Impasse Hearing Report: Trustees reject union recommendation on raises

(Gainesville, FL) On January 28, the UF Board of Trustees delivered a binding decision in the impasse over 2015-16 salaries between the University of Florida administration and UFF-UF. Ignoring the recommendation of Special Magistrate Tom Young, the BOT sided with the administration. Faculty are to share a 2.5% merit pool to be distributed as of January 1, 2016–effectively, an average 1.25% raise for 2015-16.

Chapter President Susan Hegeman’s message to the UF Bargaining unit:

Yesterday, the bargaining team presented a very strong case before UF’s own Board of Trustees for better compensation for UF’s outstanding faculty. President Fuchs and Provost Glover were in attendance, as well as about 80 faculty and student supporters.  Our team reiterated points made by the independent Special Magistrate, who in December found that UF faculty were underpaid compared to their national peers, that it was not an undue burden on UF’s finances to pay us the raise UFF had proposed, and that addressing faculty compensation was central to UF’s goal to become a top-ten public university.

Unfortunately, the BOT sided with the administration’s recommendation that faculty share a 2.5% merit pool to be distributed as of January 1, 2016.  Effectively, this is a 1.25% average raise for 2015-16. Their decision is binding. Though this is disappointing, I am confident that UFF has started a conversation about faculty compensation—and the university’s priorities—that will bear fruit in the future.

I hope you will join me in thanking our bargaining team — Sumi Helal, John Biro, Agnes Leslie, Raúl Sánchez, and Candi Churchill — for their their smart, impressive presentation, and for all the hard work that went into it.  I am also grateful to the many faculty who came to the hearing. Despite the result, it was very important for members of the Board of Trustees and our university administrators to see this demonstration of concern for better faculty salaries at UF.

Our bargaining team is currently negotiating our entire 2016-2019 contract, which covers issues including salaries, leaves, intellectual property, and much more.  Contact me, and we can discuss ways for you to get involved.


Hearing press coverage:

“UF Approves Faculty Pay Raise of 2.5%,” WCJB-TV20

“Trustees side with UF administration over faculty union, approve 2.5% raise,” Gainesville Sun

UF Board of Trustees Rejects Faculty Salary Increase,” Alligator