Where Things Stand
November 2, 2006
When UFF FIU reached agreement with the FIU administration last December on our first local Collective Bargaining Agreement, we agreed to return to the table after ratification of the agreement to conclude bargaining on several policies that had not previously been included in our contract. Since ratification, bargaining teams from the UFF and the FIU administration have exchanged proposals on these policies and engaged in discussions, but have not yet reached agreement on them all.
Three of the policies proposed by the administration were withdrawn in September 2006: a policy requiring employees to sign a loyalty oath (the state statutory requirement remains); a requirement that all employees authorize direct deposit of salary; and special restrictions on political participation by employees.
Other policies are still being bargained. These include:
Animals in the Workplace
Children in the Workplace
Fast and Impartial Resolution of Disputes
Firearms and Dangerous Weapons
Information Technology Security
Solicitation, Distribution and Posting
Until we reach agreement, the administration may not impose its own version of these policies on the UFF bargaining unit members, even though it may have adopted or agreed to policies to govern other employees. UFF’s goal in bargaining these policies is to make sure they are sensible and reasonable and do not become traps for the unwary or petty excuses for selective discipline.
In addition, the UFF and the FIU administration agreed to maintain the status quo concerning intellectual property (copyrights and patents) until new language could be bargained. Proposals are on the table. Now that a new Vice President for Graduate Studies and Research has been hired, we hope to work toward resolution of these issues.
We bargain salary increases every year, and currently both sides have salary proposals on the table. UFF FIU has set its first priority at addressing cost of living adjustments, so that no employee takes a cut in real wages to fund another employee’s raise. We also have proposed market equity and merit raises.
The administration also seeks to bargain changes in pay for summer appointments, professional developments, and parental leave. UFF’s goal is maintain and improve upon the gains we made in these areas last year.