Fall Chapter Meeting Minutes – 2021

UFF-FIU Chapter Meeting Agenda
October 22, 2021: 10:00am-12:00pm
Virtual Meeting 

    1. Approval of Minutes
      Motion to approve: Tom Breslin
      2nd: Maria Reid
    2. Approval of Agenda
      Motion to approve: Lorna Veraldi
      2nd: Maria Shpurik
    3. Legislative Affairs Update
      • post-tenure review is on admin radar (mentioned by Provost); GA changes to post-tenure, no faculty oversight, attack on shared governance, further erosion of tenure; student success is included, beyond teaching, service and research, AAUP says GA tenure is not tenure; keep an eye open in FL; HB 233 (diversity assessment); union busting
      • UFF-FIU and ask for money for post-tenure review; take pre-emptive steps
      • reminded of Wisconsin; no tenure anymore
      • precedent set at UWF for monetary increases for post-tenure review
      • public schools are cautionary tale
      • hot-topic areas will be impacted
      • critical race theory, catch-all for anything democratic; state of shared governance in question; conditions of work dropped on faculty for the fall
      • Provost is weak on academic governance, QM example, problem for social sciences; recording of classes (China does not allow negative statements anywhere); press Provost on self-governance and academic freedom
      • strengthened academic freedom in recent CBA
    4. Treasurer’s Report
      • 120K, not spending much
      • Research assistant hiring
      • Video making, may know someone who might make video
      • Hesitant to use FIU resource
    5. Bargaining Report
      • Wrapped up full book
      • Allowed variance from PERC to do online ratification in September; 95% in favor; over 500 votes; CBA in effect; bonuses went out 10/6/21; 2% or $2K bonus, same as raise in second year; reopeners in January; admin wants to reopen minimum salaries
      • salary increments timing is still not set by admins
      • should be simple, admins have not had meeting; following up
    6. Membership Report
      • 37 plus, 4 minus, 2% increase
      • Reaching out to new hires and face-to-face meetings later in year
      • FEA launching support for membership drive, reach out to Heather for talking points for non-members. Contact Martha, Heather, Gene
      • how close to 50%?
      • we are close
    7. Grievance Report
      • 45-day limit; starts on date of event; ask questions early; Joining after event cannot be grieved by union
      • Chart on assignment, promotion based on assignment; assignment given in summer, time to argue is in the summer; allocations can be negotiated and changed in the middle of the year; if extra is added, it should change assignment or count as overload; judged on assignment, not on extra; if Thanksgiving assignment is for mashed potatoes, then no extra credit for gravy
      • Discussion on health issues since MOU; UNF campus safety grievance rejected in Tallahassee, no material harm so denied grievance; still have lawsuits to show material harm; some assistance from law school; FL statutes on stalking refers to material harm; material harm might be fear; talking with lawyers and med school; send Eric stories about how COVID affects you.
      • Discussion on on-going be basis for complaint (Eric: only as background, wait for new occurrence after joining before grieving)
      • Deficiency in past assignments can be corrected
      • non-members do not get legal support (Lorna: union might decide to support, but not required); Discussion on general grievance issues. Most deal with assignment
      • Discussion on courses accessible for disability. Could be in DAP, collect stories; could be brought up in consultation; special technology in CBA about support services, training, compensation; language in contract already exists
      • Some departments are getting support: We are (all) getting an “ally” liaison and supposedly they are hiring undergrads to help scan docs and make things accessible (but captioning videos is not being addressed and that is so time consuming – only online classes are getting captions professionally done but not hybrid or in person); hiring liaison to support faculty, lot of work; lots of time, tasks were shifted from instructional designer to faculty in COVID but has not shifted back; online can push back to designer; face-to-face problematic; PDF from old books have to be handled differently, we will ask in consultation; asked for help but only got how-to; huge amount of work (could renegotiate assignment or get overload)
      • Some faculty have received many helpful-sounding emails from Cinthya Rojas and her team that include a link to schedule an appointment for instructional design. Might be worth trying? http://cpbucket.fiu.edu/nc-fiu1140vcc-10000/employee_bio.html
      • bad communication from admins; did not share the amount of work needed for 100% compliance; more info from Google than designer; time consuming work; FIU banners are not compliant
      • simplify course for now; don’t have time and resources; instructional designers cause more work than help
      • start with online support, then migrate to f2f; no support for face-to-face
      • Discussion on what is the best way that we can help our colleagues (especially new ones) know about their rights under the CBA and how the union can support them?; cba.uff-fiu.org browse; talk about CBA in faculty meetings
    8. Good and Welfare
      • event for membership; happy hour; orientation
      • focus on CBA
      • Spring is time for discontent
      • include focus on COVID issues; extra swag to show COVID card
      • include activities (pumpkin carving)
      • BBC too
      • zoom too
      • child watch, family friendly
    9. President’s Report
      • Get around to different units to listen to faculty; contact Martha to help arrange meeting with department
      • Working hard on membership goals; let Martha know if you need help or swag; not just MMC
      • On the legislative session radar: fee waiver for grad students in budget process; repeal house bill HB233; racial and sexual discrimination bill, guns on campus, post-secondary fee waiver; public records for presidential search out of sunshine (SIPA has not announced candidates for searc)h; panther book pack spreading to state, extra books included;
      • scheduling classes close to office
      • UFF-FIU Listens – Member’s Voices
    10. Old Business
    11. New Business
      • contribute to strike fund in other unions
      • https://aflcio.org/strike-map?source=101821-email&link_id=3&can_id=9ce1bfc36f21a02a4dd0b65d271107d4&email_referrer=email_1327291&email_subject=striketober-20-strikes-and-counting
      • invite Wendy Walsh
      • thanks to bargaining; talk about CBA to get new people; better communication of events; grad students organizing, unhealthy, underpaid; can we support them
      • UFF is supporting grad student efforts, cannot formally support them but can provide information, cannot advise them
      • university has had a lot of savings from travel, CARES act; can we be brought up to inform us of current state of budget
      • new how FIU spends its money, trouble finding right person; look at old report for sources
      • COI has raised, passed LA, only behind NY, https://www.realtyhop.com/blog/housing-affordability-index-october-2021/
      • faculty turnover, HR doing exit interviews, look for public report,
      • On the data for the report: I read an academic article about the production of the report. It said the data came from request to HR department. The HR department has to compile for the DOE. Here is the article: “Serving the Faculty Union in Fighting Austerity Policies: A Case Study of Labor Studies Research on One’s Own Campus”
      • more service dumped onto assistant professors; have meeting with assistant professors
      • Good of the Chapter
    12. Adjournment
      Motion to adjourn: James Todd;
      2nd: Heather Blatt

(Minutes submitted by Tim Downey)

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