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

#  #  #

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.”

Results of Our June 11 Contract Bargaining Session

Results of Our June 11 Contract Bargaining Session

Our UFF-UCF Bargaining Team was back in session Tuesday morning, June 11, continuing negotiations on the contract topics of Benefits with the UCF Board of Trustees team. This was our 30th bargaining session for the current 2018-2021 contract. UFF-UCF’s John Fauth brought along baby daughter Stella to meet the team.

Today we discussed Article 24, Benefits, at length. We may tentatively approve (TA) this article at the next session. We also discussed the process for handling names and forms for Membership (Article 26, Payroll Deduction).

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, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator in Communication
  • Yovanna Pineda – UFF-UCF Treasurer, Assistant Professor of History
  • Scott Launier – UFF-UCF President, Associate Instructor of English
  • John Fauth – UFF-UCF Bargaining Team, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

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
  • Charlie Piper – UCF Assistant Director, Contract Compliance and Administrator Support

Session Guests:

  • Aisha Morfe-Bencosm – UCF Benefits Assistant Manager
  • Ashley Longoria – UCF HR Associate Director, Benefits & Leave Administration
  • Briannis Weston – UCF Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost
  • Dr. Mason Cash – UFF-UCF Member, Associate Professor of Philosophy
  • Dave Plotkin – UFF-UCF Communications
  • Stella Fauth – Baby daughter of John Fauth

#  # #  #

Results of Our May 21 Contract Bargaining Session

Results of Our May 21 Contract Bargaining Session

Our UFF-UCF Bargaining Team was back in session Tuesday morning, negotiating the contract topics of Benefits and Appointments with the UCF Board of Trustees team. This was our 29th bargaining session for the current 2018-2021 contract.

Article 24, Benefits, was first on the table, with UCF Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Chuck Reilly offering an alternative to phased retirement for discussion. The proposal is to delete the Phased Retirement Program from the contract (24.5), for a new “Transition-to-Retirement Program” (T2RP) in its place.

UFF-UCF Chief Negotiator Dr. Jen Sandoval, UFF-UCF employment attorney Richard Siwica, and our leadership team will review this newly-proposed program for us before our next bargaining session. Both the BOT and UFF-UCF will research retirement plans that address our faculty members’ needs.

Next up for discussion was Article 8, Appointment. The BOT handed out a proposal with possibly negative changes but the team negotiated to remain at status quo with only a few language changes to add clarity to the article. We TA’d (“tentatively agreed”) on Article 8.

Our next bargaining session, number 30, is scheduled for Tuesday, June 11,  from 10:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in Millican Hall meeting room MH 395-E (the Provost Conference Room).

We will discuss Article 24 again and Article 9, Assignment of Responsibilities, at the next session. Learn more about our bargaining process and see all upcoming session dates on our Bargaining page.

Below is a list of those who attended Tuesday, May 21.

UFF-UCF Bargaining Team (The Faculty Union):

  • Jennifer Sandoval – UFF-UCF Chief Negotiator
  • Yovanna Pineda – UFF-UCF Treasurer
  • Scott Launier – UFF-UCF President
  • John Raible – 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.
  • Sara H. Potter – UCF Associate General Counsel
  • Charles “Chuck” Reilly – UCF Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
  • Charlie Piper – UCF Assistant Director, Contract Compliance and Administrator Support

Session Guests:

  • Aisha Morfe-Bencosm – UCF Benefits Assistant Manager
  • Ashley Longoria – UCF HR Associate Director, Benefits & Leave Administration
  • Briannis Weston – UCF Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost
  • Michael Armato – UFF-UCF Secretary
  • Louis Torretta – Legal intern with Richard Siwica and UCF graduate
  • Dave Plotkin – UFF-UCF Communications

#  # #  #

UFF-UCF Continues Contract Bargaining Today for a 28th Session

UFF-UCF Continues Contract Bargaining Today for a 28th Session

Thursday, May 2, 2019

.
Our UFF-UCF union Bargaining Team continues negotiations with the UCF Board of Trustees today, the 28th session of this contract.

Representatives for the UCF BOT will meet again with our faculty representatives to determine the employment contract for every UCF faculty member, regardless of UFF-UCF membership.

Today is expected to conclude with a closing of the contract, though five articles remain before the end of negotiations. Our bonus and salary raises were already finalized and signed on March 21.

Today’s session is from 9:30 a.m. until about 12:00 p.m. in EDU 305. Faculty are welcome to attend.

You can find a list of the bargaining session dates on the Bargaining page of our website. You can also find them listed on our Calendar page.

#  #  #