Sept. 2, 2008 UFF Report for Faculty Senate
It is important to remember that the faculty senate and the faculty union serve different functions at FIU. The faculty senate concerns itself with faculty governance and academic and curricular issues while the faculty union is primarily concerned with terms and conditions of employment. Many of us are both senators and union members. The issues that face the Union are of importance to the Senate and so there is a report from the UFF chapter president on every Senate agenda. Please keep in mind that when the Chapter President is at the podium he/she represents the Union, however, in my case, when I sit down “over there” I am an elected representative of CAS.
The UFF report:
It has been a busy summer for us. The UFF has been closely monitoring the unfolding process of layoffs. We have requested two consultations with the Provost and his team. We met once to discuss the contract language, and once to discuss concerns that arose from our meetings with faculty in layoff units.
At this point, 15 in-unit faculty have been given layoff notices. With one exception, layoff notices have been consistent with and preserved faculty’s contractual rights. In the exception, notice was given without proper UFF notification and a chapter grievance was filed, which will be proceeding to arbitration.
In each possible case, the administration has offered “alternate employment” beyond layoff. Although this has been a totally unpleasant and unfortunate situation for all of us at FIU, but especially our colleagues in layoff units – as faculty union chapter president, it is my view, that the FIU administration has been doing a noble job of protecting faculty rights under the contract.
It has also been a busy summer for the UFF bargaining team. We have been meeting throughout the summer to negotiate a new contract as our previous contract expired on July 1, 2008.
Parental Leave – we have reached agreement on the parental leave policy and have preserved the 26 week leave we achieved in the earlier contract.
Memorandum of Understanding on Promotion Raises – the chief negotiators have signed an MOU to allow promotion raises to go into effect despite the fact that we have not yet reached agreement on the salary article. That MOU must be ratified by a vote of the bargaining unit to be held:
Tuesday, September, 9 from 9 to 5 in GL lobby on UP
Wednesday, September 10 from 10 to 3 in BBC Library.
Salaries – we were quite close to reaching agreement to secure a raise for faculty and allow the administration their discretionary monies, however, as is the way with contract negotiations – we’ve run into some obstacles. Nevertheless, we are willing to give the administration their discretionary monies if they are able to come up with some sort of “retention adjustment” or “cost of living” increase which faculty really need as the economy continues to sink.
Promotion for Instructors/lecturers. Finally, we are very very close to agreement on language that would lay out a promotion track for instructors and lecturers. This is something that the UFF has proposed based on the feedback we’ve received from our bargaining unit.
- New Faculty Luncheon – UFF members are encouraged to escort their new colleagues to the luncheon Friday, September 26 from 11:30 – 2:30 in GC ballroom. It will be a festive event with many distinguished speakers and lots of good food. -- You can come to the luncheon even if you are not a member but you’ll have to join at the door!