Tentative Agreement

Dear Members of the UFF Collective Bargaining Unit:

UFF and the FIU administration have reached tentative agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for 2008-2011.

View the tentative agreement for 2008-2011

The UFF bargaining team and the Board of Trustees/Administration have tentatively agreed to salary raises and one-time bonuses totaling 3.5%. Of this amount, 2.0% Retention Raises will go to all eligible employees in the bargaining unit effective December 28, 2008. Eligible employees are defined as those who were employed as of the beginning of Spring 2008 and remain employed as of the effective date of the increase and who received at least a satisfactory evaluation in their most recent annual evaluations.

Additionally, 1.5% of the total employee payroll as of the end of the 2007 – 2008 Academic Year will be distributed to departments/academic units on a pro rata basis to be awarded to faculty as one-time departmental merit bonuses to be paid 12/28/08. The amounts and recipients of these merit bonuses will be determined using departmental/unit merit criteria.

The tentative agreement would retroactively grant authority to the administration to provide funds for the Convocation Awards already made in 2007 and 2008 and discretionary increases already provided in 2007 – 2008. In addition, the tentative agreement would provide that the FIU administration may during Academic Year 2008 – 2009 give discretionary raises or one-time awards of up to .75% of the UFF bargaining unit payroll as of the end of the 2007-2008 Academic Year. This allows the administration the ability to make counter-offers, provide raises for increased duties and responsibilities, award special achievement, and deal with salary compression and inversion.

The new contract will now contain policy to provide a promotion track and promotion raises for lecturers and instructors. The UFF is especially pleased to have achieved this benefit. The promotion raises that UFF and the administration agreed at the beginning of the Academic Year to provide those whose promotions went into effect this year will in future years be available for the first time to those lecturers and instructors who apply for and achieve promotions.

We are also pleased that both sides have tentatively agreed to an increase on supplemental summer appointment compensation. Each three-credit course will now be paid at the rate of 12.5% of the annual 9-month salary. In return for this increase in the amount to be paid for courses after the first, UFF and the administration have tentatively agreed that those who receive supplemental summer instructional appointments may be required to attend up to two hours total of departmental, college, or university meetings required for collegial activities of particular urgency during any summer term (A, B or C) during which they have instructional appointments.

Finally, the new contract will have clearer language on parental leave, allowing greater flexibility and clarity concerning the start and end dates of leave while preserving the 26-week paid parental leave for parents in the birth or adoption of a child.

The UFF bargaining team had hoped to reach agreement on contract language to insure the fair implementation of changes the university has made this year in its policies concerning allocation of research space. As you will recall, UFF has for almost a year been engaged with the administration in bargaining over the impact of those policies. However, because the UFF and the FIU administration have not yet reached agreement on language concerning this important issue, the administration has indicated it will seek to proceed to impasse on this matter, rather than to engage in further bargaining that would delay tentative agreement and ratification of the rest of the new three-year contract. UFF will continue to keep our bargaining unit informed of progress in resolving this important matter in a way that insures a fair and orderly implementation of any research space allocation policy. UFF’s proposals to date have sought to protect tenure-earning faculty from losing research space during their tenure-earning period; to protect productive research faculty from unfairly losing research space abruptly due to changes in university priorities; and to protect faculty who take authorized leaves of absence from losing research space during such leaves. We will continue to work with the state UFF office and our UFF legal counsel to respond to the administration’s declaration of impasse and to work to protect the interests of the many researchers in our bargaining unit. However, the three-year agreement that is the subject of ratification will not include language on this issue.

These tentative agreements conclude the full book bargaining we began last Spring. If the agreement is ratified the new contract will be effective from 2008 – 2011. However, before this new contract, and salary raises can go into effect, both the UFF bargaining unit and the Board of Trustees must vote to ratify the terms and conditions tentatively agreed to by the bargaining teams.

By law, we must conduct the balloting on ratification within 2 weeks after the announcement of the tentative agreement. This email serves as notification. The contract (in draft form) is posted on the UFF website (www.uff-fiu.org) and on reserve in both the UP and BBC libraries for review by our bargaining unit.

We will conduct balloting on UP on Monday, November 10th from 9am to 5pm in the Green Library (across from the escalators). Balloting will be held on BBC on Wednesday, November 12th from 9am to 5pm in the BBC Library lobby. Those wishing to vote absentee must email me (leslie.frazier@uff-fiu.org) to request an absentee ballot. Absentee ballots must be received by me by 5pm on Wednesday, November 12th.

In order to ratify this proposed contract, a majority of those voting must vote in favor of ratification. The Board of Trustees will be meeting on Friday, November 14th and we anticipate that they will vote to ratify the contract at that meeting.

Let me tell you, having sat at the table for over a year and observed the contract negotiations – the FIU faculty are tremendously fortunate to have such a dedicated, principled, skilled bargaining team. They have done a truly exceptional job preserving our academic rights and privileges and gleaning new ones. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for their volunteer service on behalf of all faculty.

View the tentative agreement for 2008-2011

Please email me if you have any questions.

Yours truly,
Leslie Frazier, President

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