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UFF Biweekly
United Faculty of Florida -- USF System Chapter
1 July 2021
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The formal purpose of a union is to bargain and enforce a contract. Our contract is due to be succeeded by a new contract, and bargaining a successor contract begins next week.

  • Bargaining. We want stuff, they want stuff. For some of the stuff we want - and for a (realistic) description of how this works, see below or click here.
Fall starts in 53 days, and the USF Administration has posted a Returning to Campus page "... to help you transition and find the resources you need to prepare for the months ahead." According to the Mitigation Page, access to "general campus facilities" will not require filling out the Daily Symptom Checker as of August 23 - but certain medical facilities will still require it. Indeed, the vaccines have not quite ended the pandemic, so recall that the 20 May Biweekly noted the following contractual language concerning job safety: Whenever an employee reports a condition which the employee feels represents a violation of safety or health rules and regulations or which is an unreasonable hazard to persons or property, such conditions shall be promptly investigated. The appropriate administrator shall reply to the concern, in writing, if the employee's concern is communicated in writing. UFF members may seek assistance from the UFF USF Grievance Committee in making such a report.

Chapter Meeting Tomorrow on Zoom

The USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida will meet tomorrow Friday at 12 noon on Zoom. On the agenda: House Bill 233 (on surveying faculty and permitting students to record classes), collective bargaining, reopening in fall, and more. And here are the minutes for the previous meeting.

Any employee in the Bargaining Unit may attend, but you must have an invitation: contact the Chapter Secretary to get one. This summer, we will be meeting on alternate Fridays at 12 noon over Zoom: the dates are June 18, July 2, 16 & 30, and August 13. Any employee in the Bargaining Unit may attend, but you must have an invitation: contact the Chapter Secretary to get one.

Meetings and events are posted on the Events Calendar of the UFF USF Website. Come and check us out.

Tailgate Social in Fall

UFF will sponsor a Tailgate Social for the first home football game of the USF Bulls vs. the Florida Gators on Sept. 11, 2021. The game will be at Raymond James stadium in Tampa. The game is scheduled to start at noon, but kickoff time is subject to change. Regardless, we are planning a tent, chairs, coolers, and food for 50 UFF members and families members before the game. In the past, our Tailgates have been at a prime location to watch the bands and players enter, meet up with Rocky, and enjoy the fans.

RSVP to Steve Lang if you plan to participate and let us know who is coming (like a spouse or children). We will need to order food and maybe extra chairs.

If you already have tickets to the game, that’s great! Otherwise, you can get tickets at the Go USF Bulls (Football Tickets) website. For the last few years there was an employee discount, so call them and ask. If you do not have tickets and would like UFF to ask for a group or tickets together, then let us know ASAP and we will try to arrange it. This game will be sold out! No one actually knows what the mask or vaccination policy will be at Raymond James Stadium at this time.

Please provide an email so that we can update folks with information about the time of the game, location of the Tailgate, parking, food choices, and tickets.

We have had some really great tailgate parties in the past few years at the Rays, Rowdies, and USF Bulls, so hopefully this will be a back-to-normal event.

Join UFF Today!

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.


If you have been the victim of a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement or the recent Memorandum of Understanding, 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 Grievances Page.

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.

We are on Social Media

Yes, we are on social media.

  • We have a Facebook group: see United Faculty of Florida at USF. 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, and the moderator will invite every UFF member that asks to join. Non-members are welcome to look (but you need a Facebook account to do that). So check us out.
  • We have a blog: see The USF Faculty Blog. This has news items as they come up.
  • We are twitter-pated: follow us on Twitter via @UffUsf.
  • We even have a You-Tube channel: check out our videos
If you want to help with media matters, contact the Communications Committee chair.


One advantage of having a union is that there is a contract. The Board of Trustees can't unilaterally do stuff like impose furloughs and pay cuts, and there are standards and procedures for layoffs and dismissals. Our contract is the 2016 - 2019 Collective Bargaining Agreement (as extended by the 2019 - 2020 Memorandum of Understanding), which was modified by another Memorandum of Understanding to deal with the pandemic.

Our current contract is due for replacement by a new contract, and the two bargaining teams will meet next week on Friday, July 9, at a time and place TBA, to start negotiating; the meeting is open to the public. The United Faculty of Florida (which represents all 1,600 or so employees in the USF UFF Bargaining Unit - UFF members and non-members alike) has a bargaining team led by our Chief Negotiator, Robert Welker, Associate Professor of Accounting (and a practicing attorney). The Administration (which represents the USF Board of Trustees) has a bargaining team led by John Dickinson, a partner in Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophet, LLP. The contract to be bargained is a contract between the USF faculty and professionals in the Bargaining Unit, and the USF Board of Trustees; UFF represents the employees in the Bargaining Unit while the Administration represents the Board of Trustees.

(In turn, the Board is supposed to represent the community and the State of Florida - and to act in the best interests of the university and its mission.)

The usual process is to take the previous contract and propose changes. For example, the UFF's first proposal consists of 33 pages of changes to the 2016 - 2019 contract. As of this moment, we have not received a proposal from the Administration, but we have heard that they are working on something.

The usual procedure is:

  1. The two teams bargain a new contract, and the two chief negotiators tentatively agree to the new contract.
  2. The UFF presents the proposed contract to all employees in the UFF USF Bargaining Unit - UFF members and non-members alike - and the employees vote on whether to ratify the new contract.
  3. Meanwhile (actually, usually afterwards), the Administration presents the proposed contract to the USF Board of Trustees, and the Board votes on whether to ratify the new contract.
  4. If both the UFF USF employees and the USF Board vote in favor of ratification, then the contract is ratified and comes into force. If either the UFF USF employees or the USF Board fails to ratify, it's back to the negotiating table.
Notice that both sides have to agree to the new contract. So while we would really like a 10 % raise, if Management won't sign, we won't get it. And rational argument isn't very effective in these situations; both sides are supposed to advance the interests of those that they represent, and that typically takes priority over rational argument.

And in some ways, the table is tilted against us. By law, we cannot strike. And if the two bargaining teams cannot reach an agreement - a situation called impasse - then (with some important restrictions) the dispute is resolved by ... the Board. On the other hand, UFF can make some use of those important restrictions - and of the fact that the Board is a political creature (which means that the percentage of employees who are UFF members influences the Board's decision-making). But usually both sides avoid such fireworks - although both teams are aware of the smoke bombs, roman candles, and sky rockets in the back room.

Bargaining often takes a long time, and we will be following the bargaining process - and we encourage all UFF USF employees to do so likewise.


Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, July 2, at 12 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 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.