Update on Salaries

As we emerge from the pandemic, I am trying—as I’m sure you all are—to process all that has happened in the past 16 months. I wish to share some reflections from UFF-UCF Chapter Leadership as we continue to put the past year in perspective.

As we reflect, UFF-UCF would like to address salary increases. The chapter’s Bargaining Team introduced a proposal for a 3.5% increase in our base salary in February 2021. You can review all bargaining updates at https://www.uffucf.org/bargaining/ to read the salary proposal.

Both President Cartwright and Interim Provost Johnson have agreed with UFF-UCF that UCF has hard-working bargaining unit members who went beyond the call of duty to teach, research, and labor during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, neither Provost Johnson nor President Cartwright have offered or hinted about potential raises. Below are some reasons why faculty deserve a raise:

  1. UFF-UCF believes our faculty deserve a salary increase because it is long overdue. Our last increase was in fall 2019. Since then we have received no across-the-board raises.
  2. During COVID19, we worked strenuously and are now expected to return to “normal” without any break or compensation for our labor.
  3. UCF has seen yet another increase in student enrollment, up by more than 2,400 students from 2019/20 to 2020/21 (UCF Facts). Owed to the pandemic and hiring freeze, we have fewer faculty teaching larger classes than before the pandemic.
  4.   According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, the consumer price index rose 5 percent between May 2020 and May 2021. We are merely requesting a base salary raise of 3.5%. In keeping with the spirit of good faith bargaining, we request to negotiate salary that takes into account cost-of-living, appropriate compensation, and university budgets. (https://www.bls.gov/cpi/).
  5. A pay raise is possible. The new fiscal year begins July 1, 2021. We expected serious budget cuts to state universities as a result of the economic impact from COVID-19 Pandemic, however, the state higher education budget looks better than anyone predicted with funding from federal relief sources.

HB 233

Many of you have been asking about HB 233, the legislation that introduces an “Intellectual Diversity”survey and the right of students to record classroom lectures. UFF is waiting until the details of the various policies emerge. What we know is that the language of the legislation for the survey is not only vague but it also does not make the survey mandatory; it only requires that the Board of Governors (BOG) and each public university create and dispense the survey. The legislation does not compel employees to take the survey. We expect the BOG and UCF to not make this survey mandatory. When more information comes out we will update you concerning this legislation. As to the recording of lectures we also expect UCF to address this concern shortly. When I learn more about this part of the legislation I will update you.

The UFF President and Vice President sent the following announcement out about preparing for HB 233. You can read their recommendations here.

Summer Consultation

Each semester UFF-UCF and the UCF administration have a consultation session to discuss matters unrelated to grievance or bargaining. We plan to speak mostly about the fall return. Consultation will be on July 13th from 9:00am-10:30am on Zoom. For more information and the Zoom link contact me at president@uffucf.org.

UFF-UCF Podcast

We have released Episode 3 of the UFF-UCF Podcast. In this episode we interviewed the President and Vice President of UFF. Please check out the latest “Episode 3-Meet the New President and Vice President of UFF or Did I Miss Another Presidential Inauguration?” You can access the episode on Anchor here or on YouTube here. Please check out our previous episodes as well.

Robert Cassanello
President, UFF-UCF