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 United Faculty of Florida-State College of Florida Chapter

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Annual and Promotion Credit

This flyer encourages involvement in our UFF-SCF union chapter. If you use our work on your annual eval and promotion materials and your Chair or Dean take issue in any way, please contact me so I can visit and explain to him/her the laws that govern the state of Florida regarding professional organizations and professorial acknowledgment - Courtney

Faculty Union Award of Distinction

We are excited to announce that the Second Union Award of Distinction was awarded to Nicolette Mason. She received a plaque and a monetary award for her contribution to the academic field. This is an exciting opportunity for our chapter faculty to be recognized for their achievements. We will post a photo of Nicolette receiving her plaque on our webpage and on our social media site. Attached are her nomination materials. Please congratulate Nicolette on being our second award recipient. We would like to thank the committee who read through the nominations and all who submitted materials for the award. Please continue to monitor our webpage for details regarding how to apply for the next union award of distinction. Faculty Union Award of Distinction

Faculty Assignments and Overloads Article Signed

We bargained today for three hours. The concentration for these three hours was Article 14: Assignments and Overloads. After 8 months and 5 drafts of this article, bouncing back and forth between our UFF Negotiating team and the BOT/Administration Negotiating team, it all came down to ONE word. In line 16 of the article, it reads, “fulltime faculty will be given first preference of teaching assignments…” This is the language our negotiating team bargained for, that our fulltime faculty should be given “preference” in having their courses assigned.

The issue that consumed much of the three hours today was with the word “preference.” The BOT/admin negotiating team wanted the word “consideration” to replace “preference” so the line would read, “fulltime faculty will be given first consideration of teaching assignments…” We negotiated the remainder of the article conceding to some assignment logistics in terms of department Chairs and Program managers showing good faith in our bargaining, but we would not concede that word. While it seems such a trivial thing, “consideration” is very difficult to prove to an arbitrator should we need to grieve a violation of this article in the future. This one word will protect our faculty in a way that “consideration” will not.

Ultimately, when the BOT/Admin refused to show us good faith and concede to this word choice, we began to pack up. They called for an additional caucus where they ultimately conceded to the word choice and the article was signed by both sides. In the end, it was a good negotiation. In solidarity, Courtney

See the signed article, and others, on the Proposals page.

 -September 18, 2018

Bargaining Moves Forward Slowly

State College And UFF Teams Continue Bargaining Through the Summer.

The College and Union teams met again on Wednesday May 30, 2018 and discussed Proprietary Rights after considerable discussion about the College's financial circumstances. Sabbatical Leave was also on the agenda but time ran out before it could be adequatgely addressed. The full articles may be seen on the Proposals page.

 -May 30, 2018

UFF To Present New Articles on Discipline and
Leave At October 20, 2017 Session

UFF and State College of Florida will be back at the bargaining table Friday, OCtober 20, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The meeting is tentatively scheduled in the Board Room, Building 7, Room 160.

UFF will be presenting two more new articles for discussion at the meeting. Article 17 - Disciplinary Actions and Procedures includes several safeguards for faculty including clear expectations of progressive discipline and just cause. It also provides for a notice of intended discipline for most major issues giving the member adequate time to contact UFF for discussion and representation prior to action being taken. Article 21 - Leave covers almost all types of leave, both paid and unpaid, except Sabbatical Leaves which will be a separate article to be presented next. The full articles may be seen on the Proposals page.

The UFF team presented Article 7 - Consultation at the last session on October 6, 2017. The article provides for standing meetings between the UFF and President Probstfeld to discuss and resolve matters before they become major issues. They also had a productive discussion about status quo and recent emails regarding accessibility issues for electronic content and whether staff specialists or outside vendors could better handle the content updates.

 -October 17, 2017

Agreement Reached on Grievance and Arbitration Article

The College and Union reached agreement on another article in September. Grievance and Arbitration was signed off on September 22, 2017 with most of the Union's proposed language intact. Negotiations on this article began in June and the parties exchanged several proposals and counter proposals; about one each per month, until final agreement came about at the last September session.

The College also presented proposals on Severability and Totality of Agreement which the Union is currently revierwing. UFF plans to present additional articles at the next session October 6.  -October 4, 2017

Only One Bargaining Session Offered in July

Despite advising the attorneys who represent State College in the collective bargaining process of our availability for three bargaining dates they offered us in July, they only agreed to one: July 19, at 1:00 PM.

While we continue to press them for a more agressive and productive schedule, they have only offered one additional date before the Fall Semester begins. We will advise as soon as possible on that date when final agreement is reached.  -July 6, 2017

Bargaining Continues

Collective bargaining between State College of Florida and the United Faculty of Florida continued on April 7 and April 19. UFF presented proposals on Academic Freedom, and Shared Governance intended to strengthen the faculty role in decision making and governance of the College while also establishing the different roles of the Union and the Faculty Senate. While the College presented a proposal barring strikes by the Union, they delayed presented counter proposals on the Union's above proposals.

The parties did sign a modified proposal on Strikes to which the Union added a "no lockout" provision. They also discussed Dues Deductions, especially the timelines needed by the College for processing, and provisions to allow a member to continue deductions and membership without automatic termination should they temporarily leave the bargaining unit.

The next session is set for Friday, May 19, at 9:00 AM. The location is tentatively set for Bradenton Campus, Building 7, Room 160 (the Board Room).  -May 14, 2017

First Bargaining Session A Success

The first collective bargaining session between State College of Florida and the United Faculty of Florida, lasting a little less than two hours, was Friday, March 17, 2017. The session began with a discussion and agreement on Ground Rules and how sessions and discussions will be conducted. The parties agreed to somehwat of a hybrid Interest Based Bargaining format that focuses on discussion of goals and expectations prior to submission of written proposals. This should result in less time spent preparing and reading proposals and more time spent ensuring all parties understand and agree on intent and language.

UFF-SCF presented proprosed Preamble and Recognition articles. After a short caucus, the College team accepted the Recognition proposal and after further discussion stated they would need time for additional review of the Preamble.

Unfortunately, it appears that many faculty came bby to watch but left when it appeared the room lacked suffficient space or seating area for spectators. When the union leaders became aware, they asked the College to reconsider the location.

The next session is set for Friday, April 7, at 9:00 AM. The location is tentatively set for Bradenton Campus, Building 29 (Nursing)) Room 157. However, UFF has asked for a larger room more suitable for faculty to attend and watch the proceedings.will be announced shortly.  -March 20, 2017

Collective Bargaining Begins March 17

The first collective bargaining session between State College of Florida and the United Faculty of Florida is now planned for Friday, March 17, 2017.

Although earlier dates were offered, the College's outside labor attorneys said they had prior committments that prevented their attendance on any of the earlier dates offered by UFF. A time has not been established yet although UFF suggested three to four hour sessions and offered 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM initially.

Despite offering numerous additional dates, the attorneys have failed to accept any other dates at this time. As bargaining progresses updates and proposals will be posted on this site.  -February 23, 2017

State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota
Faculty Votes to Unionize

The faculty of State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) has spoken and by a vote of 75-24 becomes the newest United Faculty of Florida (UFF) chapter. The faculty voted 75.8 percent for UFF with 92.5 percent of the faculty voting. The vote count followed a three-week period of balloting by mail and was certified by the Florida Public Employees Relations Committee today.

“The State College of Florida faculty, over campuses and through departments, have come together to support each other in gaining a seat at the table,” said Dr. Courtney Ruffner, professor of English. “We have asked to be heard, to be taken seriously, to be respected by our Board of Trustees and administration and have been met with silence. Our community has come together to complete our college family by showing its support in our decision to unionize. It is clear that we all want to better the working and learning environment for our faculty, our students and our community at large. Our union with the United Faculty of Florida can help us achieve that desire.”

“I want to congratulate the dedicated faculty at the State College of Florida as they become a part of the United Faculty of Florida,” said Dr. Jennifer Proffitt, UFF president. “This vote is based on the premise that the faculty, who are the cornerstone of this institution, should have a collective voice in determining what is best for the college and the students it serves. This isn’t about confrontation; it is about ensuring that all stakeholders have a voice in determining the future of this great college and ensuring that its core mission -- the education of the next generation of leaders -- is fulfilled to its greatest potential. We look forward to working with these committed and dynamic faculty members for the betterment of the State College of Florida and higher education around the state.”

“This effort also stands as an example to other colleges that are beset with Boards of Trustees whose awareness of educational imperatives is little or none, and beholden to political and business interests that appoint them. We look forward to working with the board in negotiating the future for SCF and its teachers, students, and stakeholders,” said Del Jacobs, director of Film and Media Studies.

UFF represents more than 20,000 faculty members at 11 state universities, St. Leo University, ten colleges, and at four graduate assistant chapters.  -September 19, 2016

Download a PDF copy of the news release.

State College of Florida Faculty Petition
PERC for Union Certification

The United Faculty of Florida delivered to the Florida Public Employees Relations Committee (PERC) more than 80 signed cards from faculty members at the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) calling for certification of a faculty collective bargaining unit at the college. In accordance with Chapter 447.307, faculty must submit a petition accompanied by 30 percent signed statements indicating the faculty’s “desire to be represented for purposes of collective bargaining by the petitioning employee organization.” The 80 cards represent more than 60 percent of the proposed bargaining unit. This action follows months of actions by the SCF Board of Trustees that are contrary to faculty governance and the future of the ability of SCF to attract the best new faculty to the college. Just last Tuesday, despite overwhelming opposition from the community and faculty, the trustees of the SCF voted 8-0 to end the longstanding continuing contract system for future SCF faculty. SCF is the only state college to eliminate continuing contracts for future faculty.

“Members of the SCF Board of Trustees have been pushing policy changes that reflect a complete lack of understanding of higher education's mission and the best practices of the academic profession,” stated Dr. Jennifer Proffitt, president of the United Faculty of Florida. “When dedicated faculty members have spoken out to protect the best interests of their college, their students, and their profession, they have been ignored in most cases and in others been treated antagonistically. That is why SCF faculty members have organized for a collective voice, and they have far surpassed the requirements to ensure a vote for representation by the United Faculty of Florida. We look forward to welcoming these faculty members as United Faculty of Florida-State College of Florida (UFF-SCF) and to their contributions to our overall mission of improving higher education across the state."

“The faculty at State College of Florida has come together in solidarity out of a need to preserve what is left of our traditional institution, an institution where students can come to learn critical ways of thought,” explained Dr. Courtney Ruffner, professor in the Department of Language and Literature at SCF.  -February 3, 2016

Sign the Petition!

Fight for the State College of Florida Faculty

News Coverage about State College of Florida unionization efforts and related issues:

Brandenton Herald article, February 16, 2016
Brandenton Herald editorial, February 6, 2016
WWSB: ABC-7 news video, February 4, 2016
Suncoast News Network video, February 4, 2016
Brandenton Herald article, February 3, 2016

©2016 United Faculty of Florida - State College of Florida Chapter