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.
NCUFF Newsletter >