What is the “bargaining unit” and how is it related to the University of Florida?
The bargaining unit is the group of UF professionals who are represented by UFF-UF in collective bargaining and other negotiations with the UF administration and the Board of Trustees. Faculty belonging to the bargaining unit — whether they are dues-paying UFF-UF members or not — are legally protected by the terms of employment specified in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). For faculty within the bargaining unit, if there is a conflict between university policies and the CBA, the rules specified in the CBA prevail. For more information, see UF’s Human Resources “Union Contracts.”
Who is in the bargaining unit?
Membership in the bargaining unit is dependent upon your position title and upon your college. Colleges, centers, and programs within the bargaining unit include Arts, Business, Counseling and Wellness Center, Distance and Continuing Education, Design Construction and Planning, Education, Engineering, Health and Human Performance, Journalism and Communications, International Center, Digital Worlds, Academic Spoken English, Writing Program, Dial Center for Written and Oral Communication, Libraries, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Natural History and Harn Museums, Student Health Care Center, Whitney Marine Laboratory.
Professional positions within the bargaining unit are specified in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Appendix A.
If you have any questions about whether or not you are part of the bargaining unit, please contact us for clarification.
Why is my college—IFAS, Law, Health Sciences, Dentistry, Medicine—not included in the bargaining unit?
The bargaining unit consists of faculty and professional staff in those colleges that ratified UFF-UF as their bargaining agent. If, in the future, faculty in these colleges would like to become part of our bargaining unit, they can hold a vote to join.
Can I join UFF if I am not in the bargaining unit?
Yes. Faculty members not in the bargaining unit can join the At-Large Chapter of UFF. Retired faculty can join the Retiree Chapter of UFF.
Why should non-tenure track faculty join UFF-UF?
UFF-UF maintains that the interests and professional values of all faculty are fundamentally similar, whether their appointment accrues tenure or not. Thus, there are only a few items in the current CBA (for example, on tenure, sabbaticals, and SPP) that do not apply to all faculty. Non-tenure track faculty represent a sizable and active portion of UFF-UF membership, and they meet independently as UFF members to discuss issues of particular significance to them.
My spouse/domestic partner and I are both in the bargaining unit. Should we both join UFF-UF?
While it may seem like a cost savings to only have one UFF-UF member in a household, there are important reasons why you should both join. Membership numbers strengthen UFF-UF as a whole. Also, only members are eligible for free representation in the grievance process and other benefits.
What are the UFF membership dues, and who determines them?
Membership dues are currently 1% of your regular gross salary. The dues rate is set by the UFF Senate, a state-level body in which each UFF chapter is represented by senators elected by the chapter.
How are these dues spent?
Most of your dues go to UFF’s state and national affiliates, who provide staff and legal support in contract negotiation and enforcement, offer expert advice in interpreting legislative initiatives, and use their lobbying power to communicate faculty concerns to the legislature, the governor, Congress, and the general public. A percentage of dues collected by UFF in each fiscal year is returned to the local chapters to support bargaining and contract enforcement, communications, and events.
In 2016, the percentages of dues sent to the chapters and the other organizations were:
- UFF Statewide: 33% (a portion of which is rebated back to this chapter)
- Florida Education Association: 32%
- National education affiliates National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT): 33% (combined)
- AFL-CIO and Florida Central Labor Councils 1%
The figures above are percentages of total dues collected; the percentages for each individual member’s dues, other than the percentage returned to the chapter, depend on the member’s salary.
What do I get for my dues?
- participation in an organization that represents your interests as an academic professional, at UF, in the State of Florida, and nationally.
- representation in case of disciplinary action or the need to file a grievance
- a say in determining UFF’s governance and bargaining priorities
- discounts on a variety of products and services
Are my dues tax-deductible?
As of the 2018 tax year, union dues are no longer tax-deductible as an itemized business expense.