You keep your prize money: settlement reached in faculty awards dispute

GAINESVILLE, FL. On Tuesday, December 10, UFF-UF and the University of Florida agreed to terms of a settlement in the dispute over prize money awarded to the GatorWings research team by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). 
As previously posted, at issue were two cash prizes—one for $750,000 and another for $2 million—and the administration’s attempt to unilaterally enact a policy regarding the distribution of such cash prizes. UFF-UF had filed a charge of unfair labor practice with the state labor commission, and the case was headed toward arbitration. This settlement avoids that step.
The basic terms of the settlement are as follows:

  • The $750,00 prize will remain with UF, but the entire amount will be applied toward research conducted by Professors Shea and Wong on behalf of UF. These funds will not be subject to Facilities & Administrative (Indirect) Costs.
  • The $2 million prize will remain with Professors Shea and Wong, to be spent and distributed at their discretion.
  • The administration will set aside and not enforce its prize policy. In addition, if it wishes to enact such a policy, it will do so through collective bargaining with UFF-UF.

Whether or not you are a member of UFF, the Collective Bargaining Agreement guarantees you a wide range of rights. However, the CBA does not guarantee you representation when those rights are violated. When that happens, UFF will be able to represent you—as we did Professors Shea and Wong—only if you are already a member of the union. So, if you have not yet joined us, please do so today. The greater our numbers, the stronger our voice.