Welcome to 2014!

January 9, 2014

By Chris Robé

Happy New Year! As you emerge from your eggnog stupor and candy yam bloat, your friendly faculty union prepares the way for a better 2014.

We will begin bargaining the 2014 contract sometime in February. As a result, we have posted a 2014 bargaining survey at: http://oldleadernet.aft.org/surveymaker/take/survey.cfm?id=6367d3a6-5056-b94b-1199-18f903ea4cd1. The survey will close on February 1st so make sure to fill it out in the meantime so we can gain a better sense of your bargaining interests and priorities.

Also, any union member can attend our Executive Committee meetings and participate during discussion. This is a good forum to address bargaining concerns. The meeting times and dates are listed below. 

Finally, we hold monthly happy hours at The Irishmen where faculty can discuss their issues with the union while relaxing with their colleagues for some free drinks and food. We will be holding our next one on January 17 at 4:00 PM. This has become a vital forum in addressing faculty interests and issues, as well as simply developing a sense of camaraderie. We would like to duplicate these happy hours at the Jupiter and Davie campuses since they provide a sense of community that is vital for any academic community. If any UFF members are interested in hosting such events, contact us at president (at) uff-fau.org to learn more.

As you know, we ratified the 2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in November.  Some of the major changes include faculty raises, notice of appointment given to instructors either on or before the expiration of their present annual appointment, and increased availability of a second summer course at a set rate. (See page three for more details). Within the next month you will receive in your campus mailbox a booklet of the current CBA. Also, a pdf copy of the CBA is located on the UFF-FAU website here.

FAU is currently undergoing a presidential search. Already news is circulating that Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has applied for the job, immediately becoming a top candidate. Governor Rick Scott praises Atwater as a contender. (See more at: http://www.tallahassee.com/viewart/20140104/POLITICSPOLICY/140104002/Latest-Gov-Scott-praises-Atwater-he-seeks-university-presidency).

The finalists for the position will be announced on January 6, 2013 at 2:00 PM in the Recruiting Room of FAU Stadium. Faculty are encouraged to attend. The most important dates are January 14, 15, and 16 when the three finalists will hold campus interviews. The times and locations have not been announced yet, but when they are it is important for faculty to attend and ask the candidates any pressing questions they might have.

The faculty senate will hold a special meeting on January 16 at 4:00 PM to discuss the finalists; this will provide another important forum for the faculty to discuss and vet the candidates. Finally, the Board of Trustees interview and selection will occur on January 17. Needless to say, the more faculty input the better since we are all readily aware of the impact of the university president has on our daily operations and ability to function successfully as a university.

We will be holding another consultation with the administration this spring. We will be addressing some concerns regarding the implementation of domestic partner benefits but have not yet decided on other main issues. If you have any suggestions about issues or topics you would like the union to address during consultation, please let us know: president (at) uff-fau.org.

Our member luncheon and elections will take place on March 28 at 11:30AM-2:00 PM in the Majestic Palm Room Full (located in the Student Center).  Come out and vote then. In the meantime, feel free to nominate yourself for chapter president, vice-president, second vice-president, treasurer, secretary, or senator. We need new people to become involved to keep the union growing, vital, and in touch with general faculty concerns. Either nominate someone else (with his/her permission) or yourself by contacting our chapter assistant Dave Lee at dlee251348 (at) bellsouth.net.

We hope to see you at our upcoming functions. The union, after all, is not simply about representing the collective faculty voice, but also about gathering faculty together to share ideas and concerns to better implement our vision of what FAU should be. If you haven’t joined yet, download an application here and send it in to Chris Robé, CU 214, School of Communication, Boca Raton Campus or take it to the next union function you attend and hand it to one of the union officers. We look forward to seeing you soon.