This is the language I developed based on USF's, UNF's, and UF's Inventions and Works articles in their CBAs.
Main points: Faculty retain ownership of their teaching materials and publications with the exception of cases when we are specifically asked to create these for the college. However, when the college makes claims to inventions, there is specific language on how disagreements are resolved and how the profits are to be distributed. I ask that you particularly pay attention to articles 18.6 and 18.7. I welcome your suggestions on all parts of this article.
Welcome into the 2014-2015 academic year!
For new employees, do not forget that you are protected by the New College collective bargaining agreement (CBA), however, if there is a grievance and you seek representation from the union, you must have been a member when the grievance occurred. UFF will not provide grievance representation to faculty who were not dues-paying UFF members at the time when the grievable incident occurred.
Membership offers many other benefits (see Membership Benefits link), among them liability insurance, information about legislators' proposals, lobbying for the interests of university faculty and for public education, special rates in various services, etc. At the local level, your membership gives you the NCUFF magical cup: offering free tea or coffee at the Four Winds cafe. If you are still having doubts, consider we offer a new member rebate of $200. 00.
All are welcome to our chapter meetings. Third Wednesdays of September, October, February, and April. This where you will hear what are the current concerns, share your thoughts of how your union should proceed, and tell us of your concerns so we can address them.
Current Members: Do not forget to vote for this year's officers! Ballots are due Friday, August 22 at 4:00pm.
March 11, 2014
Dear United Faculty of Florida Members,
There is an urgent need to raise funds for UFF-PAC to support seven moderate senators who are willing to defend higher education against leadership pressure to reduce funding and undermine quality. We believe they will see our contribution as supporting them at the same time we are asking them to support us on critical issues. This is how we survived the threat to collective bargaining in 2012. We need 20 out of 40 votes in the Senate to block bad legislation.
An example of legislation affecting Florida universities and colleges is HB 7029, passed by the 2013 Florida Legislature. This legislation opens the door to for-profit entities to design, produce, test, and grade online credit courses for university and college students in Florida. Ultimately these vendor courses will replace faculty instruction in high-enrollment courses. You can imagine what this will do faculty and graduate assistant jobs -- as well as departmental programs.
The aggressive legislative action campaign UFF members carried out last spring had two positive effects: 1) It slowed down the implementation of the bill until spring 2014, giving faculty a chance to influence the process again now. 2) It forced legislators to make significant changes in the original proposal, such as eliminating the clause that would switch accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to Florida-based accreditation by the Department of Education.
In the legislative session beginning this month, we need support from Legislators of both parties to stop implementation of HB 7029 from becoming a license for online vendors using their products to replace faculty instruction. We also need support to stop “Performance-based Funding” from being used to pit universities and colleges against each other for reduced appropriations, or to pit individual faculty against each other in evaluations, a possible scenario if Tea-Party style legislative leaders get their way. Finally, we need help in the Senate to stop the House Speaker from ramming through legislation that would destabilize the entire retirement system and jeopardize the plans of faculty.
UFF is committed to supporting candidates for office who listen to the voices of Higher Education professionals, regardless of party affiliation. Union dues are not used for political purposes, so we ask that you make a Political Action Contribution (PAC) by writing a check to “UFF-PAC” for $100 or whatever you can afford. Please mail the contribution to: United Faculty of Florida,
306 East Park Avenue, Tallahassee, FL 32301.
Only the individual sender is responsible for the content of the message, and the message does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Florida Education Association or its affiliates. This e-mail, including attachments, may contain information that is confidential, and is only intended for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed.
COMMENTARY: Florida’s retirement system doesn’t need “fixing”
By MARK KUDLOW / Florida Education Association
Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at 15:50 PM.
Legislators are once again proposing to alter the Florida Retirement System (FRS), even though it is considered one of the best and most well-funded in the country and recent polling conducted for the Florida Education Association (FEA) shows that nearly 70 percent of registered voters believe the Legislature should leave the retirement system for teachers alone.
The latest proposal is called a “cash balance plan,” which House Speaker Will Weatherford says will only apply to new employees and won’t impact those currently in the retirement system. But if new employees aren’t going to replenish the system, it will ultimately threaten the financial stability of the retirement fund that 375,000 retired teachers and other public workers rely on now and 620,000 more currently paying into the system will rely on in the future. As a result, many believe any changes will adversely impact the viability of the Florida Retirement System and could harm current school employees enrolled in the system.
“We don’t understand why some political leaders in Florida continue to seek to dismantle a retirement system that is considered one of the best and most well-funded in the country,” said FEA President Andy Ford.
Investment earnings do most of the work in funding retirement for teachers and other school employees, law enforcement officers, firefighters and other workers in the Florida Retirement System. Contributions made by workers and employers are invested, and the earnings are compounded over time — funding over two-thirds of retirement benefits.
Furthermore, the system provides important support to the state and local economies. In 2011, the Florida Retirement System paid out nearly $7 billion in retirement payments. These dollars support retirees and circulate throughout the Florida economy, paying for food, clothing, housing and other necessities and supporting thousands of jobs spread throughout every community in the state.
Studies show that every dollar paid in public retirement benefits in Florida creates $1.64 in total economic activity. About two-thirds of money paid out comes from investment earnings, so every dollar invested in retirement plans from taxes supports $4.47 in total economic output.
The Florida Retirement System is in good financial condition, and is consistently ranked among the top 10 state systems in the nation and the Legislature already made significant cost saving changes to the FRS in 2011. They mandated a three percent employee contribution, suspended cost-of-living increases, increased the vesting period and reduced the DROP accrual rate.
Opponents of the planned changes worry they will only shift more of the burden to those currently in the state retirement system while denying new teachers, bus drivers and cafeteria workers the option to participate in a plan that could provide them with real retirement security.
Florida’s retirement system doesn’t need “fixing”
2013 LEGISLATIVE BRIEF
135 S. Monroe St., Tallahassee, FL 32301 850-224-6926 FAX 850-224-2266
www.flaflcio.orgFlorida AFL-CIO’s You-Tube PageFlorida AFL-CIO’s Facebook Page Florida AFL-CIO’s Twitter Feed
Please Note: The following is merely a brief look at the final dispensation of some of the major
bills we were following during the 2013 Legislative Session. A more detailed report will made
available following the publication of the House and Senate Session Summaries.
Closing the Defined Benefit Pension System in FRS HB 7011/SB 1392.........................FAILED
OPPOSED (Forces all new hires into 401-k and risks the retirement security of public workers.)
The “Parent Trigger” SB 862 / HB 867…………………………...................………………....…..FAILED IN SENATE
OPPOSED (Allows private, for-profit companies to take over public schools through petition)
Preempting Local Wage Theft Ordinances SB 1216 / HB 1125 …………….....FAILED IN SENATE
OPPOSED (Bans local governments from enacting any ordinance relating to wage theft.)
Political Subdivisions (Total Preemption) HB 655………….......……………………….......……….……….PASSED
OPPOSED (Original legislation would preempt local governments from enacting living wage ordinances, earned sick time
ordinances, required domestic partner benefits or any additional wage or benefit provisions not granted by the
Legislature. The bill was greatly improved after being amended. As amended, the legislation preempts local
governments from passing ordinances relating to employee benefits including health, disability, vacation, and paid sick
leave benefits. Living Wage ordinances, PLAs and other critical ordinances are protected. Contractors and
Subcontractors of local governments can still be subject to ordinances. Bill creates a task force to study the effects of
Preemption of Paid Sick Leave - SB 726……………………………………......………………..………....................…FAILED
OPPOSED (Bans local governments from enacting any ordinance relating to paid sick leave.)
Police/Fire Pensions SB 458/HB 1399………………………………………………………………..…… FAILED IN HOUSE
WATCHED (Changes insurance premium tax revenues on police and firefighter pension plans.)
Medicaid Expansion SB 1816/HB 7169/SB 1844………..………...................………….…FAILED IN HOUSE
SUPPORT (Expands Medicaid health insurance to low income workers in the state.)
Elections Reform HB 7013…………………………………………………………………………….…...................................PASSED
WATCHED/SUPPORT (Reforms election laws to include more early voting days and reduce voter registration restrictions.
Did not include all our Coalition priorities.)
Change in Valuation for Public Pensions SB 534 / HB 599….................…………………...……...PASSED
OPPOSED (Changes evaluation of public pension plans devaluing their worth and success.)
Campaign Finance Reform HB 569......................…………………………………………………………………..……PASSED
WATCHED (Revokes CCE’s which increases frequency of reporting requirements, increases contribution limits and other
items. Detailed information will be provided by Florida AFL-CIO soon)
The Florida Supreme Court ruled today against FEA and upheld the 3 percent income tax on public employees’ pensions imposed by the leadership of the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott. But the members of the Florida Education Association won’t give up the fight to make a better Florida for students, public employees and all working families.
“This is disappointing news for those who work to make Florida a better place,” FEA President Andy Ford said. “Balancing the state budget on the backs of middle-class working families is the wrong approach for legislative leaders and the governor to take. We’re disappointed that the state’s highest court said this approach was legal.”
“I believe our arguments were correct, even if the justices didn’t agree. We still believe that a promise is a promise,” Ford said. “We are more determined than ever to change the face of the Florida Legislature. The next elections in 2014 can turn this decision around.”
Don’t just get angry… Get organized! Let’s mobilize to change the Florida Legislature in 2014!
Here's the link to the opinion
United Faculty of Florida
FEA, NEA, AFT, AFL-CIO
850-224-8220 Fax: 850-222-1767
(813) 240-9301 - Cell
In recognition of the recent changes to the university sponsored term life insurance program, I asked our state affiliate FEA and our national affiliate AFT to find a better source of term life insurance for UFF members.
Met Life, the endorsed life insurance carrier of AFT + Member Benefits, is providing a special enrollment window until January 28, 2013 to allow UFF members to purchase term life insurance protection for up to 2x salary on a Guaranteed Issue basis. There will be no medical questions, exams, or blood tests. As long as you are actively at work (not disabled) and an AFT member in good standing, you will be accepted into the program. In addition, if you are applying for $100,000 or more and are a nonsmoker, you will automatically qualify for the new, preferred rates. For example, the premium for $100,000 for a 30 year old nonsmoker is just $4 per month. The rate for a 40 year old is $7 and $15 for a 50 year old. Plus, each enrollee receives free will preparation service from the Hyatt Legal Plan.
You will be receiving additional plan details and an enrollment package via US Mail in the very near future. Please consider this special offer as you make your insurance choices.
Please forward this message to members.
United Faculty of Florida
FEA, NEA, AFT, AFL-CIO
(813) 240-9301 - Cell
CALL TO ACTION: Proposed rule change for issuance of continuing contracts
To College Faculty,
The State Board of Education is conducting a rulemaking hearing on November 29 in Heathrow at Seminole State College of Florida on Rule 6A-14.0411: Issuance of Continuing Contracts for college faculty Tom Auxter, UFF President, and Mark Richard, UFMDC President, will offer testimony as the union presidents. We need as many faculty to testify from their perspective. They should be diverse in terms of colleges, disciplines and years of teaching experience. We are asking for commitments to attend now and also submit your comments online.
The “post-award performance criteria” will impact the future of all faculty.
This rule change is not in response to identified problems. It is a political agenda from Governor Scott. The changes from the May, 2012 proposed rule to the current version are from the Governor.
Submit your comment online
All faculty should go online and register their opposition to the proposed rule change. To submit a comment on this rule, go to:
Look for Rule “6A-14.0411” and click on “Submit Comment.”
State that you are “writing in opposition to the proposed rule change.”
State your name, college and discipline.
Talking points on continuing contracts:
Faculty are awarded a continuing contract after completing a rigorous process that includes:
• Be reappointed
• Be recommended to the college President.
• Completed faculty development hours.
• Be recommended for a continuing contract by the College President.
• Complete performance evaluations for each year.
• Be approved by the College Board of Trustees.
• Faculty on a continuing contract may be terminated for just cause.
Talking points in opposition to the proposed rule changes:
• Diminishes local control by the College Board of Trustees.
• Moving to five years before eligibility will place Florida at a competitive disadvantage in hiring faculty compared to other states.
• What does “quantifiable measurable effectiveness in the particular area of practice” mean?
• How does “feedback from employers of students” measure the contribution of a single faculty member when the student was taught by twenty or more faculty?
Notice of Development of Rulemaking
RULE NO.: RULE TITLE:
A RULE DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP WILL BE HELD AT THE DATE, TIME AND PLACE SHOWN BELOW:
DATE AND TIME: November 29, 2012, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
PLACE: Seminole State College of Florida, Heathrow Campus, 1055 AAA Drive, Heathrow, FL 32746
6A-14.0411 Employment Contracts for Full Time Faculty
(1) District Boards of Trustees shall develop, maintain and distribute a policy governing the issuance of contnuing contracts and other employment contracts for employees serving in a full time faculty capacity as determined by the college. Such policy shall be consistent with this rule.
(b) Receive the r
(c) Compliance with criteria established by the board pursuant to subsection (3) of this rule.
(a) Such criteria shall at a minimum include the following:
1. quantifiable measurable effectiveness in the particular area of practice.
2. continuing professional development;
3. currency and scope of subject matter knowledge,
4. student and faculty feedback and feedback from employers of students; and
5. service to department, college and community.
(b) Such criteria may include the following:
1. educational qualificiations, efficiency, compatability, learning outcomes, character;
2. capacity to meet the educational needs of the community;
3. the length of time the duties and responsibility of this position are expected to be needed; and
4. such other criteria as shall be included by the board.
(4) Each board may hire full-time faculty positions that are not eligible for continuing contract.
(6) Each board shall by policy establish post-award performance criteria for faculty under continuing contract. Periodic review of continuing contract faculty through post-award performance criteria is intended to contribute to their continuing growth and development.
(a) Periodic review shall occur at least every three (3) years.
(b) Periodic review shall include, but not be limited to, factors as evidence of:
1. quantifiable measurable effectiveness in the particular area of practice;
2. continuing professional development;
3. currency and scope of subject matter knowledge;
4. student and faculty feedback and feedback from employers of students; and
5. service to the department, college, and community.
(b) The board may dismiss a full-time faculty employee under continuing contract upon
(8) In addition, each college, after receiving input from the faculty, shall develop appropriate criteria to measure student success, which may include but shall not be limited to the following factors, as appropriate: (i) demonstrated or documented learning gains, (ii) course completion rates, (iii) graduation and/or certification rates, (iv) continued success in subsequent and additional courses or educational pursuits and (v) job placements in the appropriate field. Such factors selected by the individual college shall be used, as appropriate, for the particular field of learning and the individual faculty member, as consideration in determining whether to grant a continuing contract pursuant to (3) above. Such factors shall also be used, as appropriate, in the review set forth in (6) above.
(10) Each Board may award multiple year contracts, annual contracts or contracts less than one year to full-time faculty employees. No multiple year contract may exceed three (3) years. Each board that awards multiple year contracts, annual contracts or contracts less than one year shall establish rules and policies concerning such contracts.
(11)In order to provide for a transition period for full-time faculty in the process for being considered for continuing contracts, each board may provide an exemption from the time requirements set forth in paragraph (2)(a) of this rule for faculty personnel being considered for an award of a continuing contract
Specific Authority 1001.02(1), (9). 1012.83, 1012.855 FS. Law Implemented 1012.83 FS. History–Formerly 6A-8.33, Repromulgated 12-19-74, Amended 12-9-75, 2-14-77, 12-26-77, 7-16-79, Formerly 6A-14.411, Amended 7-20-04,
When we began analyzing the 2012 Elections, we heard nothing but dire predictions. We were up against an unbelievable funding disadvantage due to the Supreme Court’s Ruling on Citizens United. The Presidential election was not a shoe-in and pundits were positive that the Democratically controlled US Senate was doomed.
What a difference a day – and a lot of hard work - makes.
Although Florida Democrats were outspent four to one, we re-elected Bill Nelson to the U.S. Senate, picked up four congressional seats, and made historic gains in the Florida Legislature.
FEA’s goals were to strengthen the “fire-wall” in the Florida Senate, increase the Democratic margins in the Florida House, defeat Amendments 1,3, 5, and 8 and retain the Florida Supreme Court justices.
One clear result from Tuesday’s election is the elimination of the Republican supermajority in the Florida Senate and House. This means the Republicans no longer carry two-thirds of all votes. Picking up two seats in the Senate and five seats in the House bring the supermajority to an end:
In recent years, Republicans have been able to limit debate and pass controversial bills. This change may push more debate and deliberation about controversial bills. Further, many seats won by Republicans were won with much more narrow margins – a dynamic that may also give pause for those members to act in more moderate ways since each must run again in two years.
Republicans can still ramrod through any legislation sought but the consequences and costs for doing so may be higher.
Why? Due to redistricting, there is now a clear path to achieving a more balanced Florida House of Representatives. A least 12 seats currently held by Republicans could be won by Democrats in 2014.
Locals had significant success and support for district school funding referendums:
· Alachua passed with 68% of the vote
· Leon passed with 76% of the vote
· Miami passed with 69% of the vote
· Pinellas passed with 67% of the vote
· Seminole passed with 56% of the vote
· Collier passed with 80% of the vote
· Pasco passed with 70% of the vote
Our track record:
· FEA recommended retention of all three Florida Supreme Court Judges –all three justices were retained despite being targeted by the right wing -- putting a stop to an unprecedented effort to hijack Florida’s highest court.
Our partners and the 2012 Ground Game:
Florida ran the strongest and largest ground game the state has ever seen. Progressives dominated the I-4 Corridor winning every major state legislative race in Orlando and picking up nearly every one of the legislative and local races in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
· Voter registration: Democrats surpassed Republicans in voter registration, and out-registered the GOP with Hispanics and women – surpassing the GOP in registration.
· Democrats cut the historical Republican absentee ballot advantage in half.
· Democrats dominated early voting, winning every day of in person early voting by substantial margins.
Through coordination with the Labor Community through the AFL-CIO and the progressive community through America Votes, we did what at times seemed impossible. Of course, we don’t have all the data compiled at this time, but our America Votes partners shared these preliminary numbers:
America Votes partners outlined five goals for the 2012 Election cycle. They met and exceeded those goals:
AV partners knocked on 1,302,158 doors and had 288,335 conversations at the door. In a race that Obama leads by about 50K votes, it’s clear AV’s effort made a difference. Thanks to AFSCME, FNM, SEIU, Fair Share Alliance, Mi Familia Vota and NCLR for doing the bulk of this work.
We picked up two seats, SD 14 and SD 34. While SD 14 was put away early, AV still knocked on 178,393 doors (see below for more). AV partners also knocked on 81,287 doors in SD 34 doing specific persuasion and GOTV for Sachs. AV’s ECO sent 8 pieces of persuasion mail (more than 400K pieces total) and two pieces of GOTV mail.
AV partners blanketed the Hispanic community in Orlando and Osceola counties. Partners worked together to avoid duplication and maximize resources. NCLR and Mi Familia Vota alone hit 71,000 doors in Orlando and Osceola. In HD 112 in South Florida, Florida New Majority executed a canvass and mail program that targeted 20,000 Cubans under 50 years of age, regardless of party registration, that helped pull Jose Javier Rodriguez across the finish line.
Nearly half a million of AV’s 1.3 million knocks took place in targeted Congressional districts that we won– CD 9, CD 18, CD 22 and CD 26.
AV mailed (with funding from FEA, AFSCME, SEIU, Planned Parenthood, and BISC) 440,000 pieces of mail to urge voters to vote no on Amendments 3, 5 and 8. Partners also carried tens of thousands of pieces of various No on Amendment literature and Yes to retain our judges. We won all of these important down ballot votes.
We’ve had significant victories to celebrate … but there is no time to rest on our laurels! We have much to accomplish in the next few months. On the national level, the ‘lame duck’ Congress must address the impending funding crisis or face billions in cuts to education and other programs. The 2013 Legislative Session is just around the corner with new faces, new leadership, and new dynamics to maneuver through. The Legislature will meet on November 20 in Organizational Session to set the stage for the March 5 start of Session. Interim Committee meetings begin on December 3 and run through February – so time is short. And then there’s VAM…
But before too much time passes, we each need to take time to think about the wins and the losses and begin planning now for victory in 2014.
As Fall Break approaches at New College, NCUFF looks back on a busy Mod.
*Bring your NCUFF travel mug to get your free coffee or tea*
Have a wonderful Fall Break!
See you October 24th at the Four Winds and at our next NCUFF meeting,