We had two bargaining sessions with the BOT’s team in December. Here is the update from our UFF-UCF bargaining team, John Fauth (Biology) and Barbara Fritzsche (Psychology):
The UCF Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida is pleased to report that bargaining for the 2015-2018 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) continued to be amicable. In last month’s bargaining sessions, we reached tentative agreement with the Board of Trustees’ team on four articles:
Article 7 – Minutes, Regulations, Budgets, and Reports
Article 16 – Disciplinary Action and Job Abandonment
Article 19 – Conflict of Interest or Commitment/Outside Activity
Article 21 – Other Employee Rights (which remains unchanged from the current CBA)
The changes replaced vague language, fixed grammatical errors, and improved the organization of these four articles.
Both parties now have tentatively agreed on 15 of the 32 contract articles, plus the Preamble. You can read these articles and the current proposals at http://www.collectivebargaining.ucf.edu/pages/Proposals_2015-2018.htm
In the two December bargaining sessions, your UFF-UCF bargaining team also proposed substantive changes in two articles:
Article 22 – Sabbaticals and Professional Development Programs
Currently, the number of Type I (full pay) sabbaticals is very limited, and our proposal increases the number to one for every twenty tenured or tenure-earning faculty within each college. Our position is that sabbaticals increase faculty expertise and productivity and additional Type I sabbaticals are a low-cost means to increase research activity, writing, and professional development. This position had very strong support in the faculty survey.
Article 29 – Severability
Severability and its companion legal concept, the savings clause, address what happens when one section of an agreement is declared illegal. Severability addresses its separation from the rest of the contract, and the savings clause maintains the rest of the contract in full force and effect. Our proposal recognizes the hard work that both the UFF-UCF and the BOT team put into our CBA, and acknowledges Florida law that a statute or rule enacted after the contract’s ratification is superseded by the terms of the contract.
In addition, Dr. Yovanna Pineda presented the results of her research on parental leave programs, and we were glad that the administration is open to discussing this issue. Five other Florida state universities now have a paid parental leave program.
The BOT team also presented its rationale for desiring to revise Article 13 – Layoff and Recall. The BOT team stated that their intent is to fix legacy language that proved ambiguous and in some cases counter-intuitive or contradictory when it had to be used during the Great Recession. Both sides recognize that it is wise to improve this article now, during better economic times. We hope it never has to be used again at UCF.
The next bargaining session is this week: Thursday, January 15th from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. in Millican Hall 262.
Many faculty attended bargaining sessions last semester and we encourage everyone to come join us. And please consider becoming an active member of UFF-UCF, if you are not already. You can become a member through the UFF-UCF web site. Continued progress at the bargaining table – and elsewhere – depends on your support!