The UFF-UCF Bargaining Team met with the Board of Trustees last Thursday afternoon, October 8th, for the first time after the BOT announced it would not approve our second negotiated raise. Accordingly, the Bargaining Team’s top priority during this session was salaries. However the BOT representatives in attendance were not authorized to make any commitments regarding salary during this session.
Sherry Andrews, UCF General Council, made clear that the BOT representatives present were nonetheless empathetic and interested in discussion. A congenial back-and-forth ensued filled with speculations about the BOT’s decision, but both sides of the table soon agreed no one present was familiar enough with the accounting terms in question to come to any meaningful conclusion. When asked for an explanation—in layman’s terms—of the financial reasoning behind the salary decision, the BOT did commit to making an executive summary accessible. Demonstrating UFF-UCF’s commitment to resolving this issue, Interim Chief Negotiator Yovanna Pineda offered the Bargaining Team’s time without restriction to secure a special salary bargaining session on Thursday, October 17th, beginning at 8:30am in MH-327.
With all parties in agreement that the topic of salary would be tabled by necessity until October 17th, Pineda steered the discussion to our membership’s concerns over the recently required online ethics training. Charlie Piper (UCF Administrator Support) let slip that administration shares many of the faculty’s frustrations, as administrators are also required to complete this training. The room broke out in laughter as she described how some display their ethics training certificates on their office doors. Pineda locked the issue down, ensuring a faculty-wide notice would be sent from the BOT clarifying the lack of penalty for incomplete training while UFF-UCF is engaged in impact negotiations. Our Bargaining Team and the BOT proceeded to efficiently tidy up several housekeeping issues, including minor clarifications to the Arbitration Forms in Appendix E, before talks intensified.
For the next 30-plus minutes, the BOT’s response to Article 17 Section 17.12 (Compulsory Leaves) was energetically discussed. In a session highlight, UFF-UCF President Scott Launier focused the room with a heartfelt speech. “Compulsory leave shouldn’t be punitive… we need compassion, not an ejection path,” he said, before yielding to UFF-UCF Bargaining Team Members John Fauth and John Raible. Fauth took point on transparency, citing several incidents where compulsory leave policies were abused. He emphasized the trauma faculty face when their ability to perform the requirements of their position are questioned with forceful taps on the table. Raible drilled down into the text of the BOT’s proposed changes, illustrating how the interpretation of even a single word could threaten faculty rights. In the end, the BOT agreed a clearer structure for the compulsory leave process is necessary and will present a revised draft of Article 17 at a future bargaining session.
Kendall Beebe, a junior journalism student, observed the proceedings from the sidelines of the conference table. When asked for her impressions afterward, she looked at UFF-UCF President Scott Launier. He sat, head in hand, recovering from the passionate negotiations.
“What faculty experiences, students feel,” she said.
October 8th 2019 Collective Bargaining Session Attendees
UFF-UCF Bargaining Team
- John Fauth – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team
- Scott Launier – UFF-UCF President
- Yovanna Pineda – UFF-UCF Treasurer, Interim Chief Negotiator
- John Raible – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team
UCF Board of Trustees Bargaining Team (BOT)
- Sherry Andrews – UCF Associate General Counsel
- Charles “Chuck” Reilly – UCF Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
- Charlie Piper – UCF Assistant Director, Contract Compliance and Admn Support
- Sara H. Potter – UCF Associate General Counsel
- Ben Anderson – UCF Assistant Director, Leave Administration
- Kendall Beebe – UCF Junior Journalism Student & NSM.today Student Reporter
- Stella K. Henderson-Fauth (age: 9 months)
- Chiara Mazzucchelli – UCF Faculty Member
- Hannahleah Miller – UFF-UCF Media Team
- Briannis Weston – UCF Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost
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