AA Policy: Former Administrators Keep Their Salary When They Go Back to Faculty Roles

Former administrators retain the rate of pay they received as administrators even after they have returned to their non-administrator faculty roles. Typically, former administrators keep all or a portion of the stipend they received for their administrator role (depending on length of service) and the only adjustment to their former administrative salaries is that they are adjusted to 9 months rather than 12. This results in former administrators being paid significantly more than their departmental same-rank peers. In addition, former administrators are usually awarded a one-semester sabbatical at full administrator pay before returning to their faculty roles. According to the Provost, this practice is official Academic Affairs policy (the actual AA policy, while used universally for administrators, refers only to associate deans and chairs returning to faculty roles rather than to deans, vice presidents, former provosts, etc.).

COMPARE FORMER UNF ADMINISTRATORS’ SALARIES TO THOSE OF THEIR PEERS

There are a number of concerns regarding this practice. First, it is costly to maintain. UNF spends over $440,000 annually to provide higher pay for former administrators with no resultant benefits to the university community. Second, UNF remains at the bottom of the SUS in terms of faculty pay. Faculty are repeatedly told that there is no money for even modest faculty raises because of the reduction in base E & G funding from the state related to the performance metrics. Third, the legality of the practice is questionable. State law (Florida Statutes, Title 14, Chapter 215.425) prohibits additional compensation past the expiration of one’s contracted duties, it requires that additional compensation schemes must be open to all employees, and it requires regular assessment to evaluate the work of those receiving additional pay. Because this practice appears to be in violation of state statute, we have filed an inquiry with Florida’s Chief Inspector General.

Note: Though public record (and available upon request), we have removed individual faculty names from the data above. Again, our goal is not to single out specific former administrators but rather to highlight the ramifications of the practice itself.

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Florida Lawmakers Attack Public Employee Unions – Again

ALEC-Modeled Anti-Union Bill Introduced in Florida House

State House Representative Scott Plakon (R-Seminole) just filed House Bill 11, an anti-public employee union bill that was originally created and promulgated by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and that was introduced in other states. Were the bill to become law, it would effectively decertify public employee unions with membership below 50% of all eligible employees. The bill would also require yearly registration of bargaining units that would include financial information about its individual members. The legislation specifically but inexplicably exempts law enforcement and firefighter unions.  

The UNF-UFF current membership is 38%. Thus, were the legislation to pass, all UNF faculty would lose the ability to engage in collective bargaining, to enforce a standard contract, to protect individual faculty members’ academic freedom, and to ensure equity in terms of course load.  Correspondingly, university administration could hire, fire, alter work assignments, and pay different faculty per its whims rather than via specific and negotiated standards.We need you now more than ever!

It is time to fight back against yet more attacks on public servants. Join us now!

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UFF Strongly Encourages all Departments to Develop Guidelines

The current UNF-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement, covering academic years 2014-2015 through 2016-2017 refers to the existence of a within-discipline standard for the purposes of promotion and tenure at UNF.  UFF encourages all departments to develop discipline-specific guidelines or merely state what other standards are to be used within their academic unit. For example, departments that do not chose to develop their own set of guidelines are encouraged to refer to those published by leading professional organizations in their field. Not having any discipline-specific guidelines leaves promotion and tenure decisions entirely at the discretion of administration, without feedback from departmental faculty.

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Processes for Establishing Guidelines for Evaluation and Promotion

Article 9.7 of the CBA states that each department may adopt guidelines for evaluation and promotion. The faculty and chair may prepare draft guidelines and distribute them to all faculty for review and comment, and ultimately a vote. Deans are allowed 30 days to ensure the guidelines “comply with the [CBA] and the mission and goals of the University”, then approve them or return to the department for revision.
Provided the department responds to the Dean’s comments within 60 days, the Dean does not have the power to modify the guidelines. Once the faculty, chair and Dean are in agreement, the CBA gives the Provost the power to review and promulgate the guidelines, but not to edit the guidelines. If the Provost decides not to promulgate the guidelines, they shall be submitted to the UFF and UNF-BOT bargaining teams for immediate negotiation.
Please let UFF know if this process was not followed in your department by completing this brief survey

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Political Activity Do’s and Don’ts for Faculty

We each have the Constitutional right to the freedom of speech and free association, although when exercised in the course of public sector employment, the courts have placed restrictions on our First Amendment free speech rights. As public employees, we have additional Constitutional protections in the workplace that those in the private sector may not enjoy. In-unit faculty are also protected by the provisions in our Collective Bargaining Agreement in regards to our Constitutional rights and the right to due process for disciplinary action (see Articles 27 and 30). Nevertheless, as an employee of a public university in the state of Florida, there are some general guidelines and best practices for engaging in political activity as it relates to your position at UNF. Though the following list is not meant to be comprehensive, it provides some basic do’s and don’ts.

POLITICAL ACTION can be defined as persuading government officials via any medium, such as signing petitions, organizing or participating in demonstrations, distributing fliers, political fund raising, and political outreach.

IT IS OK to volunteer for and engage in political activities on your own time (including legitimate leave time), with your own equipment, and via a non-UNF server.

IT IS OK to discuss politics in and out of the classroom within the educational contexts of learning, research, and teaching your subject.

AVOID volunteering and engaging in political activities while at UNF during regular business hours and even if not in a scheduled activity.

DO NOT use your UNF email account for political action (it becomes public record).

DO NOT use UNF property for political activity including, but not limited to, phones, computers, printers, copiers, university administered websites, official university letterhead, or official university logos.

DO NOT direct students to volunteer or engage in political action as part of their class requirements.

DO NOT engage in political initiatives and mention your institutional affiliation. Instead, give a disclaimer indicating that your actions and statements are your own and not those of the University.

This list is not meant to discourage civic engagement at UNF, an important part of campus life. For more resources on this topic, see below:

http://www.acenet.edu/the-presidency/columns-and-features/Pages/Legal-Watch-Litigation-and-regulation-in-academe.aspx

https://www.aaup.org/academic-freedom-students-and-professors-and-political-discrimination

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