2013-2016 New Contract Highlights

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA or “contract”) is a legally binding agreement between the faculty and the Board of Trustees of the University of Florida. It specifies the conditions of our employment, including promotions and tenure, leaves of absence, assignments, disciplinary action, and much more. Without a CBA, faculty employees’ working lives would be subject to arbitrary decisions on the part of politicians in Tallahassee or university administrators.

UF is unique among universities nationwide in having a comprehensive CBA. Our 2010-2013 contract strengthened faculty rights and academic integrity by including paid parental leave, full-year paid sabbaticals, and an academic freedom article so powerful that the AAUP uses it as a model. The CBA comes up for renegotiation every three years, and in 2013 members of the UFF-UF bargaining team sat down again with representatives of the UF administration to negotiate a new agreement. Terms of a new contract have now been agreed, and it is time for members of the bargaining unit to vote on whether or not to approve the new CBA.

The proposed CBA follows the 2010-13 CBA on most articles, including appointment, tenure and promotion, assignments, performance evaluations, disciplinary action, non-renewal, layoff and recall, grievance and arbitration, non-discrimination, academic freedom, and intellectual property. The new agreement, and its specific changes to the 2010-13 CBA can be found at the UFF-UF website (https://uff-uf.org/2013-2016-collective-bargaining-agreement-for-ratification/).

Major changes in the CBA of particular concern to faculty are as follows:

Salaries and raises
P. K. Yonge teachers will receive a base-salary increase for 2013-2104 of $2000. All other members of the bargaining unit will receive a base-salary increase ($1400 for those making $40,000 or less and $1000 for all others) and be eligible for promotion raises and merit raises. The merit pool for 2013-14 is 3.85% of the salary budget for all members of the bargaining unit as of 15 May 2013. Promotion raises of 9% are effective from the beginning of individual’s annual appointment. Raises other than promotion are effective 1 October 2013.

Summer salary for nine-month employees is regularized at 12.5% of annual salary for a 3-credit course.

The Salary Plan for Professors (SPP) program has been eliminated.  The bargaining team’s rationale for accepting this was that the University was not funding the program at significant enough levels to justify its continuation.

Sabbaticals and Professional Development
The Faculty Enhancement Opportunity (FEO) Pilot Program has ended with the expiration of the 2010-13 contract. In its place is a pilot program for an alternative sabbatical, which is intended to offer similar flexibility to the FEO program in accommodating a diversity of research and development needs among the faculty.

The University increased sabbatical support to 50 two-semester full-pay sabbaticals and 40 one-semester full-pay sabbaticals for tenured faculty with six-years of full-time service. Additionally, $500,000 is allocated annually for the alternative sabbaticals pilot program for tenured faculty.  Faculty who are not tenured or in the tenure track, including PKY faculty, are eligible for a professional development award of one-semester leave at full pay or a mutually acceptable alternative.  The total number of these awards is one for every 20 eligible faculty members.

Parental Leave
The Paid Parental Leave Pilot Program (which provided a one-time-only leave of 19.5 weeks upon the birth, adoption or placement of a child for one employee) ended with the expiration of the 2010-13 contract.

In its place, the university agreed to offer paid parental leave of six weeks for either or both parties for the birth, adoption, or placement in foster care of a child of the employee(s). This leave must be paid back within a six-year period from the available leave hours (e.g., sick leave or vacation).  Though the bargaining team was unable to move the university to continue to offer one semester-long parental leave, the new agreement allows employees to take parental leave more than once, and for both co-parenting partners to benefit from the program. We advise UFF representation when the faculty member requests this leave.

Disclosure of Outside Activities
In the previous CBA, many outside activities compensated for less than $500 were exempt from the reporting requirement for outside activities. In the 2013 CBA,  all compensated outside activities must be disclosed. However, disclosure of the amount of compensation is not required.

Other Changes
Because rulings by “neutral umpires” in our current CBA are not binding on the University, their use for bylaws disputes, assignment disputes, and summer appointments disputes has been eliminated. Instead, in the bylaws section, for example, only what is unreasonable or unworkable can be changed. Such changes are grievable and then subject to binding arbitration.

Annual letters of evaluation are now due to faculty members by 1 July (previous date was 1 May).

The Appointments article adds a brief section on interdisciplinary appointments.