Update Article 23
At the October 27, 2021 Bargaining Session we received a response from UCF to our counter offer of a 3.5% salary increase. They returned with a 2.5% increase which was their last position. You can read their Article 23 draft here.
Our Bargaining Team at the session presented this chart based on salary data that is publicly accessible and you can see over the last five years the salaries of administrators have outpaced those of us in the bargaining unit. This is the link to our collective bargaining website where this chart is available.
Our Bargaining Team will continue to bargain for the raises we believe you deserve.
On Academic Freedom
Some of you may have heard that the University of Florida has prohibited three scholars from testifying in a legal case against the state of Florida and recent voting legislation. These scholars are experts in the field with past and ongoing research on voting in Florida. UF responded that since it is a state institution their employees’ work in this matter would represent a “conflict of interest” and were prohibited from discussing their research at trial.
Some of you have reached out to me to ask if there are limits to Academic Freedom. As responsible members of the bargaining unit each of us should be familiar with the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
If you are interested in UFF’s response they have released a press statement and open letter you can find here.
In both the UCF Faculty Senate and in the fall 2020 Union Consultation with UCF, Interim Provost Michael Johnson affirmed his and UCF’s commitment to academic freedom after former President Trump’s Executive Order on anti-racism cast a shadow on what many of us pursue in our research, service and teaching. UFF-UCF is reminding you that academic freedom is enshrined in our Collective Bargaining Agreement and our union is committed to preserving this right as negotiated and spelled out in our contract. Academic Freedom is the foundation of the modern research university since the turn of the twentieth century. We stand with President Cartwright in the university’s efforts to push UCF to become one of the premier metropolitan research universities in the country, academic freedom is one of the hallmarks which will get us there.
In speaking with some of you, I was asked “could this happen here?” And I have sent them this quote from our CBA within Article 5 Academic Freedom:
“Employees are also free to address any matter of institutional policy or action. As individuals, employees are free to express their opinions to the larger community on any matter of social, political, economic, or other public interest, without institutional discipline or restraint due to the content of those messages. Unless specifically authorized by the administration, employees’ opinions do not reflect the policies or official positions of the University of Central Florida.”
Below is the full language on Academic Freedom from the CBA, please read it over and inform yourselves.
ARTICLE 5 ACADEMIC FREEDOM
5.1 Policy. It is the policy of the University and the UFF to maintain and encourage full academic freedom. Academic freedom and responsibility are essential to the full development of a true university and apply to teaching, research/creative activities, and assigned service. An employee engaged in such activities shall be free to cultivate a spirit of inquiry and scholarly criticism and to examine ideas in an atmosphere of freedom and confidence.
5.2 Academic Freedom. Academic freedom is the freedom to teach, both in and outside the classroom, to conduct research, and to publish the results of that research. Consistent with the exercise of academic responsibility, employees shall have freedom to present and discuss their own academic subjects, frankly and forthrightly, without fear of censorship, and to create and select instructional and course materials, and to determine grades in accordance with University grading policy. Objective and skillful exposition of such subject matter, including the acknowledgment of a variety of scholarly opinions, is the duty of every employee. Employees are also free to address any matter of institutional policy or action. As individuals, employees are free to express their opinions to the larger community on any matter of social, political, economic, or other public interest, without institutional discipline or restraint due to the content of those messages. Unless specifically authorized by the administration, employees’ opinions do not reflect the policies or official positions of the University of Central Florida.
UFF-UCF, Our Union