This is an important message to all Bargaining Unit Members. UCF has announced a new Emergency Policy (EP-20-6 3-012). According to what we heard from the UCF administration, this is an “emergency” policy and not a permanent policy – which also appears to be the cited reason UCF did not utilize their practice of a 15 day comment period on this policy. Our union does not believe this “emergency” policy is necessary and we are asking UCF to go through established channels of drafting new policies which impact the workplace. According to UCF, should this become a permanent policy they plan to have a comment period. But we already have a number of concerns with the current “emergency” policy.
Among other issues, the policy violates our CBA in numerous ways (such as Articles 1, 9, 10, and 21.)
For example, the policy is in direct conflict with CBA Article 9.1(c):
“(c) It is part of the professional responsibility of employees to carry out their duties in an appropriate manner and place. For example, while instructional activities, office hours, and other duties and responsibilities may be required to be performed at a specific time and place, other non-scheduled activities are more appropriately performed in a manner and place determined by the employee in consultation with his/her supervisor.”
Our union wants you to keep in mind the following:
- The language of this policy allegedly applies to “all employees;” however, if you are part of the Bargaining Unit (BU) you are governed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and when a policy conflicts with the CBA, the CBA is the recognized authority.
- The emergency policy seeks to introduce criteria such as a 6 months waiting period or particular evaluations in order to be able to work remotely – but that is not how CBA Article 9 works.
Our union wants you to be alert should this policy be implemented and affect you by violating collectively bargained terms and conditions of work. UCF has agreed to the CBA and acknowledges that the CBA trumps any policies that would be in violation of the CBA. Therefore, if you have been adversely affected by this new policy please document it and report it to us asap – our grievance team will investigate and can grieve any violations of the CBA, so that all our rights can continue to be protected.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown our resilience in carrying out our assignments in an atmosphere that can be challenging and stressful. We, individually and collectively, have expressed both our hope and frustration in how our civic and workplace institutions responded to various policies in these last sixteen months. Our union remains in solidarity with you and the entire bargaining unit in what we hope will be the final stage of the pandemic.
State of the Union Address 2021
As promised I am sharing our State of the Union Address with all of you through a podcast and on YouTube. You can locate it at our podcast site here. Or on our YouTube site here. We plan to regularly bring you episodes and discuss issues important to us all. Please subscribe or check us out from time to time.
Reminder Free Coffee
Don’t forget coffee on us this summer. If you give us your name and address (and you are in the bargaining unit), we will mail you a $10 gift card for Foxtail Coffee. They have numerous locations around Orlando, one on University Blvd as well as in the campus bookstore in the John T. Washington Center.
You have until May 10 to put your order in for the card, with cards being mailed out by the end of May. During the summer send us a photo of your cup of coffee.
The form to request the card is here.
2021 Florida Legislative Update
We have come to that time where the Florida Legislature has end. They will meet again but just to consider budgetary matters. As far as the state education budget, $5.3 billion has been allotted for the State University System with tuition and fees, as well as funding for need-based financial aid, are held at current levels and were not cut as originally proposed. Additionally, there will be $37.8 million for state university school maintenance.
HB 835/SB 1014 which was a threat to the existence of our unions or others below 50% density did not pass this session. SB 84 which was a threat to the financial security and future of our defined benefit pension program also failed to pass the legislature.
HB 233 passed which requires faculty at state colleges and universities to take an “intellectual freedom and diversity” survey about your personal beliefs. The governor has not yet signed it, but we should expect he will. We will update you on this legislation as it becomes law.
We should not forget that the state legislature has also made it harder to vote and protest in public.
Summer 2021 Is Upon Us
On a final note, we in union leadership would like to thank all of you getting through another difficult COVID semester. We appreciate everyone who has supported us during Full Book Bargaining and especially those that have reached out in email or attended one of the Town Halls to share their concerns. We are a stronger Union when we work together and communicate. For those of you who are off this summer, please enjoy your free time. For this of you teaching or fulfilling a summer appointment we are here if you need us, please reach out anytime. And most of all thank you all for your hard work and dedication during these trying times, we in the union leadership raise a glass and we hope to buy you a cup of coffee.
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