What We Stand For
Concerned Faculty Campaign for Change
We stand for accountability. Our individual actions, whether in council meetings, at the bargaining table, in support of colleagues on committees, or in our interactions with community members, are our responsibility. We are held accountable for them, and should be. The current union president was formally censured by our full council in December 2019 for inappropriate behaviors and failed to uphold the values at the heart of our organization for which we stand. That failure of accountability does not serve the greater good.
We stand for responsiveness. Our union must refocus on serving you - our colleagues - in support of the integrity of UCF. We are committed to being responsive to your concerns and focused on building an institutional culture that prioritizes faculty-governance and individual faculty needs. We believe that integrity means together. At the committee level, we aim to have a one-person one-job policy while we rebuild our leadership team. The president intends to nominate chairs for committees who do not have other UFF positions demanding their time and energy.
We stand for transparency. You have a right to know what your leaders are doing and why. Our work as your union leadership will maximize transparency, from our budget to our bargaining, and from our membership to our mentoring. We think that our visibility is your connection to the important work your union does for you.
As a leadership team, our focus is on positive change directed at four central areas essential to the success and strength of our faculty union.
We need a larger bargaining team. We know the current Bargaining Team is working hard to get us the tangible benefits we deserve. In years past the bargaining team was larger and included more voices from across campus. We want to grow a larger bargaining team; we want UCF General Council to see a larger united presence at the negotiation table.
If possible, we want to bring in a professional union negotiator that will lead a strong team. We believe this will project our strength in what is going to be the most difficult and consequential negotiation maybe in the history of our chapter.
We want us all to have access to a larger Grievance Team that operates at multiple levels. Our Grievance Team has shrunk over the years and become more consolidated. Grievance and representation are vital to a faculty union that must ensure the CBA is enforced and academic freedom is not abridged. We will look into ways to reform the process and spread the grievance work among a bigger team of grievance representatives, so it can be even more responsive.
On the Pandemic Conditions
We are in uncharted waters now. We realize how serious this is and how any decision great or small can impact the lives and livelihood of each and every member.
At best it will resemble the years after the financial crisis (2008-2012) but compacted into one year. Many in the legislature do not see our service as researchers and public educators as important and that has the potential to undo any gains we have made since 2008.
Job security, furloughs, and across-the-board pay cuts are being circulated as possible solutions and we need a bargaining team who can defend us against these measures. We will ensure that the negotiation team is prepared, and supported, and will help organize faculty in a visible show of strength when needed.
The current negotiation team has worked quickly and tirelessly on a Summer MOU that protects us in the workplace in the face of executives in a state and federal government who want to open the economy back up without any regard for our health or safety. We would like to see the bargaining team in a position to continue if not strengthen this MOU in the coming semesters.
We are strong advocates for faculty shared governance and support a return to a governance where people can speak and be heard.
In order for us to expand our bargaining and grievances committees it will take volunteers like yourself. Over the last few years, we have seen people leave Council and other leadership positions because of their inability to work with our current President. We believe this has resulted in a much smaller pool of volunteers to draw from to contribute to the running of the union. We want to create an atmosphere that encourages members to participate in union governance and not continue in a system where governance is consolidated on top.
We elect our councilors and expect they can represent us and our interests on Council. The President has been censured by that body in December 2019 and many members witnessed the stifling of discussion at meetings throughout 2020 of our very own elected Councilors, impeding those we elected from being able to carry out their representative responsibilities.
Effective governance requires effective communication. Our approach respects the voices of our colleagues and doesn’t weaponize rules to silence difference. Our communication will be clear and transparent: that is our responsibility. We hope upholding our responsibility will sustain your trust and your engagement.
We will establish committees to review the Bylaws and Constitution so that it promotes participation and decision making by council members as well as officers.
On Fiscal Responsibility
We recognize that our union is possible because of your membership contribution. 1% of your salary matters, whether you are an assistant professor in arts and humanities, a full professor in engineering, a lecturer in hospitality management or an associate librarian working at UCF downtown. We will be careful stewards of your contributions, that remain locally, to the running of the union, and will prioritize expenses that directly benefit you and our UCF colleagues. We will never use resources for personal gains.
Robert Cassanello, Candidate for President (he/him/his)
Beatriz Reyes-Foster, Candidate for Vice President (she/her/ella)
Jonathan Beever, Candidate for Treasurer (he/him/his)
Michael Armato, Candidate for Secretary (he/him/his)