University Pay and Union Concern

April 6, 2017

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: John White, President, United Faculty of Florida

The union has pointed out that our pay is at the bottom of the State University System. Bargaining efforts are more focused on non-tenure track instructors rather than issues of concern to the faculty at large. And recent email blasts have been misleading. Therefore I would like a detailed explanation of the steps for the Faculty to decertify the union.

 

Response from FA President Pyati from the floor:
Decertification of a union is handled by the National Labor Relations Board. Briefly, 30% of members in the bargaining unit must sign a petition requesting a decertification election to be held by the NLRB. Signatures must be collected during non-work times and in non-work areas, without use of employer resources. If the majority votes for decertification, the union will be decertified. More detail is available at the NLRB’s website www.nlrb.gov.


Response from John White:
The means by which to decertify a union are readily available online. The intent of this anonymous question is to make a public anti-union political statement. There are also a number of inaccuracies in the question itself.

There is no evidence to suggest that our primary efforts in bargaining were focused primarily on non-tenure-track faculty. For tenure line faculty we bargained for—among many other things—across the board raises, compression and inversion adjustments, guarantees of ownership of intellectual property, guarantees of academic freedom, a fair and equitable promotion and tenure process, and even the eradication of a waiver of the right to judicial review (e.g., when or if the state legislature attempts to contravene parts of the CBA). Ours was the first and only chapter in the state to have won this important change to a CBA. In addition to these major accomplishments for tenure-line faculty, we also rectified a long-standing injustice: the lack of any merit-based promotion system for the university’s many Instructors and Lecturers. Rectifying this injustice was, the questioner should note, one of the top concerns listed by UNF faculty when we solicited their needs and goals for the last CBA. It was a major concern for faculty at large and it was the right thing to do.