Article III in the UFF-UCF By-Laws describes the definitions of the officers and the councilors, and their basic responsibilities. The article also lists some of the council’s overall duties. The council is made up of the four officers (Pres., VP, Sec’y, Treas.), the senators, and the alternate senators.
• Things the council can and must do, as described in Sections 6 and 7 of Article III:
“Section 6. The Chapter Council shall adopt an annual budget and administer the policies of the Chapter as set by the membership. It shall have the power to act for the good of the Chapter in emergency situations where policy cannot be set by the membership. The Chapter Council shall regularly notify the membership of its actions.”
“Section 7. The Chapter Council shall have the power to employ persons on full or part-time basis. Any member of the United Faculty of Florida who is employed by the United Faculty of Florida shall be paid a salary equivalent to what he or she would earn in the State University System.”
• Things the officers and councilors do, as described in Sections 1 through 5 of Article III, and as described by the people in those offices:
(Note that all officers must attend monthly chapter meetings, assist with recruitment of new members, and promote UFF through attended socials and related activities.)
|Description in the By-Laws||What that means in practice|
|“Section 1. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Chapter and of the Chapter Council. He or she shall be ex-officio member of all committees, shall sign all necessary documents and papers, and represent the organization. The President shall make an annual report to the membership.”||• Preside at all meetings of chapter and chapter Council
• Appoint committee members and delegate duties to them
• Serve as ex-officio member of all committees
• Plan chapter objectives with other officers and Committee chairs
• Communicate regularly with the bargaining unit
• Make annual report to membership
• Encourage UFF membership
• Recruit and develop new leaders among members
• Attend UFF Senate meetings (2/year) and UFF Council of Presidents meetings (3/year)
• Liaise with State officials and other campus chapters
• Ensure annual elections are held and results reported to State UFF
• Serve as chief spokesperson for the chapter, and represent the chapter to the public, college/university, and press
• Understand and promote programs sponsored by UFF and its affiliates
• Serve as clearinghouse for essential information, referring new materials to appropriate committee chairs or the membership
• Facilitate informal consultations with administrative team
• Liaise in other formal and informal capacities with UCF administration
• Supervise paid staff, and oversee recordkeeping
|“Section 2. The Vice President shall represent the President when the President cannot be present and shall exercise those duties prescribed by the President or the Chapter Council. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the President, the Vice-President shall serve as President for the period remaining in the existing term.”||• Assist president in the functions of the office
• Act as president in the president’s absence
• Oversee major projects of the chapter
• Stay informed with activities of — and give advice to — the membership, bargaining, and grievance committees
• Assist in recruiting, training, and orienting UFF stewards
|“Section 3. The Secretary shall maintain records of Chapter proceedings and perform other functions as specified by the Chapter Council.”||• Attend all chapter union meetings and take minutes
• If unable to attend, appoint minute-taker for that meeting
• Keep permanent minute book (now online); make minutes and records available to members via web; send approved minutes to webmaster
• Have copies of previous minutes available at meetings
• With President, chairs, and other officers, draft agenda of monthly meetings; circulate agenda and draft minutes to council
|“Section 4. The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the Chapter, shall exercise supervision over the receipt and disbursement of all monies, properties, securities, and other evidence of financial worth of this organization. The Treasurer shall prepare an annual budget for consideration of the Chapter Council and make regular financial reports to the Chapter Council.”||• Receive all income of the chapter
• Bank all funds to the credit of chapter
• Pay such funds as needed
• Keep itemized record of all receipts and expenditures
• Make reports as required by statute, governmental rules and regulations, constitution and bylaws, or by order of president
• Assist officers in preparing budget for coming year
|“Section 5. The Senators shall represent the Chapter at the statewide UFF Senate meetings and the annual Representative Assembly of the Florida Teaching Profession. Senators… may exercise other duties as prescribed by the Chapter Council”||• Attend at least approximately half of the monthly Council meetings
• Participate in some fashion in either the membership, bargaining, or grievance committee work
• If feasible attend at least one of the semiannual statewide UFF Senate meetings in Tampa
• [See below for more info!]
|Section 5 (cont’d). “The President shall assign an Alternate Senator to represent the Chapter at these meetings when a Senator is unable to attend. …Alternate Senators may exercise other duties as prescribed by the Chapter Council.”||• Attend some of the monthly Council meetings
• Fill in for Senators when needed
• [See below for more info!]
• Other notes about UFF positions:
A Steward is a general term and not defined in the By-Laws, but is someone who is willing to, for example:
• identify potential members to aid membership committee in recruiting;
• contact and assist the grievance chair regarding potential grievances;
• be a source of information about UFF and keep copies of the Agreement and other publications for distribution;
• attend chapter or campus union meetings.
A steward can hold any other office in the union and may also be a senator.
The number of Senators is determined by the state UFF office and is based on the number of dues-paying UFF members we have. In other words, the more people that sign up for UFF, the more voice we can have with the state organization. The number assigned to us depends on membership as of January immediately before spring voting. One senator is assigned for each 25 members. If the membership is not divisible by 25 and there is a fraction left over, we get one more senator.
For AY 2015-2016, UFF-UCF has 15 Senators. All are at-large, i.e. not tied to a specific college. All senators should come to at least half of the monthly chapter meetings, attend at least one of the semiannual statewide UFF meetings (if feasible), and help with some of the work of UFF-UCF’s grievance, bargaining, or membership committees. Note that this help can take many forms! Those committee chairs are willing to work with you to find tasks that fit your workload. Contact them for more info!
The chapter President automatically takes one of the allocated Senate seats. A senator may hold another office/position in the union and may also be a steward.
Each chapter gets at least 2 Senate seats regardless of membership totals. (I.e., if [heaven forbid!] we ever dropped below 26 dues-paying members, we would still have 2 senators.)
Then UFF Senate is composed of representatives of all chapters in UFF. The Senate ordinarily meets on a weekend twice a year, usually in Tampa (though occasionally in Orlando, Miami, or Tallahassee). The Senate is the legislative body of UFF. The Senate is divided into four Bargaining Councils, one each for the State University System (i.e. the one UCF is part of), the State Colleges, the Graduate Assistants, and the Independent Colleges and Universities. So Senators from a particular chapter are also members of their respective bargaining council. Bargaining councils generally meet on Saturday, followed by the full Senate on Sunday.
- Alternate Senators
The number of Alternate Senators is determined by the number of senators we have. So for AY 2015-16 we have 15 Alternate Senators in UFF-UCF; i.e. one alternate senator may be elected for each Senate seat. All alternate senators can attend all meetings just like regular senators do, and they are welcome to participate in UFF-UCF’s grievance, bargaining, and membership work just like regular senators also. Generally, an alternate senator fills in for a senator when he/she is not available, but there is no barrier to an alternate senator doing more!
- FEA Delegates
UFF-UCF has 7 FEA (Florida Education Association) Delegates. All are at-large. A chapter gets one FEA delegate for each 50 members, and fractions do not count. FEA Delegates represent UFF at FEA Delegate Assembly meetings, and can attend the annual convention. As described in the Delegate Assembly Handbook, FEA’s mission is to: “champion free, quality public education through enhancing and supporting those who serve the students of Florida”; “advocate the right to a free, quality public education for all”; and “engage constituents/members to ensure that all students learn and succeed.” FEA’s goals include “empower[ing] and engag[ing] FEA locals as advocates for our members and for public education.”