Union Covid response

UFF-UNF’s Activity Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

As with the rest of the world, UFF-UNF continues to monitor the effects of the novel coronavirus. In March 2020, UNF moved all Spring and Summer 2020 on-campus courses to online/distance learning instruction, effectively limiting campus activities to essential services. UFF-UNF remains committed to ensuring transparency in universities policies related to faculty. In doing so, UFF-UNF continues impact bargaining sessions, resulting in various important agreements to support faculty rights. Below is a summary of UFF-UNF’s activities related to pandemic:
  1. Memorandum of Understanding (4/10/2020)
    • Ensures faculty ownership of faculty-created content of any course converted to remote instruction during the Spring and Summer semesters of 2020.
    • Permits faculty who are unable to deliver assigned courses to completion the ability to transfer course materials to another faculty member during the Spring and Summer 2020 semesters.
    • Allows individual faculty to determine administration of ISQs for courses taught in Spring and Summer 2020 semesters.
    • Allows individual faculty to determine use of ISQs for courses taught in Spring and Summer 2020 to be used for annual evaluation and tenure appraisal.
    • Allows individual faculty to determine use of ISQs for courses taught in Spring and Summer 2020 to be used for tenure or promotion dossier.
    • Adjusted the administration schedule Spring ISQs for timely completion of faculty ISQ opt-out form.
    • Confirms that tenure-track faculty can exercise the option to increase the tenure-earning period by one year (in addition to periods pursuant to the CBA), and that the University will collaborate with UFF for consequential protocol enforcement.
    • Acknowledges online attendance to approved conferences for Spring and Summer 2020 semesters be treated as equal to in-person attendance.
    • Confirms all other CBA rights will be retained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Town Hall event (5/19-5/29/2020)
    • In response to the BOG’s plan to move forward with reopening universities in the fall, UFF-UNF planned a Town Hall event to discuss a range of issues affecting faculty, including remote work and campus safety.
    • Prior to the event, solicited feedback via a Google Doc where faculty could anonymously voice questions, comments, needs, and concerns about the reopening of campus in 2020.
    • Forwarded a list of 45 questions gathered from the Google Doc to Provost Rhodes and FA leaders and requested answers
    • Held a zoom Town Hall discussion with 70+ in attendance to develop policy positions on areas of evident consensus, to then be sent to Provost Rhodes and President Szymanski.
  3. Letter to Provost, President, and BOT (6/1-6/2/2020)
    • Sent letters to Provost Rhodes and President Szymanski (with the BOT cc’d), documenting consensus findings based on the May 29th Town Hall event, preceding activities related to the coronavirus pandemic, and BOG’s plan to reopen campus for the Fall 2020 semester.
    • Explained the purpose, timeline, and hopeful impacts of the Town Hall event.
    • Delivered consensus findings, including the need for guidelines to be driven by data/science; individual faculty rights to determine mode of teaching; implementation of CDC guidelines for cleaning/disinfecting campus spaces; implementation and enforcement of safety protocols for all individuals on campus.
    • Reported on Google Doc findings, including policy, safety, course instruction, and healthcare concerns.
  4. Letter to President (6/27/2020)
    • Urged President Szymanski to pause the university’s plan to reopen campus on August 5, 2020.
    • Asked for the implementation of a fully remote start of Fall 2020 classes, beginning August 17, 2020.
  5. Memorandum of Understanding (6/30/2020)
    • Retains the responsibility of UNF and UFF to responsibly plan for campus reopening, guided by the Florida Board of Governors Blueprint.
    • Commits UNF and UFF to incorporate the University’s environmental health and safety procedures and COVID-19 related protocols regarding high risk populations, social distancing, sanitizing and cleaning, prevention methods and transmission minimizations, and CDC, FLDOH, an DCDOH recommendations when enforcing procedures and recommendations.
    • Acknowledges the need to remain agile and ready to revise procedures and recommendations in preparation for the fall semester in addition to acknowledging the need for UNF and UFF to work together (along with the larger campus community) to create a safe campus environment.
    • Reinforces safety protocol procedures in Article 15 of the CBA.
    • Confirms all other CBA rights and collective bargaining rights will be retained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  6. Forum on Faculty Rights (7/31/2020)
    • Zoom event held for in-unit faculty to highlight faculty rights and protections per the CBA and MOUs reached as a result of impact bargaining.
    • Presented updates from the UFF-UNF Faculty Bargaining Team
    • Held a Q&A for faculty with questions concerning their rights in light of the COVID-19’s impact on faculty activities
  7. Memorandum of Understanding (9/1/2020)
    • Ensures faculty ownership of faculty-created content of any course converted to remote instruction during the Fall semester of 2020.
    • Permits faculty who are unable to deliver assigned courses to completion the ability to transfer course materials to another faculty member during the Spring and Summer 2020 semesters.
    • Ability of tenure-track faculty (including new faculty starting in the Fall 2020 semester) to increase the tenure-earning period by one year (timeline extended to December 15, 2020).
    • Ensures that attendance to online conferences be regarded as the same as in-person attendance for Fall 2020.
    • Confirms all other CBA rights will be retained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health and Safety Reporting
University Policy alongside Article 15 of the CBA dictates how and when campus community members should report, investigate, and resolve unsafe conditions, including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reporting: As university employees, it is our duty to report unsafe conditions, per university policy, to a direct supervisor. These unsafe conditions should be reported to Environmental Health and Safety online via: https://www.unf.edu/ehs/Report_a_Safety_Hazard.aspx
Investigating: University employees should not perform tasks which involve acts or conditions they have reported to be unsafe until receiving clearance from their supervisor. The Director of EHS shall reply to the reported concern within 7 days after notification of the faculty member’s concern. This reply shall be in writing when the concern was communicated in writing.
Outcomes and Protections: If the outcome or resulting action doesn’t adequately alleviate a faculty member’s concerns or meet the time requirements for intervention, employees should reach out to UFF-UNF. There are no penalties or disincentives related to reporting hazards or unsafe acts.

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