Bargaining update, July 20, 2015

Negotiations between the bargaining teams of UFF-UF and the Board of Trustees continue, with still a substantial gap between the proposals of the two sides. UFF has proposed a general increase of 4%, with an additional 2.5% for merit and 0.5% to begin to address the compression problem, as well as promotion increases of 15% . The latest offer by the BOT is for a 2.5% “merit” raise, not to go into effect until January 2016. This is far short of what your UFF bargaining team thinks you deserve. We will continue to work for an agreement comparable to FSU’s, where faculty are to receive a mix of merit increases and cost-of-living and market-equity adjustments totaling approximately 5.5%. They will also have promotion increases of 12% and 15%, compared to UF’s current 9%, which is among the lowest in the state

We are particularly concerned about the BOT’s proposal to delay raises until January, one for which we have been given no explanation except that UF must address many other unspecified “issues”. When pressed for examples, BOT negotiators said that “a boiler might blow or the Music Building might need repairs.” We cannot understand why faculty salaries should be held hostage to such contingencies, especially with UF holding substantial unrestricted reserves (some $148m in 2014, according to the Florida Auditor General.)

As you know, we are well below our peers in terms of compensation, and we have seen our retirement benefits eroded. Many colleagues have left UF. For these reasons, your bargaining team will continue to work toward a better agreement. We will put a new proposal to the BOT at our next meeting: July 30 at 1:30 in Griffin-Floyd 303. This meeting, as usual, is open to the public. We will continue to keep you abreast of developments.

The UFF-UF Bargaining Team