UFF/USF Chapter Meeting

August 24, 2007

In attendance: J. Martin, S. Dorn, M. Klisch, R. Weatherford, B. Welker, S. Ramírez Wohlmuth, M. Kaplan, A. Shapiro, L. McBrien, G. McColm, S. Permuth, J. Noonan, B. Ingalls

Adoption of the Agenda: The agenda was adopted, as written, with one addition.
Miscellaneous Announcements:
Graham v. Pruitt: update on this; there is some concern over the consequences for students. Another legal matter was updated.
Domestic partner benefits and parental leave joint task forces will be meeting soon. The DPB meets today for their second meeting, and the PL will meet in early September.
State Budget Status:
There was discussion on the upcoming legislative session on the budget situation. All UFF members need to be calling their legislators to tell them to vote to save existing programs, even if it means special projects don’t receive sufficient funding, such as the two newly planned medical schools.
There has been an assignment grievance filed on this issue. The real issue here is that of impact bargaining. A small group has volunteered to take a look at the numbers to see how many faculty members’ classes have actually been affected by the policy.
Since the entire group agreed that class size is a bargaining issue and not a consultation one, other topics were placed on the upcoming consultation agendas. They include: state budget, layoff issues, IT and intellectual property, external reviewers and tenure/promotion processes, and the instructor promotion track. The USF side is expected to bring up paperless annual contracts and they also want to discuss the class size issue.
Labor Day Picnic:
Kathleen McCook received ten tickets to the Central Labor Council’s Labor Day Picnic, of which she bought 4. Roy got 2, which leaves 4 left that he will bring to the picnic. Get with Roy ahead of time, or meet him at the fairgrounds to get tickets. He will hand them out there.
FEA Delegate Assembly:
Five have confirmed attendance to the DA, besides Sherman Dorn.
M. Klisch discussed a settlement for an assignment grievance, the chapter grievance on layoff, an assignment grievance related to the class-size mandate from the Provost. There is an arbitration coming up on a year-old grievance.
G. McColm announced that the Bi-Weekly came out yesterday. He is still looking for guest writers. “If there’s a topic of interest to you, go for it.” The two up-coming state-wide meetings offer great chances for writers.
S. Wohlmuth announced that the chapter has money in the credit union account. She also said that the summer rebate check had been deposited.
Political Action:
R. Weatherford reported on the Jacksonville Republican that FEA has endorsed, as there is no viable Democrat running in this particular race. On the legislative front, committees are meeting next week. The meeting with Victor Crist had to be cancelled as Crist needed to attend the funeral of the Hillsborough County Sheriff who had been murdered in the line of duty. Dorn and Weatherford met instead with two of Crist’s aides. It appears that state funding will be cut further.
There have been ten new memberships in the last month; most of these came from the new faculty orientation. In the next couple of months, Dorn will be looking for volunteers to go to departments and to help in putting together packets for the group meetings. S. Permuth, A. Shapiro, and G. McColm will try to figure out a way to constructively educate CAS and Education chairs on the CBA.
Release Half-Units:
Dorn mentioned that there is a half a unit out there for a non-instructional employee for anyone who can help with membership, or other chapter business.
Over the Horizon Issues:
Membership in the Tampa Chamber of Commerce: The issue came up again when McColm and Dorn attended the Tribune Editorial Board meeting. Should the chapter rejoin and do the chapter’s members have the necessary time and energy? Although Chamber members are not necessarily politically accessible, alliance with local businesses may be useful. Perhaps the Chamber businesses could learn to become more politically active at UFF/USF’s urging, and could be persuaded to ‘throw money’ towards assisting in getting education better funding from the state of Florida.
B. Welker came into the meeting at the end, and spent a few minutes talking about the directions in which bargaining has gone already and in which it might be going in the near future. The funding crisis has a lot of issues completely up in the air.
Respectfully submitted by Jana Martin.