The President. From the Bylaws: The president shall preside at all meetings of the chapter and of the Chapter Council. He or she shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, shall sign all necessary documents and papers, and represent the organization. Also, per UFF (statewide), the President also serves as a senator ex officio.
Candidates: Arthur Shapiro.
Candidates: W. Steve Lang.
Secretary. From the Bylaws: The Secretary shall maintain records for the chapter proceedings and perform other functions as specified by the Chapter Council.
Candidates: Greg McColm
Treasurer. From the Bylaws: The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the chapter, shall exercise supervision over the receipt and disbursement of all monies, properties, securities, and other evidence of financial worth of this organization. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget and make regular financial reports to the Chapter Council.
Candidates: Sonia Ramirez-Wolhmuth
Note. The four elected officers, together with the chairs of the Bargaining and Grievance Committee, make up the Executive Committee.
Senators. From the Bylaws: The Senators shall represent the Chapter at the statewide UFF meetings. The President shall assign an Alternate Senator to represent the chapter at one of these meetings when a Senator is unable to attend. Senators and Alternate Senators may exercise other duties as prescribed by the Chapter Council. The Chapter has been allocated twenty seats for the UFF Senate.
Candidates: Karin Braunsberger, W. Steve Lang, John Lennon, Richard Manning, Gregory McColm, Kerry L. Myers, Cynthia Patterson, Steve Permuth, Frank Pyrtle III, Debbie Sinclair, Robert F. Welker, Sonia Ramírez Wohlmuth
Delegates. From the Bylaws: The Delegates shall represent that chapter at the statewide FEA Assembly meetings.The President shall assign an Alternate Delegate to represent the chapter at one of these meetings when a Delegate is unable to attend.Delegates and Alternate Delegates may exercise other duties as prescribed by the Executive Committee. The Chapter has been allocated ten seats for the FEA Delegate Assembly.
Candidates: Karin Braunsberger, W. Steve Lang, Richard Manning, Gregory McColm, Kerry Myers, Steve Permuth
Candidate Links, Photos, and Statements
W. Steve Lang. I would welcome the opportunity to serve the USF chapter of UFF as one of your officers. I have been a member of UFF for 28 years, and served on the Collective Bargaining Team, the Grievance Committee, as a Senator, and as Vice-President. I have also led Promotion & Tenure (P&T) workshops, grievance training, and arranged socials for our members. Recently, I have been participating with FEA on Government Relations, attended legislative training, and made regular visits to legislators.
I have also been active in university governance, having served in many positions such as the Senate, P&T Committees, Sabbatical Committees, University System Council, President’s Athletic Council, College Council, and Annual Review Committees. I have seen the intersection of university governance, and the CBA as an important area of strength for the union that must be maintained.
I believe that our Collective Bargaining Agreement is the only way to protect the jobs and working conditions of faculty, and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is only as good as it’s enforcement. As part of the leadership team, I am committed to negotiating the best contract possible. I am also committed to growing our membership, representing the members, and fighting for salaries and benefits. If elected, I will work towards improving our working conditions at USF, being responsive to faculty issues, and communicating with members.
I believe that UFF is the only way for employees to fight for fair salaries and working conditions. UFF is also the representative of members in consultation or disputes over the CBA. As such, the officers have to be knowledgeable and willing to support faculty. I have represented members on grievances all the way to arbitration.
The executive team also maintains a strong chapter by growing the membership, fiscal responsibility, and tough bargaining. The officers also represent USF UFF at state meetings and with FEA. I have demonstrated competence and willing to work hard for the chapter, and I would like to continue as your office in in the next year. The officers should work together for the benefit of the union and the employees that they represent.
My platform for 2021-2022 would include:
- Negotiating the strongest, enforceable CBA in Florida
- Keeping employees and students safe in the current environment
- Salary increases and equity across departments, campuses, and ranks
- Improving the article on Assignment Disputes (Appendix F)
- Consulting with USF over P&T criteria and process
- Growing membership at all campuses
- Increasing member participation in chapter activities
- Supporting members professionally during grievances
- Creating multi-year contracts for non-tenured employees
- Demanding transparency from USF administration on planning and budget
John Lennon. I would like to serve as a representative for statewide UFF Senate meetings.
Richard Manning. Now more than ever (except maybe just before Biden was sworn in, but still) educators need to organize to protect the public mission of creating capable citizens. I aim to help.
Greg McColm. I am an associate professor of Mathematics & Statistics, and I came to USF in 1986. I have devoted most of my time to research (two external grants) and teaching. For many years I have been the webmaster and editor of UFF USF Chapter’s electronic Biweekly Newsletter. I have also served as UFF Senator for many years, and more recently as FEA Delegate; I have also served for many years as Chapter Secretary. I have also served for several years in the Faculty Senate, and I once chaired the ad hoc committee to report on departmental governance.
During the past few years, the primary duties of the Secretary have been to compose and post the minutes of the Chapter and the Council and to maintain critical records. In addition, with the membership growth of the UFF USF Chapter and the United Faculty as a whole, the Secretary has been charged with maintaining the membership lists.
The Secretary is also a member of the Chapter’s Executive Committee, which consists of four elected officers and two standing committee chairs, and deals with the daily routine of the union in collaboration with the Chapter President. I believe that the current highest priority of the Executive Committee should be to recruit new activists to support the work of the union.
I am running for seats in the primary policy-making bodies of the United Faculty of Florida (our “union local”) and of UFF’s state affiliate, the Florida Education Association. I am working to build these organizations because they defend and advance not only the interests of university faculty and professionals but also the ideals of our scholarly community.
I hope to continue in this effort and would appreciate your support.
Kerry L. Myers. I am a member of UFF and regularly attend meetings. I currently serve on the local chapter’s Elections Committee. I am also currently an elected senator on the USF Faculty Senate.
Cynthia Patterson.I have been a member of the union since 2005. I currently serve as a State Senator, member of the local chapter’s Grievance and Membership committee, and Acting Chair of the local chapter’s Elections Committee.
Steve Permuth. Steve Permuth has served as a Grievance officer, Membership Committee, Poltical Action Committee, Election Committee, and Bargaining Committee at the local level. He has also served as a UFF State Senator and UFF/USF Governance Board Member and,in addition, is a member of the University of South Florida Faculty Senate and former Chair of the Faculty Senate Graduate Council.
Frank Pyrtle, III. I am an instructor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. I joined the USF College of Engineering faculty in 2004, and have been a member of the union since 2011. I desire to continue to serve the UFF-USF membership by representing us in the UFF Senate, and to be involved in union affairs that directly affect union members and the general faculty. I currently serve as a UFF-USF senator, and as a member of our collective bargaining team.
Arthur Shapiro. Arthur Shapiro is a candidate for president of UFF. He has served as president for six years and was Vice-President before that. He has been a senator for more than ten years and served on the bargaining committee for four years.
He joined the first teacher’s union outside of Chicago when it was formed and has negotiated both teachers’ and administrators’ contract (yep, in some states administrators have unions) as superintendent of schools. He has been a professor of Educational Leadership for 38 years at USF and seved in the same capacity at Vanderbilt. He was chair three times, served on the faculty Senate for several terms and as Sergeant-at-Arms for two terms.
He strongly supports faculty involvement in governance as essential for the Academy.
Debbie Sinclair. Debbie is the Chair of the Membership Committee as well as a member of the Grievance Committee and the Collective Bargaining Team. She has been a UFF Senator since April 2019, is a past president of the USFSP Faculty Senate, and currently serves as a Member At-Large of the USF Faculty Senate and the USFSP Campus Faculty Council.
Robert F. Welker. I would appreciate your vote so I can continue to serve as a Senator and to use my past experience and legal training to advance faculty interests and to protect faculty rights. I am a tenured associate Professor of Business Law in the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy in the MUMA College of Business. I am a past Vice-President of the chapter and currently serve as a Senator and Chief Negotiator. I regularly attend the chapter meetings and the Senate meetings.
Sonia Ramirez Wohlmuth. I am a long time member of UFF who has been active in our union, having served as senator, grievance chair, and treasurer. I would like to continue in my role as treasurer, maintaining the chapter’s accounts and filing financial reports, to ensure that the University of South Florida chapter continues in good standing and is able to work with its statewide partners on issues of importance in higher education. In the face of unprecedented challenges to the state university system the presence of a strong union to present faculty interests and concerns is vital.