Faculty Salaries

Questioner: Anonymous

Question posed to David Fenner, FA President

According to the National Education Association, faculty salaries at UNF are the lowest (or near lowest) in the Florida State University System which makes up 11 schools. Moreover, UNF salaries have been the lowest in the state for the past decade. What has the Faculty Association done to raise faculty salaries at UNF during this time? What is the Faculty Association doing to address the fact that UNF has the lowest faculty salaries in the state?

Answer from the Floor by David Fenner, FA President

Let me say a couple things about that. The first thing to say is that I am very, very clear on the dividing line between the Faculty Association and the Union, and the Union really takes care of matters of employment. So I’m careful not to sort of wade into those waters. To the degree to which Kally wants to talk to me about anything, I’m delighted. The second thing to say is that you probably know that the President of the Faculty Association is a member of the Board of Trustees, so I’m privy to information that’s coming to the BOT with regard to bargaining, and that kind of moves me on to, not exactly the management side, but I’m sitting there with the management side when I’m being briefed by the  attorney, so it would really be a conflict of interest for me to get into anything to do with salaries.  Having said all of that, I will say that last year we passed a resolution calling for a certain percentage of funds that might be realized from a performance funding model for the metrics to go to faculty bonuses.   And this summer I worked out—and I’m delighted to share this information with Kally or with anybody who would ask—numbers with regard to how that might look in terms of how much money we were talking about in general for faculty and staff bonuses, so forth and so on. Those numbers didn’t go anywhere but I’m keen to do whatever—I will follow Kally’s lead with regard to support for enhancing the salaries of the faculty.

CBA Training for Department Chairs

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: Pamela S. Chally, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

The UNF Constitution requires that department chairs “Department Chairs shall have an understanding of applicable collective bargaining agreements.” However anecdotal evidence suggests that some Department Chairs do not have a basic understanding of the UNF-UFF agreement. This lack of understanding can result in dysfunctional conflict, unnecessary grievances, and in some instances law suits. What training is provided to new chairs for understanding the CBA? What training is provided to existing administrators to update them on changes to the CBA? The UNF administration spends hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for an outside lawyer to represent them in CBA negotiations, how much money is spent on compliance training?

Response from the Floor by Provost Chally

That is an area that I believe we can improve. It is my intention that there will be a training for those individuals identified.

Board of Trustees Bargaining Representative

Questioner: Anonymous

Posted to: David S. Szymanski, UNF President

Can we please know how much UNF paid Leonard Carson each of the past two years?


Response from the Floor by Vice President Shari Shuman:
In fiscal year 2017, we paid our Chief Negotiator $54000, in 2018 fiscal year, we paid $124000, and this year, we have paid $4200 so far. If we did not pay our Chief Negotiator in this way, we would be paying more for a full-time staff member to support the negotiation needs of the university administration.


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.

Using an Outside Attorney for Union Negotiations

January 12, 2017

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: Radha Pyati, President/Designee, UNF Faculty Association

Why does the administration employ an expensive outside attorney to negotiate with the union, when the union/faculty do not similarly employ an attorney to represent us and negotiate on their own? We have many in-house lawyers, including John Delaney, and all of our in-house lawyers recently received very large raises because they threatened to walk out en masse, in a state where faculty do not have the right to strike. Couldn’t the fees that Leonard Carson charges each year be put instead toward a faculty/staff raise?

FA President Radha Pyati spoke with UNF President John Delaney about the reasons for hiring an outside attorney to negotiate with the union. President Delaney said the following: he has worked with an outside attorney to negotiate with public employee unions since 1991, he appreciates Leonard Carson’s noncombative style, and an experienced labor lawyer is needed to ensure that provisions agreed to are strictly legal. An outside negotiator also acts as a buffer for both sides. Also, he is willing to stand up to me and the administration team when we are off base, and an internal negotiator may not feel that independence.

UFF Questioner items

Questioner: Dr. Carol Ledbetter

Posted to: Cheryl Frolich, UFF President

Six written items were submitted by a single questioner from the floor during the Question Period. Three items included specific questions, while three items were statements that did not contain specific questions. Those items that were in question format are listed below. The three statements that did not include a question are not included.

1. Decorum and civility: I believe that civil discourse is our ability to have conversation about topics about which we disagree, and our ability to listen to each other’s perspectives. Should we evaluate the way the union conducts business on our behalf on our campus? I believe it is our responsibility to insure that we are represented in a manner consistent with the way we would represent ourselves.

2. Brooks College of Health: I am concerned about some of the activities that occurred during the summer that involved union representation activities within  my college. While I am uninformed about the nature of the activities, I am aware of the aftermath. Members of our College are concerned; some are angry;  some feel that their voices were not heard. Did the union follow due process?

3. The union leadership: This week I learned that only two union representatives participated in contract negotiations with the university. Is this consistent with best practice?

Written Response from Dr. Cheryl Frohlich, UFF President:


From:Frohlich, Cheryl

Sent:Friday, September 02, 2011 2:33 AM

To: Bush, Melissa; Plumlee, Patrick; Harrison, Jeffrey

Cc:Lai-Chin, Fong Chuen; Jordan, Cynthia

Subject: RE: questions from the September 1st FA meeting


Dr. Plumlee,

I was forwarded these questions that Dr. Carol Ledbetter asked at today’s Faculty Association Meeting.  However, questions 2, 3, and 5 are not questions but statements.  Therefore, there is no answer.  It appears that you granted her the ability to use the Faculty Association as an avenue to state her views. I do not believe that doing so is appropriate.

Furthermore, at the meeting, Cynthia Jordan raised a point of order which was totally ignored by you. At the time, this surprised me that one of the members of the faculty association should be ignored when she raised a point of order. I received from CJ the email she sent to you with a copy to me stating …”I was VERY UPSET today at the FA Meeting when you did not INSIST on Dr. Ledbetter presenting her questions promptly instead of rambling on about the union when I specifically raised a point of order asking her to state her questions.” I guess I’m confused when a point of order was raised how could you allow this individual to ramble on which is verified since three of the listed items Melissa sent are not questions but are Dr. Ledbetter’s opinion and two of the questions I had answered when I spoke.

Lastly, please advise me as to what questions will be listed, since I can only see three very short questions; of the following three questions, I believe, as I said, that two of the questions were answered during my time allotted to share information with the Faculty Association.  Therefore, do you wish for me to repeat what I said and, I believe, the notes taken by the Faculty Association’s secretary would verify that I had answered two of the following questions.
However, I would gladly answer all three, if that is what you wish.

Therefore, do clarify for me if the following three questions will be listed in next Month’s Faculty Association’s package in the question area (I believe that is the correct area) and await an answer from us. The other three questions (2, 3, and 5) are not questions but statements that Dr. Ledbetter was allowed to make.  Therefore, are Dr. Ledbetter’s statements 2, 3, and 5 going to be listed as questions and if so how does one reply in Faculty Association guidelines to a statement that is supposed to be a question?

The three questions that I see are:
1.    Should we evaluate the way the union conducts business on our behalf on our campus?
2.     Did the union follow due process in the Brooks College of Health?
3.    This week I learned that only two union representatives participated in contract negotiations with the university.  Is this consistent with best practice?

I await your reply…..



From: Plumlee, Patrick

Sent: Friday, September 02, 2011 1:00 PM

To: Frohlich, Cheryl

Cc: Harrison, Jeffrey; Solano, Judith

Subject: RE: questions from the September 1st FA meeting


Dr. Frohlich,

Although several of the statements that were submitted in the written document could be construed to constitute questions, they were not directly phrased in that way. However, three items (as you indicate below) were in the form of questions, which were directed to the UFF President. Answer them if you wish to do so.  The Faculty Association has no authority to compel anyone to answer a question.  If we do receive a response, we will make it available on the Faculty Association website.

With respect to the conduct of the meeting, if you feel that I failed to proceed appropriately, you are free to lodge a complaint with the Executive Committee.  I am forwarding a copy of this to Dr. Harrison, Executive Committee Chair, and our Parliamentarian, Judy Solano, so that they will be aware a complaint might be forthcoming.



J. Patrick Plumlee,
President, UNF Faculty Association
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science and Public Administration
University of North Florida
1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL  32224
Tel: 904-620-1928 FAX:  904-620-2979