Salaries, Ethics Training, & Leaves

Salaries, Ethics Training, & Leaves

The UFF-UCF Bargaining Team met with the Board of Trustees last Thursday afternoon, October 8th, for the first time after the BOT announced it would not approve our second negotiated raise. Accordingly, the Bargaining Team’s top priority during this session was salaries. However the BOT representatives in attendance were not authorized to make any commitments regarding salary during this session. 

Sherry Andrews, UCF General Council, made clear that the BOT representatives present were nonetheless empathetic and interested in discussion. A congenial back-and-forth ensued filled with speculations about the BOT’s decision, but both sides of the table soon agreed no one present was familiar enough with the accounting terms in question to come to any meaningful conclusion. When asked for an explanation—in layman’s terms—of the financial reasoning behind the salary decision, the BOT did commit to making an executive summary accessible. Demonstrating UFF-UCF’s commitment to resolving this issue, Interim Chief Negotiator Yovanna Pineda offered the Bargaining Team’s time without restriction to secure a special salary bargaining session on Thursday, October 17th, beginning at 8:30am in MH-327.

With all parties in agreement that the topic of salary would be tabled by necessity until October 17th, Pineda steered the discussion to our membership’s concerns over the recently required online ethics training. Charlie Piper (UCF Administrator Support) let slip that administration shares many of the faculty’s frustrations, as administrators are also required to complete this training. The room broke out in laughter as she described how some display their ethics training certificates on their office doors. Pineda locked the issue down, ensuring a faculty-wide notice would be sent from the BOT clarifying the lack of penalty for incomplete training while UFF-UCF is engaged in impact negotiations. Our Bargaining Team and the BOT proceeded to efficiently tidy up several housekeeping issues, including minor clarifications to the Arbitration Forms in Appendix E, before talks intensified.

For the next 30-plus minutes, the BOT’s response to Article 17 Section 17.12 (Compulsory Leaves) was energetically discussed. In a session highlight, UFF-UCF President Scott Launier focused the room with a heartfelt speech. “Compulsory leave shouldn’t be punitive… we need compassion, not an ejection path,” he said, before yielding to UFF-UCF Bargaining Team Members John Fauth and John Raible. Fauth took point on transparency, citing several incidents where compulsory leave policies were abused. He emphasized the trauma faculty face when their ability to perform the requirements of their position are questioned with forceful taps on the table. Raible drilled down into the text of the BOT’s proposed changes, illustrating how the interpretation of even a single word could threaten faculty rights. In the end, the BOT agreed a clearer structure for the compulsory leave process is necessary and will present a revised draft of Article 17 at a future bargaining session.

Kendall Beebe, a junior journalism student, observed the proceedings from the sidelines of the conference table. When asked for her impressions afterward, she looked at UFF-UCF President Scott Launier. He sat, head in hand, recovering from the passionate negotiations.

“What faculty experiences, students feel,” she said.

 

October 8th 2019 Collective Bargaining Session Attendees

UFF-UCF Bargaining Team 

  • John Fauth – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team
  • Scott Launier – UFF-UCF President
  • Yovanna Pineda – UFF-UCF Treasurer, Interim Chief Negotiator
  • John Raible – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team

UCF Board of Trustees Bargaining Team (BOT)

  • Sherry Andrews – UCF Associate General Counsel
  • Charles “Chuck” Reilly – UCF Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Charlie Piper – UCF Assistant Director, Contract Compliance and Admn Support
  • Sara H. Potter – UCF Associate General Counsel

Session Guests:

  • Ben Anderson – UCF Assistant Director, Leave Administration
  • Kendall Beebe – UCF Junior Journalism Student & NSM.today Student Reporter
  • Stella K. Henderson-Fauth (age: 9 months)
  • Chiara Mazzucchelli – UCF Faculty Member
  • Hannahleah Miller – UFF-UCF Media Team
  • Briannis Weston – UCF Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost

 

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Bargained Faculty Raise Update

Bargained Faculty Raise Update

Colleagues,

Yesterday, the Board of Trustees did not approve the second 1.25% raise contingent on the final UCF budget. Your union leadership is extremely disappointed with the Board’s decision to not follow through with our negotiated raise in full. We are sure you have many questions and want to briefly provide a clear explanation of UFF-UCF’s plan.

What this means:
  • In August a 2% increase reflecting the bargained increase for 2018-2019 was implemented.
  • Today, an automatic 1.25% increase was applied. You will see that reflected in your October 11th paycheck.
  • The second 1.25% raise will not be applied per BOT decision.
  • The MOU now requires salary bargaining re-open.
What UFF-UCF is doing right now:
  • The bargaining team is prioritizing salary negotiations.
  • We have requested budget documentation that lead to the Board’s decision to not implement the contingent raise.
  • We have a bargaining session on the calendar for October 8 at 1 p.m. and we have asked for an additional session just for salary negotiation.
UFF-UCF’s Position:
  • We do not agree with the Board’s interpretation of the current budget status or their explanation that there are no funds for the second part of the raise.
  • We believe faculty have been required to work in a stressful environment through enormous transition and ambiguity with no recognition of the toll the last couple of years has taken on us collectively.
  • While UCF continues to say faculty are the backbone of this university, leadership has not taken action to adequately support us.
  • We will continue to fight for fair and equitable compensation for our bargaining unit.

We will not give up and we are stronger together!

In solidarity,

Jennifer A. Sandoval, Ph.D., UFF-UCF Vice President and Chief Negotiator
Scott Launier, President
Yovanna Pineda, Ph.D., UFF-UCF Treasurer
Mike Armato, Ph.D., UFF-UCF Secretary

If you haven’t already, please join us today. Stay tuned for further updates on our news page and follow us on Facebook.

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Time To Vote On Your Contract!

Time To Vote On Your Contract!

Dear Colleagues:

The collective bargaining teams of the United Faculty of Florida and the UCF Board of Trustees have reached tentative agreement on the 2018-2021 collective bargaining agreement. This is the 5th consecutive year that bargaining concluded amicably and avoided going to impasse.

As a member of the bargaining unit, you now have the opportunity to vote on whether to approve these articles. If the majority of you vote “YES,” the contract will go into effect pending ratification by UCF’s Board of Trustees on September 19, 2019. If the majority of you vote “NO”, the UFF and BOT will return to the bargaining table and resume negotiations.

All members of the bargaining unit, whether a dues-paying member of UFF-UCF or not, are entitled to vote. In an effort to make voting as inclusive as possible, there will be voting locations at the main, downtown, and Rosen campuses.

Tentative Agreement Contract

Below is a breakdown of the articles of the contract. Be informed! Review the contract carefully before casting your vote!

Status Quo or no substantive changes:
  • Recognition: 1
  • Consultation: 2
  • UFF Privileges: 3
  • Management Rights: 4
  • Appointment: 8
  • Evaluation File: 11
  • Inventions and Works:18
  • Conflict of Interest: 19
  • Other Employee Rights: 21
  • UFF Insurance Deductions: 25
  • Maintenance of Benefits: 27
  • Miscellaneous: 28
  • Severability 29
Minor changes:
Major Updates:

Voting Instructions

In accordance with PERC (Public Employees Relations Commission) regulations, there will be no absentee voting. Voting will be held in person at the following locations 10:00am to 12:30pm, Monday, Sep. 16, 2019:

  • Main Campus Library Lobby
  • Downtown Campus DPAC 455
  • Rosen Campus Room 102 I

UFF-UCF encourages you to vote YES to approve the tentative collective bargaining agreement.

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The results of Thursday’s historic bargaining session, and what happens next

The results of Thursday’s historic bargaining session, and what happens next

Our UFF-UCF Bargaining Team completed a historic round of contract negotiations with the UCF Board of Trustees on Thursday, August 1, bringing to a close bargaining sessions for the 2018-2020 contract. The last negotiations on Thursday completed were on Articles 18 and 21 of the contract, the 32nd session of negotiations.

The next step for UFF-UCF is to schedule voting in August for our contract ratification. The UFF-UCF Council will meet to set the election date and locations.  The voting will take place on three campuses, sometime after August 8 when the semester begins. More information will be shared once the date is set.

The next scheduled bargaining session had been set for August 27, but is now cancelled. The next new bargaining session will take place on September 10, when we will “reopen” Article 17 (Leaves) and Article 18 (Inventions). Reopeners are mutually-agreed-upon portions of the contract that we can continue to negotiate even after its closing. The Sepember 10 session will take place in Millican Hall 395-E (Provost Conference Room), from 1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Our faculty salary increases and bonuses already announced on March 29 are a part of this contract. Those terms were enacted early, another historic first, as part of a memorandum of understanding with the BOT.

UCF faculty members received a one-time bonus in May. Starting with the August 23 pay period, faculty members will receive a 2 percent salary increase, and in 2019-2020 year, an additional pay guaranteed increase of 1.25 percent starting with the Sept. 20 pay period, and likely another 1.25 percent salary increase in the same pay period, provided the university is fiscally stable.

Read our faculty contract here, and learn about our bargaining process and session dates on our Bargaining page. Below is a list of those who attended Thursday, August 1.

UFF-UCF Bargaining Team (the Faculty Union):

  • Jennifer Sandoval – UFF-UCF Chief Negotiator
  • John Raible – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team
  • John Fauth (by phone) – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team
  • Richard Siwica – UFF-UCF Employment Attorney

UCF Board of Trustees Bargaining Team (the University BOT):

  • Sherry Andrews – UCF Associate General Counsel
  • Sara H. Potter – UCF Associate General Counsel
  • Charles “Chuck” Reilly – UCF Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Ross Wolf – UCF Interim Assistant Provost of UCF Downtown
  • Charlie Piper – UCF Assistant Director, Contract Compliance and Administrator Support

Session Guests:

  • Briannis Weston – UCF Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost
  • Sarah Lovel – UCF HR Director of Classification & Compensation
  • Mason Cash – UCF Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost
  • and Stella K. Henderson-Fauth (age 8 months)

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Results of our Bargaining Session of July 16, 2019

Results of our Bargaining Session of July 16, 2019

Our UFF-UCF Bargaining Team was back in session Tuesday morning, July 16, continuing negotiations on the contract topics of Assignment of Responsibility (Article 9) and Benefits (Article 24) with the UCF Board of Trustees team. This was our 31st bargaining session for the current 2018-2021 contract.

Some great news to report: We closed our final substantive Articles 9 and 24. At our next session on August 1, we plan to finalize the contract details. The UCF BOT also handed out Article 30 (Amendment and Duration), Article 32 (Definitions), and Appendices, for final discussion on August 1. That next session is Thursday, August 1st from 1:00pm to 3:30pm, in EDU 305.

Read our faculty contract here, and learn about our bargaining process and session dates on our Bargaining page. Below is a list of those who attended Tuesday, June 11.

UFF-UCF Bargaining Team (the Faculty Union):

  • Jennifer Sandoval – UFF-UCF Chief Negotiator
  • Yovanna Pineda – UFF-UCF Treasurer
  • John Raible – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team
  • John Fauth (by phone) – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team
  • Richard Siwica – UFF-UCF Employment Attorney

UCF Board of Trustees Bargaining Team (the University BOT):

  • Michael Mattimore – UCF Employment Lawyer, Managing Partner of Allen Norton & Blue, P.A.
  • Sherry Andrews – UCF Associate General Counsel
  • Sara H. Potter – UCF Associate General Counsel
  • Charles “Chuck” Reilly – UCF Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Ross Wolf – UCF Interim Assistant Provost of UCF Downtown

Session Guests:

  • Briannis Weston – UCF Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost
  • Louis Torretta – Legal intern with Richard Siwica and UCF graduate
  • Dave Plotkin – UFF-UCF Communications

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Meet UFF-UCF Secretary and Sociology Lecturer Dr. Michael Armato

Meet UFF-UCF Secretary and Sociology Lecturer Dr. Michael Armato

Family ties and a strong faculty union brought the ‘92 UCF graduate back home to teach

Growing up in Altamonte Springs, Dr. Michael Armato never expected to become an academic or an advocate for human society.

A Lake Mary High School student, Armato graduated from UCF in 1992 with a B.S. in Marketing. His sights were set on the corporate world, but after a 2-year stint in sales-related work, he discovered sociology. The subject fascinated him and motivated him to seek ways to improve people’s lives.

Armato departed for Gainesville in 1995 for his master’s in Sociology. He graduated with his Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University in 2006, just blocks from the Madison Avenue advertising firms he once studied at UCF. Armato was active in his union at UF (UFF-Graduate Assistants United) and became a founding member of GSOC-UAW during its historic unionizing campaign at NYU.

Armato began his faculty career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Northeastern Illinois University in the fall of 2006, becoming an Associate Professor five years later and achieving tenure in the fall of 2012. He became one of the core faculty members of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at NEIU. His main areas of study were gender inequalities and perceptions of masculinity, subjects he continues to research at UCF.

During his time at NEIU, he earned multiple accolades, including an NEIU Research Community Grant in the 2007-2008 academic year, a Faculty Excellence Award for teaching in 2009, a Student Choice Award in the 2012-2013 academic year, and the Martha Thompson Outstanding Faculty Award in the 2015-2016 academic year. Throughout his time at NEIU, Armato was an active union member with the University Professionals of Illinois-Local 4100, holding multiple elected positions.

Deciding to leave NEIU was a difficult decision for Armato. “My work at NEIU was incredibly rewarding, but my partner, Amanda, had just had a baby, and with our daughter, who is now six and getting bigger, we just decided it was time to come back,” says Armato.

Relinquishing Tenure to Come Home to Central Florida

“UCF is such a diverse university, and it’s a university with high numbers of first-time-in-college students, which was a draw for me.”

The new position, however, posed a significant dilemma: After ten years of teaching in Chicago, Illinois, why would a tenured professor move to Florida for a non-tenured lecturer position?

“I liked that we had a faculty union,” says Armato. “Lecturers have a promotion process, but it is not a tenured position. I knew I was giving up security, especially moving back to a state with hurdles to union membership. But having UFF-UCF here gave me the confidence to make the jump.”

Now a Lecturer in the Sociology Department – and the Coordinator of the Social Sciences BS program since 2018, Armato will take on yet another role in the fall of 2019, when he becomes the Coordinator of the Sociology Undergraduate program.

“I was hired with the goal of taking this role on,” Armato says. “If anything needs to happen in terms of the curriculum I am involved. I was hired with that as the intent.”

Since joining UCF, Armato has been a reviewer on the College of Sciences Program Assessment Committee, as well as a member of both the Sociology Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the PRIDE Faculty and Staff Association. After three short years, he’s contributed a fair amount of service to work to the college.

Armato has authored and co-authored journal articles including “Gendered Violence and Interruptions to Education,” “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: Men’s Enlightened Sexism & Hegemonic Masculinity in Academia,” and “Pedagogical Engagements: Feminist Resistance to the Militarization of Education.”

He is also a fan of scooters, and owns two of them. One he got for free on Craigslist and restored to working condition on his own.

UFF-UCF Leadership

Some of Armato’s most important work is supporting and providing leadership for UFF-UCF, the faculty union that facilitated his move back to UCF.

“If it were up to a fair number of administrators and politicians, there would be no unions. There would be a corporate environment where, semester by semester, we would just teach, no breaks,” says Armato. “There are a lot of threats on the horizon, including whether unions will exist. My own goal is to protect UFF from the most nefarious aspects of our political climate.”

Armato sees a growing UFF-UCF attracting even more talented new faculty members for years to come. “One of the ways to know our university faculty members are thriving is if we attract highly qualified members of academia.”