Bargaining Updates on Salary Negotiations: Nov 28 — Dec 12, 2022

Dec 12 update:

Based on the results of last week’s survey  (see below), your bargaining team signed a tentative agreement (TA) accepting the UF BOT offer in part so that the union’s volunteer resources may be spent on other challenges in front of us, such as the BOG draft regulation weakening tenure and the upcoming supermajority legislative season threatening union decertification. 

On Dec 12, 2022, the ratification vote for 2022-23 salary increases was conducted in person by secret ballot: 95% of the voters accepted the 2022 raise agreement along with the raise memorandum of understanding MoU for the PK Yonge lab school faculty  2.5% said no and 2.5% actively abstained. Raises will be retroactive to October 1.

Dec 5 update:

SURVEY ENDED DEC 5, 2022. See survey results above

UFF-UF Survey of Bargaining Unit: 2022-23 Salaries – Settle or Declare Impasse?

Dear Colleague,

We, the UFF-UF Bargaining Team, write to you to formally survey members of the bargaining unit as to whether to settle negotiations over 2022-23 raises by accepting the UF-BOT’s current proposal or to declare impasse, a legal process described below. We additionally correct misinformation in the bargaining unit concerning raise negotiations.

Background  Since April 2022, your faculty union (UFF-UF) has been negotiating 2022-23 salary raises with the UF-Board of Trustees (UF-BOT). Against a backdrop of soaring inflation and an across-the-board raise of 5.38% awarded to all state employees other than educators, your bargaining team has made thoroughly-researched arguments to support our bargaining positions as well as strategic concessions, arriving at a proposal that fits within the UF-BOT’s claimed budget for raises. Nevertheless, the UF-BOT has essentially maintained a hardline stance for a 3% merit raise, while almost all faculty will fare equally well or better with the union’s suggested fair raise formula. You can read the Nov 28 UF-BoT proposal and the latest UFF-UF proposal here. 

Your Support and Recent Challenges  Your faculty union and bargaining team represent you. We thank you for your patience, for taking the time to join the bargaining sessions, and for writing to us. Your opinions crucially inform the bargaining team’s decisions as we work to protect your collective bargaining agreement (CBA or faculty contract) from a deluge of challenges, including HB233 (the “viewpoint diversity” law), and HB7 (the “Stop WOKE” law) and the draft regulation from the Florida Board of Governors (BOG) attacking tenure.

Divided Opinions and Misinformation in the Bargaining Unit Concerning Raise Negotiations  So far, your opinions on raise negotiations have been divided. Many of you have urged us to settle, but many others have urged us to keep negotiating in the hope that the UF-BOT and incoming President Sasse recognize how important it is to remunerate faculty members for their dedication and excellence. Contrary to some misinformation we have heard, we will not “lose the raise” if negotiations do not conclude before a particular date. 

Pros and Cons of Declaring Impasse  If UFF-UF and the UF-BOT cannot reach agreement in the normal course of negotiations, either party may declare impasse. In the impasse process, a special magistrate reviews the claims of both parties and issues a non-binding recommendation as to which party’s position should prevail. Ultimately, the UF-BOT is not required to heed the special magistrate’s position and, within certain legal restrictions, may impose a resolution of their choosing.

The cons of declaring impasse include concrete risks that the UF-BOT will reverse its position on provisions that have so far not been under contention, such as their commitment to making raises retroactive to Oct 1, 2022. While a repeated pattern of such regression by either party risks a charge of unfair labor practice, the current political climate in Florida could embolden the UF-BOT to take this risk. Additionally, even if the special magistrate rules in the faculty’s favor, the UF-BOT can still impose their bargaining position. Finally, entering the impasse process would guarantee further delays to the arrival of raises.

The pros of declaring impasse include wide publicity for the faculty union’s position before and during the special magistrate hearing, along with potential public pressure and membership mobilization. Both are important to the union’s sustained mission as a statewide advocate for higher education. However, there are currently many other challenges that also require membership mobilization and public pressure, including new tenure-weakening BOG regulation and a looming legislative season threatening decertification. 

Make your Voice Heard by Taking the 1-question Bargaining Survey at the link you received by email by Sunday Dec 4, 2022.

Thank you again for making your voice heard.   

The UFF-UF Bargaining Team