During this difficult and extraordinary period, when we are feeling the impacts of COVID-19 and acting to minimize its disruption to our students and our own work, it is important that faculty rights established in the Collective Bargaining Agreement are not overlooked. With this in mind, the UFF-FIU bargaining team and the FIU Administration bargaining team have agreed to the following Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to minimize the effects of decisions made such as the transition to remote teaching and work. The goal is not to reverse those decisions but to account for their consequences to course ownership of online material, student and supervisory evaluations, and other aspects of faculty work.
During the current health emergency, UFF-FIU and the Board of Trustees are committed to maintaining a productive and efficient operation of the University in a safe and healthy environment. State, federal, and international health organizations recommend social distancing as the most effective immediate response to this pandemic. This agreement acknowledges those recommendations. To this end, we agree that the following terms and conditions shall remain in effect until the state of Florida declares an end to the emergency or escalates the emergency or May 15th, 2020.
1. Faculty migrated all classes to remote instruction starting on Thursday March 12, 2020. The University will identify an IT task force to assist faculty in making a smooth transition.
2. Faculty shall maintain ownership of all course content, even if it is presented in an online format.
3. Remote instruction and online presentations as mandated by the University shall not negatively impact supervisory review or annual evaluations. However, they may be used to positive effect.
4. The presentation of course content will be affected dramatically by the shift to online platforms. Therefore, student course evaluations shall not negatively impact annual evaluations. However, they may be used to positive effect. There shall be no adverse action arising from the sudden online transition of classes that were not designed for this format.
5. Graduate degree defenses may be conducted via electronic platforms.
6. The University agrees to consult with a representative from UFF-FIU on its crisis management response.
We will continue to provide union-related information and updates both via email and on our website. Please stay safe.
UFF-FIU Chief Negotiator