Florida Faculty need a union now more than ever
UFF-UF remains vigilant in preserving shared governance. Central to the faculty’s role in shared governance are control over the curriculum, degree programs, and over the hiring, firing, and evaluation of our colleagues. In recent years, attempts have been made to erode all of these roles. The state legislature has cut its allocation to the State University System by 30% in the past 5 years, and the UF administration has responded by merging departments, reducing the number of faculty, and changing degree programs. UFF has ensured that Preeminence Hiring and UF Online have respected principles of shared governance.
Legislation threatening our Collective Bargaining Agreement. In 2011 HB1023 was introduced in the Florida State Legislature that would decertify any union with less than 50% membership. Without certification our CBA is unenforceable. This bill failed by a close margin and only through the united effort of labor unions across the state such as Florida Education Association and unions representing police, firefighters, and nurses. We are prepared to fight similar legislation in the future.
Cuts to Faculty pensions. In 2011, the state legislature passed legislation that required all public employees to contribute 3% to their pensions, which amounted to a 3% pay cut. In 2012, the legislature passed additional cuts to the Florida Retirement System that further reduced the retirement plan of many faculty by over 2%. We are prepared to fight similar legislation should it arise again.
Education Policy that compromises the quality of education and faculty rights. In 2010, the Florida legislature passed SB736 which abolished tenure in the public school system (K-12), and the same forces tried to pass a bill to abolish tenure in the state college system. This bill failed thanks to the joint efforts of UFF and state college presidents.