Creative Loafing recently reported on the contract impasse between FUSA and Administration. Read the full article here:
This election will be monumental in its impact on the future of higher education in Florida. Not only is there a Senate race on the ballot but the governorship as well. It is imperative that we encourage all members, faculty, friends, students, and family to register and then vote this coming November. To that end we have some information to share with you.
United Faculty of Florida believes in supporting pro-public education, pro-public employee candidates up and down the ballot. Pro-Education leadership in our state would have an immediate impact on all campuses across Florida, with a change in the Board of Governors and appointed Board of Trustees of our colleges and universities.
Prioritizing pro-education candidates in all down ballot races will aid in changing the face of the Florida Legislature, which has dealt some hard hits to our education system in FL, both higher ed and K-12.
Things you can do & share with your classes
- UFF General Election Guidance
- includes important legal dos & don’ts for sharing information with students
- Why reach out to our students?
- In 2018, the gubernatorial race was decided by only around 32,000 votes, the closest race for governor in the country during that cycle.
- Student turnout in 2020 jumped to a record high 66%. With 86,00 members around the state we can mobilize even more students to vote.
- Inside Higher Ed news article: “College Students Voted at Record-High Rate in 2020”
- Include a link in your email signature. Examples:
- Include a FUSA branded #UFFVotes background for Zoom
Information for you and your friends and family
- UFF $10 to Win campaign
- Make a plan to Vote
- FEA Voter Toolkit
- Voting & Elections Information & Resources
- Send a digital GOTV postcard
Things FUSA is doing
- Providing a conduit of communication between UFF & local members
- Communicating voting & election information to members
- Reaching out to membership to correct registration issues
- Organizing local GOTV activities
If you have any questions, or would like to know how to get involved, feel free to Contact Us.
The FUSA Council will hold its regular monthly meeting on Friday, September 23rd at 9 a.m. at the Ybor campus, room YLRC 305. All Faculty are welcome to attend Council Meetings.
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As reported on this FUSA blog, the recent Call To Action at the August board meeting was a big success. Approximately 70 faculty showed up to represent you and packed the boardroom and halls of the first floor of District, with ten faculty speaking directly to the board members regarding the impasse over economics.
FUSA’s collective actions are working. And while bargaining has not resumed, FUSA will keep the pressure on Administration to return to the table to negotiate a fair, good faith agreement on economics. We can use your help, too.
Below are the statements delivered at the August 24, 2022 Board meeting. If you would like to prepare and send your own statement, feel free to email the Board of Trustees directly: trustees [at] hccfl.edu.
September 5, Labor day – Observed the first Monday in September, Labor Day is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. The holiday is rooted in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity, and well-being.
Read more on the History of Labor Day from the Dept. of Labor.
You may also find these links illuminating:
- U.S. Approval of Labor Unions at Highest Point Since 1965
- 71% of Americans now approve of labor unions
- 40% of union members say their membership is “extremely important”
- About one in six Americans live in a union household
- States With the Strongest Unions
- Key Finding: States with higher union membership rates have higher wages.
- Best And Worst States to work (2022)
- Ranked by: wage policies, worker protections, and rights to organize
- Note the top 3 states are the same on both lists, as reported by Marketplace Morning Report.
The first FUSA meeting of the 2022-23 academic year will take place 9am Friday, 8/26 at the Ybor Campus in YLRC 305. All faculty are welcome to attend.
BOT meeting turnout on 8/24
We had a great FUSA turnout at the 8/24 Board of Trustees meeting. Upwards of 70 members packed the board room and hallway–a strong show of solidarity in support of your faculty rights. Ten members spoke directly to the board, calling attention to economics and the value of faculty.
From UFF President, Andrew Gothard: “I am thrilled to share that [on 8/18/22], the ACLU, ACLU of Florida, Legal Defense Fund (LDF), and Ballard Spahr filed suit against the State of Florida challenging HB 7, a law otherwise known as the “Stop W.O.K.E.” act. UFF has been supporting this lawsuit from the beginning, and we are very pleased to see that three of the plaintiffs are local UFF leaders and members. This challenge rises in addition to another ongoing suit against HB 7 which features yet another UFF leader as lead plaintiff. In short, know that your union colleagues across the state are on the front lines of the fight for our campus freedoms. The United Faculty of Florida will provide ongoing support for these fights in whatever ways we can, while we continue our own legal challenge of HB 233, Florida’s “Viewpoint Discrimination” law.”
UFF has provided information that may be of use to you as we navigate educating our students this Fall under HB 7 and the creeping state censorship we must collectively rebuke. While we will stand together and defend each other, we cannot count on any legal or political cavalry come to save us. We must all stand up now if we want higher education in Florida to thrive. To quote Kamala Harris speaking at the NEA Representative Assembly in Chicago this past July, “Do not throw up your hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves.”
In summary, what you can do includes:
- Review UFF’s guidance on HB 7 and talk through it with colleagues. You are not alone! Work with colleagues in similar subject areas to strategize and build solidarity. UFF is a union of members getting together to support each other – collectively and in our daily work lives.
- Get involved in our Get Out the Vote campaign #UFFvotes. We must change our political landscape and protect public education and Florida’s higher education system.
- Donate to UFF’s Political Action Committee (do not use any employer resources to donate to political committees or candidates!).
UFF held a forum recently with the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. To access the recording of the livestreamed event “Working and Learning under State Censorship: Academic Excellence & Academic Freedom in Florida’s Colleges and Universities,” visit UFF’s YouTube Channel or UFF Facebook page.
Further, the ACLU, ACLU of Florida, and NAACP Legal Defense Fund are investigating the impact HB 7 will have on higher education in Florida. If you are interested in connecting with them about how the law will impact your courses, feel free to reach out to Jerry Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the ACLU of Florida.