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Proposed UFF-FIU Bylaw Revisions

The following UFF-FIU Bylaw revisions are to be voted upon by all UFF-FIU members present and voting at the Fall 2019 UFF-FIU Chapter Meeting on Thursday, October 24th from 10am-12pm in Wertheim Conservatory 130 (MMC) and Marine Science Building 105 (BBC). A two-thirds majority vote is needed to pass the Bylaw revisions. Please note that a strike-through represents deleted language.

 

BY-LAWS OF THE FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY CHAPTER

UNITED FACULTY OF FLORIDA

(AS AMENDED 3/5/2019 10/24/19)

ARTICLE I. NAME

This organization shall be known as the Florida International University Chapter of the United Faculty of Florida.

ARTICLE II. OBJECTIVES

Section 1

To bring faculty and professional employees of the University into a relationship of mutual assistance and cooperation in order to obtain for them the rights and privileges to which they are entitled.

Section 2

To promote the democratization of the University so it will better serve the people of the State of Florida.

Section 3

To achieve and safeguard academic freedom.

Section 4

To combat bigotry in all of its forms at Florida International University, in the State University System, and in society.

ARTICLE III. STRUCTURE OF GOVERNANCE

The ultimate authority in the Chapter rests with the membership, exercised either through a referendum or through a Chapter meeting. The Executive Chapter Council shall carry out determine policies determined at outside of the Chapter meetings and shall have the power to initiate action in the period between Chapter meetings. The Executive Committee shall carry out the policy decisions of the Chapter and the Chapter Council. Except for by-law revisions, majority rule by those present and voting shall pertain for all elections and for all decisions by the Executive Chapter Council, Executive Committee, Committees, and Chapter meetings.

ARTICLE IV. REFERENDA AND RECALL

A referendum on any issue or recall election of a Chapter officer may be initiated: 1) by a majority vote of the Executive Chapter Council; 2) by a petition signed by 20% of the Chapter membership. A referendum or recall election must be held within thirty days of one of these two actions.

ARTICLE V. CHAPTER MEETINGS

Chapter meetings will be held at least once a semester or whenever called by the President or a majority of the Executive Chapter Council. Members will be given no less than two weeks ten days’ notice of any such meeting, including those regarding contract ratification. Any member in good standing shall have a vote at Chapter meetings. One Spring meeting shall be held in February the Spring academic term and will to elect the Chapter officers, Senators, and Delegates. whose terms shall begin on April 15th and continue through April 14th of the following year. Chapter meetings can make chapter policy on any issue whatsoever, and their decisions are binding on the Executive Chapter Council, Executive Committee, and the Chapter as a whole.

ARTICLE VI. OFFICERS

Section 1

A President, VicePresidents, a Secretary, and a Treasurer shall be elected yearly at the February Spring Chapter meeting by a secret ballot of those members. No individual may hold more than one of these elected offices at the same time during any year.

Section 2

The President shall direct the activities of the chapter in accordance with policy as described in Article III. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Chapter membership, and Executive Chapter Council, and Executive Committee. She/he The President shall be an ex-officio member of all committees, sign all necessary documents and papers, and represent the Chapter both internally and externally. The President shall report to Membership meetings and the Chapter Council the actions of the Executive Council Committee. In the event of the President’s permanent absence or resignation, a new President will be elected., the vice President shall assume the title and duties of the President for the remainder of the term, upon which time the Vice Presidency shall be deemed vacant and subject to replacement by appointment as prescribed in Article XIII.

Section 3

Two Vice-Presidents will be elected, one from Modesto Madique Campus and one from Biscayne Bay Campus. The vicePresidents shall assist the President in directing the activities of the chapter and exercise those other duties as prescribed by the President, Executive Committee, and Executive Chapter Council. In the absence or in the event of temporary disability inability to serve of the President, The Executive Council shall determine by vote which of the the VicePresidents is to shall serve as Acting President.

Section 4

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

Section 5

The Treasurer shall be the Chief Financial Officer of the Chapter, shall exercise supervision over the receipt and disbursement of all monies, properties, securities and other evidences of financial worth of the organization, and shall prepare a monthly statement, and a proposed annual statement for the state UFF. The Treasurer is responsible for obtaining the preparation of the US IRS tax return and vouchers from a certified public accountant.

ARTICLE VII. EXECUTIVE COUNCIL CHAPTER COUNCIL

Section 1

Effective on the first day of the Summer academic term in the year 2020, the Executive Chapter Council is the main legislative body of the chapter between Chapter meetings. The Chapter Council shall have the duty to advise the Executive Committee and the power of consent over the decisions thereof.

Section 2

The Executive Chapter Council shall meets at least once a month twice per semester, or whenever called by the President or by a majority of the council, to establish the bargaining agenda, coordinate membership meetings, and promote the welfare of the Chapter, advise the Treasurer on the chapter budget, and exercise its powers of advice and consent.

Section 3

The voting members of the Executive Chapter Council shall consist of all Officers, and Senators and Alternates, Delegates, Chairs of the Standing Committees, the immediate past chapter President, and at-large members as appointed according to Section 6.

Section 4

The goal of the Chapter shall be to have an Executive Chapter Council that is as representative of the diverse colleges, schools, and departments of the university as possible, and to ensure that both the Modesto Maidique and Biscayne Bay campuses are represented on the Council.

Section 5

The Executive Chapter Council shall have the power to recommend to the State UFF the employment of persons on a part-time or full-time basis. Any member of the UFF who is employed by the UFF shall earn no more than what she or he would earn in the State University System.

Section 6

The President may, with the consent of the elected membership of the Chapter Council, appoint up to three (3) at-large and/or retired members to serve on the Chapter Council.

ARTICLE VIII. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Section 1

Effective on the first day of the Summer academic term in the year 2020, the Executive Committee is the main executive body of the chapter.

Section 2

The Executive Committee shall meet at least once per month, or whenever called by the President or by a majority of the committee, to carry out the regular business of the chapter.

Section 3

The voting membership of the Executive Committee shall include the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, the chairpersons of the standing committees, and the immediate past chapter President.

ARTICLE VIII IX. COMMITTEES

Section 1

The President shall nominate to be approved by the Executive Council Chapter Council the Chairpersons and members of Chapter standing committees. Normally The following standing committees shall be established: Bargaining, Grievance, Membership, Political Action Legislative Affairs, and the Good and Welfare Committee. Additional committees can be established by the President and the Executive Council depending on the needs of the UFF-FIU.

Section 2

All committees shall be under the direction of the President, and shall report to the Executive Council their respective chairpersons, who shall be in turn under the direction of the President and Chapter Council.

Section 3

The Grievance Committee shall keep records of and supervise all grievances and insure that the Executive Chapter Council and Executive Committee are is fully informed on the progress in maintaining and expanding the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Chairperson of the Grievance Committee shall be the official Chapter nominee to the State UFF Contract Enforcement Committee unless otherwise determined by the Executive Chapter Council.

Section 4

The Political Action Legislative Affairs Committee shall cooperate with the State UFF in lobbying, endorsing candidates, raising contributions, gathering mailgram authorizations, sending mailgrams, conducting letter-writing campaigns, attending political functions, sponsoring events where UFF members can meet elected officials, and working with the UFF-PAC and NEA PAC. The chairperson of the Political Action Legislative Affairs Committee shall be the official Chapter nominee to the State UFF Political Action-Legislative Committee unless otherwise determined by the Executive Chapter Council.

Section 5

The Membership Committee shall carry out organizing membership drives among faculty and professional employees eligible members of the bargaining unit, contact all new bargaining unit employees and, with the approval of the Executive Chapter Council, cooperate in assisting in the organization of other colleges and universities. The chairperson of the Membership Committee shall be the official Chapter nominee to the State UFF Membership Committee unless otherwise determined by the Executive Chapter Council.

Section 6

The Bargaining Committee shall recommend the bargaining agenda to the Executive Council and advise the bargaining team as needed shall determine bargaining agenda items; plan and analyze bargaining surveys; develop and analyze data related to issues of concern to the bargaining unit; communicate with other UFF chapters to discuss contract items and bargaining strategies; and report regularly to the Executive Committee and Chapter Council. The Bargaining Committee shall meet regularly and whenever called by the Chair of the Bargaining Committee or President. The Chair of the Bargaining Committee in consultation with the President shall determine those members appointed to participate actively in bargaining sessions with the administration. The Chair of the Bargaining Committee or designee shall provide the chapter bargaining report to State UFF at each Senate meeting.

Section 7

The Good and Welfare Committee shall be responsible for promoting the Chapter community, including planning social activities, organizing charitable events, and providing appropriate chapter responses to events such as illnesses, deaths, and retirements.

Section 8

The President with the consent of the Executive Council Committee may create Ad-Hoc Committees, Task Forces, or other such bodies, and determine which Chairpersons and other key members of such Committees and Task Forces shall be nonvoting members of their the Chapter Councils.

Section 9

Chairpersons and members of Standing and Ad-Hoc Committees may be removed by the Executive President with consent of the Chapter Council. Failure to carry out prescribed duties and actions, or to adhere to Chapter policies, or to attend Executive Committee and/or Chapter Council meetings, shall constitute grounds for removal.

Section 10

The President shall appoint a Nominations and Elections Committee in the Spring of each year. The committee shall solicit nominations for all elected positions, determine candidate eligibility, and administer the chapter election, then dissolve when the election is complete. The chairperson and members of the Nominations and Elections Committee may not serve on the Executive Committee and normally may not be candidates for any office on the ballot.

ARTICLE IX. ELECTIONS

Section 1

Officers, Senators, and FEA Delegates will be elected in our Spring Chapter Meeting held in February and will begin serving April 1 on the first day of the proximate Summer academic term.

Section 2

The number of senators to be elected is established at the state level based on total chapter membership as of January 15. The number of FEA Delegates to be elected is established according to FEA bylaws. The President shall report to the Chapter Council as soon as is practicable each year the number of Senators and Delegates allotted to the chapter by each respective body.

Section 3

The A Nominating Nominations and Elections Committee appointed by the President is charged with soliciting nominations for Officers, and Senators, and Delegates from the membership and, compiling the list of nominees for the Elections Meeting, and administering the election.

Section 4

The Nominations and Elections Committee shall seek to fill separate nominations slates for Officers, Senators, and Delegates for each election. The nominees receiving the greatest number of votes will be elected as Senators and Delegates. Nominees not elected as Senators or Delegates may be chosen as Alternates based on the number of votes received when elections were held. Alternate senators who are replacing absent senators may vote at the EC meetings and state senate meetings and shall be chosen as replacements in order based on the number of votes received when elections were held.

Section 5

Announcements of the Chapter Election Meeting must be sent by email to the membership at least two weeks ten days prior to the Election Meeting.

Section 6

Individuals who notify the Secretary by January 15 Nominations and Elections Committee by the deadline established by the committee of their intent to run for office may include a brief Candidacy Statement in writing to be circulated at the Elections Meeting.

Section 7

Voting will be done by secret ballot; only members present at the Election Meeting may vote.

Section 8

The Nominations and Elections Committee shall tally the votes immediately upon completion of the election and announce the results at the Elections Meeting.  Announcements of the results will be made by the President to the membership within one week after the Elections Meeting.

ARTICLE XI. STATE UFF SENATE

Section 1

The Chapter President shall be a Senator.

Section 2

During the February Spring membership meeting, the Chapter shall elect the remainder of its Senators in conformity with the State UFF Constitution.

Section 3

When Senatorial positions become vacant, the Executive Council shall appoint Alternates selected in accordance with Article X, Section 4 shall become Senators. If no Alternates are selected, the President shall appoint a replacement upon consent of the Chapter Council.

Section 4

Alternate senators who are replacing absent senators may vote at state senate meetings.

ARTICLE XII: TERM OF OFFICE

The terms of Chapter Officers, Senators, and Delegates shall begin on the first day of the Summer academic term following the Spring membership meeting in which they are elected and continue until the first day of the Summer academic term the following year.

ARTICLE XIII. VACANCIES

Section 1

The President may declare the vacancy of a Chapter Officer, Senator, or Delegate position when the officeholder has been absent without notification from two or more scheduled meetings within a semester, or when the officeholder otherwise becomes ineligible or unable to serve. Vacancy declarations are subject to the consent of the Chapter Council.

Section 2

The President shall, upon the vacancy of any elected office, appoint a replacement to fill the remainder of the term, on the advice of the Executive Committee and with consent of the Chapter Council.

ARTICLE XIV. RULES OF ORDER

Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern in all cases not covered by the By-laws.

ARTICLE XV. AMENDMENTS

The By-laws may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of those present and voting at a membership meeting if the members have been notified at least two weeks ten days in advance of a proposed amendment to the By-laws.

Ratification results

On Wednesday, September 4th and Thursday, September 5th, 2019 FIU faculty successfully voted to ratify the salary agreement reached between the UFF-FIU and FIU administration bargaining teams. The official result of the ratification vote was 138 “Yes” votes to 5 “No” votes.

The University Board of Trustees (BOT) was set to vote on the agreement during their September 5th meeting. However, this meeting was cancelled earlier in the week due to the impacts of Hurricane Dorian and has been rescheduled for Wednesday, September 18th at 2 pm in MARC 290. The salary agreement revision to the CBA is on the current agenda as item 5-G2.

Should you have any questions over the ratification process or the salary agreement itself, please contact the UFF-FIU Chief Negotiator, Eric Dwyer, at eric.dwyer@uff-fiu.org.

Thank you to all the faculty who came to vote and make their voice heard!

2019-20 & 2020-21 Salary Agreement

In a process that began on February 5, FIU’s administration and the UFF-FIU bargaining team agreed last Thursday (August 15th) to a new salary schedule.

In summary, the salary raise schedule to be voted upon is as follows:

2019-2020

For faulty employed prior to January 7, 2019 and were continuously employed through August 13,

  • 1% raise to your base salary; the minimum base salary raise shall be $750.
  • 1% one-time bonus; the minimum bonus shall be $750.

2020-2021

  • 1% raise to your base salary; the minimum base salary raise shall be $750.
  • Merit raises to your base salary, entailing 1% of the total bargaining unit payroll as of the last full pay period of the 2019-2020 academic y Merit is established by policies set by units and approved by the provost’s office.
  • These changes are subject to additional negotiation should insufficient funding be received or additional recurring funding becomes available.

Full contract language to be voted upon (Article 11 of the CBA):

2019-2020 Salary Increases.

Effective August 13, 2019,  for the academic year 2019-2020, all eligible employees who were employed prior to January 7, 2019 and who are continuously employed through August 13, 2019 and are not in receipt of a notice of termination or non-reappointment shall receive a one percent (1.00%) retention increase to their base salaries with a minimum of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750).  Additionally, eligible employees will receive a one-time bonus (not to be added to their base salaries) of one percent (1.0%) with a minimum of seven hundred fifty dollars ($750).

2020-2021 Salary Increases.

(a) Effective August 12, 2020, for the academic year 2020-2021, all eligible employees who were employed prior to January 6, 2020 and who are continuously employed through August 12, 2020 and are not in receipt of a notice of termination or non-reappointment shall receive a one percent (1.00%) retention increase to their base salaries with a $750 minimum increase. This retention increase does not have any additional related contingencies.

 (b) The University shall provide merit funds totaling one percent (1.00%) of the total bargaining unit payroll as of the last full pay period of the 2019-2020 academic year on a pro rata basis to departments/units based on their payrolls as of the last full pay period of the 2019-2020 academic These funds shall be distributed to their base salaries employees within each department or academic unit consistent with the criteria and procedures set forth in the BOT-UFF Policy concerning Employee Performance Evaluation. If merit criteria apply to the entire college/school, the college/school is the unit. All employees are, or upon appointment will be, assigned to an existing department/unit. Additionally, all eligible employees who were employed prior to January 6, 2020 and who are continuously employed through August 12, 2020 and are not in receipt of a notice of termination or non-reappointment shall be eligible. All decisions will be made and communicated to faculty by September 15, 2020. This merit increase shall be contingent upon the University receiving new recurring funding legally available to be expended on faculty salary increases in excess of the prior year’s base funding for faculty salaries. If insufficient funding is received and/or additional recurring funding, currently called “emerging preeminent funding,” becomes available to the University, this provision shall be void, and the parties shall re-open negotiations for 2020-2021 salary increases.

 

 

 

Legislative Update #4

April 1, 2019

legislative update

House and Senate Appropriations Bills Update

Senate and House Appropriations Committees have passed out their respective budgets, inclusive of higher education budget proposals for 2019-20. Which is best? The Senate. Which is adequate? Neither.

Please send your representative and senator the message that higher education budgets are not adequate. Tell representatives not to punish faculty for administrative misconduct. You might want to thank senators for a good starting point, but their funding levels should grow to support students and faculty.

Florida College System (reprised from last week)

The 2019-20 House budget proposal for colleges is basically flat with no real increase in funding and continues the performance funding of $60 million, half of which is state investment and the other half being the institutional investment.

The total of the House proposed Program Fund is approximately $1.2 billion. Note: College funding is exclusive of tuition and fees.

The 2019-20 Senate budget proposal for colleges increase operating funds in two categories. First, there is a $15.5 million increase in “Compression” funds for colleges funded below the statewide average. Second, there is a $22.5 million increase in operating funds to all colleges.

In the Senate proposal, performance funds are being replaced by Student Success incentives. $28 million is allocated to a 2+2 Student Success Incentive and $12 million to a Work Florida Incentive Fund.

The total increase in operating funds in the Senate proposal is approximately 3.6%.

State University System

The Senate spends $285.3 million more for universities than the House in a total budget of about $6 billion. The House cuts university Education and General (E&G) operating budgets by over $100 million or a 2.5% reduction of their base operating budgets. The reduction is a direct result of two concerns raised by the House Higher Education Appropriations subcommittee and its chairman, Representative Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay). First, it is a response to the misuse of operating funds at UCF for construction. Second, it is due to the large reserve accounts of most universities. This has been a constant rebuke of universities brought by Chairman Fine in appropriations meetings leading up to the budget proposal.

The House proposal also includes a $20 million reduction in preeminence funding which is a 13% cut to those universities.

The 2019-20 Senate budget proposal for universities shows an approximate increase of 1.03% over 2018-19. This include tuition funded at the same level as this year, a total of $1.8 billion.

Higher Education Policy Issues Last Week

The most significant action was the passage of CS/HB 839 from the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee on March 26. The bill will go to the House Education Committee next, possibly this week. Watch for UFF legislative alerts!

HB 839 has the primary focus on improving the university performance funding model and, while not perfect, on that concern it does improve upon and offers further study of performance funding at both the college and university level. But the bill also inserts a divisive survey of faculty, students and administrators to report on the intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity at each university.

UFF opposes that provision as voted upon unanimously at our UFF Senate meeting in February.

The motion adopted reads:

Move that:  Be it resolved that we, the members of the UFF, strongly oppose any attempt by the State of Florida to require the implementation of any survey intended to measure or evaluate the intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity at institutions of higher learning. UFF has always supported the open and honest exchange of ideas, perspectives and claims of truth both inside and outside of the classroom.  This process cannot be measured or characterized by a survey which by its nature would be purely subjective. Such an attempt would be open to political manipulation and could have a chilling effect on intellectual and academic freedom.

Looking Ahead

SB 1296 is scheduled for hearing Tuesday, April 2 from 10 to noon, in the Senate Education Committee. This is the companion to HB 839. Contact the committee members and ask them to support Senator Berman’s amendment to remove the survey from SB 1296. That amendment, barcode 171926, will delete lines containing the survey language.

Also, watch for an alert should HB 839 be placed on the agenda of the House Education Committee this week.

Legislative Update #3

March 21, 2019

legislative update

House and Senate Higher Education Chair Budget Proposals

This week Senate Education Appropriations Chair Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay) released the first salvo of budget proposals this week. Highlights gleaned from these proposals are as follows.

Florida College System

The 2019-20 House budget proposal for colleges is basically flat with no real increase in funding and continues the performance funding of $60 million, half of which is state investment and the other half being the institutional investment.

The total of the House proposed Program Fund is approximately $1.2 billion. Note: College funding is exclusive of tuition and fees.

The 2019-20 Senate budget proposal for colleges increase operating funds in two categories. First, there is a $15.5 million increase in “Compression” funds for colleges funded below the statewide average. Second, there is a $22.5 million increase in operating funds to all colleges.

In the Senate proposal, performance funds are being replaced by Student Success incentives. $28 million is allocated to a 2+2 Student Success Incentive and $12 million to a Work Florida Incentive Fund.

The total increase in operating funds in the Senate proposal is approximately 3.6%.

State University System

The 2019-20 House budget proposal for universities cuts university budgets by $135 million or about 2.5% of their base operating budgets. The issue seems to be twofold. First, it is a response to the misuse of operating funds at UCF for construction. Second, it is due to the large reserve accounts of most universities. This has been a constant rebuke of universities brought by Chairman Fine in meetings prior to this week.

The House proposal also as part of the total cut reduces funds for preeminent and emerging preeminence funding, funds for the world class faculty and scholar program and the professional and graduate degree excellence program, both created last year.

It appears that performance funding continues at the 2018-19 level.

The 2019-20 Senate budget proposal for universities shows an approximate increase of 1.03% over 2018-19. This include tuition funded at the same level as this year, a total of $1.8 billion.

The single area of significant increase is preeminent and emerging preeminence funding which is proposed to be $80 million in 2019-20.

Higher Education Policy Issues Absent This Week

There were no actions taken this week on bills we have reported about, principally HB 13 which would restrict all union leave in our contracts and HB 839 a bill that would establish a survey of faculty and students’ diversity viewpoints (and political) at each university. The bill has issues important to UFF regarding performance funding, but the survey provision is a slap at faculty and intrusive to your rights.

Final Notes

I did testify before the Senate Education Appropriations Committee making an appeal for graduate fee waivers to limit, if not stop, pay for work. I also appealed to that committee to not punish faculty for administrative misuse of operating funds. The faculty union has already been punished due to that reckless mismanagement.

#FundOurFutureFL is having an impact at least in the Senate. The Senate K-12 budget proposal increased the K-12 funding formula by $1.1 billion. These funds impact our K-12 Lab School members at FSU, FAMU, UF, and FAU!

UFF is tentatively looking at Wednesday April 10, 2019 as a Higher Education Day of Action at each campus. More information will be forthcoming. Please continue encouraging faculty to wear Red for Ed on Wednesdays during the Legislative Session!

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