Last week, the bargaining teams for the United Faculty of Florida (representing UFF USF employees) and the USF Administration (representing the Board of Trustees) met to start bargaining in earnest. As mentioned in the previous Biweekly, we want stuff and they want stuff. The teams started with the Administration proposals.
As a sign of the times, bargaining between USF staff union (the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) and the USF Administration is at impasse, and there was an impasse hearing on July 6 (here is AFSCME's statement and the USF Administration statement); despite the fact that the USF Administration represents the USF Board of Trustees, the issue will be presented to the Board to be resolved.
Meanwhile, Lake-Sumter State College (LSSC) has just terminated a member of the UFF Bargaining team for the LSSC Chapter. Incidentally, retaliation against an employee for union activity is a violation of federal law...
The USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida will meet tomorrow Friday at 12 noon on Zoom. On the agenda: HB 233 and academic freedom, USF's financial situation, initiation of bargaining, 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 July 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.
USF Philosophy Professor Roy Weatherford was the president of the USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida for the most dangerous years in its history, during Tallahassee's attempt to get rid of UFF statewide (and the battle over USF Professor Al-Arian). He signed the first collective bargaining agreement bargained by the United Faculty of Florida (representing employees of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit) and the USF Administration (representing the Board of Trustees).
The USF community lost a friend and champion when Professor Weatherford passed on last year. Because of the pandemic, the memorial was delayed. But now, on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, on September 5, there will be a Memorial for Roy Weatherford from 4 pm to 6 pm at the Sam & Martha Gibbons Alumni Center at USF. All members and friends of the USF community are invited to come say good-by. For more information, contact Doris Weatherford .
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.
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.
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.
Yes, we are on social media.
While the faculty and professionals of the University of South Florida are the University of South Florida, legally, USF is a creation of the State of Florida. As such, it is governed by the Board of Governors of the State University System, which in turn has delegated chunks of legal authority to the USF Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees hires and fires university presidents (who, in turn, hire and fire senior administrators), so that directly or indirectly, the USF Administration - in a legally enforceable way - serves the Board. So when the United Faculty of Florida (representing the employees of the UFF USF Bargaining Unit) bargains with the USF Administration, the Administration represents the Board.
The bargaining teams for UFF and the Administration met last Friday, and the Administration handed out a proposal consisting of 73 pages of edits of the current contract (notice that the entire document has line numbers, like a galley). There was a lot of discussion about the following edits:
UFF's primary concern about the Administration's salary proposal was the amount. The last merit raise was distributed in November 2019, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that inflation from November 2019 through June 2021 was 5.63 %, so even if the proposed 1 % raise was implemented this year, it would fall noticeably short of inflation. (It doesn't help that Fitch anticipates that the annual inflation rate between now and next August will be about 4 %.) UFF is very concerned about the effect of such a blow to purchasing power of UFF USF employees and believes that the USF Board of Trustees should seriously consider the effect of this proposed raise on USF's already serious retention problem.
Of course, USF is in financial difficulties, but there has been a certain lack of transparency about those difficulties, which makes it difficult to estimate what a reasonable raise would be this year given USF's financial position.
The two chief negotiators will set a date for the next bargaining session. Stay tuned...
Chapter Meeting tomorrow Friday, July 16, at 12 noon, via Zoom. All UFF USF members are welcome: for the Zoom link, contact the Chapter Secretary.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.
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 email@example.com.