Faculty-created bylaws can be legally binding

Article 9 of the UFF-UF Collective Bargaining Agreement (2010-2013) gives certain faculty bylaws—at the department, program, and college levels—the legally binding status of the UFF-UF contract. This is the first time documents pertaining to UF faculty governance have carried legal weight. Article 9 gives faculty power to write bylaws and imposes the requirement of a faculty vote to approve and change them. With the 2010 contract, faculty have much greater power to determine the criteria for tenure and promotion in their specific discipline, the composition of hiring committees, and many other critical aspects of their academic programs. (See also the Tenure and Promotion Article #19.) If the administration violates the terms of department bylaws or a college constitution, an individual faculty member or the UFF-UF chapter can file a grievance, resulting in a legally binding decision by a neutral outside party.

Bylaws must be approved by the appropriate dean’s office, in order for them to be become part of the contract. Therefore it is very important that faculty become involved in the writing bylaws and making sure that the formal approval procedure is followed. For details see the CBA Article #9.

Click Here for the Contract. If you have a question about grievances, write to president@uff-uf.org.

Correction/25 August 2012: An earlier version of this Contract Fact published in the UFF-UF newsletter on 27 February 2012 incorrectly implied that all faculty-created bylaws have the legally binding status of the UFF-UF contract. This has been corrected in the version above and in the original newsletter.