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OPINION: UFF-UNF put the pressure on UNF to act; another W for the union

This article expresses the views of its author(s), separate from those of this publication. Readers are encouraged to comment or submit a Letter to the Editor to share their opinions. To submit a Letter to the Editor, follow the instructions here

Well, I guess it’s finally over… for now.

Two weeks ago, the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) and the University of North Florida reached an agreement on new procedures concerning post-tenure review. These updated policies will ensure that faculty aren’t ranked against each other and undergo a simple review process, as well as receive financial benefits for participating in post-tenure review. In addition, faculty who meet expectations during their annual evaluations will not be at risk of losing their jobs or receiving low marks during the review process.

But wait, how did we get here? Didn’t negotiations for post-tenure review begin back in June? Didn’t the university, after months of negotiations, declare an impasse? And didn’t the Board of Trustees already vote on a post-tenure review policy? Considering that each of those sentences have hyperlinks, you’d be right.

Apparently, all of this was to whet our appetites for a tense Sept. 27 meeting between the union and the university, where according to UFF-UNF Vice President Mark Halley…the union got everything they wanted in 12 minutes. Damn, barely enough time to get the popcorn.

UFF-UNF Vice President Mark Halley makes a public comment at the start of the Board of Trustees September quarterly meeting. (Justin Nedrow)

As I was doing research on this process, I couldn’t help but wonder, especially after talking with Halley, why UNF didn’t side with faculty from the start. From a non-faculty perspective, it looks like the university wasted both the faculty’s time as well as their own for the past five months. 

Why take such a hardline stance against the faculty if you’re going to end up siding with them anyway, I thought?

Well, I’m not quite sure it was UNF’s plan to concede to the faculty. I mean, three weeks ago it looked like post-tenure review was a done deal, so something obviously had to happen. 

I think it’s pretty clear what changed their minds.

If it weren’t for the vocal backlash against post-tenure review and the university’s proposal, there wouldn’t have been that 12-minute meeting. It took efforts from staff, students and faculty to share their dissent and let UNF know that they would not stand for our school to obey DeSantian orthodoxy. It all added up, from the petition that received over 1,500 signatures, the faculty that spoke during the BOT meeting and even the 57 faculty that, per Halley, had left UNF due to post-tenure review in Florida. 

But all of these actions serve to demonstrate how important UFF-UNF is to guarantee that our faculty get what they deserve from the university. From the very beginning, the union forced the university to come to the negotiating table. From there, UFF-UNF was able to galvanize support from all corners of campus to put pressure on the university’s administration to do the right thing (the memes helped for sure).

“We heard you and will continue to do everything we can to incentivize and retain our hardworking faculty,” UNF President Moez Limayem wrote in a faculty-wide email on September 27.

You’re damn right you did.


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About the Contributors
Ethan Leckie, Opinions Editor
A Pad Thai enthusiast, NASCAR follower, and Jon Bois fanboy, Ethan Leckie is a third-year journalism major at the University of North Florida, minoring in international studies. He first began his involvement with Spinnaker as a volunteer reporter in the fall of 2021 and currently holds the position of Opinions Editor. Ethan has always had a passion for writing and hopes to work for a newspaper one day. He enjoys watching YouTube, cooking, and visiting restaurants in his free time. If you see him on campus, ask him about his pieces- he loves to talk about them!
Justin Nedrow, Photographer
Justin Nedrow is a Jacksonville-based photographer who started volunteering for Spinnaker in 2020 and recently graduated in spring 2023 with a degree in sports management from the University of North Florida. Taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photos, Justin has helped Spinnaker reporters cover everything from sports games, protests, ordinary campus life and more. Photography is a passion project for Justin, one he started to meet new people and express himself without words.

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