Implementing post-tenure review without bargaining violates contract, faculty union tells UNF in cease-and-desist

Carter Mudgett, Editor in Chief

The faculty union issued a cease-and-desist order to the University of North Florida administration and Board of Trustees Friday evening, according to a copy of the letter read by Spinnaker. It states that the university should cease and desist the implementation of the proposed post-tenure review process.

On Thursday, a UNF committee met to discuss the proposal now required by Florida law. Among other stipulations, it would include a comprehensive review every five years. One committee member voted against the implementation and the policy has been sent to the BOT to review and vote on in their next meeting. 

The UNF chapter of the United Faculty of Florida union said that because the policy is going through the motions of being implemented without bargaining, it violates a section of the Florida Constitution. They also allege in the letter that the Board of Trustees negotiator confirmed that they were going to bargain with the union over the policy. 

“We plan on having that process,” the chief negotiator said during a May 2 bargaining session

However, the union said that bargaining had not taken place, even as the university moves to discuss and, expectedly, approve that policy soon. 

A screenshot of the header of the University of North Florida’s chapter of the United Faculty of Florida union’s cease-and-desist letter that was sent to the university Friday evening.

“There can be no question that implementation of the proposed policy without impact bargaining […] violates the Constitution,” the cease-and-desist letter read.

Not bargaining before adding a new or amended policy is also a potential breach of the collective bargaining agreement that both the union and the BOT signed for the 2022-2025 session. 

A section in that agreement states that if any new or revised policy is proposed by the administration that has a direct and substantial impact on wages, hours or terms or conditions of employment, the university shall meet with UFF to bargain. Specifically, this would happen before implementing the new policy. 

The letter states that both the UFF and BOT bargaining teams had agreed that the proposed post-tenure review policy and procedure must be bargained, citing a specific instance of when that was confirmed.

“While the UFF-UNF team has continued to bargain in good faith and proceeded with preparation for impact bargaining on both the proposed post-tenure review policy and procedures,” the letter said. “The UNF-BOT team has continued with communication with various teams at the university indicating their ‘final policy’ and plans for implementation.”

The letter ends with the following statement in bold and underlined font:

“Implementation of a post-tenure review policy without impact bargaining would be a violation of the 2022-2025 Collective Bargaining Agreement and Florida Statute 447. The University must therefore immediately cease and desist from implementing the proposed post-tenure review policy prior to engaging in impact bargaining or be challenged in an appropriate venue. UFF-UNF will do what is necessary to preserve the rights of the bargaining unit faculty and to prevent improper changes to their post-tenure review protocols currently in effect.”

To read the cease-and-desist order in its entirety, visit here

Spinnaker requested a comment from UNF regarding the cease-and-desist letter Friday evening and again Monday morning but did not receive a response by publication Monday afternoon. 

This kind of legal action was recommended by state-level leadership from UFF and the Florida Education Association early on, said Tobias Huning, UNF’s faculty union president. The order was also sent to all university faculty Monday morning, he said. 

Though it may take a few days for the university to respond to their letter, Huning emphasized that he and Mark Halley, UFF-UNF’s vice president, are always open to talking and always have been.

“We’re only a phone call away,” he said. 


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