UFF/USF Chapter Meeting

July 6, 2007


In attendance: J. Martin, P. Terry, B. Welker, S. Wohlmuth, C. Dee, S. Dorn, M. Kaplan, B. Barnett, K. de la Peña McCook, F. Ottanelli

Adoption of the Agenda: The agenda was adopted ‘with flexibility.’
State Budget Issues: After discussion on the topic, S. Dorn handed the chair of the meeting over to S. Wohlmuth so that he could present the following motion:
Whereas the current projected revenue deficit for the State of Florida FY 2008 fiscal budget is under 1.7% of the state budget;
Whereas Florida Statute 216.222 allows withdrawals from the Budget Stabilization Fund to cover a deficit in the General Revenue Fund;
Whereas Florida Statutes 215.16(2) and 216.221(5)(c)(1) prohibit post-appropriations budget reductions in education greater than reductions in other departments and agencies;
Whereas Florida Statutes 215.16(2) also prohibits budget reductions in higher education greater than the reductions required in K-12;
Whereas Florida Statutes 216.221(5)(c)(3) requires that new programs be cut before cuts in existing programs;
And whereas more than $115 million in new programs was authorized by the Florida Legislature in the FY 2008 budget – $100 million for Centers of Excellence, approximately $10 million in planning for new medical schools at UCF and FIU, and $5 million to hire new faculty at FSU;
HEREBY IT IS RESOLVED, that the USF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida sees no need to degrade the education of current students or the working conditions of faculty and staff at the University of South Florida or at any public college or university in the state of Florida through cuts to existing programs in the 2007-2008 year, and the chapter urges the administration to advocate the elimination of new programs in the SUS before cutting existing programs and degrading the education, research, and service programs that currently exist.
Another motion (with a unanimous consent for a wording change) was made, seconded and passed to name the resolution, The Sky Is Not Falling.
Summer Consultation: The first (of two) summer consultation is scheduled for Tuesday, August 14th, in the afternoon. Topics so far include:
· Instructor Promotion Track
· Annual Review Procedures Update
· New-Hire Welcome
· H1B/Permanent Residency
· Mediation
Topics may be added to the agenda until a week before the scheduled consultation.
Bargaining: The July dates for bargaining have not yet been finalized; perhaps the 13th and the 27th. So far, the other side has presented nothing. Teams are working on domestic partner benefits and parental leave, so there will be no response from them on these.
S. Wohlmuth announced that the chapter has money in the credit union account.
Political Action:
R. Weatherford submitted his report via email, as he is in Philadelphia for the 150th NEA annual representative assembly. Highlights included 6 of the leading presidential candidates speaking before the assembly, his introduction of a controversial Bylaws Amendment (which was defeated), and his politicking for a candidate for the national NEA executive committee.
There was discussion in the meeting about R. Weatherford’s participation at the local level with the Labor Council, and some expressed concern for the need to find someone that he could nurture into that role. It needs to be someone who likes poker, beer, and meeting with the local labor leaders to represent UFF/USF. Perhaps an email to the membership describing the kind of person needed, duties involved, etc. would be sufficient.
Other Business:
B. Barnett discussed the impact of the budget crunch on faculty who depend on soft money for part or all of their salaries. No one in Public Health, for example, is 1 full FTE. The problem arises from the fact that multiple grants have been de-funded or non-renewed – and this was before the budget crisis. Some are being asked to take pay cuts; the money just is not there. The indirects are not coming back to them.
Respectfully submitted by Jana Martin.