After four weeks of bargaining with UF’s Board of Trustees, UF’s United Faculty of Florida Union (UFF-UF) has finalized a deal to allocate $5.5 million toward salary raises and supplements.
UFF-UF President Raúl Sánchez said the agreement includes:
A 1 percent across-the-board raise
A 2 percent merit pool for performance-based raise
$325 salary supplement for 12-month faculty earning less than $67,000
$200 salary supplement for 9-month faculty earning less than $55,000
$100,000 allotment for UF-affiliated P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School
Aside from the 1 percent raise and the 2 percent merit pool already granted to all faculty in June by UF President Kent Fuchs, these changes will only affect the union’s 1,800-person bargaining unit.
Sánchez said the bargaining unit represents faculty from the Colleges of Business; Education; Engineering; Design, Construction and Planning; Health and Human Performance; Journalism and Communications; Fine Arts; and Liberal Arts and Sciences, as well as faculty in the libraries, Academic Advising Center and Counseling and Wellness Center.
Bargaining unit members can vote on the agreement Sept. 11-12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Library West or the Reitz Union. A majority of the bargaining unit and the Board of Trustees must vote ‘yes’ for the changes to go into effect on Oct. 1.
UFF-UF Chief Negotiator William Keegan said part of the deal is trying to address UF’s “compressed salaries,” where faculty wages haven’t increased to make up for inflation.
“We went through a six-year period where no faculty received raises. So as you're hiring new faculty at competitive wages, you have faculty who've been working for six years and their salary hasn't increased at all,” Keegan said. “So the new hires quickly catch up to the salaries of people who've been here for a long time.”
He added that some faculty are making less than $58,000 a year, which is the minimum living wage for a one-parent two-child household in Alachua County, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.
UFF-UF doesn’t just work with salaries. This year marks the end of the last three-year Collective Bargaining Agreement, which covers everything from time off to rights of intellectual property, and the union is working to tweak some of its rules for the next three years.
Sánchez said the current proposals are to increase promotion raises from 9 percent to 15 percent, secure up to 19.5 weeks of paid family and parental leave, reinstate performance-based raises for senior faculty and add equity raises for long-time employees.
“This is the premiere university in the state, and it's one of the top universities in the country,” Sánchez said. “We hire really good people from across the country, and their salaries don’t reflect that. It’s just a question of being fair and paying people what they’re worth.”