fall chapter meeting

Upcoming Events

Event Date Location
Spring Chapter Meeting and ElectionsTuesday, March 7
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
WC 130 (MMC)
MSB 105 (BBC)
Pre-ratification MeetingTuesday, March 7
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
WC 130 (BBC)
MSB 105 (EC)
EC MeetingFriday, March 10
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
LC 309 (MMC)

Action Alert

Pre-Ratifaction Information

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Pre-Ratification Meeting

In preparation for ratification of the proposed 2016-2017 ammendment to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the UFF-FIU invites bargaining unit members to an information meeting at the Spring Chapter Meeting:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Wertheim Conservatory, WC 130 (MMC)
Marine Science Reading Room, MSB 105
(BBC via Polycom teleconferencing)

[last updated: February 22 2017]

From the President - Bargaining News

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Bargaining:
Hoorays and Howevers!

The UFF-FIU bargaining team met with FIU’s administrative team on January 30. Both teams acknowledged sincere wishes to be done. At the end of the day, the two teams left feeling “they were close.”

UFF-FIU recognizes and appreciates the administration’s abandoning a desire to ratify our agreement 45 days post ratification. Hooray!

However, the proposed begin date is only retroactive to January 1, 2017, a disappointment in that we are bargaining for salaries for the academic year beginning this past July 1, 2016 – a 6-month difference.

Read more ...

[last updated: February 22 2017]

Spring Chapter Meeting and Elections

spring chapter meeting

Chapter Meetings, which occur at least once in the fall and once in the spring, are the most important meetings of the UFF, for it is here that the Chapter democratically sets its goals and policy for the upcoming period. The Chapter hears reports from the Executive Committee (Officers plus Senators), the Bargaining Team, the Grievance Team, etc., and decides policy for the upcoming period which the various committees and teams will then help carry out. In addition, it is at the spring Chapter Meeting that Officers and Senators are elected for terms beginning the following academic year.

Please join us and cast your ballot.

 

Spring Chapter Meeting
Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 12:00 - 2:00pm
MMC: Wertheim Conservatory - WC 130
BBC: MSB 323 (photos)
[last updated: January 16 2017]

Legislative Update

February 10, 2017

legislative update Higher Education was at center stage this week in Senate interim committee meetings. The Legislature officially convenes the 2017 Legislative Session on Tuesday, March 7th.

On Monday, February 6, the Senate Education Committee passed SB 374 which has been dubbed the “College Competitiveness Act” by Senate leaders. According to Senate President Joe Negron’s press release, “Senate Bill 374 reinstates a statewide coordinating board for the Florida Community College System, tightens the community college bachelor degree approval process, expands 2+2 college-to-university partnerships, and clarifies responsibilities within Florida’s taxpayer-funded K-20 education system to avoid wasteful duplication of programs offered by state universities, community colleges, and technical centers.”

Clearly, SB 374, deemphasizes four-year programs at current state colleges. The bill would remove state colleges from the oversight of the State Board of Education and put them under a new State Board of Community Colleges. The bill will make 4-year baccalaureate degree programs a “secondary” mission of the colleges. The 254-page bill does not yet have a House companion bill.

Then on Wednesday, February 8, the Senate Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee voted 5-1 to support CS/SB 2 which has been titled the “Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2017.” UFF has serious concerns as did several senators about possible unintended consequences of this legislation. They are as follows:

Metrics dealing with graduation rates will reduce access and not provide the support needed for eventual success.

In 2013, SB 1720 made remediation courses optional at the college level. However, “traditional students who decided not to take developmental or remedial courses, after being advised to do so, were more likely to fail college-level or gateway courses.” Further, “students who start credit-bearing courses without adequate preparation face long odds of graduating” (Inside Higher Ed, 2015). Therefore, the addition of metrics that deal with graduation rates may hinder student access to higher education if colleges have to push through students to meet those metrics.

  • Students without the necessary remediation course will have to retake courses which will lead to additional time and costs for the student.
  • The need to redo courses lowers retention rates and increases the time of completion, having a negative impact on these metrics.
Changing the graduation rates from 6 years to 4 years for universities will also reduce access for lower-income, minority and non-traditional students.

The reduction of time for graduation will force universities to accept only those students who can complete the program in four years. This “cherry picking” will adversely impact the goal of increased access for diverse populations. Universities have already increased requirements for SAT and ACT scores, tests that are known to disadvantage diverse populations. According to an Inside Higher Ed article from 2015, “SAT scores showed continued patterns in which white and Asian students, on average, receive higher scores than do black and Latino students. And, as has been the case for years, students from wealthier families score better than do those from disadvantaged families.”

  • Students at urban and regional universities tend to take longer to graduate due to family concerns, the need to work to pay for their education, and a host of other reasons.
Block Tuition could negatively impact lower-income, minority and non-traditional students.

Many students should only take 9 or 12 credit hours to be successful because of work, family and other pressures. Forcing students to pay for 15 hours will adversely affect this population. Additionally, concern was expressed at the meeting by Senator Jeff Clemens (D, Lake Worth) about the impact to higher education funding as no analyses have been made. His effort to amend the bill to add such an analysis was defeated.

Furthermore, UFF believes that changes to the performance funding metrics dealing with graduation rates, excess hours provisions, and changes to the percent-of-normal-time completion rate may limit access to higher education for lower-income, minority and non-traditional students.

SOME LEGISLATIVE BRIEFS

GUNS ON CAMPUS

SB 622 by Senator Greg Steube

Senator Steube has broken down his overall guns legislation into multiple bills. SB 622 is legislation to allow carrying of concealed weapons on college and university campuses. The bill is deceptively titled and at first glance appears to only impact athletic events. But it removes college and university facilities from the list where guns are not permitted.

FEE WAIVERS FOR GRADUATE ASSISTANTS

Partial fee waivers for graduate assistants are scheduled to be part of Governor Scott’s college tuition/fees package. UFF will be seeking to address specific fees for waiver.

UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES’ HEALTH INSURANCE

PCB HHS 17-01 by the House Health and Human Services Committee has been filed and will be reporting in more detail next week.

[last updated: February 15 2017]

Knowing your Rights and Understanding Common Issues

Know Your Rights

The first e-mail blast of every month will present one topic from the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that affects every FIU faculty member. The creation of this series is the result of a suggestion at our UFF Spring Chapter meeting. It is part of our ongoing effort to inform all faculty not only of their rights under the CBA, but to inform all faculty of the value of being a UFF member. Our CBA is the outcome of years of dedicated UFF Bargaining teams who see value in protecting our rights. Lastly, this is a legally binding agreement and must be adhered to by all parties.

Types of Leave

These are the types of leaves available to FIU faculty.

  • Holidays
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Entitlements
  • Parental Leave
  • Leaves Due to Illness/Injury
  • Annual Leave
  • Administrative Leaves
  • Bereavement Leave
  • Leave Without Pay

This week we explore Sick Leave.

In future weeks we will explore other specific types of leaves.

[last updated: June 18 2016]

Administrative Leaves

UFF-BOT
POLICY LEAVES

Purpose: To establish policy and procedures concerning employee leaves.

Policy:

  1. 10. Administrative Leaves.
    1. (A) Jury Duty and Court Appearances
    2. (B) Military Leave
      1. 1. Short-term Military Training
      2. 2. National Guard State Service
      3. 3. Other Military Leave.
    3. (C) Leave Pending Investigation
    4. (D) Other Leaves Provided Not Affecting Accrued Leave Balances
      1. 1. Florida Disaster Volunteer Leave
      2. 2. Civil disorder or disaster leave
      3. 3. Athletic competition leave
      4. 4. Leave for re-examination or treatment
    5. (E) Official Emergency Closings

  1. (A) Jury Duty and Court Appearances
    1. 1. An employee who is summoned as a member of a jury panel or subpoenaed as a witness in a matter not involving the employee's personal interests, shall be granted leave with pay and any jury or witness fees shall be retained by the employee; leave granted hereunder shall not affect an employee's annual or sick leave balance.
    2. 2. An appearance as an expert witness for which an employee receives professional compensation falls under the BOT-UFF Policy on Conflict of Interest and Outside Activity and the University's policies and rules relative to outside employment/conflict of interest. Such an appearance may necessitate the employee requesting annual leave or, if a non-annual leave accruing employee, may necessitate the employee seeking an adjustment of the work schedule.
    3. 3. If an employee is required, as a direct result of the employee's employment, to appear as an official witness to testify in the course of any action such duty shall be considered a part of the employee's job assignment, and the employee shall be paid per diem and travel expenses and shall turn over to the University any fees received.
    4. 4. An employee involved in personal litigation during work hours must request annual leave or, if a non-annual leave accruing employee, must seek an adjustment to the work schedule.
  2. (B) Military Leave.
    1. 1. Short-term Military Training. An employee who is a member of the United States Armed Forces Reserve, including the National Guard, upon presentation of a copy of the employee's official orders or appropriate military certification, shall be granted leave with pay during periods in which the employee is engaged in annual field training or other active or inactive duty for training exercises. Such leave with pay shall not exceed seventeen (17) work days in any one (1) federal fiscal year (October 1 - September 30).
    2. 2. National Guard State Service. An employee who is a member of the Florida National Guard shall be granted leave with pay on all days when ordered to active service by the State. Such leave with pay shall not exceed thirty (30) days at any one time.
    3. 3. Other Military Leave.
      1. (a) An employee, except an employee who is employed in a temporary position or employed on a temporary basis, who is drafted, who volunteers for active military service, or who is ordered to active duty (not active duty training) shall be granted leave in accordance with Chapter 43 of Title 38, United States Code. Active military service includes active duty with any branch of the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard of the State of Florida, or other service as provided in Sections 115.08 and 115.09, Florida Statutes.
      2. (b) Such leave of absence shall be verified by official orders or appropriate military certification. The first thirty (30) days of such leave shall be with full-pay and shall not affect an employee's annual or sick leave balance. The remainder of military leave shall be without pay unless the employee elects to use accumulated annual leave or appropriate leave as provided in (4) below, or the employer exercises its option under Section 115.14, Florida Statutes, to supplement the employee's military pay. Leave payment for the first thirty (30) days shall be made only upon receipt of evidence from appropriate military authority that thirty (30) days of military service have been completed.
      3. (c) Applicable provisions of Federal and State law shall govern the granting of military leave and the employee's reemployment rights.
      4. (d) Use of accrued leave is authorized during a military leave without pay in accordance with Section 12 of this Policy. (C) Leave Pending Investigation. When the President or designee has reason to believe that the employee's presence on the job will adversely affect the operation of the University, the President or designee may immediately place the employee on leave pending investigation of the event(s) leading to that belief. The leave pending investigation shall commence immediately upon the President or designee providing the employee with a written notice of the reasons therefore. The leave shall be with pay, with no reduction of accrued leave.
  3. (D) Other Leaves Provided Not Affecting Accrued Leave Balances. An employee may be granted other leaves not affecting accrued leave balances which are provided as follows:
    1. 1. Florida Disaster Volunteer Leave is provided for an employee who is a certified disaster service volunteer of the American Red Cross. Leave of absence with pay for not more than fifteen (15) working days in the fiscal year may be provided upon request of the American Red Cross and the employee's supervisor's approval. Leave granted under this act shall be only for services related to a disaster occurring within the boundaries of the State of Florida.
    2. 2. Civil disorder or disaster leave is provided for an employee who is member of a volunteer fire department, police auxiliary or reserve, civil defense unit, or other law enforcement type organization to perform duties in time of civil disturbances, riots, and natural disasters, including an employee who is a member of the Civil Air Patrol or Coast Guard Auxiliary, and called upon to assist in emergency search and rescue missions. Such paid leave not affecting leave balances may be granted upon approval by the President or designee and shall not exceed two days on any one occasion.
    3. 3. Athletic competition leave is provided for an employee who is a group leader, coach, official, or athlete who is a member of the official delegation of the United States team for athletic competition. Such paid leave not affecting leave balances shall be granted for the purpose of preparing for and engaging in the competition for the period of the official training camp and competition, not to exceed 30 days in a calendar year.
    4. 4. Leave for re-examination or treatment with respect to service connected disability is provided for an employee who has such rating by the United State Department of Veterans Affairs and has been scheduled to be reexamined or treated for the disability. Upon presentation of written confirmation of having been so scheduled, such leave not affecting the employee's leave balances shall be approved and shall not exceed six (6) calendar days in any calendar year.
  4. (E) Official Emergency Closings. The President or President's representative may close the University, or portions of the University, in the event an Executive Order declaring an emergency has been issued. When natural disasters or other sudden and unplanned emergency conditions occur which are not covered by an Executive Order, the President or designee shall determine whether the University, or any portion thereof, is affected by the emergency and is to be closed. Such closings will be only for the period it takes to restore normal working conditions. Leave resulting from such an emergency closing shall not reduce employees' leave balances.

Grievance chair: Lauren Christos

[last updated: June 21 2016]

Review more of your rights on the Contract Page

Collective Bargaining Update

Collective Bargaining

As we reported earlier, the UFF-FIU and the FIU Administration have concluded negotiations on a three-year contract (2015-2018). We will be scheduling information and ratification meetings in January. Here is a summary of the negotiations:

Please note that the agreement on salaries applies only for the 2015-16 academic year. Salary is considered a “mandatory re-opener,” which means that unless explicitly agreed to otherwise, it must be negotiated every year. The proposed contract also allows for 5 re-openers per side in the period of the contract as well as any other mutually agreed upon re-opener.

Page references are to the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement posted at www.uff-fiu.org

Rights, Benefits, Protections Strengthened

Salaries (p. 27-31)

1% retention raise to the base effective January 16, 2016 for all employees employed before July 1, 2015.

1% of 2014-2015 base salary payroll for Merit raise to the base, to be decided by departmental merit criteria, with minimum amount to be $750 to each eligible faculty member, effective January 16, 2016.

Parental Leave (p. 81-83)

One-child policy ended; 26 weeks of Parental Leave may be divided over 2 children, as long as no more than 2 semesters total are affected.

Online (p. 56-63)

Status quo, with language rewritten only for clarification and additional protections of faculty. Language retained: “No employee shall be required to teach a course as an online course...”

External Tenure and Promotion Letters (p. 18-19; 76)

Each department/unit shall decide whether the candidates in their discipline will have access to the external reviewers’ letters, after a democratic vote of the eligible tenured and tenure-earning faculty and according to the department/unit procedures for changing T&P policies.

Promotions (p. 75)

All members of the bargaining unit will now have promotion procedures, including Research Associates and Instructional Specialists

Tuition Reimbursement for Non-Tenure Track Faculty (p. 115-116)

Faculty who do not have the terminal degree but are enrolled in a program to earn it will now have tuition reimbursement at FIU rates for up to 6 credits per semester.

Overload Pay (p. 63)

Overload pay must be at least $1,000 per credit.

Tuition Waivers (p. 114)

Spouses may now take courses with tuition waived without having to enroll in a degree-seeking program.

Grievance Time Limits (p. 22-23)

The time limit to file grievances and complaints has been extended from 30 to 45 days.

Domestic Partners (p. 93)

Domestic partners of same or opposite sex are now recognized in the agreement, and employees have Bereavement Leave at the death of a partner.

Policy Changes (p. 50)

Policies may not be changed without collective bargaining.

Job Abandonment (p. 78)

Days when the university is closed may not be counted as days missed in deciding job abandonment.

Dues Deduction and PAC Contributions (p. 32; 40-43)

Minor changes made at UFF request.

Copies of CBA (p. 34)

Copies of the Collective Bargaining Agreement will only be available online (no hard copies), but will be in searchable format.

Rights, Benefits, Protections Weakened or Lost

None.

UFF Proposals Deferred to Future Bargaining

  • Summer pay for tuition-generating activities like thesis and dissertation direction, not currently compensated.
  • Additional benefits for domestic partners.
  • Increase in overload pay minimum.
[last updated: October 30 2016]

How FIU Spends Its Money - 2014

Spending Street Sign

This report analyzes the trends in Florida International University (FIU) expenditures on faculty and faculty salaries compared to expenditures on administration and administrators' salaries for the years 2004 through 2013. Previous reports were produced in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2011. This report extends the analysis of FIU's expenditures with data available in October 2013, including faculty salaries through the 2013-2014 academic year. This report supports previous findings that FIU is experiencing administrative bloat, expanding the resources of administration at the expense of instruction, research and service.

  • Download the 2014 report in MS Word format.

Due to the original format of the MS Word document, a PDF version of the file has three parts:

  • Download the 2014 report in PDF format (pages 1-13).
  • Download the 2014 report in PDF format (pages 14-15).
  • Download the 2014 report in PDF format (pages 16-23).
[last updated: October 30 2016]

The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much

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BOULDER, Colo. - ONCE upon a time in America, baby boomers paid for college with the money they made from their summer jobs. Then, over the course of the next few decades, public funding for higher education was slashed. These radical cuts forced universities to raise tuition year after year, which in turn forced the millennial generation to take on crushing educational debt loads, and everyone lived unhappily ever after.

Read more ...

[last updated: October 30 2016]

CFHE

Join the campaign for the Future of Higher Education

CFHE logo

The Campaign for the Future of Higher Education is organized around SEVEN CORE PRINCIPLES that must define quality higher education for the 21st century.

The mission of the campaign is to ENSURE THAT AFFORDABLE QUALITY HIGHER EDUCATION is accessible to all sectors of our society in the coming decades. This is a time of great change in higher education.

Visit the CFHE site.

[last updated: October 30 2016]

Contact Us

Chapter President Eric Dwyer
Grievance Chairperson Lauren Christos

UFF-FIU By-Laws | Contact the webmaster at Webmaster

[last updated: February 22 2017]