UFF-FAU Supports Keeping Undocumented Families Together

Dear Colleague –
Here is information on two activities this weekend that support the efforts to reunite families and keep families together. This information just became available as the events came together quickly.

MARCH TO KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER  
SATURDAY 6/23 IN HOMESTEAD

The Trump administration has reopened a 1,000-bed Homestead facility that once housed minors who entered the country looking for a better life, reviving a compound at a time when the White House is under fire for a new policy that separates children from parents detained by immigration authorities.

Both Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio have stated these children need to be reunited with their families.

When: Saturday June 23rd, 4:00PM
Where: CORNER OF 288th Street and 137th Ave, Homestead, Florida 33030
Bring: Sunscreen, water, comfortable walking shoes
Info:  www.facebook.com/events/1950598218564066/?active_tab=about
How: Palm Beach County Bus Sign Up – Bus leaves from Staples parking lot located at 2029 OKEECHOBEE BLVD. WPB
Departure time from Palm Beach County is 2:30 PM
(BE THERE BY 2:00 PM) Bus leaves from Homestead at 8:00 PM
Thanks to Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida for sponsoring this bus! SIGN UP HERE

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REUNITE THE FAMILIES RALLY WITH CONG. TED DEUTCH
SUNDAY, 6/24 in Ft. LAUDERDALE

 Make and bring signs

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FEA | 213 S. Adams St. Tallahassee, FL 32301 | 850.201.2800 | Fax 850.222.1840

Supreme Court likely to oppose unions that represent teachers, other public sector workers. Here’s why that matters.

UFF-FAU Preface: Since Florida is already a “right to work (for less)” state, the upcoming Supreme Court decision in Janus vs. AFSCME won’t directly  affect your union, the United Faculty of Florida, and other public sector unions in Florida.  However, it will have a major effect on our national affiliates, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO) and other public sector unions in many other states.  This article explains what’s at stake in this latest attack on workers’ rights.

From The Washington Post, June 12, 2018

(Corrections: A similar case was heard by the court two years ago, not Janus. And Aboud case was issued in 1977, not 1997.)

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected any day now to render its decision in the case of Janus v. AFSCME, and it is expected that the conservative majority on the court will oppose public sector unions (though, of course, it could decide not to).

In February, with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos listening in the courtroom, the justices heard arguments in the case involving an Illinois public sector employee, Mark Janus, who sued the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He argued that a state law allowing the union to charge and collect fees from nonmembers, including him, violates his and others’ First Amendment rights.

The Janus decision could affect laws in 22 states that allow public sector unions to charge and collect “agency” or “fair share” fees from public employees who aren’t members. The rationale behind those laws: Workers benefit from contracts negotiated by unions — whether they’re members or not — and should pay something to support the unions.

Continue reading

5/30/18 Bargaining Update

Dear Colleague –

On May 31, 2018, representatives of the BOT and UFF-FAU met and discussed Article 23 (Salaries) and Article 24 (Benefits).
Due to the excellent turnout of faculty, the meeting needed to be moved to the Board of Trustees room. Thank you to those who showed up. And a special thanks to the faculty from Slattery and Henderson!

First, we discussed Article 24. The UFF-FAU proposal on the table, presented on 4/24/18:

  • Expanded the tuition benefits for both employees and dependent children of employees
  • Gave dependent children of employees priority admission status at Slattery and Henderson.

The BOT countered yesterday with:

  • 18 credits a year free to employees. These credits may be transferred to a dependent child, based on certain conditions, e.g., dependent is admitted to a degree program and takes 30 credits a year
  • The admission policy of Slattery already allows priority status for dependent children of employees
  • No priority admission status for dependent children at Henderson.

The Administration’s reasoning for not allowing priority admission status at Henderson is that Collective Bargaining is not an appropriate forum to direct an admission policy in the school.

UFF-FAU did not counter at this time because, while we are pleased for the most part with the expanded tuition program for dependent children, we need to clarify the issue of fees on the tuition offer.
We also need to look further into the Henderson issue.

Second, we discussed Article 23. (Please see previous email for the BOT offer.) UFF-FAU presented our counter-offer:
The UFF-FAU counter-offer for FAU In-Unit faculty:

Cost of Living Increase University Merit Increase Total
FY 18-19 1.0% 2.0% 3.0%
FY 19-20 1.0% 2.0% 3.0%
FY 20-21 1.0% 2.0% 3.0%

The UFF-FAU counter-offer for FAUS faculty:

Merit Increase for Annual Faculty on the Performance Salary Schedule
Overall Performance Rating 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Total
Highly Effective 3.00% 3.00% 3.00% 9.00%
Effective 2.75% 2.75% 2.75% 8.25%
Satisfactory 2.50% 2.50% 2.50% 7.50%

 

Merit Increase for Permanent Faculty on the Grandfathered Salary Schedule –
Please see the UFF-FAU counter-offer details at the end of the email.

There was also some discussion of Articles 3, 8, and 11, all of which require more work.

The next bargaining session is on Monday, June 11th at 1:30 p.m. in AD 351. Faculty members are welcome to attend.

Another important meeting is the Board of Trustees meeting, which is tentatively scheduled for June 5, 2018. The BOT are the people who ultimately decide what the Administration offers in the contract negotiations. Attend their meetings – let them know you’re interested and involved.
Meeting details here: http://www.fau.edu/bot/notices/

In solidarity,
Kathleen Moorhead
Meredith Mountford
Debra Vance Noelk
Deandre Poole
Robert Zoeller

(Click for additional info.)
Continue reading

Bargaining Update

Dear Colleague –
Representatives of the BOT and UFF-FAU met on May 21, 2018 to begin bargaining salaries as set forth in Article 23.

The BOT offer proposed for FAU In-Unit faculty:

Annual Recurring Performance Funding (Merit) Annual One-Time Top 3 Performance Funding Total
FY 18-19 1.0% 1.0% 2.0%
FY 19-20 1.0% 1.5% 2.5%
FY 20-21 1.0% 2.0% 3.0%
3.0% 4.5% 7.50%

The Annual One-Time Top 3 bonus money proposed for In-Unit faculty will be awarded only if FAU is ranked in the top three Florida public universities included in the Board of Governors’ metrics.

The BOT offer proposed for FAUS faculty:

Merit Increase for Annual Faculty on the Performance Salary Schedule
Overall Performance Rating 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Highly Effective 1% 1% 1%
Effective .5% .5% .5%
Needs Improvement Not eligible for increase Not eligible for increase Not eligible for increase
Unsatisfactory Not eligible for increase Not eligible for increase Not eligible for increase

 

Merit Increase for Permanent Faculty on the Grandfathered Salary Schedule
Overall Performance Rating 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Highly Effective 1% – $1 1% – $1 1% – $1
Effective .5% .5% .5%
Needs Improvement Not eligible for increase Not eligible for increase Not eligible for increase
Unsatisfactory Not eligible for increase Not eligible for increase Not eligible for increase

The UFF-FAU bargaining team was surprised at the inclusion of metrics as criterion for a bonus. We reject the BOT proposal for many reasons, including the fact that metrics can, and do, change over time. Metrics create a complicated, arbitrary rating system over which faculty has no control, and they have no place determining salary increases.

(For more information on metrics, please read the handouts on the Board of Governors’ website:http://www.flbog.edu/board/office/budget/performance_funding.php
Note – link is not active. Copy and paste into your browser.)

UFF-FAU will present our counter offer at the next bargaining session on Weds, May 30, 2018, at 1p.m. in AD 351. Faculty members are welcome to attend.

In solidarity,
Kathleen Moorhead
Meredith Mountford
Debra Vance Noelk
Deandre Poole
Robert Zoeller

‘Roll up your sleeves’: at a dark time for US unions, this woman sees hope

From *The Guardian*

Mike Elk Sunday, May 20, 2018

UFF-FAU Preface: [Your friendly local faculty union, UFF, is affiliated with both of the large national teachers unions, the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), as well as our state organization, the Florida Education Association (FEA)]

As many in the US labor movement wait nervously for the supreme court to deliver a judgment in a vital union case that some fear could deliver a body blow to American unions, one woman appears unfazed.

Lily Eskelsen García, the president of the 3 million strong National Education Association (NEA) and head of the biggest union in America, believes the threat posed by Janus vs AFSCME – which could strip unions of a major source of income – will not set back the labor movement long-term.

There have been warnings that Janus could be a hefty blow to unions as it threatens their ability to collect fees from non-members who benefit from the agreements they strike with employers. But García, who worked as a teacher in Utah under similar “right to work” rules, is not deterred by the prospect of the court ruling, which could come as early as Monday.

Instead, she thinks it might be a galvanising moment for the US labor movement.

Continue reading

How Rightwing Groups Wield Secret ‘Toolkit’ to Plot against US Unions

UFF-FAU Preface:
 
 
You May Be Targeted by Anti-Union Groups
 
 
Many wealthy individuals, big banks and corporations, and right-wing groups have never accepted the rights of U.S. workers to organize collectively to represent their own interests.    Well-funded anti-union groups constantly work to weaken legal protections for unions and to undermine workers rights in any way they can.  An example is the newly-passed Florida law that requires that any union whose membership is below 50% of those it represents will be decertified.  (The scope and status of this law remains to be determined.)
 
 
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon rule on Janus v. AFSCME, an important anti-union case.  As described in the article linked below from The Guardian, this case is spurring anti-worker groups to target union members around the country, trying to persuade them to drop their union membership.  In the next few months you may be contacted by the “State Policy Network” or another right-wing group with a slick and deceptive message about union “reform” and “choice”.  Don’t buy what they’re selling.  Do your own research, and contact your union chapter president, Deandre Poole, at president@uff-fau.org.  Despite these attacks, UFF will continue to represent you and other faculty in Florida.]
*The Guardian* May 15, 2018
By Ed Pilkington

Rightwing activists are launching a nationwide drive to persuade public-sector trade union members to tear up their membership cards and stop paying dues, posing a direct threat to the progressive movement in America.

Documents obtained by the Guardian reveal that a network of radical conservative thinktanks spanning all 50 states is planning direct marketing campaigns targeted personally at union members to encourage them to quit. The secret push, the group hopes, could cost unions up to a fifth of their 7 million members, lead to the loss of millions of dollars in income and undermine a cornerstone of US progressive politics.

“Well run opt-out campaigns can cause public-sector unions to experience 5 to 20% declines in membership, costing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in dues money. This can affect the resources and attention available for union leaders to devote to political action campaigns,” the internal documents say.

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Higher Ed Should Take a Cue From K-12

From Inside Higher Ed

April 20, 2018

I never planned to be a union organizer. When I was growing up my parents, almost daily, encouraged my brother and me to go to college. Enlisted military personnel who earned associate’s degrees during their careers, my parents never finished their bachelor’s degrees, but they took a friend’s advice very seriously: tell your kids often that they should attend college, and they will.

So like the other dutiful children of the Reagan generation, we went to college. Higher education was an investment in our future, a promise for a better life and a ticket to something my parents were never able to enjoy: a stable life without worry. But what I didn’t fully understand until I was deep into graduate school was how one-sided that investment actually was.

Toward the end of my Ph.D., as my student loan debt reached insurmountable heights and the academic job market loomed, my pivot to union organizing reflected a sharp shift in my perspective. Our deeply exploitative economic system is preying on my and the next generation’s hopes and dreams, and we’re compromising our future.

While I entered the academy genuinely hoping to make a positive difference in the lives of my students, and to do research that contributes to a more just and fair society, I haven’t been able to shake a consuming concern that those motivations are less and less compatible with higher education today. The political classes that control education policy in our country are fundamentally changing our institutions and, by extension, our profession. Elected leaders have enacted an austerity regime that systematically underfundshigher education, cuts programsundermines tenure and shifts the risks in the system to an army of unprotected, underpaid faculty members. I started organizing because we absolutely have to change this trajectory.

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4/24/18 Collective Bargaining update

On Wednesday, April 24th, UFF-FAU and the FAU Board of Trustees (BOT) met to continue the 2018 Collective Bargaining.
In attendance for UFF-FAU were Dr. Meredith Mountford, UFF-FAU president; Dr. Robert Zoeller, UFF-FAU lead negotiator; Dr. Deandre Poole, Senior Instructor; Debra Vance Noelk, A. D. Henderson/FAUS; Kathleen Moorhead, Senior Instructor.

***
I.          Highlights –

Accomplished
Article 17 LEAVES
17.10 After much discussion working on compulsory leave change, negotiated language that supports a healthy and safe workplace for everyone in the FAU community, with clear guidelines to minimize the possibility of abuse.
17.13 FAUS personal leave days – uncharged personal leave day returned to 1stof 5 leave days

 

UFF-FAU Presented
Article 23 SALARIES
UFF-FAU presented documentation to support its position that state statute does not exempt FAUS Permanent Status personnel from salary increases.
While negotiations for salaries have not begun, pending receipt of the budget numbers from Tallahassee, UFF-FAU’s position is clear that all parties should receive raises.
(fyi – Permanent Status provides teachers with job security much in the way that tenure does for university faculty.)
Article 24 BENEFITS
UFF-FAU presented language that:

  • Expands the tuition benefits for employees and dependent children of employees
  • Gives dependent children of employees priority admission status at Slattery and Henderson

Continue reading

More Than 10,000 Working People Join Together in Unions in One Week

April 20, 2018

From AFL-CIO

(Washington, D.C.)  This past week alone, more than 10,000 working people chose to join together in unions for the freedom to negotiate a fair return on their hard work. From flight attendants to graduate students, each day more working people are gaining the power to change an economy rigged against us.

Here are some of the latest victories for working people who, through their unions, are improving their lives:

  • Nearly 5,000 JetBlue flight attendants will have the freedom to negotiate with the airline’s management after they overwhelmingly voted in favor of joining the Transport Workers (TWU) on Tuesday.
  • In a historical victory for graduate students and research assistants at universities who have been fighting for a fair return on their work, more than 5,000 Harvard University teaching and research assistants decided Thursday to join UAW.
  • The labor movement is growing in Southern states, as evidenced Thursday when 700 working people at Atlanta Gas Light, in Atlanta, Georgia, voted to join the Electrical Workers (IBEW).
  • On Thursday, 2,000 personal support workers and 400 registered nurses at Spectrum Health Care in the greater Toronto area joined the Machinists (IAM)
  • In Pleasanton, California, 400 registered nurses from Stanford Health Care’s ValleyCare Medical Center will join National Nurses United (NNU) after a majority of them voted to join the union. And in New York, another 2,200 nurses from Albany Medical Center will join the New York State Nurses Association, an affiliate of NNU.
  • In Marlborough, Massachusetts, 220 working people from nurses to clerical staff at UMass Memorial-Marlborough Hospital decided to join the State Healthcare and Research Employees Union, an affiliate of AFSCME.
  • The wave of working people in digital newsrooms who join together in labor unions continues to grow. This week The New Republic agreed to voluntarily recognize its editorial staff’s decision to join The NewsGuild of New York, TNG-CWA Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America (CWA)

“We’re living in a profound moment of change. By joining together in a union, working people are joining, fighting and winning together for the dignity that we’ve earned,” said AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka. “Despite rigged rules and aggressive corporate attacks, 260,000 new union members joined our ranks last year, and three-quarters of new union members are under the age of 34. As we gain density, we gain power. As we grow in numbers, we grow in influence. That’s how we start to build the America working people need.”

At a time when powerful corporations and special interests continue to use a rigged system to their benefit, this kind of momentum proves that working people are standing up to defend the freedom to join together in unions.

According to a recent Gallup poll, America’s labor movement is gaining popularity. Sixty-one percent of Americans approved of labor unions—the highest number in over a decade. The labor movement has been at the forefront of the fight to raise standards of living for all working people across the country, from raising the minimum wage to supporting a new set of economic rules designed to achieve broadly shared prosperity.

Florida Impact of Declining Revenues on Higher Education From 1991-2016

Your faculty union’s affiliate, the National Education Association, has analyzed each state’s yearly appropriations for public higher education from 1991 to 2016 compared with tuition and enrollment.  The charts linked below show how state support for public higher education in Florida has declined while tuition and fees have increased.  As a result, while Florida college students in 1991 were paying for about a fifth of their education through tuition and fees, now they are paying for more than a third.  Needless to say, such lack of state investment disproportionately impacts first generation and working-class students, many of whom attend FAU,

The faculty union is concerned with this issue because it affects the working (teaching) conditions of faculty as surely as it affects the learning conditions of our students.  When students are financially stressed because of higher tuition and fees, the quality of their education declines, and faculty must respond.

Click below for the data:

http://www.nea.org/assets/docs/HE/180410-florida.pdf