UCF and UFF-UCF sign a Covid Impact Agreement

UCF and UFF-UCF sign a Covid Impact Agreement

UCF and UFF-UCF have signed a Covid-19 Impact Agreement. You can read the PDF here. The text is below.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING: COVID-19 HEALTH EMERGENCY

April 30, 2020

During the current health emergency brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, UFF-UCF and the UCF Board of Trustees are committed to maintaining the productive and efficient operation of the University in a safe and healthy environment. Local, state, federal, and international health organizations recommend social distancing as the most effective immediate response to this pandemic. This agreement acknowledges these recommendations. To this end, we agree that the following terms and conditions shall remain in effect until all appropriate governmental authorities declare an end to the emergency.

I. Issue: Transition to Online Teaching

1. Instructors shall maintain rights to all course content, including content required to be presented in an online format.

2. Faculty are professionals and are capable of determining what adjustments need to be made to complete their pedagogy during this crisis in a way that is consistent with any applicable accreditation requirements. Research has shown that online instruction is not simply face-to-face instruction by other means. Effective online course delivery requires extensive preparation, training, and time. An abrupt transition to online course instruction with limited preparation and training may therefore impede pedagogical effectiveness. Except for employees about whom there are at least two separate and substantiated concerns based on student complaints and/or supervisor observation/visitation that have not been resolved,

• There shall be no adverse employment or evaluative action arising from the online transition of classes and other disruptions to teaching protocols during spring 2020.

• Each employee shall choose whether their course evaluations (i.e., SPls, and/or chair/peer evaluations of teaching) for Spring 2020 and all terms (A, B, C, and D) in Summer 2020 will be included or excluded from consideration during corresponding annual evaluations and during tenure/promotion evaluations and/or continuing contract reviews.

II. Issues: Research, Creative Activities, and Professional Development

3. Because the impacts of the COVID-19 health emergency are local, national, and international in scope, any impacts outside of the faculty members’ control which reduce or make impossible faculty members’ ability to conduct or present their scholarship, creative activities, or research shall not negatively affect their annual evaluations or tenure and/or promotion reviews.

4. Faculty and professional employees may submit a separate document as part of their annual activity report to describe any adverse impacts of the pandemic to their research, teaching, service, and professional development. Employees may submit their annual activity reports (and any attachments thereto) through May 28, 2020, without penalty.

5. Employees may use discretionary funds they were allocated during the academic year 2020-2021. Each university official who had committed use of discretionary funds will make a good faith effort to honor that commitment.

6. In-unit faculty and professional employees shall be allowed to work from home, provided that their assigned duties may be accomplished remotely, until the campus reopens to students and face-to-face instruction resumes. An exception is a health-care employee for whom on-campus work is deemed necessary.

7. Once all applicable government-mandated restrictions expire, faculty and professional employees shall have access to their offices and, if applicable, to their laboratories and other facilities necessary for the conduct of their research, consistent with campus safety policy. The University shall provide notice of changes to facility access to the University community on its website and indicate there who may return to campus and when they may return.

8. Working away from campus, having limited ability to collect and analyze data, and pivoting to all-on line course delivery may detract from research, teaching and/or service activities of faculty. Therefore, pre-tenure faculty may exercise the following:

(a) Extend their tenure-earning period by one year, beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year, while reserving their right to request an “early” promotion/tenure. Eligible faculty will find deadlines and the tenure-clock-adjustment form to be used at: https://facultyexcellence.ucf.edu/files/2020/03/COVID19TenureClockAdjustmentForm 2020.pdf

(b) Faculty with start-up funds shall be granted a one-year extension to make use of such funds, provided that the employee’s unit/college has sufficient funds available, unless the employee resigns, is non-reappointed, or their position is ending.

9. Employees who were on sabbatical or on professional development leave during the academic year 2019-2020 may petition their dean for a remedy in order to complete the portions of their planned work that were severely impacted by the pandemic. Such petitions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Employees who are expected to be on sabbatical or on professional development leave during the academic year 2020-21 may petition their dean to defer their sabbatical or professional development leave. Deans shall make a good faith effort to honor all petitions. In the event that the dean or dean’s representative decides not to approve a petition to defer a sabbatical or professional development leave, he or she shall consult with the affected employee.

III. Issue: Disease, Public Health, and Sanitation

10. Before reopening the campus to employees, the University will appropriately clean public university areas. In addition, requests for sanitizing a campus building may be submitted; the form for such requests may be found at: https://ehs.ucf.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/UCF-Building-Sanitization-Reguest-Form.pdf

All employees are strongly encouraged to continue to abide by personal hygiene and social interaction recommendations from the CDC to contribute to a collective effort to control the spread of disease on campus.

IV. Issue: Caregivers

11. Faculty and professional employees with children whose schools are closed due to COVID-19 shall use available leave (which may include Emergency Paid Sick Leave and/or Emergency Family and Medical Leave Act leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act) if they are not able to complete their assigned duties during a pay period. The University shall not penalize employees for assigned duties missed while on approved leave on their annual performance evaluations (Article 10), sustained performance evaluations, or tenure and promotion review (Articles 14 & 15) for the 2019-2020 academic year.

12. Both parties recognize the importance of the University’s non-discrimination policy and aspire to engender a culture of diversity and inclusion at all times, including during the current pandemic.

V. Other

13. The University shall reimburse faculty or professional employees who were instructed by their supervisor to purchase items in order to remain productive and efficient while working remotely. Documentation from the supervisor will be necessary for reimbursement.

14. Until the university is reopened to all employees, email communication will suffice in all cases where certified mail or personal delivery is required by the CBA. An electronic delivery receipt will be considered proof of receipt by the recipient.

VI. Issue: Impact Bargaining

15. If the applicable governmental restrictions addressing the pandemic continue beyond our current academic year, along with federal, state and/or local guidelines for self-isolation and social distancing, both parties will review and, if necessary, impact bargain a new agreement beginning on or before August 8, 2020.

VII. Issue: Moving Forward Together

6. Both parties recognize that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on faculty and professional employees may continue beyond the present emergency in varying ways. Both parties will inform and remind employees of benefits provided (e.g., Employee Assistance Program (EAP)) and resources available {e.g., Office of Institutional Equity) for their total well-being and encourage them to utilize them. Both parties encourage all employees to be familiar with and to utilize appropriately the resources listed at: https://www.ucf.edu/coronavirus/faculty-toolkit/.

Signed,
Sheryl Andrews for UCF BOT, Associate General Counsel and Associate Provost
and
Yovan Pineda, Associate Professor, Chief Negotiator, UFF

UFF-UCF published in the spring edition of UFF News and Views

UFF-UCF published in the spring edition of UFF News and Views

The update below, written by UFF-UCF President Scott Launier and treasurer Yovanna Pineda was published in News and Views, the UFF internal quarterly magazine.

UFF-UCF changes Compulsory Leave to Recovery Leave

By Yovanna Pineda and Scott Launier

Two years ago, a faculty member was facing termination for failing at their duties while lecturing to a class. But unfortunately, it was the faculty member who was failing.

When the faculty member came to our union for help, we became immediately concerned with their health. We encouraged and assisted in setting up a medical appointment.

Our faculty member had been displaying signs of mental deterioration. It was astounding to us, but their chair had begun a disciplinary process, seeking a just cause termination as the way to be rid of this faculty member.

Our union stepped in. While it was not easy, we won an early retirement package for our faculty member, with all reprimands removed from their record.

This one case helped us rethink how someone with a serious illness should be treated. We changed the language from compulsory leave to recovery leave because it shows compassion. The tone changes from “you’re no longer useful to this university” to language that asks, “what can we do to help you?” In practical terms, the goal is on recovery and being able to return to work, as opposed to being reprimanded for being ill. Under the old compulsory leave article, the administration determined when it might be used. Under recovery leave, faculty have more agency to decide when they need this option.

This language came at an auspicious time as COVID19 is in our midst. Everyone is vulnerable, and some of us, especially those with pre-existing conditions, can become chronically ill. Recovery leave is a benefit for everyone. It’s peace of mind to know that if we get sick, we won’t be reprimanded or fired because of it.

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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