What We Face Now
Governor Rick Scott and a majority of Florida legislators are pushing dramatic reductions in the jobs and benefits of state university faculty while passing new tax breaks for corporations. Last year state university faculty were forced to pay 3% into their retirement. Apparently this was not enough--the Legislature is back for an additional 2% of your salary.
Make no mistake, Governor Scott is looking for ways to eliminate union contracts and keep us from functioning. We are once again facing bills which decertify unions and eliminate faculty tenure, part of attempts to bring the 'Texas Plan' to fruition. Recently, the salaries of all state university faculty were published, in an effort to build ill will towards public employees.
It's time to let Governor Scott know that he can't "[c]reate a world class education system" while cutting education funding, dictating what universities can teach and telling students which majors they can and can't get.
- University and college budget cuts lead to faculty layoffs and benefit reductions (sabbaticals, leave, etc.).
- Without a contract, faculty become "at will employees," giving supervisors the power to fire anyone without justification or due process. Supervisors can then "cherry-pick" through faculty and layoff anyone whose salary they want to use for other purposes.
- This means the end of legal guarantees for tenure, continuing contracts, and multiyear contracts. It also means the end of due process, academic freedom, and a grievance procedure with binding arbitration.
- Legislators want to require faculty contributions for retirement benefits and health and life insurance (5-15% salary loss).
Only a legally binding union contract protects:
- Academic freedom, due process, tenure, continuing contracts, fair evaluations, the right to grievances with binding arbitration, and assignment dispute resolution.
- Substantial salary increases for promotions.
- Paid leave, sabbaticals, and other benefits.
- Intellectual property rights.
What can faculty do?
- Join UFF!
- We must have a majority of members this spring to withstand attacks on collective bargaining.
- Get involved in the UFF campaign to build a strong union.