UFF-UF has defended and improved faculty rights and academic integrity for over forty years. Our union began at the University of Florida in response to the university’s retaliation against faculty who spoke up for racial integration, academic freedom, and faculty rights. This spirit is at the core of UFF, which now has a statewide membership of over 25,000 members.
During the COVID pandemic, UFF-UF was at the forefront of advocating for our members to get the accommodations they needed to stay safe, and advocating for the health and safety of the entire university and surrounding community.
We have used our membership clout to take on administrative and government overreach into higher education. In 2021, when faculty were prevented by the university from being expert witnesses in a voting rights case, UFF was there to help defend their academic freedom.
In recent contract negotiations, we have improved the lives of faculty and strengthened faculty rights and academic integrity by successfully negotiating paid parental leave, full-year paid sabbaticals, and an academic freedom article so powerful that the AAUP uses it as a model. Current negotiations continue to build on these, and other successes.
In 2015, we changed the conversation on faculty compensation at UF when we declared impasse over salary negotiations and convinced a Special Magistrate that UF faculty we underpaid as compared to our national peers. We continue to fight for fair salaries for everyone in the bargaining unit.
We have fought off lay-offs and helped faculty get due process. Since 2008 at UF, we have won all the lay-off cases filed by members, and in the process have saved the jobs of non-tenure track, tenure-track, and tenured faculty. We are proactive in resolving grievances and investigations as quickly as possible, but do not hesitate to defend faculty rights with binding arbitration.
We have successfully fought budget cuts from Tallahassee and program closures at UF and elsewhere. In 2009, we helped stop the state legislature from cutting the education budget by 10%. In the spring 2012 our “Save UF: Spend the Reserves” campaign succeeded in getting the UF administration to cover a significant amount of the state budget cuts with the university’s reserves (about $12 million of the $38+ million cut by the state). This helped stop faculty and staff layoffs, reduce cuts to graduate assistants, and preserved quality education and research at UF.