More Evidence that Florida’s Corporate Model of Higher Education is Failing: High Tuition, Low Salaries, and Unrealistic Expectations

Fading Affordability

(from Inside Higher Ed)

College affordability has declined in 45 states since 2008, with low- and middle-income students in particular feeling the pinch, new study finds.

April 28, 2016

Overall college affordability has worsened in 45 U.S. states since 2008, creating a significant financial burden for students of modest economic means.

That’s the top-line finding in a new, state-by-state study by researchers from the Institute for Research on Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development, and the Higher Education Policy Institute.

The report defines affordability as reasonable estimates of the total educational expenses for students and families in each state, calculated as a percentage of family income. Educational expenses include tuition and costs of living, minus all grant-based financial aid from federal and state governments and institutions.

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Collective Bargaining Update, April 19

UFF met with the BOT representatives on Friday, April 15, 2016.  We have tentatively agreed that faculty will receive the following raises:  3% based on 2014-15 evaluation, 3% based on 2015 evaluation; and 2% on 2016 evaluation.  Raises will not be retroactive despite our best efforts.

However, we are still negotiating the details of the distribution of equity raises. Additionally, and importantly, another salary issue concerns raises for FAU Schools (FAUS) teachers. Currently they are offering NOTHING for teachers with Permanent status.

Other contentious issues are FTE for Instructional Assignments (e.g.,.20 vs .25) and the inclusion of sustained performance evaluation in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

When these issues are resolved, the first raise will be forthcoming shortly after ratification in the first regular pay check (not summer).

The second raise is scheduled for October 2016.

The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 29 at 9 am in the Provost’s Conference Room. (We wanted to meet sooner but this was the soonest BOT representatives were available)

For the UFF-FAU Collective Bargaining Team

Bob Zoeller

UFF-FAU Chapter President

UFF President Dr. Jennifer Proffitt Vows to Press On to Keep Firearms Off College

Tallahassee – Earlier this week, the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus held an awards ceremony in New York City to commend the work of key leaders in different states to defeat proposed laws to allow individuals to carry dangerous firearms on college campuses. The organization, founded in large part by individuals directly impacted by campus gun violence, has worked in states across the nation to keep university and college campuses gun-free.

Proffitt, a communications professor at Florida State University, has been a leader in the opposition to bills in the Florida Legislature over the past two years that would lift Florida’s current ban on firearms on university and college campuses.
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Collective Bargaining Update: We’re #1

Dear Colleague

As you know, FAU ranked #1 during this year’s Board of Governor’s metrics scramble. After placing near the bottom two years ago, FAU moved up to secure $11.6 million in performance funding last year. We don’t know how much we’ll get this year, but it promises to be a much larger sum. In his e-mail to the FAU community, President Kelly states “It is impossible for me to name everyone who played a part in this incredible turnaround, because you all are responsible. I want to thank each of you from the bottom of my heart for all you do in your passionate pursuit of excellence for this great university.” One way in which President Kelly can express such thanks in concrete terms is through significant raises, something that the UFF bargaining team has been negotiating since late last year. For years we’ve been denied raises ostensibly because of the lack of legislative or performance funding. Now is the time for the President and the Board of Trustees to reward an outstanding but drastically underpaid faculty. Prior to the announcement of our ranking first place in the state metrics, President Kelly had already committed to raises based on the $11.6 million already received. The UFF bargaining team has now proposed a 12% raise for faculty over the next three years (4% each year).

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Collective Bargaining Update

Article 23 – Salaries
Before the March 4th bargaining session, UFF sent the BOT representatives a salary proposal that included a $2500 increase in salaries for all employees with a satisfactory (now “Good”) evaluation or higher to be paid the end of the Spring ‘16 semester. We also proposed increases for meritorious performance and monies to address compression inversion problems with a total package of approximately 5% each year for the next three years (for a total of 15%).

BOT rejected the $2500 increase and responded with a 3% increase beginning in October, 2016 and 2% in October, 2017 and 2% October, 2018.
The proposal gave UFF carte blanche in how merit and equity would be divided/distributed. They also now included those evaluated as Satisfactory/Good as eligible for merit. However, the salary increases in years 2 and 3 were tied to “sufficient” performance

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Collective Bargaining and President Kelly’s “Compensation Advisory Group”

Several weeks ago I became aware of some actions by FAU administration that, in our opinion, could have consequences for the collective bargaining process at FAU. Below is a summary of the concerns I communicated to you at that time. I also communicated these concerns to President Kelly and his response is attached.<Letter from President Kelly> While we appreciate the President’s reaffirmation of his commitment to the collective bargaining process, we remain concerned. In preparation for our meeting with him, I would like you to send me your thoughts on this issue. Any and all comments will be kept strictly anonymous.

In the meantime, collective bargaining continues and we will be meeting with the representatives of the FAU Board of Trustees this Friday at
2:00 in the Provost’s Conference Room. You are encouraged to attend.

In Solidarity

Bob Zoeller
UFF-FAU Chapter President

Summary of the issue:

President Kelly recently selected and engaged with a group of faculty members, who are not members of the UFF-FAU collective bargaining team, for the purpose of discussing and receiving input on ways in which the representatives of the FAU Board of Trustees could present a salary proposal for the current collective bargaining session. This is a clear and serious violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement which states in Article

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State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota and Florida Polytechnic University File Cards for Union Election– By Marshall Ogletree, UFF Interim Executive Director

On February 3, 2016, more than 60 percent of the faculties of Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland and State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota submitted cards to the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission requesting a union election be held. The two newly proposed UFF chapters will join with the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) and all of the other 11 state university faculties and 14 state college and graduate assistant chapters who are represented by UFF.

Both faculties seek their constitutional right to having a collective voice at their respective institutions by forming labor unions, under Chapter 447, Florida Statutes. The faculties will establish chapters of UFF, elect officers and upon being elected in a democratic vote by all eligible faculty will support and represent faculty in negotiations with their  administrations in future decisions impacting working conditions, university policies, and compensation.

On Sunday, February 7, the Bradenton Herald editorialized in support of a SCF faculty union. Read the editorial here.

Enough is Enough Rally– Jennifer Profit, UFF President

Enough is Enough Rally

by Jennifer Proffitt, UFF President

On January 14, 2016, the Florida Education Association (FEA) held an historic rally titled, “Enough is Enough.” Thousands of teachers, education staff professionals, parents, college and university students, faculty members, sister unions, and community supporters from around the state attended. Speakers included FEA officers President Joanne McCall, Vice President Fedrick Ingram, and Secretary-Treasurer Luke Flynt; Mindy Haas, President of the Florida PTA; Adora Obi Nweze, president of the Florida NAACP; Wendy Bradshaw, former teacher; Karla Hernandez-Mats, UTD secretary-treasurer; Tiffany McClary, president of the FAMU Student FEA; Lynnita Lucas, secretary of LESPA; and Monica Russo, Florida SEIU president. Participants rallied behind the theme, “Enough is Enough,” in response to more than a decade of legislative tinkering with Florida’s K-20 education that has focused on dismantling our public institutions in favor of for-profit education schemes.  I was fortunate to have been asked to speak at the rally, and I focused on the corporatization and privatization of our public higher education institutions. The text of my speech is below. A video of the rally highlights can be found here.

That same day, UFF First Vice President Elizabeth Davenport, UFF Government Relations Chair Teresa Lucas, and I visited Senate offices to explain our opposition to the guns on campus bill. A special thanks to Elizabeth and Teresa for their work on this important issue!

UFF President Jennifer Proffitt speaking to several thousand people at FEA Enough is Enough rally.

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Jennifer Proffitt, UFF President, Rally Remarks (as prepared):

Good afternoon sisters and brothers.

I am proud to greet you that way because you are my sisters and brothers—all of you—teachers, education staff professionals, parents, clergy, students and community activists, joined by so much more than the bonds of our union but by our love for and dedication to our society’s most cherished institution, public education.  Today we celebrate that bond as we link our voices, fueled by our unwavering determination to turn back the tide of 20 years of disastrous education policies, telling the governor and the Florida Legislature, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

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