This is an important message to all Bargaining Unit Members. UCF has announced a new Emergency Policy (EP-20-6 3-012). According to what we heard from the UCF administration, this is an “emergency” policy and not a permanent policy – which also appears to be the cited reason UCF did not utilize their practice of a 15 day comment period on this policy. Our union does not believe this “emergency” policy is necessary and we are asking UCF to go through established channels of drafting new policies which impact the workplace. According to UCF, should this become a permanent policy they plan to have a comment period. But we already have a number of concerns with the current “emergency” policy.

Among other issues, the policy violates our CBA in numerous ways (such as Articles 1, 9, 10, and 21.)

For example, the policy is in direct conflict with CBA Article 9.1(c):

“(c) It is part of the professional responsibility of employees to carry out their duties in an appropriate manner and place. For example, while instructional activities, office hours, and other duties and responsibilities may be required to be performed at a specific time and place, other non-scheduled activities are more appropriately performed in a manner and place determined by the employee in consultation with his/her supervisor.”

Our union wants you to keep in mind the following:

  1. The language of this policy allegedly applies to “all employees;” however, if you are part of the Bargaining Unit (BU) you are governed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and when a policy conflicts with the CBA, the CBA is the recognized authority.
  2. The emergency policy seeks to introduce criteria such as a 6 months waiting period or particular evaluations in order to be able to work remotely – but that is not how CBA Article 9 works.

Our union wants you to be alert should this policy be implemented and affect you by violating collectively bargained terms and conditions of work. UCF has agreed to the CBA and acknowledges that the CBA trumps any policies that would be in violation of the CBA.  Therefore, if you have been adversely affected by this new policy please document it and report it to us asap – our grievance team will investigate and can grieve any violations of the CBA, so that all our rights can continue to be protected.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown our resilience in carrying out our assignments in an atmosphere that can be challenging and stressful. We, individually and collectively, have expressed both our hope and frustration in how our civic and workplace institutions responded to various policies in these last sixteen months. Our union remains in solidarity with you and the entire bargaining unit in what we hope will be the final stage of the pandemic.

In Solidarity,

Robert Cassanello
UFF-UCF, President