Enjoy your Labor Day. You deserve it!

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:

FUSA Council meeting Aug 26, 9am

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.

FL. Educators and Students File Suit Over HB 7 (Stop WOKE Act)

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.”

Read the ACLU Florida press release
Read the full HB 7 complaint

Guidance from UFF on HB 7 (aka Stop Woke Act)

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 (jedwards@aclufl.org) at the ACLU of Florida.

Follow up to FUSA emergency meeting

We had a well attended FUSA meeting today (7/22). In addition to the FUSA council, we had 60+ rank and file members join us for a review of bargaining and next steps. There was a request to share the bargaining team’s “Rationale for Economics,” i.e. FUSA’s argument for administration.

In addition, due to admin’s response to FUSA’s economic rational–offering only a permanent loss of step–the council approved forming a committee to explore holding a vote of confidence.

If you have any questions, please contact your campus FUSA representative.

Bargaining set for July 15, 9am

FUSA will meet with Administration for contract negotiations on Friday, July 15, 2022, 9:00AM – 4:00PM. The session will take place in the Ybor City Campus Performing Arts Building, YPAB rooms 312 & 313.

Come out and show your support for FUSA as we negotiate on YOUR behalf for better pay and working conditions. All faculty are welcome! A good show of support speaks volumes and is a clear demonstration of our collective voice, a voice they can’t ignore.