I just wanted to share a few quick updates while we wait for the fall semester to begin.

HB 233 Lawsuit

UFF has signed onto a pending lawsuit against HB 233, the Intellectual Diversity Legislation. You can read about it here. It is in Federal Court which could delay any implementation of the legislation, we will have to wait and see. Remember we have been telling everyone in the Bargaining Unit all along the survey will be voluntary. WLRN noted the following, “House sponsor Spencer Roach, R-North Fort Myers, said completing the surveys would be voluntary for people on campuses.” If someone tells you the survey will be mandatory please correct them.

New Mask Mandate News

On Monday (8-2-2021) we learned that Valencia College and Seminole State College have instituted a mandatory indoor mask policy without fear of backlash from the Governor and State Legislature. Now we learned that many public school systems are reversing course and instituting an indoor mask mandate and some parents across the state have gotten together to file a lawsuit against the Governor’s Executive Order (21-175) that threatens to cut education funding to school districts that are non-compliant with the order’s restrictions on any mask mandates. CNN reported that some legal experts say this executive order is just bluster and there is no mechanism to follow through on the threat within the order.

UCF’s recent email telling us that vaccines are available for us and asking us to wear masks indoors because the Delta variant is highly transmissible is a step in the right direction. However UCF can do more in this messaging. Look at the University of Florida’s COVID update page here. While UCF asks us to wear masks indoors, UF expects people to wear masks indoors. These directives are not as definitive as Valencia College or Seminole State College, but it is an improvement. While UCF is moving in the right direction please take in how UF is speaking and messaging about masks and vaccines. Please encourage our campus leaders to move us in the right direction and tell our campus community that UCF expects us to wear masks indoors. I’m told your feedback is helpful and emails are welcomed. Contact the President or the Provost [provost@ucf.edu] if you wish to share your concerns.

In Solidarity,

Robert Cassanello,
UFF-UCF, President