Stock Photo - Reflection Pond 2 2018 CJ

The United Faculty of Florida and the UCF Board of Trustees agreed to a 4.5% pay raise on March 29 beginning fall 2019.

Provost Elizabeth Dooley said the raise is a two-year agreement covering the academic years of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.

According to the UFF's website, the UFF is a union for higher education institutions that is made up of university faculty members. The union represents faculty during collective bargaining sessions about faculty contracts, benefits and any issues or concerns faculty may have.

UCF has its own chapter of the UFF. According to the union's website, they represent 1,670 employees at UCF.

The UFF and the board have had 26 negotiation sessions dating back to November 2017.

The raise agreement

Provost Dooley's press release states the agreement is set up in two installments and has eligibility requirements for faculty members.

The agreement features:

  • a one-time payment of $2,250 on May 10, 2019  
  • a 2% salary increase beginning the pay period of August 23, 2019
  • an additional salary increase of 1.25% starting the pay period of September 20, 2019

The 2% increase is for the 2018-2019 contract, while the 1.25% increase is for the 2019-2020 contract.

However, only faculty members who began working before January 7 will receive the one-time payment in May and the first installment of the raise, UFF President Scott Launier said. Anyone starting at UCF before May 7 is eligible for the second installment.

Faculty could receive another 1.25% salary increase during the September 20 pay period if the university finds additional funding, Launier said.

He also said faculty must get a satisfactory evaluation to receive the raise. The Office of Faculty Excellence website shows each department and college has their own criteria and procedures for evaluations.

Some programs at UCF, such as sports business management, use a number scale to determine a satisfactory evaluation, while departments like the Department of History require faculty members to meet a certain amount of standards to be considered satisfactory.

Union member and faculty opinions

Although faculty members will get a raise, members of the union such as Launier and instructor of writing and rhetoric Nikolas Gardiakos feel the raise isn't sufficient enough.

"It's not a great raise — we didn't do well," Launier said.

Launier said he felt good that faculty could look forward to a raise because they did not receive one during the academic year of 2018-2019 due to the ongoing negotiations. However, he believes the raise is not good because it is below the inflation rate.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics website reported inflation at 2.44% in 2018.

Launier said members involved in the union only make up one-third of faculty and that most of them feel they can't afford to live off that raise and they "can't keep up."

Gardiakos feels the raise won't have much of a positive impact on him because of the rising costs of living in the Orlando area.

"It is only a way to catch up with the growing economy," Gardiakos said. "I don't see this raise making a significant impact to my day-to-day life".

However, the other two-thirds of faculty who are not part of the union were ready to accept the Board of Trustees' initial proposed salary increase of 1%, Launier said.

In Provost Dooley's press release, it states she is supportive of the agreement and continues to make faculty salaries a priority. Dooley believes a strong faculty unit is critical to UCF moving forward.

NSM Today reached out to Provost Dooley and the university's negotiators. They did not return the request for comment. 

The UFF and the board are still negotiating the collective bargaining agreement for 2018-2021, according to the union's website. A collective bargaining agreement sets the wages and employment conditions between a university and faculty. 

The next bargaining session is on April 18 at 1 p.m. in Trevor Colbourn Hall.

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