Chronicle of Higher Education Includes UFF-UCF in Coverage of University’s Financial Scandal

Chronicle of Higher Education Includes UFF-UCF in Coverage of University’s Financial Scandal

Chronicle of Higher Education includes UFF-UCF in coverage of financial scandal at UCF

The crisis at Central Florida has further strained relations between administrators and some of the university’s unionized faculty members. For them, this isn’t a byzantine story about a university’s tapping the wrong pot of money for a building in violation of some obscure regulation. It’s the story of an administration willfully taking money that should have gone to faculty salaries, all the while poor-mouthing to the union in collective-bargaining sessions.
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“The faculty-union position is that we are not anywhere near the bottom of this,” said Scott Launier, president of the university’s chapter of the United Faculty of Florida. “We’ve known for years that we’ve been lied to about how much money there was to compensate and provide for faculty.”
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Launier found a tongue-in-cheek reason to be upbeat about the unfolding story.
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“Every year, the university has said, ‘We would like to give you more money, but we don’t have it,'” said Launier, a writing and rhetoric instructor. “It is nice that they have finally changed that narrative, and they have finally said, ‘We have the money, we just don’t want to give it to you.’ At least we’re having an honest conversation.”

Read the whole article here.

Brevard Teachers Rallied for Competitive Pay

Brevard Teachers Rallied for Competitive Pay

Brevard County teachers, students, support staff, parents, firefighters, letter carriers, machinists, and community members rallied in front of the School Board of Brevard County in support of competitive wages for Brevard’s public schoolteachers and support staff. The board room filled up quickly, with both overflows being opened. People lined the walls and sat on the ground, and some people who came to the public meeting were even turned away.

Brevard’s teachers are above average in performance, second in experience in the state, yet are paid $1,103 below the state average. A spokesperson for the district cited security as a reason why teachers were not getting a competitive pay offer. “The idea that teachers should have to choose between a living wage and the safety of their classrooms is a shame,” said Vanessa Skipper, Vice President of the Brevard Federation of Teachers.

All districts received the same FEFP funding from the state and many have already given their employees a raise that keeps up with inflation, and in many cases, exceeds it. “We passed the half cent tax to help with many aspects of school security. Not only has it added funds for this purpose, but the funds generated have come in at higher than expected. The idea that there isn’t money to give us a raise that is competitive with our contiguous and comparable counties is inaccurate,” said Anthony Colucci, President of the Brevard Federation of Teachers.

UCF VP for Equity, Inclusion & Diversity:  Feedback Needed!

UCF VP for Equity, Inclusion & Diversity: Feedback Needed!

Four finalists for UCF’s new Vice President for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity are on campus next week to meet the campus community.

Each candidate will give a presentation at an open forum held at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center in the grand ballroom. The new vice president will lead and organize an infrastructure to foster community engagement, develop partnerships to bring about transformative change and identify and support target areas to maximize inclusive excellence at UCF. The vice president will develop an institutional framework for equity, inclusion and diversity that supports the university’s mission and strategic plan, ensuring the pillars of equity, inclusion and diversity are embedded at all levels.

More information on the finalists – including forum times and links for web casts, candidate details and forum feedback – can be found below. Your feedback is important to this process. Surveys should be completed within 24 hours of each forum.

Dr. Gregory J. Vincent
Forum: Tuesday, January 22, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/vCfJ34kQqZ4
Candidate info: https://diversity.ucf.edu/files/2019/01/Vincent-Gregory-Resume_Redacted.pdf
Feedback: http://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_01EYifPmUSFobPL

Sheree M. Ohen
Forum: Wednesday, January 23, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/cDZ7sHDSUS8
Candidate info: https://diversity.ucf.edu/files/2019/01/Ohen-Sheree-Resume-Redacted.pdf
Feedback: http://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cuSFiQq6hh5HUZ7

Dr. Carlos Medina
Forum: Thursday, January 24, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/IInsWE9dRsc
Candidate info: https://diversity.ucf.edu/files/2019/01/Medina-Carlos-Resume_Redacted.pdf
Feedback: http://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_egSC2vo0ow7P17T

Monica Díaz
Forum: Friday, January 25, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/wQLxcJha6aM
Candidate info: https://diversity.ucf.edu/files/2019/01/Diaz-Monica-Resume_Redacted.pdf
Feedback: http://ucf.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8jNzhLe7iPst9d3

More information about the position and the candidates can be found at https://diversity.ucf.edu/ucf-hiring-vp-for-equity-inclusion-diversity/

Bargaining Update, Dec. 13 2018

Bargaining Update, Dec. 13 2018

Today the UFF and BOT teams made significant progress, tentatively agreeing on eight articles, including nondiscrimination, employee performance evaluations, tenure, and promotion procedure.

UFF-UCF had several wins! We introduced new language in our contract that allows instructors and lecturers to have a say in creating and voting on their own evaluation standards (AESPs). The UFF team also successfully fought back against the BOT’s proposed language to relegate annual evaluations to “supervisor’s judgement” and this language has now been stricken from our tentative agreement, along with other proposed language that may hurt our faculty!

We discussed and are coming closer to an agreement on salaries. BOT team presented a proposal and we offered a counter proposal. We will continue to negotiate salaries on Wednesday afternoon, December 19, 2018 (Time and location TBA). Please check us out on Facebook and our website (uffucf.org) for Upcoming Time and Location!

Fall 2018 Consultation with the Provost

December 5, 2018
1:00 – 2:30 pm
Millican Hall 395

UFF-UCF 2018 Fall Consultation Agenda

  • PDL applications should not be held up waiting for a dean’s signature
  • Faculty need a paper-based option for evaluations when serving on committees such as promotions, awards and tenure. There is much research that increased screen-reading time negatively impacts eye health. Also, faculty should receive all applications at one time, not one at a time as they come in.
  • Office space expectations and problems related to moving downtown
  • How are students in the summer ACCESS program being placed into courses? Is it true that students are randomly enrolled in classes based on alphabetical order of last names? Is it true that students in the ACCESS program do not get to choose the courses in which they enroll? What is the process by which students enroll in summer courses when they are in the ACCESS program, and is this a process that can or should improve?
  • HR should align language and practices with the CBA. For example—paid parental should not be a memo of understanding nor indicate it requires dean’s approval
  • Departments being grossly overcharged for alterations to labs, etc.
  • Update: Making UCF a more diverse and inclusive campus—how are we doing and what are next steps?
  • Culture of toxic work environments in pockets across the university:
    • management harassment; gender discrimination; micro-aggression; paternalism; cultural miscommunication
    • employee mistreatment; retaliation/fear of retaliation for using or standing up for contract rights
Florida Amendment 4, Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative Passes

Florida Amendment 4, Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative Passes

 Amendment 4, Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative passed with 63% of the vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6th. Florida was one of four state permanently denying voting rights of convicted felons. The victory means more than 1 million people will regain the right to vote.

UFF-UCF President Scott Launier is a producer of “Let My People Vote” a documentary following Desmond Meade as he leads the largest voting rights movement in America since the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

Desmond has repaid his debt to society for a drug conviction over a decade ago. Desmond has earned a Juris Doctor degree since parole and Desmond still can’t vote, and is barred from practicing law in the state of Florida.

The amendment was officially supported by Desmond’s Floridians for a Fair Democracy, which gathered more than 1.1 million petitions to put it on the ballot.