FSU Update on Bargaining

3/6/17

We’ve met with the Administration many times since the last update: 

  • Salaries:  We will be bargaining these soon. 
  • Research Intensive Semester for junior faculty: We proposed a junior faculty sabbatical (research intensive semester) for pre-tenure track faculty. The Administration opposed this for budgetary reasons. 
  • Difference in pay leave:  We proposed a leave that would allow an additional form of sabbatical (faculty would choose between this or the existing sabbatical and leaves) for tenure track faculty that could be a teaching free or reduced teaching (faculty’s choice) semester every three years.  Faculty would be paid the difference between their current salary and the lowest Associate Lecturer salary.  This would allow for junior faculty to take a reduced teaching load at no or low cost.  The Administration opposed this proposal (saying we already have a great sabbatical policy and that the leave for junior faculty would cost money) and refused to offer a counter proposal (even one that in their view was cost neutral). 
  • Late career options:  We proposed phased and partial retirement options for our members, based on a 2010 labor-management committee recommendation.  The Administration is interested in the phased retirement option (reducing your time with a corresponding reduction in salary before retirement) similar to what UMass Amherst has, which we continue to negotiate.   
  • Academic Freedom: The Administration wants to add language in Article 8.3 and 8.4 here.  In turn, the FSU would add the language in red in 8.2.  We said that faculty are fearful that this language is too vague and may be used more broadly against us.  They are re-working the language.  Your input on these changes is important. 
  • Approval of chair for absences:   The Administration wants faculty to obtain preapproval from their chairs for planned absences and compensatory meetings/assignments during the semester, which must be noted on their syllabi. We told the Administration that we do not want this in the contract.  Let us know your thoughts. 
  • Changes in workload, tenure standards:   The Administration has proposed to eliminate language that states

●  that tenure and promotion standards must remain the same during the three-year bargaining contract (but these standards can be re-negotiated during bargained).

that average faculty workload practices of departments/programs in the recent past cannot change during the three-year bargaining contract (but these can be re-negotiated during bargaining).

●● We have objected to making these changes in the contract. 

  • NTT Service and Scholarship: We proposed full-time appointments for certain NTTs (possibly Senior Lecturers and/or Senior Lecturer II’s) that would include a 3/3 teaching load plus 25% scholarship and/or service. For other NTT faculty who are benefitted, we have proposed that while service should be treated as optional, it should be encouraged and rewarded with several incentives.  We are waiting for a response from the Administration. 
  • Emeritus Status for Senior Lecturers:  We proposed that Senior Lecturers be able to have the title and privileges of Emeritus status.  The Administration says that this title is a Board of Trustee title only for retired full professors, and that all faculty maintain their email accounts and library privileges upon retirement. 
  • Longevity Pay: The FSU proposed to increase this payment, based on years of service and paid upon retirement. The Administration rejected this proposal citing the budget crisis. 
  • Professor 2: We proposed an additional rank of Professor 2 after promotion to Professor. The Administration is interested in pursuing this in another bargaining round (when there is not a budget crisis).
  • Working conditions:  We proposed that bargaining unit members have access to an office with a desk and chairs, space to provide confidentiality when meeting with students, and a university provided computer and access to a printer, as well as adequate resources to perform our teaching, research, and scholarship.  The Administration rejected this proposal. 
  • Class Size:  We proposed that any increase in class sizes or class size minimums must have a corresponding decrease in work in other areas of unit member responsibility such that the overall workload does not increase. The Administration rejected this proposal. 
  • Class Schedule Times- We proposed to eliminate MWF class times and have classes be scheduled for once or twice a week only. The Administration says that departments can already do this by talking to their colleges, and they do not want to mandate this in the contract. 
  • Union work:  The Administration wants to reduce the number of course load reductions (CLRs) for union work and to disallow banking CLRs for this work.  This will hurt our ability to provide services to you.   
  • AFRS:  The Administration wants to require faculty to complete these.  
  • Waivers for student letters on promotions:  The Administration does not want students’ names to appear on the table of contents in promotion materials (currently, faculty have the right to see the names of all letter writers, including students, even if they waived their right to read the letters). 
  • Librarians: We proposed clarifying the process for flexible work options and a flexible work week, addressing compensation issues related to increased workload, creating a process for title and compensation changes when the nature of an individual librarian’s workload changes significantly, counting family leave as accrued time for promotional purposes, and formalizing the content of the librarian annual review. The Administration has not yet responded.
  • CAPS: See the prior update on this.
  • Distance Learning: We have not bargained this yet. 
  • Clinical Nursing Faculty: We gave the Administration our proposals that clarify workload and appointment, reappointment, and promotional criteria and procedures.

Sincerely,

Marlene Kim

FSU President and Professor, Economics

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