Given the uncertainties around university budgets, the following is intended to quash several rumors as firmly as possible:
- Summer salaries are pro-rated in the collective bargaining agreement. Neither administrators nor faculty can negotiate any variation from this by themselves. That means that a chair cannot offer a faculty a course on condition that the faculty agrees to be paid less than normal. If you hear of such a situation, please contact the chapter immediately.
- Using or reading the term “financial exigency” does not change the terms of the collective bargaining agreement. Right now, UFF and USF are in negotiations over the entire contract, and if the administration and Trustees wanted to save money by changing the contract, they have the ability to propose changes at the table. Thus far, the administration/Trustees’ representatives have proposed two changes that represent marginal savings, and the UFF team has proposed addressing one of those interests in combination with interests that the chapter has.
- Layoff priorities are specified in the collective bargaining agreement. On this point, it appears that the administration and UFF are in agreement on the importance of avoiding layoffs: at the last faculty meeting, President Genshaft said that given her experience with retrenchments at other institutions, she would be horrified to lay off tenured and tenure-track faculty, and I believe her.
- Furloughs cannot be imposed without collective bargaining, and UFF does not see any need or reason to have furloughs at USF.
At this point, it is in everyone’s best interests to work together to reduce the damage done by budget cuts, and one way we can do so is to avoid spreading rumors.