September 7, 2020
We hope you are enjoying your Labor Day Holiday. Labor Day is an opportune moment to reflect on the ways in which the Labor Movement and Unions have positively impacted workers everywhere. From the weekend to the 40-hour work week and to workplace safety, unions have done great things! At UCF, your faculty union has brought you paid parental leave, but also negotiates raises on your behalf and represents you in bargaining when it comes to your intellectual property rights to COVID-19 policies. UFF-UCF is your voice.
However, it is important to remember that we live in a “right to work” state which means union membership is voluntary. We have no right to strike or to collect dues from all the people we represent. Right to work laws are meant to quiet our voice and to keep unions weak, and a weak union is less effective in serving the workers it represents.
A union is only as strong as its collective voice: it is up to us to build a strong union and make clear that we stand united.
This is a challenging year and return to campus. We are working longer hours than ever before under more stressful conditions than we have ever encountered. Many of us are unexpectedly spending more money on child care, equipment, and internet expenses. Others who had never taught online are now braving distance learning. Tragically, many of us are also dealing with the health consequences of the COVID19 pandemic. We have been asked to do the impossible, and we have risen to the challenge. We were asked to give, and we have given our all for our students, and for UCF.
Despite many emails of thanks from the administration, our current negotiations over salaries for the 2020-2021 school year have been disappointing: currently, the administration’s offer of raises on the table is zero.
We deserve more than thanks for our hard work. We deserve compensation. We deserve a raise. Uncertainty hangs around our budget in the coming years, but UCF was not substantially cut this year. It is very possible that, if we do not get a raise this year, we will not be seeing another one in the foreseeable future.
Now is the time to act. The UFF-UCF bargaining team is meeting the BOT to discuss Article 23 (compensation) on September 16 from 1:30-3:30 PM. It is imperative that the administration know we are paying attention and we stand together to demand fair compensation.
Please visit the UFF-UCF Bargaining Website to review current proposals and for information on attending bargaining sessions. All bargaining sessions are taking place via Zoom.
Robert Cassanello, President (he, him, his)
Beatriz Reyes-Foster, Vice President (she, her, ella)
Michael Armato, Secretary (he, him, his)
Jonathan Beever, Treasurer (he, him his)