Update on FEO

On 10 September 2012, Provost Joe Glover announced another round of Faculty Enhancement Opportunity (FEO) Award applications. In this call, he states that it is “limited to faculty members who are not in the faculty bargaining unit.” This is a clear violation of the current contract (Article 21 Faculty Award Programs), and UFF intends to file a chapter grievance concerning it.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement calls for FEOs to continue until December 2012, to “advance the academic/professional/scholarly abilities of faculty members and to advance both individual faculty members and the University overall” (21.8).  In reply to a request by a faculty member for a reason for his action, Provost Glover said that “until the matter is resolved at the bargaining table, members of the entire  bargaining unit (not just dues paying union members) are not eligible to apply for FEOs.”  His suggestion that the reason for excluding unit faculty has to do with bargaining is, to say the least, disingenuous. The negotiations taking place now are about the next contract, not about the University’s obligations under the current one, which it has not fulfilled.  As far as these obligations are concerned, there is nothing to resolve.

In making faculty in the bargaining unit ineligible for the current FEO program the University is in breach of the CBA. Since Provost Glover’s announcement last week, the union has tried to find a resolution informally and has made a number of suggestions to that end, only to have them rejected out of hand. Accordingly, UFF will take the appropriate steps to secure compliance with the terms and conditions of employment that have been agreed to. The chapter grievance to be filed will seek the remedy that the University follow the process outlined in the CBA so that (1) faculty in the bargaining unit who are eligible can submit applications and that (2) the FEOs are “awarded in accordance with the award criteria published by the FEO Task Force” (21.11).

— John Biro, President, UFF-UF


emailed to the bargaining unit 18 September 2012