Q. How can we make a stronger Union?
A: There are many things you can do to help! Please bring ideas and requests to our officers.
- Come to chapter meetings where the most open and detailed discussions take place. Contact Carolynne Gischel or Patrick Niner for information on the next meeting.
- Come to the next Board of Trustees meeting. The union bargains with the Board of Trustees through the administration.
- Help find solutions, whether you are a member or not. The union has a suite of issues including salary (inversion-compression), benefits (same sex partner), workloads (compensation for “free work” like internship supervision, senior research and independent study advising, etc.) that get addressed through bargaining. You can help tremendously by picking an issue that concerns you, then helping to research and craft proposals that will inform negotiations. UFF leadership can help identify others who share your interests, and facilitate your project work. Your participation will be clearly defined, short-term and project-based.
- Become a member of UFF. The union is a membership organization, not a service organization. It gets its strength from the size of its membership, which translates to a stronger voice at the bargaining table. Here is how past President Maddy Isaacs describes the relationship between membership and contract strength: “When I look at proportion of members and the quality of contracts around the state at both Universities and community/state colleges, there is a clear correlation between the proportion of faculty who support the union with their pocketbooks as well as their rhetoric and the quality of contract provisions…”. If you are a member, help us recruit new members by talking to your colleagues. Tell them we need their support.
Q: I’ve observed in my college that new faculty receive starting salaries up to $30,000 dollars higher than faculty at the same rank who have been here since FGCU was founded. Is there anything the union can do to raise the pay of employees who have contributed to the growth and mission of the university and deserve to be compensated for their hard work?
A: Yes, we agree that compression and inversion are serious problems here at FGCU. We hear from our colleagues that this is a problem, and in addition, we experience it ourselves! The way we work for change is through collective bargaining, our legal method to address issues of salaries, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.
We bring up the issue or inversion-compression at the bargaining table every year. After much discussion, we were able to get a provision in the 2007-2010 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to design and implement a study of compression/inversion (CBA 23.8). See the recent Salary Compression & Inversion Report Revised January 2012.