What it means to be a public employee in a “right to work” state

Florida, like many other states, has a constitutional “right to work” provision. While these right-to-work laws grant collective bargaining through a union that represents all of its constituents (members of the union or not), they do not guarantee the continuation of particular positions or a living wage. Conversely, right to work laws prohibit public employees from striking. Hence, unions in right to work states have significantly curtailed leverage in bargaining. Our union’s strength–at the bargaining table and beyond–comes from our membership; each additional member strengthens our ability to bargain for better work conditions.

For further reading and information, see the links below:

Poverty, Productivity, and Public Health: The Effects of “Right to Work” Laws on Key Standards of Living


Florida State Constitution on right to work.


“Right-to-work” states still have lower wages.


Deceptive Right to Work Laws Hurt Everyone.


Pennsylvania State System on Strike


Thanks to UCF’s UFF Chapter for providing the template from which this was produced.

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Lowest Paid Faculty at UNF

There are 13 of our UNF faculty colleagues on 9-month contracts making less than $46,000 after an average of 12 years of employment (based on a median start date of August 2004).

There are seven of our UNF faculty colleagues on 12-month contracts making less than $56,000 after an average of 13 years of employment (based on a median start date of August 2003).

This table represents faculty from Biology, Chemistry, English, Exceptional Deaf and Interpreter Education, Math and Statistics, and Physics.

Instructors (9-month) who make < $46,000
Salary Rank Date
$45,838 8/7/2007
$45,663 12/21/2001
$45,269 8/9/2004
$44,825 8/7/2006
$44,688 7/1/2012
$44,492 5/4/2004
$43,681 8/9/2004
$42,563 8/13/2007
$41,884 8/8/2005
Senior Instructors (9-month) who make < $46,000
Salary Rank Date
$45,768 8/8/2001
$45,667 8/9/2004
$44,940 1/2/2000
$43,461 8/9/2004
Lecturers (12-month) who make < $53,667
Salary Rank Date
$49,642 8/7/2006
$46,865 8/7/2005
Senior Lecturers (12-month) who make < $56,000
Salary Rank Date
$55,929 8/8/1999
$54,567 8/8/1999
$53,872 8/9/2003
$52,923 8/8/2000
$48,328 8/7/2005

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UNF Salaries Compared to others in SUS

Did you know?

Among the 11 established State University System schools in Florida, UNF ranks last in average faculty salary (NEA Higher Education Advocate, March 2016 issue). When corrected for cost of living, UNF’s average faculty salary still ranks 9th out of 11.


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Paid Family Leave Across the SUS

Of the 11 established institutions in the Florida State University System (SUS), six have some provision for paid family leave. UNF is not one of them.

Florida SUS schools with paid family leave policies
FIU 12-month faculty – Full pay not to exceed 26 weeks (taken consecutively); 9-month faculty – once in career leave (or split across multiple leave) at full pay during Fall or Spring semester and at 0.33 FTE during Summer A or Summer B, for a period not to exceed 26 consecutive weeks. If more than 26 weeks for either 12 or 9 month faculty, can use accrued leave time.
UCF Two Options: 1) Modified work duties; or 2) Paid Parental leave – to qualify employee must be employed for at least 1 academic year on at least 0.75 FTE line. Upon request granted period of 19.5 contiguous weeks (for twelve-month employees only) or one regular (Fall or Spring) semester, (or up to 3 months for non-instructional employees). If both parents are employees of the University, only one parent may request paid parental leave. Employee must agree to return for at least 1 year following use of the benefit. Requires signed agreement in advance of leave or employee must repay expenses (e.g., salary, benefits). Cannot be employed elsewhere during leave. Those who participate in the program (and return for at least 1 year) will have the total number of hours used deducted from the employee’s sick leave balance that the employee has remaining at the time of separation from the University.
FAU Two categories: 1) Unpaid parental leave; 2) Paid parental leave – one semester, not more than once every 3 years, commitment to return, not two faculty members for same birth/adoption, required signed agreement (i.e., repayment if no signed agreement in advance of paid leave), cannot be employed elsewhere during leave
FSU Once in career, a paid parental leave not to exceed 6 months, within a year from when the faculty member becomes a parent (birth/adoption). No two faculty members for same birth/adoption. Commitment to reimbursement (upon separation from the university, unused accrued leave will be applied to repayment, but if there is not enough to cover the balance, the faculty member is not responsible for the difference). Commitment to return to university for at least 1 year (or responsible for repayment). Required signed agreement.
USF No more than twice in career, can request and be granted a paid parental leave for the birth or adoption of a child not to exceed one semester. No two faculty members at same time for same birth/adoption. Commitment to return for at least 1 year. Commitment to reimburse upon separation from university using accrued leave time. If faculty member does not stay at least 1 year, then faculty member “may be required to reimburse the University for the liquidated equivalent of all salary paid while on parental leave.”
UF (in negotiations now, so may change soon) Paid Parental Leave Program. A faculty member shall be provided with up to 6 weeks of advanced sick or vacation leave. May also use accrued leave, not to exceed a total of 6 calendar months. Faculty members may take up to six years to repay the leave hours advanced to them as part of this program. If a faculty member resigns before paying back the time, unused leave balances will be applied to the leave repayment.
Florida SUS schools without paid family leave policies
UNF Can use accrued sick time
FAMU Can use accrued sick time
UWF Can use accrued sick time
New College (2011-2014) Can use accrued sick time
FGCU Unpaid unless other leave benefits are accessed

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Admin Proposed Banking Policy Shortchanges Faculty

Based on the current draft of the Banking Policy, faculty who earn a course release will have allowed UNF to collect on average ~$7,500 more in tuition and fees than the cost of an adjunct instructor to cover the course. The total UNF revenue from graduate thesis tuition and fees alone is at least $500,000 annually.

Based on the proposed plan…

Undergraduate DIS

Based on the Banking Policy draft put forward by Academic Affairs in September, twenty banking points are needed for a course release. Faculty would earn 1 banking point for each 3 credits of undergraduate DIS supervised. Hence, 60 credits of undergraduate DIS must be supervised to earn a release.

The cost per undergraduate credit for fall 2016 through summer 2017 is $175.50. [https://www.unf.edu/tuition/]  Therefore, UNF brings in 60 credits per release × $175.50 per credit = $10,530 in tuition and fees by the time a faculty member supervises sufficient undergraduate DIS to earn a release.

The amount paid to adjuncts varies across campus. For example, most adjuncts are paid $2200 per three credit hour course while other adjuncts (Biology for instance) are paid $3,000 per 3 credit lecture (if the instructor has a PhD or the class has >100 students). In the former instance, UNF collects $8330 upon each release; in the latter situation, UNF collects $7,530 upon each release.

Graduate DIS

For a release earned by teaching graduate DIS, the revenue generated for the university is even greater.

Faculty would earn 2 banking points for each 3 credits of DIS supervised. Hence, 30 credits of graduate DIS must be supervised to earn a release.

The cost per in-state graduate credit hour is $493.68 (compared to $1044.42 for out-of-state). Based solely upon in-state graduate tuition, the current proposal allows UNF to bring in $14,810 in tuition and fees by the time a faculty member supervises sufficient graduate DIS to earn a release (30 credits per release × $493.68 per credit). Subtracting the costs of a more expensive adjunct to cover while a faculty member has a release, UNF would still collect a bare minimum of $11,810 upon each release.

Direct Compensation

Some faculty have suggested that the Banking Policy should include provisions for compensating faculty at the equivalent of a summer course payment when said faculty have accumulated the appropriate banking credits but are unable to take course releases (e.g., due to program and department needs).

The median faculty salary at UNF is ~$67,700. Based on one 3 credit course as 12.5% of the 9-month appointment, the median cost for faculty summer pay is $8,460. Even at this higher payout, UNF still collects more than they pay out ($10,530 for a release earned via undergraduate DIS versus $8,460 for the supplemental pay).

Money Earned vs. Costs Incurred

The total UNF revenue from graduate thesis tuition and fees alone is at least $500,000 annually (i.e., excluding all revenues associated with traditional DIS).

The chart below shows the number of graduate thesis credit hours at UNF in 2015-16 was 982. The in-state tuition and fees for these credits is $493.68. Assuming all the students paid in-state tuition, UNF would have collected $484,796.76 on graduate thesis credits alone (982 credits × $493.68 per credit). However, many graduate students do not pay in- state tuition. Their cost per credit is $1,044.42. Hence, UNF collected well over $500,000 for graduate thesis credits in 2015-16 while incurring virtually no course-related expenditures.

The total number of graduate thesis hours at UNF can be found athttp://www.flbog.edu/resources/iud/credit_search.php. [Click <continue> twice, then set Graduate Course Type to “Graduate Thesis” and University to “UNF”].

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