Please take five minutes and complete our ten-question bargaining survey ! This survey will help the UFF-UF Bargaining Team determine their strategy for concluding salary negotiations.
If you’ve been attending bargaining sessions or keeping up with our weekly bargaining updates, please proceed directly to the survey. You know everything you need to know to complete the questionnaire.
If not, please read the following introduction. This primer outlines the proposals put forward by UFF-UF and the UF Board of Trustees (BOT), explains the bargaining options at our disposal, and reflects on our prospects for winning a substantial raise.
Since Mon., 11 Sept., UFF-UF and representatives of the UF BOT have been negotiating your annual raise package. The UF BOT opened negotiations by proposing a 3% merit raise. They also proposed doubling available funding for administrative discretionary raises from 1% to 2% of the overall salary pool. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), these discretionary raises may be (but do not have to be) used for “market equity adjustments, verified counteroffers, salary compression/inversion, increased duties and responsibilities.”
UFF-UF countered with an 11.6% raise proposal. The first 7.9% of this raise would go toward across-the-board salary increases. The remaining 3.7% of this package would be reserved for merit raises. In addition, UFF-UF tentatively agreed to the UF BOT proposal to double the funding for discretionary salary adjustments to 2%, on the condition that UF uses the amount in full and that at least half of this spending go toward salary equity raises.
Under UFF-UF’s across-the-board proposal, all UF faculty would see a significant salary increase, with the distribution weighted slightly more progressively than under a flat raise (i.e. an equal dollar amount for all faculty). This formula would provide additional benefits for lower-paid faculty who have been hit hardest by cost-of-living increases.
Under both parties’ proposals, raises will take effect on 1 Oct. Even if negotiations conclude after 1 Oct., faculty are legally entitled to the full amount of their negotiated raise, retroactive to 1 Oct. Raises, in other words, may be delayed but not denied.
The Difference Between the Proposals
UF received $123M in new recurring appropriations for Education and General (E&G) and Performance funding: the funding pools that, along with tuition revenue, support faculty and staff salaries. Of this $123M funding increase, bargaining unit faculty should, according to UFF-UF’s reasoning, be eligible for roughly 36% or at least $42M, given that in-unit faculty salaries and fringe currently account for approximately 36% of overall E&G expenditures. Under UFF-UF’s proposal, UF would use the entirety of this roughly $42M increase to fund merit, across-the-board, compression, and equity raises for in-unit faculty.
Under the UF BOT proposal, by contrast, UF would use the bulk of this $42M increase to fund block grants, while reserving only about one third of this amount for salary increases. These block grants, based on the limited information available, would likely be used to support new projects, additional staff and faculty positions, administrator raises, and/or other initiatives. The union is still seeking information at this time as to whether any portion of these grants will be allocated towards raises or bonuses for current UF faculty.
Going forward, both UFF-UF and the UF BOT have three main courses of action at their disposal:
- Settle: UFF-UF or the UF BOT may, at any time, accept the other party’s proposal.
- Continue Bargaining: UFF-UF and the UF BOT may continue negotiating, passing proposals and counterproposals across the table, requesting additional information, and mounting new defenses of their respective positions. This process may continue indefinitely, so long as both parties comply with Article 24 (Salaries) of the CBA and follow the rules of good-faith bargaining. Violations of the CBA risk a grievance filing and violations of good-faith bargaining risk an Unfair Labor Practice filing.
- Seek a Procedural Settlement: If UFF-UF and the UF BOT cannot reach an agreement, 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 adhere to the special magistrate’s position and may, within certain legal restrictions, impose a resolution of their choosing.
Since the start of salary bargaining on 11 Sept., the UF BOT has repeatedly signaled their unwillingness to budge from their opening offer of 3% merit and a maximum of 2% in administrative discretionary spending.
Moving the UF BOT from this position would require delays in the bargaining process and a significant increase in faculty members’ level of mobilization. While bargaining continues, attaining this goal would require faculty to attend bargaining sessions in large numbers as well as provide vocal support for the UFF-UF bargaining position in both the press and in messages to the UF administration.
If the union were to declare impasse, the need for mobilization would be even greater. Impasse is a labor intensive process that requires significant commitment from both union leadership and the faculty at large.
In the short run, our prospects for securing a more favorable raise package are limited. The UF BOT has a history of inflexibility in recent salary negotiations. And, even if we were to declare impasse and receive a favorable recommendation from the special magistrate, the UF BOT would likely ignore the recommendation and impose its desired outcome.
However, we may improve our prospects for substantial future raises by making a strong stand in the current negotiations – either by extending bargaining, mobilizing faculty, and/or declaring impasse. In 2016, for instance, UFF-UF declared impasse during salary negotiations and received a favorable recommendation from the special magistrate. While the UF BOT imposed their bargaining position in 2016, they came to the bargaining table in 2017 with substantial funding for equity raises.