MJ Saunders Administration Attempts End-Run Around Collective Bargaining Agreement, Shared Governance

June 11, 2012. Provost Brenda Claiborne announces significant changes to Promotion and Tenure policy without notifying UFF or faculty governance bodies

Dear Colleagues,

It has recently come to the union’s attention that the provost  released a May 31, 2012 memo regarding Promotion and Tenure (P&T). Particular notice should be given to section 9 where the external letters of recommendation have increased from 3 to 5. The union has recently contacted the provost stating that the Collective Bargaining Agreement specifically speaks to procedures that need to be followed in making changes to P&T criteria. Specifically, according to Article 14.2 (b) and Article 15.1 (c)(4) two things must occur first before modifying criteria:

1)  “The Board and the University may modify these criteria after notifying the UFF Chapter of the proposed changes and offering an opportunity to discuss them in consultation with the President or representative.” UFF has not been notified.

2)  “Any proposal to develop or modify promotion criteria shall be available for discussion by members of the affected departments/units  before adoption.” Faculty have not had any option to discuss this either. The union has never been made aware of such changes and needs to discuss them before any type of adoption takes place. Since the number of external letters was increased from two to three just two years ago after undergoing a comprehensive review by the University Committee, we need to understand the reasoning behind the increase of two additional letters in such a short amount of time.

In regards to the second issue review by members of the affected departments most faculty are not under contract right now so they are not obligated nor might not have adequate time to review the proposed changes. Either way, they were not given the opportunity. UFF suggests that administration should at least wait until the beginning of the fall semester to discuss these changes when faculty are under contract and present so they can discuss such issues as a group. Additionally, the administration needs time to allow the University Committee to meet to discuss any such changes.

If the administration fails to comply with the terms and conditions in the CBA, the union will then contact our legal counsel and proceed accordingly.

Furthermore, faculty should be aware that if any changes do take place, according to the CBA, Article 15.1 (4) states that such changes don’t become effective until a year after their adoption. Also, “an employee with at least three (3) years of tenure-earning credit as of the date on which the tenure criteria are adopted shall be evaluated for tenure under the criteria as they existed prior to modification” unless the employee chooses otherwise.

The CBA serves as a foundational document in such matters of P&T. This is yet another way in which the union protects the integrity of such processes. If you haven’t done so, join today. Download a membership form and send it to: Chris Robe’, CU 214, Boca Raton campus.

We are here when you aren’t making sure that protocols are followed. Join and become active in the union today.


UFF-FAU President