, contact the Chapter Secretary.
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.
About this broadcast: This Newsletter was broadcast from uff.ourusf.org, hosted at ICDsoft.com, and is intended for all UFF USF members.
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