(Email sent to the UF Collective Bargaining Unit by UFF-UF at 3:40PM on 7.29.2013 in response to the email below sent on 7.29.2013 at 11:39AM by Paula Fussell)
This morning you received a message from the UF administration informing you that negotiations between UFF-UF and the Board of Trustees for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement “have reached an impasse.” This is somewhat misleading: it hides the fact that it was the administration that suddenly and unexpectedly declared impasse unilaterally.
The facts are these. As the message you received says, negotiations have been going on for many months, and much progress has been made. However, until a few weeks ago, the administration was unwilling to discuss the parts of the contract that involve questions of funding, such as the articles on salaries, sabbaticals, and research and other support for faculty — this despite the fact that your faculty bargaining team put forward detailed and comprehensive proposals on them months ago. Only last week did the administration give us an offer it characterized as “final”. At the very same time, it informed us of its intention to declare impasse.
No reason was given for this surprising action, all the more puzzling as the parties seemed close to agreement on all outstanding issues, including those concerning the topics just mentioned. We are continuing to discuss the few differences that remain, confident that they can be bridged in ways that should be acceptable to both parties.
President John Biro
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To: UF Faculty Covered by the BOT/UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement
From: Paula Varnes Fussell, Vice President for Human Resource Services
I am writing to let you know that contract negotiations between the University of Florida and United Faculty of Florida have reached impasse. The university will continue talks with UFF; simultaneously, a magistrate will meet with university and UFF representatives to seek a recommended resolution that would be submitted to the UF Board of Trustees for their consideration. The university has already reached agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees staff union to implement the university’s salary increase plan. The university’s negotiations with UFF have been ongoing for 15 months and considerable progress has been made on a number of issues. The university’s goal is to ensure that faculty members represented by UFF have a complete contract, including pay raises, in a timely fashion.