United Faculty vote on contract

University faculty and administration voted on their first-ever bargaining contract after three years of negotiation. The staff voted on the contract Jan. 24 and 25.

It was negotiated with the University’s Board of Trustees and the United Faculty of Florida.

Changes in the governing bodies of state universities facilitated the need for new contracts.

On July 1, 2001, former Gov. Jeb Bush and the state legislature split the Florida Board of Regents, which governed the State University System of Florida, into the Florida Board of Education and an appointed Board of Trustees.

“We had a Board of Regents, and now we have a Board of Trustees that renegotiated the contract,” said Reginald Veal, co-chief negotiator for FAMU-UFF and an associate professor in the School of Business and Industry.

Since the extraction of the Florida Board of Regents, all 11 universities across the state have renegotiated their contracts with the UFF and their university’s Board of Trustees.

A few of the articles of the contract that still need to be resolved pertain to salaries, job re-appointments, inventions and non-discrimination policies.

“I want the University to retain the integrity of tenure and academic freedom,” said Shawnta Friday-Stroud, SBI professor and UFF member. Teachers will receive renegotiated contracts and a 1 percent pay raise with an added .5 percent one-time bonus.

However, some teachers remain adamant about the rectification of other issues that are dear to them.

“I hope the administration will respect the rights and contribution that the faculty makes to the University and student,” Friday-Stroud said.

After the articles of the contract are ratified, the contract will stay in effect until June 30, 2009.

However, articles dealing with benefits and salaries will be reviewed annually, along with up to three articles that may need to be renegotiated on the behalf of the Board of Trustees or the UFF.

The votes will be tallied up at the FAMU clubhouse on Friday at 4 p.m.

All faculty members are welcome to attend.