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UFF-UNF to bargain with UNF over new flexible assignment policy

The University of North Florida told faculty about a new policy earlier this year that would allow them to teach fewer classes per semester in return for increased research assignments.

When UNF’s chapter of the United Faculty of Florida issued a cease and desist letter on May 13, the next day the university said it would not be complying. UFF then sent a “demand to bargain” letter to the university’s chief negotiator, Michael Mattimore, on May 15.

Mattimore said the university has a right to determine how faculty workload is assigned and an impact bargaining request must specifically identify negotiable impacts. He said the letter does not identify specific impacts but agreed to bargain as a courtesy.

A UFF poll showed that 88.9% of members do not think the university is ready to implement this policy this fall. They said, “… the policies need further faculty input and revision prior to implementation.”

Poll from UFF-UNF

When asked why the policy is so unpopular, UFF President Mark Halley explained it’s not about the policy itself, but the lack of input from faculty.

“Faculty, generally speaking, don’t feel like they’ve been able to share much input into this process, and it’s a big change to what your job is,” Halley said. “We’re not saying we don’t ever want to see this at UNF. We’re saying there’s a process to make this happen at UNF. Why not get the people who are going to be a part of this more involved in that process?”

Another issue, he said, is the lack of equity between current and incoming faculty. According to Halley, the way the policy is currently written, new faculty that are hired going forward will automatically be assigned this new workload, while current faculty will have to apply for it.

Lastly, faculty are upset with the lack of clarity on certain policies.

“It’s unclear what this process will look like. Is it going to be equitable? What happens if you don’t meet expectations in this process?” he said. “There’s so many questions that need to be fleshed out before people can feel comfortable with what they’re signing up for.”

Halley said UFF tried to get involved in the process several times and was shut down by the university. He said it initially offered to bargain when the new collective bargaining agreement is negotiated next year, but the university declined.

UFF sent the demand to bargain letter on May 15 and Mattimore responded last Friday, May 24. They are set to negotiate this Wednesday.

Spinnaker reached out for a comment from UNF last week and has not yet received a response.

This is a developing story, and Spinnaker will publish more information as it becomes available.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Jeanne Gilbert
Jeanne Gilbert, Editor-in-Chief
Jeanne Gilbert is Spinnaker's current editor-in-chief and a sophomore majoring in public relations at the University of North Florida. She joined Spinnaker in the summer of 2023 as a volunteer. After graduating, Jeanne plans to continue in the newsroom or work in public relations.

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