STOP GUNS ON CAMPUS BILL FROM GOING TO THE HOUSE FLOOR
The Guns on Campus legislation is expected to go to the House floor in the next few days for consideration. House Speaker Crisafulli has the power to stop this bill and he needs to hear from you right away. Please take a moment to call his office and tell the staffer that you want the Speaker not to bring HB 4001 up for a vote this year. 850-717-5051
Despite widespread opposition ranging from College administrators, faculty, students, campus law enforcement officials and YOU, many House members are committed to passing this dangerous bill, one that will undermine the safety of Florida’s campus communities.
The bill–a part of model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)–specifically deletes current provision of law prohibiting concealed carry licensees from openly carrying handgun or carrying concealed weapon or firearm into college or university facility. Current law does not prohibit the carry of a stun gun or nonlethal electric weapon or device designed solely for defensive purposes and the weapon does not fire a dart or projectile.
The United Faculty of Florida opposes this legislation. We concur with the vast majority of faculty, students and law enforcement that prohibiting firearms on college and university campuses, except by trained law enforcement and security officers, is an essential element of an overall campus safety plan. The bill is also opposed by the Florida Board of Governors, the University Police Chiefs, the University Presidents, the League of Women Voters and many more organizations. At least 14 Florida newspapers have ran editorials opposing this bill!
Click HERE for more information on the bill and for talking points
It’s Not About the Money
Why Teachers Strike
Beware: “Study Sites” Posting Final Exams and Faculty-Owned Materials
In recent years, a number of websites have been created that ostensibly help college students study more efficiently and effectively. Sites such as studyblue.com offer students a means for accessing materials posted by other (generally former) students in a particular class. In other words, the site posts class notes, powerpoint slides, and even midterm and final exams from prior semesters. They do so without the knowledge or consent of the faculty who created those materials. Furthermore, these sites publish exams that in many cases could only have been copied through cheating.
When one of our chapter’s officers contacted studyblue.com to ask that her materials be removed from the site, she was told that the onus was on her to determine which specific materials needed to be removed and why (which itself requires creating an account through the site). She was also told that they would not remove materials without copyright and that even those materials that were copyrighted might not be removed (citing “fair use”).
A preliminary search shows that a number of UNF faculty members’ midterm and final exams are posted on the studyblue.com site.
“It is going to be a nuclear war between the government, the unions, the Republicans and the Democrats,” Trujillo said on the air Sept. 30. “That war is coming.”
Why continuing contracts matter; State College of Florida trustees should rescind vote to eliminate tenure
Jennifer Proffitt, UFF President
State College of Florida Board Eliminates Tenure
LAKEWOOD RANCH — Starting next July, new faculty members hired by the State College of Florida will not be able to earn tenure.
By a 7-1 vote Tuesday night, college trustees ended a longtime continuing contract system for SCF teachers. As of July 1, new faculty members at the Manatee County-based school will work on annual contracts at the only state school in Florida that does not offer tenure to qualified employees.
Bill to Allow Concealed Weapons on Campus: Round 2
The fight to keep guns off of the campuses of Florida’s public universities and colleges continues. Florida Carry, Inc., a group with close ties to the NRA and ALEC, is pushing the issue even harder in the Florida Legislature now that their appeal has been denied by the First District Court of Appeals. If signed into law, the ALEC-modeled bill would allow guns on all of Florida’s public college and university campuses (with no restrictions as to where on campus one could “carry”). And just as it happened last year, SB 68 and HB 4001 continue to move through committees–along party-line and members highly ranked by the NRA–despite overwhelming argumentation and evidence against these bills.
Note: The bill’s sponsors, Representative Steube and Senator Evers, have also introduced the euphemistically titled “School Safety” bill that would allow some teachers and staff to carry concealed weapons in Florida’s public K-12 schools.
Our chapter is taking on this challenge with as much might and effort as we can muster. We have joined with university administration, officers of the UNF Student Union, and other interested parties in order to coordinate our efforts to counter the falsehoods used to promote this bill. UNF-UFF has also joined with other UFF chapters, the statewide organization, The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, and the Florida League of Women Voters to fight this misguided initiative. Chapter leaders have been diligently disseminating valid information that counters the gun lobby’s arguments. To that end, we recently a piece published in the Florida Times Union and will have a longer and more detailed piece appearing shortly in The Tallahassee Democrat. (These pieces are in response to a “student letter” that misuses data and promotes a culture of fear in order to express the NRA’s talking points.) We also recently appeared on First Coast Connect (listen to the broadcast via the link directly below this post) to discuss our concerns about this bill.
Click HERE to leann more about the issue and how to fight to keep guns off of Florida’s public campuses.
On Monday October 5, UNF-UFF President John White spoke out against the Campus Carry Bill (HB 4001 & SB 68) on WJCT’s First Coast Connect.
Click HERE for a link to the broadcast. Also see our “Guns on Campus” page for more information about the legislation, its advocates, and the facts about guns on campus.
Christie Joins Ranks of Republican Party Primary Union-Bashers (again)
Teachers Unions “Deserve a Punch in the Face”
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently sought attention by singling out teachers’ unions as worthy of violence and destruction. In an effort to portray himself as a tough union-buster a la Scott Walker and to fuel a rise out of the bottom-dwellers of Republican presidential hopefuls, Christie recently called teachers’ unions the “single most destructive force in public education.” Christie claimed that teachers’ unions care nothing for students but care solely about higher wages and benefits for themselves. Forgetting that virtually all members of teachers’ unions chose to pursue low-paying and often derided careers working with children, Christie also ignored the oft-stated actual goals of the NEA and AFT: that America needs to invest heavily in creating a strong educational system, that we need to diminish the role of standardized testing and scripted curricula, that we need smaller classrooms, and that the poorly disguised move to privatize education is dangerous to all American students.
The scariest issue here revolves not around Christie’s vacuous claims but rather on the fact that he represents the views of an increasingly large, misinformed, and wealthy demographic that is openly hostile toward the very notion of unions. Read more HERE.
When Teaching Becomes a Crime
A proposed Kansas bill would make it easy for educators to face jail time for showing “harmful materials.” Lawmakers say they are only trying to protect students, but are they really trying to discredit public school educators?
Click HERE to read full article. Read an article in The Atlantic about parents and students increasing desire to avoid new or potentially controversial ideas on college campuses. Also see satire of this and similar actions in The Onion
Law Defines Professors as Management
(and thus not eligible for collective bargaining)
Full-time faculty members at Ohio public institutions are objecting to proposed legislation with big implications for their right to organize unions. Tucked deep into a 3,090-page budget bill pending before the state’s House Finance Committee is language that would reclassify professors who participate in virtually anything other than teaching and research as supervisors or managers, and therefore exempt from collective bargaining. So serving on a committee, for example, turns a professor into a manager.
For the entire text of the article, click HERE.
Outstanding Faculty Service Award, 2014-2015
Dr. Susan Perez
UNF-UFF Vice President & Associate Professor of Psychology
In addition to her many and ongoing service contributions to UNF, Susan has been an essential part of our faculty’s union. Currently serving as our chapter’s vice president, she has this year alone led the bargaining team (recently completing nine month’s worth of negotiations on a three-year contract), served as a union-administration liaison and as grievance co-counsel, and has been a writer and/or editor of virtually all UNF-UFF communications with faculty. She is very deserving of this recognition!