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Virtual Conference on Collective Bargaining in Higher Ed

Registration has re-opened for the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions’ 47th annual conference on October 19-20, 2020.
This will be an all-virtual conference with the theme of Inequality, Collective Bargaining, and Higher Education.  The panel topics and speakers are listed below.  Prior registrations will be fully honored.  If you have not yet registered, you can register for the conference here.

Keynote Speaker: 
Steven Greenhouse, former New York Times labor and workplace correspondent, and author of Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor (2019).

Plenary: The Student Debt Crisis: History, Consequences, and Post-Pandemic Solutions
 with Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, Associate Professor, Loyola University Chicago, Caitlin Zaloom, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University, Jennifer Mishory, Senior Fellow and Senior Policy Advisor, Century Foundation, and Suzanne Kahn, Director, Education, Jobs, and Worker Power and the Great Democracy Initiative at the Roosevelt Institute, Participant and Moderator.

Panel: Growth in Union Density Among Academic Labor, 2012-2019
 with Jacob Apkarian, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Behavioral Sciences, York College, CUNY and National Center Affiliated Researcher, Joseph van der Naald, Graduate Student Researcher, Program in Sociology, Graduate Center, CUNY and National Center Affiliated Researcher, Gary Rhoades, Professor and Director, Center for the Study of Higher Education, University of Arizona, JCBA Co-editor, Commentator, Adrianna Kezar, Endowed Professor and Dean’s Professor of Leadership, USC, Director of the Pullias Center, Commentator, and William A. Herbert, Distinguished Lecturer and National Center Executive Director, Moderator and Presenter.

Panel: Black Lives Matter On Campus and Off
 with Calvin Smiley, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Hunter College, CUNY,  Paul Ortiz, University of Florida Chapter President, United Faculty of Florida NEA-AFT, Terri Givens, Center for Higher Education Leadership, CEO and Founder, Elijah Armstrong, Organizational Specialist in Human and Civil Rights, National Education Association, and Alethea Taylor, Doctoral Lecturer/Internship Site Developer, Hunter College – School of Education, Department of Educational Foundations and Counseling, Participant and Moderator.

Panel: Title IX Regulations: Bargaining Issues for Unions and Institutions
 with Rana Jaleel, Assistant Professor, Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, University of California, Davis, Lance Houston, University EEO, Inc., Debra Osofsky, Negotiator, Educator and Contract Specialist, and Judi Burgess, Director of Labor Relations, Boston University, Moderator.

Panel: Affirmative Action in Higher Education, Post-Pandemic
 with Cara McClellan, Assistant Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Risa Lieberwitz, General Counsel, AAUP and Professor of Labor and Employment Law, Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Victor Goode, Associate Professor, CUNY Law School, and Lili Palacios-Baldwin, Deputy General Counsel for Labor, Employment & Litigation, Tufts University, Moderator.

Panel: The Equal Rights Amendment and Higher Education
 with Julie Suk, Dean for Master’s Programs and Professor, Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center, and Elizabeth Schneider, Rose L. Hoffer Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School, Jessica Neuwirth, Distinguished Lecturer and Rita E. Hauser Director, Human Rights Program, Roosevelt House, Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, CUNY, and Karen Stubaus, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Moderator.

Panel: The Old Wolf, Again: Latinx Faculty Negotiations, Recruitment, Retention, and Racism in the Academy
 with José Luis Morín, Chairperson, Department of Latin American and Latinx Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, José Cintrón, Professor, College of Education, CSU Sacramento, California  Faculty Association, and Michael Ortiz, Sul Ross University, and Theresa Montaño, California State University, Northridge, Chicana/o Studies, California Faculty Association, Moderator.

Presentation: Race and Labor In Historical and Contemporary Contexts
 with Bill Fletcher, Jr. author and activist, former president of TransAfrica Forum, and Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, Derryn Moten, Alabama State University, co-president of the Alabama State University Faculty-Staff Alliance and a vice president of the Alabama AFL-CIO, Discussant, Sherri-Ann Butterfield, Executive Vice Chancellor and Associate Professor, Sociology, Office of the Chancellor, Rutgers University—Newark, Discussant, and DeWayne Sheafter, National Council for Higher Education/NEA, Moderator.

Panel: Mass Incarceration and Higher Education
 with Patrick Mitchell, Board Member, Community College Association, CTA, NEA, Michelle Jones, Doctoral Student, New York University, Vivian Nixon, Columbia University Teaching Fellow, and Bidhan Chandra Roy, College of Arts and Letters, California State University, Los Angeles, Participant and Moderator.

Panel: LGBTQ Labor Issues in Higher Education After Bostock v. Clayton County
 with Barbara J. Diamond,  Diamond Law, Portland, Oregon, Mellissa Sortman, Director of Academic Human Resources, Michigan State University, and Elizabeth S. Hough, Counsel to the President, United University Professions, Elizabethe C. Payne, Founder and Director, Queering Education Research Institute (QuERI) and faculty at CUNY, Moderator.

Panel: Negotiating for Part-Time Faculty Equity
 with Will Silvio, President, Berklee College of Music Faculty Union, Jay Kennedy, Berklee College of Music Vice President for Academic Affairs/Vice Provost, Darryl Wood, NYSUT Labor Relations Specialist, Dia M.Carleton, Chief Human Resources Officer, SUNY Oneonta, and Beth Margolis, Gladstein, Reif & Meginniss, LLP, Moderator.

Panel: Retirement Plan Trends in the COVID-19 Pandemic
 with Gary Herzlich, Senior Director, Associate General Counsel, TIAA, Patricia McConnell, Levy, Ratner, PC, and Susan E. Bernstein, Schulte, Roth & Zabel LLP, and Christina Cutlip, Senior Managing Director, Institutional Relationships, TIAA, Moderator.

Panel: Higher Education Funding After the Pandemic 
with Fred Floss, Professor and Chair, Department of Economics and Finance, SUNY Buffalo State University and Fiscal Policy Institute, Senior Fellow, Thomas Anderson, Executive Director, Union of Part-Time Faculty, AFT Local 477, AFL-CIO, Thomas L. Harnisch, Vice President for Government Relations, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, Sophia Laderman, Senior Policy Analyst, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO).

Panel: Contingent Faculty, Job Security, and Academic Freedom
 with Carl Levine, Levy Ratner P.C., Keila Tennant, Associate General Counsel and VP for Labor Relations, The New School, Sonam Singh, former Unit Chair, BCF-UAW Local 2110 and Barry Miller, Senior Policy Advisor on Labour Relations, Office of the Provost, York University, Moderator.

Panel: Reasonable Accommodations for Faculty and Teaching Assistants 
Alexandra (Sascha) Matish, Associate Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs and Senior Director, Academic Human Resources, University of Michigan, John Rose, Dean for Diversity, Hunter College, CUNY, Barbara Aloni, Disability & Productivity Consultant, The Standard Insurance Company, Laura Yvonne Bulk, President, CUPE Local 2278 (Canadian Union of Public Employees), PhD Candidate, Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of British Columbia, and Jamie Daniel, Former National Field Service Representative, AAUP, Participant and Moderator.

Panel: Collective Bargaining from All Sides: Unionism, the Faculty Senate, Contingent Faculty, and Academic Administration
 with Jon E. Bekken, Albright College, David Hamilton Golland, Governors State University, Nelson Ouellet, Université de Moncton, Naomi R. Williams, Rutgers University, and Theodore H. (Terry) Curry, Professor of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Michigan State University, Moderator.

Panel: Unemployment Insurance Policies and Practices: Adjunct Faculty, COVID-19, and Beyond 
with Michele Evermore, Senior Research and Policy Analyst, National Employment Law Project, George Wentworth, Of Counsel, National Employment Law Project, and Arnab Datta, Senior Legislative Counsel, Employ America, Francisco Diez, Worker Justice Policy Advocate, Center for Popular Democracy, Participant and Moderator.

LERA Higher Ed Industry Council Panel: The Changing Place of Labor Studies in Higher Education
 with Marissa Brookes, University of California, Riverside, Tobias Schulze-Cleven, Rutgers University, Cedric de Leon, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and Ruth Milkman, CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, Moderator.

Panel: Labor as Contingent as Free Speech? An Analysis of Recent Adjunct Faculty First Amendment Cases
 with Nora Devlin, Doctoral Candidate, Rutgers Graduate School of Education, Stacy Hawkins, Professor of Law, Rutgers Law School, Commentator, Martin Malin, Professor of Law and Co-Director, Institute for Law and the Workplace, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology, Commentator, and Christopher Simeone, AAUP, Moderator.

Panel: Health and Safety Issues and COVID-19
 with Deborah Berkowitz, Worker Safety and Health Program Director, National Employment Law Project, Amy Bahruth, Assistant Director for Health and Safety, AFT, Jeffrey Hescock, Executive Director Environmental Health and Safety, UMass Amherst, and and Thomas H. Riley, Jr. Executive Director of Labor and Employee Relations and Special Counsel for the University of Illinois System, Moderator.

StopTheDeSanity Statewide Campaign


As of October 9th, 213,000 American lives have been lost to Covid-19 and the numbers are projected to double by the end of the year. With no approved vaccine in sight, fully reopening campuses is irresponsible, dangerous, and puts our students, faculty, and communities at risk.

While UFF-FIU has fought hard to protect faculty at our campuses with our MOUs, political pressure is pushing leadership at institutions throughout the state to force their faculty, staff, and students back to campus.

In solidarity with our UFF colleagues, we demand that Governor Ron DeSantis:

1. Implement statewide safety protocols, including testing and tracking mandates, for colleges and universities.
2. Delay implementation of his “Bill of Rights to Party” until the majority of scientists, medical professionals, and the CDC say it is safe.
3. Implement rational mandates for attendance in stadiums and at other public gatherings to prevent further super-spreader events on our campuses and in our communities.
4. Include input from faculty leaders, epidemiologists, and public health experts.


Sign and Share our Statewide Petition – use our hashtag #StopTheDeSanity

Call Governor Ron DeSantis at (850) 717-9337.
Demand a safe reopening of our college and university campuses. Use demands listed above.

Get your Students out to Vote!
From now until Nov. 3rd, make GOTV announcements in your virtual classrooms. You can do this!

Provide students the information they need to vote by mail, vote early, or vote in-person. We have collected the necessary information for South Florida on our 2020 Election page.

MOU Reminders: Pausing your tenure clock & vulnerability attestation

Pre-tenure faculty, we want to remind you that according to our ratified MOU, if you are in need of a pause in your tenure clock as a result of COVID-19, the deadline is October 16th. You will not be denied the pause in your tenure clock as a result of COVID-19.

This October 16th deadline is to have the initial conversation with your Chair. A tenure pause is an acknowledgement by the University that COVID-19 may negatively impact, or has already negatively impacted, your scholarship and/or creative activities. Per the MOU, “a temporary pause does not necessarily indicate a request for or approval of a tenure clock extension. Instead, it identifies potentially impacted faculty and begins the process for potential tenure clock extensions.”

During the pause, you should continue to have a discussion with your Chair about the impact of the health emergency to your activities and whether a tenure clock extension is necessary. If you do formally request a tenure clock extension due to COVID-19 impacts, you will have until December 31st to make that decision. An extension request will follow the procedures outlined in the Tenure & Promotion manual.

Faculty are not required to request either a pause or an extension.

For all faculty, if you haven’t already attested to a COVID-19 health vulnerability for Spring 2021, the attestation process is very simple. You will receive a confirmation email from HR after you submit your attestation. We know the scheduling process for Spring 2021 is very confusing right now and the communication about what to do is overwhelming, but you are protected with the spring MOU from being compelled to return to a non-remote setting.

While you officially have until December 7th, we suggest completing the attestation ASAP.

MEMBERS: Order a UFF-FIU Polo!

Dear colleagues, as a token of appreciation for your continued support to our UFF-FIU, we wanted to provide members with a FREE UFF-FIU polo! In-unit members should have received the Google Forms sign up to your FIU email. Please use that link to select the size, color, and style of polo that you want as well as provide us with a shipping address.

If you did not receive the email, or are a retired UFF-FIU member, please contact us ASAP to receive the sign up form. All sign ups must be completed by October 15! 

Below is a picture and description of the 3 types of polos that you can choose from:


MOU on Spring Faculty Work

We are happy to announce that we have a signed MOU for the Spring 2021 semester. One major change from the previous MOUs is a change in language from a “self-identified COVID-19 related health concern” to a self-identified COVID-19 health vulnerability.” This was changed to be consistent with language used in the BOT-approved campus repopulation plan. We are confident that faculty will maintain the same level of protection that we all shared under the previous language.

Click here to view the PDF of the entire MOU.

Faculty requesting continued remote work for Spring 2021 are asked to attest to “a self-identified health vulnerability” in their My.FIU account. The request, which will automatically be approved, will go directly to HR, and your supervisor will receive an email (with the faculty member cc’d) notifying them of the remote work assignment for the semester. This process, along with screenshots, is linked here and  described below. The tile and process for attestation in My.FIU will go live shortly. (Update 9/24: the Remote Work tile is now active)

All in-unit faculty requesting a remote assignment for Spring 2021 must attest to a self-identified vulnerability through My.FIU by December 7th, 2020. See instructions below.

We are going to schedule an online ratification vote for the Spring MOU in the near future and will be sending information regarding the Q&A sessions and voting dates in the coming weeks. Faculty will be encouraged to attend one of the Q&A sessions to address any concerns they have or to receive any clarification they need on the content of the MOU.

Thank you to the both the UFF-FIU and FIU-BOT bargaining teams for their work and commitment to interest-based bargaining. We are setting the national example of a union’s response to COVID-19, and we are proud of what we have accomplished in this regard. Please contact us should you have any questions regarding the MOU.

Faculty Remote Attestation for Spring 2021 (How to request a remote assignment)

    1. 1. Login to
    1. 2. On your Faculty Portal, click the “Remote Teach/Work” tile.

    1. 3. Click on the remote attestation tile on this page.

    1. 4. Click on the “Remote Attestation Spring 2021” to open the full attestation.

    1. 5. Complete the form by typing in your name, clicking the “I Attest” checkbox, and clicking “Save.”

    1. 6. Once you have saved the attestation, the form will appear as “view-only” with grayed-out boxes.

    1. 7. The request will automatically be approved and will go directly to HR. Your supervisor will receive an email (with the faculty member cc’d) notifying them of the remote work assignment for the semester.

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