Archive for April, 2010

Minutes April 23, 2010

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

USF-UFF Chapter Meeting

There were thirteen people in attendance, including eleven of the Chapter Council, insufficient for a quorum of the Council.

Minutes & Agenda.
The minutes and agenda were approved.

Discussion of rebate policy.

  • Motion made & seconded: to continue the rebate program indefinitely, but the status and amounts shall be reported to the Chapter at the end of each spring semester. Motion approved.
  • Motion made & seconded on the interpretation of the preceding motion: that when UFF participates in the three-for-free program, that the rebate shall come at the end of the first semester during which new members paid dues. Motion approved.
  • The Communications Committee shall publicize this program at the beginning of each session.

Alternates and the Chapter Council.
The issue of how alternates are chosen, and whether (or which) alternates should be members of the Chapter Council, may be revisited later.

National Meetings.
As a general rule, when the Chapter sends members to national meetings, the Chapter reimburses expenses not covered by national organizations.

Legislative Session.


  • Bargaining :D iscussion of current bargaining.
    • Motion made and seconded: that the UFF-USF Chapter membership recommends that there be no ratification vote of the complete Collective Bargaining Agreement when a significant portion of the bargaining unit has no assignment, e.g., summer, unless under extraordinary circumstances. Motion approved.
  • Grievances: Discussion.
  • Treasury: We are solvent.
  • Communications: Work continues on the website.
    • Motion made from Communications Committee: authorizing the expenditure of 39 euros for the purchase of mail software for site. Motion made and seconded.
  • President’s Report: at end of session, president reports to the chapter. Primary topics: membership was increased, there were no layoffs, the legislature may allocate money, we are processing and winning grievances, and in bargaining we have won domestic partner benefits and the instructor track.
  • Political Action Committee: activity supporting Alex Sink.

Good of the Order.
Discussion of INTO.

These minutes respectfully submitted by G. McColm on April 25, 2010.


Urgent FEA Legislative Update: Conference Committee Activity on Retirement Bills

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

April 20, 2010. Fate of faculty pensions could be decided in a Conference Committee meeting to take place on Wednesday, April 21, Let legislators know you don’t want FRS altered!

Dear Colleague:
It is possible the Legislature could decide on the fate of faculty pensions tomorrow in a meeting of the Conference Committee, which makes the final decisions. Contact your legislators now.
See below for contact information and an update from our affiliate, the Florida Education Association.
Tom Auxter
President, United Faculty of Florida

Conference Committees began meeting yesterday, April 19, 2010 and are scheduled to continue meeting into the coming weekend.  We are still hearing only rumor and innuendo regarding how Conferees will handle FRS retirement issues.  FEA continues to closely monitor retirement issues pending in the remaining two weeks of the 2010 Session of the Florida Legislature.

This morning the Government Operations Conference Committee held a meeting where Conferees indicated that they were informed that the health insurance subsidy bill, H.B.5701 (Rep. Rivera, R-112, Miami), and the FRS bill, SB 2022 (Senator J.D. Alexander, R-17, Lake Wales), will be bumped to the overall Conference Chairs.  The Conference Committee meeting schedule released yesterday shows that outstanding conference issues will be bumped to overall Conference Chairs on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.  And by the way, the overall Conference Chairs happen to be Sen. Alexander and Rep. Rivera.

You help is still needed throughout these Conference Committee meetings.  Keep the pressure on your legislators about these issues by calling or emailing to let them know that they must defend and protect the public employee participants in the Florida Retirement System.

Contact your Senators and Representatives and urge them to oppose any changes to FRS retirement benefits.  Urge your Legislators to tell Conference Committee members not to balance the budget on the backs of public employees and retirees.

Urge your Legislators to tell Conference Committee members that they are opposed to any changes to FRS retirement benefits.

Senators:   To find your Senators, go to and look for “Find Your Legislators” at the bottom of the menu on the left side of the web site.

Representatives:   To find your Representatives, go to and click on the heading that reads “Find Your Representative” right below the blue bar and the red bar at the top of the page.


Minutes April 9, 2010

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

USF-UFF Chapter Meeting

There were fourteen people in attendance, including thirteen of the Chapter Council, insufficient for a quorum of the Council.

Minutes & Agenda.
The minutes and agenda were approved.


Legislative Session.
Current priorities: SB 6 / HB 7189 “Relating to Education Personnel”, and the cluster of bills relating to the Florida Retirement System, primarily HB 1319, and SB 1902.

Officers and Representatives of the Chapter.
Under Article IV, Section 3 of the UFF-USF Constitution, the Chapter Council consists of elected officers, senators and alternate senators, and committee chairs (although it is not clear if the latter have voting status).

  • Following past practice, write-in candidates for Senator were reported as Alternates (when they failed to gain sufficient votes to qualify as Senators). It was proposed that all such candidates be asked if they wish to serve, and those that will be USF employees and give a positive answer shall serve as Alternates and as members of the Chapter Council.
  • The following were the results of the spring chapter election:
    • The Chapter Officers are: President Sherman Dorn, Vice President Sonia Wohlmuth, Treasurer Paul Terry, Secretary Gregory McColm.
    • The Senators are: Kevin Archer, Heide Casteneda, J. Lynn McBrien, Gregory McColm, Patricia McHatton, Jerry Notaro, Eric Odgaard, Victor Peppard, Ella Schmidt, Arthur Shapiro, Paul Terry, Bob Welker, Keith White, and Sonia Ramirez Wohlmuth.
    • The Alternate Senators are: David Allsop, Nancy Anderson, C. David Frankel, Susan Hurley, Celina Jozsi, Marvin Karlins, Mark Klisch, Mile Krajcevski, Sang-Hie Lee, William Murray, John Napora, John Noonan, Steve Permuth, Nancy Tyson, and Harry Vanden.
    • The FEA Delegates are: Sherman Dorn, Gregory McColm, Jerry Notaro, Eric Odgaard, Arthur Shapiro, Paul Terry, and Keith White.
    • The Alternate Delegates are Steve Permuth and Harry Vanden.
  • The President shall endeavor to set up meetings of the Council. One may be scheduled for Friday, April 23, at 10 am.


  • Treasury: We are solvent.
  • Grievances: Discussion.
    • Motion made and seconded: that the USF/UFF maximize exposure of the ULP settlement and PERC ruling regarding Dr. Paul Terry to include, but not be limited to, formal notice to all unit employees and all appropriate legal entities on all campuses of USF. Without objection, motion carried.
  • Bargaining: Discussion. Requested entry in the minutes: It is requested that each campus be represented by at least one member of the Bargaining Committee. Note: this is a consideration for the Chair of the Bargaining Committee and the Chapter Council.
  • Communications:The Communications Committee will be reviewing all aspects of communications, and requests that the Chapter and the Chapter Committees and Council attend to the process.

These minutes respectfully submitted by G. McColm on April 10, 2010.


Chapter meeting agenda, April 9

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Chapter agenda draft, April 9, noon, SOC 384, Tampa campus

A. Minutes
B. Membership
C. New officers and council members
D. Legislative session
E. Reports
F. For the good of the order


Annual Unauthorized Biweekly Extra

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Below is the text of an unauthorized e-mail that was distributed earlier today:


April 1, 2010

April 1 is the starting date for one-year terms for all UFF-USF chapter officers. President Sherman Dorn, Vice President Sonia Wohlmuth, Secretary Greg McColm, and Treasurer Paul Terry were sworn in at a midnight ceremony, and they immediately swore back after looking at the state’s financial outlook.

The Untied Faculty of Rofldia and the USF Board of Trustees agreed late Wednesday evening on a Memorandum of Understanding that would give cats at USF a form of tenure. “This isn’t just any cat,” explained UFR Chapter President Sherm Dorm. “It’s a cat that’s proven itself worthy of tenure at a Research 1 university.”

Among the bills filed in the Florida legislature this year is one that would require retirees in FRS to put half of their retirement savings on double-zero (00) on a standard roulette wheel. “It’s more exciting than bingo!” said sponsor W.C. Chilblains. For other bills filed this year that would affect FRS, see the DMS’s FRS-bill watch page. Watch especially HB 5701 (eliminating health subsidies for retirees) and SB 2022 (requiring employee contributions to both FRS and ORP), each of which has been approved by its primary sponsor’s chamber.

UFR does not generally approve of your sending your dog to chew on your senators’ and representatives’ office furniture. Calling, identifying the bill in question, and registering your opinion is usually more effective.

A little-noticed provision of the senate’s proposed state budget would move the entire city of Tallahassee and most state offices out of Leon County, to Polk County. “How’d that get in there?” a state senator was heard to mutter late Wednesday night after voting for the budget package.

Business and government officials from ten central Florida counties promised Wednesday that they would work “like the dickens” to bring the 2018 winter Olympic games to the Sunshine State. Said one business owner, “We saw that Florida temperatures this January were colder than in Vancouver and sometimes colder than St. Johns, Newfoundland. It’s worth a shot!” To accomplish this, they promised to work to create 128 new athletic facilities. “It would only cost two bazookazillion dollars,” said one county commissioner, “and they can always be used later to hold political fundraisers or college classes.”

Starting in August, the state’s Gordon Rule Communications course requirement is being replaced by a mandated course on Twitter Communications. All papers will be 140 characters or less.

If you can figure out the hidden pattern in today’s date (04012010) and correctly predict the sequence out to the 200,000th digit, you can win an iPad. (Multiple correct answers will have a winner selected at random.) Submit answers by 5 am today (Thursday, April 1).

DON’T BE A FOOL: JOIN UFF! The United Faculty of Florida (the real thing) can represent only members in grievances. Membership brings professional liability coverage from both national affiliates. You must be a dues-paying member to benefit: download the form and send it in!

Today’s special Biweekly Extra has been hijacked by a frenemy of the usual editor. Sanity will return next week. Well, in the Biweekly at least; no guarantees about the rest of the state.