This is a living document that may be updated at a later date. It was approved by UFF-UCF Council on January 19, 2021.
We the UFF-UCF council are committed to promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice as expressed in our UFF-UCF Constitution. We support the call that it’s time to be actively antiracist. Equity is at the core of union values, but that does not mean we always live up to the goals of creating a truly humane and safe working environment. Our UFF-UCF chapter and our university are not immune to the structural inequalities that are embedded within American society and within institutions of higher education. We are committed to fostering a union and workplace community that is anti-racist and equitable through practicing accountability, responsiveness, and transparency. This includes treating all union members with respect and not just those who agree with us. This work is on-going and should not fade away even if news coverage does. Making progress on these issues will not only require the acknowledgement that racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination exist, but also a commitment to managing our union in a way that helps build coalitions among our members to accomplish the work that must
We recognize that too often the work of equity and inclusion falls disproportionately on our BIPOC and marginalized colleagues and therefore we are committed to activating accomplices and holding those of us with more privilege accountable and engaged. Anti-racist, equity, and inclusion work requires much more than diverse representation. Diversity can take the form of tokenism where people from minoritized groups are used as props rather than being treated with respect with equal access to power and influence. We recognize the deep work we need to do as a chapter and on our campus. As UFF-UCF executive officers, we see our role as stewards, not union bosses whose opinions and ideas matter more than those on our council or our membership. We seek to promote dialogue and input, not to silence it. We know that many typical organizational practices, planning, and metrics are in fact the result of White supremacist norms. It is difficult work to break these habits and scripts. We look forward to engaging our entire membership in discussion and planning about critical changes that need to take place. In the meantime we have outlined our initial strategies and proposals for action in three core areas:
UFF-UCF Chapter Policies and Practices
- Our stewardship of union council meetings will be open and accessible. We will promptly and consistently publish meeting agendas, minutes, rules and policies. We will not weaponize Robert’s rules to silence or suppress discussion, even when we feel that discussion to be “disruptive.” Our role as stewards of our union’s resources is to lead while hearing critique and being open to challenges from our members. Together we guide ethical policy and best practice.
- Our annual budget will also be consistently clear and transparent. We understand budgets to be a statement of our community’s values. We will provide actual financial resources to the work of supporting those value priorities.
UCF Faculty Hiring and Retention
- We plan to complete a comprehensive, university-wide analysis and review of faculty salaries, awards, TIP/RIA/SoTL eligibility, workloads, spousal hiring practices and more to identify individuals and groups who have been discriminated against
- We will work to remedy the ways in which systematic racism are embedded in hiring and promotion policies and practices by looking at hiring data and bargaining change to hiring requirements
Climate and Faculty Advocacy
- We will review policies and practices around policing and surveillance on our campuses as part of the conditions of employment that make navigating UCF’s campus more difficult for some members of the bargaining unit than for others
- We commit to engaging in difficult dialogues about race and its intersections with other systems of oppression by hosting regular town halls and workshops that can lead to more collective insight into needed action
- We are committed to upholding the policies of nondiscrimination as outlined in our CBA Article 6.1 and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind. Our Council will include an Equity and Advocacy Committee that will be an essential part of union leadership, ensuring an equity lens guides all of our work as does advocacy and support for faculty who experience harassment and discrimination
There is tremendous faculty expertise and lived experience to be leveraged to drive change within our chapter and at our university. We are dedicated to community-based, participatory approaches to identification of both problems and solutions. Doing ethical meaningful work on behalf of our union members and campus community requires the support from and solidarity among everyone. Integrity means together.