Union Contract Saves Faculty Member's Job (June 10, 2010)
You may already have seen it reported in the press that your Union has won a major victory in protecting faculty. [Sun article] The decision announced late last week in the arbitration over the non-renewal of an assistant professor in the College of Journalism and Communications shows that the administration can be forced to abide by the collective bargaining agreement. The arbitrator's decision is not just a recommendation, it is legally binding.
The arbitrator concluded that UF had violated several provisions of the Union's Collective Bargaining Agreement. (The decision and the remedy ordered are below, as are a few of the many scathing remarks of the arbitrator about the administration's conduct. The full report may be found here (PDF, 250 KB) at the UFF web site.
That CBA provides the only protection members of the bargaining-unit faculty have against unfair treatment, and membership in the Union entitles them to cost-free representation in asserting their rights under it. Because this faculty member stood up for her rights, she has her job back. If there is a contract violation, big or small, the faculty stand together through UFF. If you are not a member, please consider making our voice stronger by joining. [membership form]
In the Matter of Arbitration Between:
UNITED FACULTY OF FLORIDA
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
RE: Dr. Judy Robinson, Grievant _______________________________ :
Representing UFF Representing UF
Candace Churchill Charles M. Deal
Service Unit Director Associate General Counsel
For the reasons stated above, it is determined that, with regard to the issue to be resolved, the University substantively violated the following articles of the collective bargaining agreement between the parties:
Article 18.1, 18.2(b), 18.7(a), (e), (f), 18.11(a), (d), and 19.7(b)
The grievance is granted.
Article 31(d)(4), provides that, if the arbitrator determines that the Agreement has been violated, the arbitrator shall direct the Trustees to take appropriate remedial action.
For the reasons set forth above, the University is directed to take the following actions:
(1) Reinstate Grievant to her position at UF with her previous rank of Assistant Professor, and assign her the standard load for a full time faculty member, two courses per semester.
(2) Rescind Grievant’s letter of non-renewal, dated July 11, 2009;
(3) Rescind Grievant’s second evaluation, dated January 29, 2010;
(4) Provide Grievant with a midterm review consistent with the language and intent of Article 19.7 of the CBA;
(5) Provide for an annual evaluation consistent with the terms of the CBA:
(6) Provide that such midterm review and annual evaluation be conducted by an individual other than the individual who conducted the first two evaluations of Grievant;
(7) Pursuant to Article 31(d)(6), grant Grievant an additional year employment beyond the current year 2009-2010, and provide for reconsideration for tenure without prejudice at the earliest opportunity.
It is to be understood that this remedy does not entitle Grievant to tenure.
Respectfully submitted this 2nd day of June, 2010,
Tom Young, Arbitrator
A tasting of the arbitrator's comments:
The record indicates that UF simply did not comply with this section. Grievant was not provided a copy of the proposed written evaluation by May 1, and did not have the opportunity to meet with the evaluator prior to the evaluation being finalized.
The Findings of Fact establish that there was more than one file [contrarytotheCBA], that Grievant was not notified and in fact was unaware of what was continued in her evaluation file(s), and the adverse action of non-renewal was taken before Grievant had an opportunity to attach a response to the material that she was unaware existed.
There was no effort on the part of UF to comply with the provisions of this Article.
The tone and content of the evaluator’s…. evaluation of Grievant in regard to Service suggests an intent that is not professional in nature.