Bargaining update: MOU and two CBA articles

Our bargaining team continues to negotiate with representatives of the UF Board of Trustees (BOT) over a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) addressing the various impacts of the COVID-19 health emergency. The teams met on April 16 to discuss the MOU. They also discussed, as part of ongoing contract negotiations, Articles 19 and 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The teams disagree on issues related to performance evaluations conducted during the health emergency. This week, our team offered a counter-proposal in which we demand, once again, that annual performance evaluations, sustained performance evaluations, and tenure & promotion reviews not be negatively affected by the health emergency’s many disruptions to teaching and research. We altered our wording from the last time, making the terms more precise and concise in certain areas. But we retained the meaning, and we await the BOT team’s response.

Regarding Article 19 (“Tenure and Promotion”), both teams seem to agree on most of the article’s provisions, new and old, but key disagreements remain on the topics of evaluation criteria and confidentiality. Our team proposes language that further affirms the primacy of departmental and discipline-specific criteria over the general and more easily altered guidelines of the university as a whole. We also propose language that affirms the ability of participants in the evaluation process to report—without being subject to discipline—violations of the CBA, of university policy, and of state or federal law.

Regarding Article 21 (“Other Leaves”), the BOT team finally countered a proposal we had put on the table a year ago this month. Among their counter-proposal’s provisions are eight weeks of “paid parental leave,” which improves upon the current CBA’s “six weeks of advanced sick or vacation leave” for the same purposes. Other areas of their proposal need clarification or are problematic, but we see this as a positive step, and we will start drafting our own counter-proposal very soon.

The next bargaining session will take place on Thursday April 23 at 3:00 p.m. I encourage you to attend this meeting, which is open to the public. Here is the Zoom link: