Saturday, February 24, 2007

University of South Florida Bargaining Stalls


United Faculty of Florida -- USF Chapter

February 23, 2007
The following is a message from the UFF Bargaining Team:
Bargaining Bulletin

The UFF and USF bargaining teams met on Friday, 2/23/07.

What did USF offer today – COMMITTEES, COMMITTEES, and more COMMITTEES.

UFF wants results – not Committees!

Salary Issues

USF: The most blatant, anti-employee proposal by USF is that the additional salary increases will not be effective until the salary article is ratified – and that is not likely to occur earlier than April 2007. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO YOU? We employees lose almost an entire year’s salary increase!

UFF: Your union wants fairness for all employees. The details of our proposal are listed later in this report.

Other bargaining issues
Course assignment
USF: The administration has REFUSED for the past 9 months to make a counter-proposal to UFF's proposal to allow an employee to assign the 2 free courses per semester to his/her spouse or child. Its response has been NO, NO, NO.

Paid paternity leave
The administration has REFUSED for the past 9 months to make a counter-proposal to UFF's proposal to grant a 6 month paid paternity leave to an employee. Its response has been NO, NO, NO

Shared governance
The administration has REFUSED for the past 9 months to even discuss the subject of shared governance. The union put forward a document approved unanimously by the USF Faculty Senate and the response has been NO, NO, NO.

Domestic partner benefits
The administration has REFUSED for the past 9 months to make any real effort to find a funding source to pay the premiums for domestic partner health care insurance other than to propose that USF/UFF form a committee to jointly look for such a funding source.

Here are the salary issues in more detail:

In addition to the 3.0% salary increase which you already received, and which was secured in no small part by the efforts of UFF, our union proposal is as follows:
A pot of 1.40% of salary base (about $1.54 million) to be used to reward meritorious performance based on criteria proposed by the administration – to be effective October 1, 2006.
Promotion increases.
UNLIMITED discretionary funds for the administration to use for counter - offers, increased duties and responsibilities, extra compensation and the settlement of grievances and law suits.
Additional funds equal to 1.0% of salary base (about $1.1 million) to be used by the administration at its discretion.
Over the past 2 years, UFF has negotiated a small amount of money to be given to employees to help ease the effect of compression/inversion. Last year, the amount consisted of a pot of .20% of salary base which was awarded in amounts of $1,000, 2,000 or $3,000. The criteria for such increases have always been formula driven based on performance, years of service at USF and distance from the employee's national market salary.
UFF realized that many employees are retiring and DYING before receiving any relief from the injustice of compression/inversion. So your union’s present proposal is to have a pot of .10% of salary base (about $110,000 – which is less than the proposed compensation increase for President Genshaft) to be used to raise the base salary of an employee who has an average annual evaluation of 4 or better over the past 6 years and has been at USF for 30 or more years to 80% of the employee's average national market salary based on OSU etc.
The balance of the funds remaining in the pot would be given on a pro rata basis to employees who have been at USF for 20 - 29.99 years, using the same performance criteria and average national market salary data, as above.
To us, this formulaic approach seems just and reasonable, as it is performance based. This is a small pot of money for employees who have given their LIVES to USF. We think it is fair and just to give an employee with strong credentials and evaluations at least 80% of the employee's AVERAGE national market salary.
Why won’t USF agree to this formula? USF has run the salary through a spread sheet and has the names of the individual employees who will receive these increases (to our knowledge this has never before been done in our state for the past 14 years of bargaining). Who are these faculty members who would have their salary raised to 80% of OSU? Here is one - a full professor who is a current Fulbright Scholar, another is a full professor who has written 23 books, 200 articles and teaches 800 students per semester. And the list goes on and on. What is wrong with this picture? Your union formula works.
But wait a minute, some of the potential recipients belong to the union, some have sued the university, some have filed grievances for themselves or others against the university, some have questioned university policy, and others have attempted to secure additional benefits for the employees. USF does not believe that these employees are worth fair treatment – UFF disagrees.
Your union believes that our proposal is based on principles of fairness and justice, and we will not compromise these values.

Your union bargaining team:

Robert Welker, Sonia Wohlmuth, Jana Futch Martin, Mark Klisch, Art Shapiro, Steve Permuth



Next Chapter Meeting: Friday, Mar. 9, at noon in EDU 258. Sandwiches and soda pop are free, and all UFF members are invited to attend. Come and join the movement.

Membership: Everyone in the bargaining unit is eligible for membership: to join, simply fill out and send in the membership form, which is online at:

NOTE: The USF-UFF Chapter website is,
our e-mail address is , and our phone number is (813) 974-2428. Our off-campus website is,
although it is still accessible via

The UFF also sends out a quarterly hardcopy newsletter, Uncommon Sense, to the entire unit. Past issues of Uncommon Sense are on-line via
Articles from past issues of the Biweekly are on-line via our off-campus site at

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