Please join us June 24 at 9am on the Ybor campus in YFAC 226 for the last FUSA meeting of the 2021-22 academic year. It will also be Elizabeth Key-Raimer’s final meeting as FUSA President.
Some key takeaways from the NEA Special Report on Professional Pay in Higher Education (with data from NEA HE 2022 Salary Report):
- Full-time faculty represented by unions earned about $5,000 more in 2021 than their peers who work in the same states but don’t belong to unions. The difference is even bigger—a whopping $17,000—between union members and faculty working in states without faculty unions.
- At community colleges specifically, union faculty members earned an additional $18,000 in 2021, or 27 percent more than non-union faculty in the same states. (Over a 25-year career, the difference amounts to an additional $450,000.) At research universities, the union difference was $6,000.
- Like all educators, professors worked harder than ever in 2021, as they pivoted their classes online and attempted to support students who were dealing with all of the traumas of the pandemic. Meanwhile, faculty’s “purchasing power,” a measure of salary corrected for inflation, fell 1.3 percent between 2020 and 2021. In other words, despite their increasing work, faculty members felt like they had less money, not more.
Are you tired of Zoom meetings?
Well you are in luck, FUSA is returning to in-person meetings! This month’s meeting will be held May 27 at 9:00 am, on Ybor City Campus, YBOR 204. All faculty are invited to attend. We hope to see you there!
Take note of the following upcoming FUSA events:
You are invited to attend the FUSA Faculty Graduation Reception from 7:30-9:30am prior to commencement on 5/6. Breakfast will be available and our retiring faculty will be recognized.
On 5/13, the third of four planned bargaining sessions will occur between 10am-2pm at the Ybor Student Services building – YSSB 307 & 309/310. Come support the bargaining team as they advocate for you at the bargaining table.
Please find below UFF President Andrew Gothard’s response the Gov. DeSantis’ press conference and signing of the SB 7044, the “Postsecondary Education” bill:
FUSA Council will hold the April monthly meeting, on Friday, April 22nd, via Zoom at 9:00 a.m. Guests are invited to attend. Please refer to the FUSA President’s email (sent on 4/18) for the Zoom link.
In addition, please see the results of the 2022-2024 FUSA Elections. Congratulations to all who were elected. We also encourage all who are FUSA members to be involved with your union. Contact your campus Council reps for more information. And if you aren’t a member, we’d love to have you! Join FUSA now.
UFF/FUSA members, please read the following statement from UFF President Andrew Gothard:
As you may have heard, your institutions will be distributing an ideological viewpoint survey on Monday April 4th, which requests that all faculty, staff, and students respond and share not only their own political viewpoints but what they perceive to be the viewpoints of their friends, colleagues, and classmates.
The United Faculty of Florida encourages all higher education faculty, staff, and students to ignore the voluntary “Viewpoint Discrimination” survey for the following reasons:
- Florida’s government has no right to know the thoughts, feelings, or political or religious beliefs of anyone, including the higher education community. Privacy is the bedrock of democracy and a safeguard against autocratic control.
- Ignoring this survey is an act that protects individuals of all political persuasions, now and into the future. This survey would not pass ‘validity tests’ in any institutional review process, as there is no way to ensure that responses will reflect the demographics of the institution. It is not worthy of time away from our teaching and research.
- The specificity of the survey’s demographic questions allows for targeting of faculty, particularly minority faculty, and can be used to attack tenure.
- Many of the survey’s questions are leading in nature and imply that there is a problem of viewpoint fairness on our campuses already–this is a conclusion searching for evidence, rather than the other way around.
- Many of the survey’s questions ask respondents to report on what they believe their colleagues and students think and how they are behaving on campus. Surveillance has no place in Florida’s higher education system.
- The survey will cause a chilling effect on freedom of speech and freedom of association on campus because faculty, staff, and students will be wondering whether their words and deeds will be reported to those in power.
- Governor DeSantis and other legislators have threatened to defund or otherwise punish campuses whose responses do not match the appropriate ideology. This is not a standard of leadership or behavior that any member of Florida’s higher education community should support.
For these reasons and more, UFF discourages participation in the survey, and we encourage you and all members of the Florida higher education system to join our fight to protect the freedoms of the faculty, staff, and students who make our campuses such wonderful places to live, learn, and grow.
UFF, your faculty union, has been fighting this law since it was first proposed. Now our fight is in federal court, and one of our main concerns has been that by its very nature this survey is an infringement upon the basic rights of all Floridians to freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the basic right to privacy, regardless of a person’s background or political persuasion and without intimidation from the political party currently in power.
Join us in this fight, and encourage your colleagues to join us as well! We are stronger together.
Andrew Gothard, Ph.D.
United Faculty of Florida
Quotes from UFF Leaders
At UFF, we fight for the rights of all Floridians, not merely those who agree with the political party in power. We believe that every American has the right to think, feel, and believe as they see fit. Living in Florida, under the influence of Governor DeSantis, does not abridge that right. This survey is an attack on the fundamental rights of all Floridians, and it has no place in a state or society that claims to be free. The protections of the US Constitution are too important to cast aside for political expediency. We urge all Floridians to join us in our fight against authoritarianism in all its forms: Boycott this survey. It has no place in our democracy.
UFF President Andrew Gothard
This viewpoint survey endangers our students’ freedom to critically think and express themselves; it also endangers the University’s long-term sustainability and makes it virtually impossible to be a college professor today.
UFF-FAMU Chapter President Roscoe Hightower
The state will frame any data collected from this survey, regardless of what it shows, as evidence that our profession indoctrinates students. I see no reason, then, for our faculty to willingly provide information for that purpose when the entire instrument was designed to hurt higher education in the first place.
UFF-FGCU President Patrick Niner
This survey was designed by legislators keen to politicize and demagog for personal political gain.
UFF-UCF President Robert Cassanello
As a third-generation US military veteran, I am disturbed at this latest example of creeping authoritarianism.
UFF-UF President Paul Ortiz
We don’t need or want a return to the dark days of McCarthyism and the Johns Committee in Florida. Academic freedom, freedom of speech, and exposure to diverse perspectives in the classroom are core values for our campus community. Faculty do not welcome the interference of an explicitly partisan survey that infringes on our privacy and civil liberties.
UFF-UNF President Nicholas de Villiers
FUSA Council will hold the March monthly meeting, on Friday, March 25th, via Zoom at 9:00 a.m. Guests are invited to attend. Check your inbox for an email sent by the FUSA President with the Zoom link for the meeting.
Additionally, you may find these articles from the Economic Policy Institute interesting:
On behalf of the FUSA Council, I would like to update you on the status of the class action grievance FUSA has filed regarding your 2021‐2022 step increase. (Re: Email, 11/29/2021, FUSA Grievance – Article 14).
The Administration’s response to the grievance now contains a new tactic in saying the filing of the grievance is “not timely,” implying FUSA is outside the allowed 45-day window to file. Per the contract, the 45-day window starts from the date the union had, with reasonable diligence, knowledge of the facts leading to the grievance. It is on this “start date” that FUSA and the Administration disagree.
The Administration has established the common practice of withholding raises and/or lump sums until after the term has started, waiting for enrollment numbers or other finances to be updated before making final budgeting decisions. In the spirit of cooperation, FUSA has patiently and in good faith given the Administration time to make such decisions. With that in mind, it is FUSA’s position that the window to file the grievance began in October 2021, when the final fall enrollment was in, and Dr. Atwater provided FUSA with a budget update that indicated the step increase would still not be funded.
It is the Administration’s position that the window to file began in May 2021, when Cabinet first began discussing not paying the 2021-2022 step, which would imply we would have had to file the grievance for not being awarded the 2021 -2022 step before the academic contract year had even begun. In addition, the Administration’s argument that the grievance was not timely was also unexpected since they had been following the steps of the grievance process up until that point.
The Administration did not respond to FUSA’s argument that the grievance was timely, so we proceeded to Step 4, Written Appeal to the President. The resulting meeting with HR and FUSA led to no resolution on the matter, with the Administration still stating the grievance is not timely and no funding is available to pay the step.
We are now at Step 5, the final step of the grievance process, which is arbitration. We submitted our case to the UFF – Contract Enforcement Committee, which voted unanimously that our case has merit and, as such, UFF will assist and represent us in taking the case to arbitration. The tentative arbitration date has been set for mid-June.
We will continue to keep you informed during arbitration. As always, we look forward to working with the Administration towards a satisfactory resolution.
Feel free to contact your campus representative should you have questions.
Elizabeth R. Key-Raimer, EdS
Professor of Counseling