Archive for the ‘Salaries etc.’ Category

Collective Bargaining Agreement 2010-13 now in effect

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

The Board of Trustees ratified the 2010-13 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the BOT and the United Faculty of Florida, and it is now in effect. To read a human-friendly version of the new CBA, head to an experiment in an annotated online CBA.


Ratification on tentative agreement for 2010-2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement voting now open

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Earlier today, the United Faculty of Florida and the USF Board of Trustees signed off on the last pieces of a tentative agreement for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement to run 2010-2013. Descriptions of changes in the new contract (if ratified) and links to relevant documents are on the ratification page. Most of this round’s bargaining history is on the bargaining page.

Click on this link to vote. You will need the seven-character ratification code sent to in-unit employees in late August. Click on this link to request another copy of your code (please submit the request by the end of Tuesday, September 28). Voting will be open through the end of business Tuesday, October 5.

As chapter president, I strongly recommend voting to approve the contract. The statewide executive director, Ed Mitchell, also recommends voting to approve the contract. This is not a perfect contract. While it puts the domestic partner health insurance stipend program and expanded sabbaticals into the collective bargaining agreement as permanent language, and it has merit raises to base salaries for 2010-11 and 2011-12, it does not have the raises I think are just and appropriate for promoted instructors.

This is a tough bargaining environment, and this contract is the best or close to the best I think we could have gotten. The chapter agreed to a reduction in the release units and other concessions to preserve the existing layoff language and other important rights. The tentative agreement is much better than the likely alternative we faced at the time of the agreement (the end of the impasse process), and it is far better than what would happen if the agreement is rejected and we return to impasse. I urge all faculty and professional employees in the unit to vote for the tentative agreement.


Early Retirement Incentive program documents

Monday, March 8th, 2010

March 5: Below are an e-mail circulated by HR Friday and a Word version of the application attached to the e-mail:

February 17: Below are the documents for the Early Retirement Incentive program, downloaded for the USF St. Pete HR website:

Interested employees in the faculty pay plan should contact Donna Pepper for more information (813-974-9357,


Domestic partnership benefits documents

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

The following documents on domestic partner health insurance stipend benefits were downloaded this month from the main USF HR website:


Additional information about the Early Retirement Incentive program

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

The Provost’s office in Tampa has just released a Early Retirement Incentive Program supplementary FAQ that provides additional information, including news that there will be an e-mail option for submitting applications and that auxiliary organization funds will be considered state funds for the purposes of the program.


Members to discuss merit pay in 2009-10

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

One issue coming directly from a recent membership study commissioned by the UFF-USF Chapter is the set of concerns from participants about the structure of formulaic merit pay and administrative salary discretion. This time of economic hardship is probably the best year in which to talk about long-term structures in the contract, as there will probably not be a huge amount of money in play. During the fall, I will be setting up meetings on every campus and in multiple places on the Tampa campus to talk just about merit pay and other salary issues.

This will be a member-driven process: colleagues who are not dues-paying UFF members can vote on contract ratification, but the members set chapter policy. I want to be clear about my personal interests and intended role, before the discussions focused on merit pay begin: like my colleagues, I have my own opinions and ideas about merit pay, but the collective interests of the chapter membership will determine what the chapter’s approach on merit pay will be over the next few years. In 2007 I campaigned on the pledge to follow the faculty and professional employees of USF as we changed, and from a few places (not just the membership study), I am getting the message that merit pay and discretionary pay has to change. To be consistent with what I promised, my job is to start and protect a conversation about merit pay.

From what I know already, the issues involved in merit pay are a classic wicked problem, or a complex issue that isn’t going to be amenable to a direct “here’s the cause, and here’s the solution” process. I’ve had a number of conversations about merit pay over the years with both administrators and faculty, and the tendency of many comments is to fall into a pattern: “Here’s the problem with merit pay at USF, and instead of doing it this way we should do it just like it was done at my last institution.” The reference to “my last institution” is a heuristic short-cut: well-intended but an elision nonetheless, and I will view one of my jobs in these conversations to get behind such short-cuts.

As I wrote above, I have some preconceptions about the issues and potential solutions, but I know that they are preconceptions, and it is more important that the membership determine policy than that I agree with that policy. To guarantee that the decision is membership-driven, I will argue against any unilateral setting of long-term merit-pay bargaining guidance without a membership vote.


USF total compensation and compensation to upper-level administrators, 2006 and 2007

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Last winter, the chapter expressed its concern to the provost over the possibility that the normal morale implications of budget cutbacks could be exacerbated if faculty perceived that upper-level administrators were being exempt from the pressures. After discussion among union leadership over an e-mail list and over several meetings, we phrased the issue as follows: Through the budget-reduction process, there should be no increase in the proportion of total university compensation going to associate vice presidents and above throughout the university, including academic deans and those of similar rank. To find some benchmarks, we asked the university to provide sum totals of all compensation at USF in calendar years 2006 and 2007 (the sum of what would appear in Box 1 of all W-2s) and then the sum of all compensation for 78 upper-level administrators (again, the sum of all data from Box 1 of W-2s). Below is the data that USF reported in response to this request:





Total compensation

$437.4 million

$469.0 million


Compensation to upper administration

$9.1 million

$11.2 million


Proportion of compensation to upper administration




The upper-administration compensation data for 2006 is overestimated because the individual list sent to USF for the request included several administrators who joined upper ranks in the middle of 2006 or in 2007. However, I suspect the figures above are close to what would be an exact amount. The chapter will make a similar request in early February 2009 to cover the calendar year 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


Salary data for USF faculty and academic/professional employees

Friday, April 4th, 2008

All USF salary data are public records, and last year, USF closed off the public-access on-campus username for GEMS, we were told because the auditor said that username could be a back-door path to private information. The chapter then decided to occasionally draw down the data and make it public, which would serve the public interest without endangering the private information USF has a legitimate interest in protecting. Below are links to Excel files with appointment and salary data for faculty and academic/professional hires from USF’s GEMS personnel data system. The third file is a “new hire” database, which includes 9-month faculty who can be “rehired” in the summer and “rehired” each August.

Faculty appointment data from April 4 2008
Academic and professional appointment data from April 4 2008
New hires and rehires July 1 2007 through April 4 2008 (includes 9-month faculty “rehires” for summer and each fall)


Why faculty leave Florida

Friday, April 4th, 2008

In the parking lot this morning, I met an assistant professor I know well who told me that he’s leaving USF. He’s going to a public university in another state where he’ll be paid a good chunk more than what he’s paid here (at a place that is definitely not the flagship university), and where he’ll get credit towards tenure for the three years he spent at USF.

I asked him if he was worried about selling his house. He said that the salary differential was about equal to his mortgage payments here (he’s in a small house), and as soon as he sells the house, even if it’s in a year or more, he’ll get the sale price and also an instant bump in effective take-home pay. USF couldn’t match the salary, and that is consistent with the administration’s behavior in the past (which is to match offers very, very rarely).

He said he was leaving because he saw the state “sinking into a hole,” and while we talk up the status of USF, “the pay is far below the rhetoric of Research I.” That certainly is true: according to AAUP statistics, USF salaries for assistant, associate, and full professors are all in the fourth quintile of Research I universities.

So I wished him well and said that while we’d miss him, I certainly understood why he’s leaving. I just hope the legislature understands, too.

Follow-up: Within minutes of writing this entry, I received an e-mail from another colleague: I’m also leaving USF, and what you wrote … could have been a conversation with me.