Florida Constitution, Article I, Section 6
UFF-FIU serves as the bargaining agent that negotiates the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA, or "contract") between faculty and the FIU administration. The CBA governs, among other things, salary raises, tenure & promotion, annual assignments & evaluations, academic freedom, leaves, and other aspects of faculty work. Collective bargaining is led by a bargaining team, with guidance from a Bargaining Committee, the UFF-FIU Chapter Council, and ultimately the members that we serve. Assistance from professional legal staff in the state office and expert legal counsel is obtained when necessary.
Every year the UFF-FIU Bargaining Team and the administration are allotted five (5) articles to reopen to renegotiate. Once agreements have been met, UFF-FIU asks the faculty to vote to ratify amending the CBA. Every three (3) years the contract in its entirety is renegotiated. This is often referred to as "big book" bargaining as every single aspect of the contract must be agreed upon and ratified for the next three years.
Whether intentionally or not, sometimes your supervisors or other administrators violate conditions of the CBA. The CBA includes a provision for faculty who believe that their rights have been violated to file grievances which, if not resolved, can proceed through the arbitration steps outlined in the CBA (Article 10).
UFF-FIU volunteers (and, if necessary, staff from the statewide office and outside legal counsel) support UFF-FIU members in these proceedings at no cost. The Grievance Committee keeps records of and supervises all grievances. The committee insures that union leadership is fully informed on the progress in maintaining and expanding the CBA to avoid violations from happening in the first place.
UFF-FIU works with its state and national affiliates to educate the public and policy makers on the importance of higher education to Florida's future and the importance of faculty to the future of FIU. At times, these efforts are made in coordination with other groups to multiply our voice -- e.g. the Administration, the Board of Trustees, the Board of Governors, student organizations, parents' organizations, organized labor -- but UFF-FIU is first and foremost the independent voice of FIU faculty.
The Legislative Affairs Committee cooperates with the State UFF in lobbying representatives, conducting email/phone campaigns, attending political functions, and working with the UFF-PAC and NEA PAC. Ultimately we rely on the collective action and mobilization of our membership to make change at the local, state, and federal levels to benefit higher education.