LAKELAND, Fla. – After 18 months of intense negotiations, Florida Polytechnic University announced that its administration and the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) Florida Poly chapter have signed a collective bargaining agreement. This is the first formal agreement between the University and the faculty union, which approved it unanimously on Jan. 16.
“We are very pleased with the outcome of this process. We now have a brand new agreement developed from scratch, and it received unanimous support from both sides,” said Dr. Terry Parker, provost and executive vice president at Florida Poly.
“As an institution that does not grant tenure, putting in place contract elements that support employment stability and review mechanisms that promote a culture of excellence in the faculty required much conversation between the administration and faculty,” he added.
The agreement formalizes employment rights, responsibilities, and overall management for the faculty members. It consists of 28 articles negotiated in detail between the bargaining team that represented the Florida Poly Board of Trustees and the UFF Florida Poly chapter. Some of the most important articles deal with the process by which professors are reappointed and promoted, salaries, workload assignments, and performance evaluations.
“We have profound respect for our current faculty and we are excited to move forward together to make Florida Poly the best university it can be,” said Parker. “This agreement makes Florida Poly even better by making it more attractive to faculty. A great university has to have a great faculty.”
The final version of the agreement required ratification of more than half of the union members, and it was approved by a 53-0 vote. The contract was then adopted by the Board of Trustees.
“We are delighted that this process has come to this conclusion,” said Dr. Richard Matyi, associate professor of mechanical engineering and president of the UFF Florida Poly chapter. “We believe that the acceptance of this agreement will have a major, positive impact on the life of faculty at Florida Poly, and in doing so it would be to the benefit of our students. That’s the number one goal for all of us.”
The collective bargaining agreement will be in place for the next three years. The next time both sides sit down at the table, the negotiations will begin with the existing agreement.
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