Our Bargaining Team negotiates with the UF Board of Trustees’ (BOT) bargaining team over the terms of our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Our current contract is the 2021-24 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which was ratified on June 18, 2021. Every year, Article 24 (Salaries) is reopened for negotiating the terms of our salaries, including any raises. When needed, the bargaining teams also negotiate Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) which modify the terms of the current contract. All agreements between between the UFF and BOT teams must be ratified by the UF Board of Trustees and all members of the UFF-UF bargaining unit, irrespective of union membership. Links to past and current CBA’s as well as MOUs are available at the Contract/CBA page. Contact the Bargaining Team: firstname.lastname@example.org
October 27, 2022Since April of this year, your Union Bargaining Team has engaged in tenacious negotiations with the Board of Trustees Bargaining Team. We offered several proposals designed to maintain your current level of compensation in the face of the unprecedented increases in the cost of living and inflation we are all experiencing. Despite having given administrators 8% or more in annual raises over the past 3 years, the BOT offered a draconian take-it or leave-it 3% merit raise for faculty.
The BOT and “Merit”
Recognizing the dire economic situation, the Florida Legislature gave state employees, excluding higher education, 5.38% across-the-board raises. The boards of trustees at other Florida system universities gave across-the-board raises of 3-5%, or more. UF’s BOT does not care about our faculty’s well-being, ignoring that faculty enabled UF to skyrocket to its top-5 national rank. Instead, UF’s BOT insists on “merit” raises, which historically benefit the friends of the Administration and disproportionately reward those with the highest salaries. The 3% merit raise offered by the BOT is based on the total salary pool of the faculty, establishing the total dollar amount to be distributed. Administrators may then, for example, assign a 9% raise to some and a 0% raise to others. Even if a 3% merit raise is assigned to each of two faculty members, the lower-paid one will receive a small total-dollar raise, while the higher-paid person will receive a higher amount. Cost of living and inflation increases are roughly the same for everyone in dollar amounts; a loaf of bread or gallon of gas costs the same for everyone. But the total cost is a much more significant percentage of a low-paid person’s income than a higher-paid person. Studies show the disproportionate effect of cost of living and inflation increases on those with lower income, and the “merit” system only exacerbates that inequity.
Fair Raise Proposal
After several union proposals, starting with a 7% across the board raise, the union has now advanced an equity or fair raise proposal that costs UF the same in total dollars as their “merit” proposal. UFF-UF’s proposal distributes funds across the board according to a salary schedule: a lower-paid faculty will get a higher percentage raise than a highly paid peer. Most faculty would receive raises that might otherwise be denied based on the merit-raise process’s fuzziness and advisory nature. Those in the worst financial shape will be better able to protect their families in these challenging times. Yes, our proposal still lags behind the cost of living and price-index increases. It is a modest but fair proposal that is cost-neutral to the BOT. It is a reasonable compromise. However, in a show of extraordinary stubbornness, the BOT has rejected our equity proposal.
Your union is investigating all remaining options to continue to seek a fair raise agreement, expecting that the BOT will meet its obligation to offer adequate compensation to its faculty employees. We are considering multiple options, because we believe the BOT is not negotiating in good faith. We are also sensitive to the need for a timely resolution of the negotiations. Some of us may prefer to receive the BOT’s 3% merit raise soon and see an end to the negotiation process. Unfortunately, this implies that many in need could get a 0% raise or an insignificantly slight pay increase.
This is a difficult time, but we are fighting to counter the BOT’s lack of respect for the dignity of UF faculty. We ask for your support and patience. When all available options are clear, we look forward to surveying the membership to learn about your preferences and opinions.
August 10, 2022
Unlike the Board of Trustees’ Presidential Search Committee, your union believes in transparency. Recordings of most bargaining sessions from 2020 through July 2022 are now published in our bargaining archive.
August 7, 2022
The Bargaining Committee is currently fighting for reasonable and equitable salary increases for faculty in the bargaining unit. Unfortunately, Tigert Hall continues to disingenuously plead poverty in an effort to avoid fairly compensating UF’s hardworking faculty.
You can read the union’s position on, and arguments for salary increases here.
Bargaining archive (link)