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Chapter Meeting Update & Elections Ballot

The spring Chapter Meeting will be held as scheduled on Tuesday, March 24th from 10am-12pm. Due to current campus restrictions, the UFF-FIU Executive Committee has decided to hold a remote meeting via Zoom. All faculty will be emailed a Zoom link and password to join the meeting. If you are not currently on the faculty emailing list and you wish to attend, please contact membership@uff-fiu.org!

Additionally, nominations for union leadership positions have closed as of March 10th. Below you will find the ballot for all Chapter Officers, UFF Senators, and FEA Delegates for the next year.

President
Martha Meyer

Vice President
Daniel Saunders

Secretary
Tania Santiago

Treasurer
James Burns

UFF Senators
Jacob Berglin
Thomas Breslin
James Burns
Deanne Butchey
Agatha Caraballo
Rebecca Christ
Debra Davis
Eric Dwyer
Pete Markowitz
Suchi Mishra
Martha Meyer
Maria Reid
Kelley Rowan
Tania Santiago
Daniel Saunders
Elizabeth Scarbrough
Paul Sharp
Charles Shields
Tiana Solis
Rick Tardanico
Lorna Veraldi
Marc Weinstein

FEA Delegates
Jacob Berglin
Debra Davis
Eric Dwyer
Pete Markowitz
Kelley Rowan
Paul Sharp
Marc Weinstein

UFF-FIU FIU-BOT Memorandum of Understanding

Dear faculty,

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.

In solidarity,

Tim Downey,
UFF-FIU Chief Negotiator

Important Temporary Remote Work Message

NOTICE: The following message was crafted in response to the March 12th order from the Governor to move all instruction online. As of March 16th, FIU is further transitioning to remote work including the closing of libraries and other campus services. Please visit the FIU Coronavirus Reponse page for up-to-date information. UFF-FIU will continue to provide faculty with union updates as needed.

Dear Faculty,

Given the Governor’s decision to immediately transition to remote instruction until at least April 4th and possibly continuing based on the conditions concerning COVID-19, union leadership and university administration understand that students and faculty are going to face disruptions to their normal university activities.  We are all committed to supporting each other and our students through this difficult situation, and we believe it is important to communicate shared work expectations during the temporary period of remote teaching.  To that end, please know that:

  • Faculty must continue to actively work to meet their teaching obligation, specifically concerning active instruction aimed at achieving course objectives.  The instructor of record continues to have the autonomy and academic freedom to determine how best to achieve course goals within remote settings.
  • Moving to temporary remote instruction does not set precedents for or inherently consent to future remote instructional work.  The Governor’s extraordinary decision responds to extraordinary conditions, not a permanent policy change.
  • The university is offering and will continue to offer substantial instruction-based support.  Faculty should communicate requests for technology/materials to enable remote instruction to their supervisor.
  • Supervisors will be instructed to account for the disruption created by the Governor’s order in teaching, research, and service within faculty annual evaluations.

We strongly suggest that faculty communicate their questions, concerns, and impacts on their teaching, research, and service due to COVID-19 via email with their supervisors.  Also, we strongly encourage faculty to take notes about any changes to work expectations or requirements shared in remote or face-to-face meetings and bring potential issues to their supervisor so that, if possible, they can be addressed.  The Union is here to help all our members if any such issues arise.

Given the fluidity of the situation, our specific expectations and practices may continue to change.  However, throughout these unusual times, we expect that everyone (faculty and the administration) will work together in supportive and flexible ways.

We will provide union-related information and updates both via email and on our website (uff-fiu.org), and do not hesitate to reach out to me (daniel.saunders@uff-fiu.org) if you have any questions.

In solidarity,

Dan Saunders,
UFF-FIU President

Steven Greenhouse Talk at FIU

Award-winning New York Times writer and labor journalist Steven Greenhouse is visiting FIU to discuss his new book, “Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor”:

Despite the strong economy, things remain very tough for many American workers, especially young workers — wages have been largely stagnant for years, and the U.S. is the only industrial nation that doesn’t guarantee all workers basic protections like paid parental leave and paid vacation. This stems from the fact that unions and worker power are so weak in America, but there are some promising signs of workers fighting back — ranging from the Fight for $15 to the #RedforEd teachers’ strikes.

 

All are invited to join! The event will be held on February 13th from 5-8 pm in MANGO 221. Please RSVP by Feb. 10th.

Spring 2020 Chapter Meeting & Elections

Elections for the following positions will be held at the March 24th UFF-FIU Chapter Meeting from 10am-noon in WC 130 Wertheim Conservatory (MMC) with video connection to MSB 105 Marine Science Building (BBC). Full descriptions of positions can be found below as well as referenced in Article VI of the UFF-FIU By-Laws.

Terms for all positions are for one year effective on the first day of the Summer academic term in the year 2020 (May 11, 2020) and run until the beginning of the subsequent summer academic term.

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • UFF Senator (23 + elected president)
  • FEA Delegate (12)

All nominations must be sent to elections@uff-fiu.org by March 10th, and nominees must accept by March 17th to be placed on the ballot. Only UFF-FIU members in good standing are eligible to run for a position and/or vote in the election. Members may run for multiple positions, and self-nominations are strongly encouraged!


President

The President is tasked with directing the activities of the chapter and representing the Chapter both internally and externally. The President presides at all meetings of the Chapter membership, Chapter Council, and Executive Committee. The President shall also appoint Chairs of standing committees and declare vacancies to be filled.

Vice President

The Vice President is tasked with assisting the President in directing the activities of the chapter and exercise other duties as prescribed by the President, Executive Committee, and Chapter Council. In the absence or temporary inability to serve of the President, the Vice President shall serve as Acting President.

Secretary

The Secretary shall maintain the records of the Chapter,  record the minutes of all Membership, Chapter Council, and Executive Committee meetings, and assist the Nominations and Elections Committee in carrying out its duties for all Chapter elections.

Treasurer

The Treasurer is the Chief Financial Officer of the Chapter and is tasked with the receipt and disbursement of all monies spent for Chapter activities. The Treasurer shall also prepare a monthly budget statement to present at Executive Committee and Chapter Council meetings and a proposed annual budget to be voted upon at membership meetings. The Treasurer is responsible for preparation of annual US IRS tax returns.

UFF Senator

Senators are tasked with representing the UFF-FIU Chapter at statewide UFF Senate meetings held in the Fall and Spring terms. Twice annually Senators from all UFF chapters meet to set policy and plan UFF’s direction for the coming years, vote on adopting UFF’s budget, and attend training sessions on topics such as bargaining, grievance, and membership. If not an Officer, UFF-FIU Senators also sit on the UFF-FIU Chapter Council to direct policy and provide consent to the activities carried out by the Executive Committee.

FEA Delegate

FEA Delegates are eligible to attend the annual Florida Education Association’s Delegate Assembly. Each year delegates conduct the business of FEA including adopting of FEA’s budget, voting on amendments to the FEA Constitution and Bylaws, recognizing the work of FEA locals, and discussing and debating priorities of FEA membership.

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