Archive for September, 2008

Florida Retirement System note from FEA

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Like many other members of the Florida Education Association, I just received the following from FEA Treasurer Clara Cook:

The news this week regarding our nation’s financial system has no doubt caused great concern for you and our members. While the news has been terrible, it appears so far that the Florida Retirement System (FRS) remains relatively stable and well diversified. While not immune from the losses occurring across the financial markets, Florida seems better positioned than almost every other state when it comes to the overall funding and performance of our retirement system. Our state’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Alex Sink, issued a statement this week and I’ll provide you the following quotes from her statement as guidance on the current state of the FRS portfolio:

On Lehman Brothers-

“The Florida Treasury held $139.5 million par value in Lehman Brothers Holding, Inc., bonds as of Friday, September 12, 2008. Of this amount, $104.1 million was senior debt and $35.4 million was subordinated debt. The total exposure represents less than 0.6 percent of Treasury investments, which total $24 billion. The Treasury is proceeding with an orderly liquidation of the subordinated debt this month.”

On the FRS portfolio-

“As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, my highest priority during the last 20 months has been working to increase safeguards over Floridians’ tax dollars. Under my direction, the Treasury has tightened its investment decisions and limited exposure to any one individual corporation. While our nation is experiencing significant financial disorder, investment firms can and do fail from time to time, and investors must position portfolios to weather financial storms. We have positioned Florida’s Treasury to meet the cash needs of investors and balance the obligations of the state.”

While there are no guarantees… I believe the CFO has accurately outlined the challenges presented in the markets and has been proactive in managing the risks associated with investing.

Clara Cook, Secretary/Treasurer
Florida Education Association
Imagine the Future


Draft agenda, September 19 meeting

Monday, September 15th, 2008

UFF-USF Chapter meeting
September 19, 2008
SOC 304, Noon

  1. Agenda/introductions
  2. Membership
  3. Michael Berube visit
  4. Reports
    • Political activism

    • Grievances
    • Bargaining
    • Treasury
    • Communications
    • Faculty Senate
  5. Other business
  6. For the good of the order

Bargaining message to unit

Monday, September 15th, 2008

The UFF-USF Bargaining Team sent the following to the bargaining unit as USF on Wednesday, September 10:

A message from the UFF-USF Bargaining Team

Last Thursday, the Trustees’ bargaining team made what appeared to us from the remarks of the Trustees’ representatives as its best salary offer. Since we represent you at the bargaining table, we think you should know about this offer.


Minutes September 7, 2008

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

USF-UFF Chapter Meeting

Attendance. There were seventeen people in attendance.

Agenda & Introductions.
Agenda approved and introductions made.

The treasurer’s presented the budget.

Motion to approve the budget seconded and passed.

Visit by Michael Berube
Michael Berube will be visiting Sept. 22 – 24, with activities scheduled for Sept. 23. His schedule was organized and discussed.

The bargaining situation was discussed.
Motion to approve the actions of the Bargaining Team seconded and endorsed unanimously.

Motion that: The Chapter is concerned that the terms and conditions of employment at the University of South Florida are endangering the potential for membership in the American Association of Universities; seconded and approved unanimously.

Grievances. The Grievance Chair reported on ongoing grievance proceedings.

Faculty Senate.
The Vice President of the Faculty Senate reported on the Senate’s activities and mutual concerns.

Political Action.
The Acting Political Action Chair reported on election season activities.

The Communications Chair reported on the Chapter’s publications.

Other Business.
Participants were advised that if they discover irregularities in administrative conduct affecting the terms and conditions of employment, it would be helpful if they brought it to the Chapter’s attention.

Meeting Adjourned.

These minutes respectfully submitted by G. McColm on September 7, 2008.


When deans go bad and everyone knows but the administration

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Robert Felner stayed too long as a dean of the University of Louisville because administrators ignored multiple complaints about him. As one of those who wrote comments on the IHE article noted, “Fish rot from the head down.” So it is with the University of Louisville.


Draft agenda, September 5 meeting

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Noon, SOC 304

1. Agenda/introductions
2. Membership
3. Michael Bérubé
4. Bargaining
5. UFF Senate
6. Other reports (Grievance, Faculty Senate, Political Action, Communications)
7. Other business
8. For the good of the order