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 United Faculty of Florida - Lake-Sumter State College Chapter

May Bargaining Update

The team met with the administation on May 20 and discussed evaluations, privacy, workers comp, and QM. There were tentative agreements on the waivers and contract distribution clauses. We hope to bargain Workload and Compensation as soon at the state budget is finalized..

The American Rescue Plan

The American Federation of Teachers (of which we are a member) sent out some details on the most recent congressional legislation and its affect. Read the Higher Ed Fact Sheet here.

Letter sent the the Board, February

The union sent a letter to to each board member via email. Read the February update here.

Bargaining Update, February

Some major progress has taken place over the last couple of months leading to tentative agreements on articles including Continuing Contracts, Faculty Rank & Promotion, Staff & Program Development, Sabbatical Leave, and Academic Freedom.

COVID-MOU Approved by the District Board of Trustees

It is now official, the agreed upon fall COVID-MOU was approved by both the faculty unit and, now, the District Board of Trustees. Work continues on the spring COVID-MOU, the faculty submitted an update with the same policies with new dates. We still have not gotten a reply to this proposal.

Bargaining Update, November

The Bargaining Team met virtually with the administration on November 17. Tentatively agreements were met on Safe Workplace, Workers Compensation, and Grievance & Arbitration. We exchanged articles on and discussed Academic Freedom, SPD, and Tenure, Rank, & Promotion. We also agreed to bring the spring COVID MOU to the next meeting which will be on December 16. .

UFF-LSSC has won the Platinum Award from the FEA!


Due to our high faculty participation and membership totals, our local bargaining unit won the Platinum Award from the Florida Education Association (FEA). We maintained over a 70% membership density for the entire year. There were only 4 other UFF chapters who matched our cohesion.

Letter sent the the Board, September

The union sent a letter to to each board member via email prior to the Septbember board meeting. Read the September update here.

COVID MOU Agreed at the Table

After nearly six months, our COVID Memorandum of Understanding has been tentatively agreed to at the bargaining table. Read the agreement here.

Bargaining News Article in the Daily Commercial

The Board's insistence on conducting in-person negotiations was covered by the Leesburg newspaper. Read the article.

Letter sent the the Board, July

We continued our monthly update to the District Board of Trustees. The union sent the letter to to each board member via email prior to the July board meeting. Read the July update here.

July 13 Bargaining Session

The Bargaining Team met with the administration on Monday for the first time in 4 1/2 months. We met in person, against our stated preference and insistence, for two hours. Only two faculty members were able to attended due to the medical and safety concerns of other members. We arrived wearing additional PPE and sat at our own separate tables in the Magnolia Room. About twenty-five faculty members joined us remotely via Zoom. At the session, we discussed the proposed Memorandum of Understanding and teh pandemic's impacts on our working conditions, our counter on Tenure and FR&P, the administration's new procedure on leave, and an update on Compensation. See our Bargaining Proposals page for the documents.

Covid Bargaining

Letter sent the the Board, June

We continued our monthly update to the District Board of Trustees. The union sent the letter to to each board member via email prior to the June board meeting. Read the June update here.

Letter sent the the Board, May

The union compiled a letter concerning bargaining and related issues and delivered it to each member of the District Board of Trustees via email. Read the letter here.

Bargaining Suspended due to COVID-19

Public meetings were suspended by the District Board of Trustees. Both the April 3 and April 23 sessions were cancelled by the college and no alternatives were given, online or otherwise. The UFF-LSSC Executive Council submitted a request for impact bargaining and a Memorandum of Understanding. These were sent to the administration on March 23 to address the changes in working conditions due to the pandemic. We have not gotten any official reply to our request. Read our letter to Dr. Sidor and our proposed MOU.

February Session

Our long session at South Lake resulted in tentative agreements on 11.8 (parking), 11.9 (college mail), 11.12 (legal assistance), and 11.13 (Weingarten rights). We also made headway on seven others: 5 (Grievance), 8 (Evaluation), 11.1 (bargaining unit rights), 11.3 (safe workspace), 11.4 (personnel files), 11.6 (outside employment) and 11.14 (academic freedom).

Results from the January session

Some more progress was made at our January 28 session in Leesburg. Tentative agreements were reached on articles 6.4, 6.9, 6.12 (leave articles), and article 7 (Reduction in Force). We also continued to work on Evaluations, Grievance, and began a discussion on Work Load. See our Bargaining Proposals page for more information and detail.

Florida Legislative Session watchlist

Per UFF, here are the current bills to watch in the legislature as they commence the session:

HB613/SB1402 - the general Higher Education bill. The House version contains a clause requiring a survey about "academic freedom" on campus. The Senate version does not. There are some good things in this bill, and we hope that the Senate version can prevail.

HB6001 - Guns on Campus. No on the agenda so far in the House, and there is no companion bill in the Senate. Hopefully, it will go away.

HB819/SB 1320 - Fee relief for graduate students. We support this, as GAs regularly pay 20-30% of their stipends in fees. They should not have to pay to work. These fees inhibit our ability to invite the best and brightest, as, often, we cannot compete with stipends from other institutions. Hopefully, these will be heard in committee.

December 3 Bargaining Session Cancelled

The December 3 bargaining session, orginally planned at South Lake, has been cancelled by the administration. We were prepared to present several proposals and continue our progress, but the college's attorney sent a message that they were not prepared to meet.

Progress Made

The November 21 Bargaining session featured discussions on domestic violence related leave, court related leave, FMLA, worker's comp, and grievance and arbitration. Tentative agreements were signed on 6.10 Court Related Leave and 6.11 Domestic Violence Related Leave. Our next Bargaining Session will be on December 3 at 3:00 in South Lake.. The documents discussed can be found on the Bargaining Proposals page.

Bargaining Continues

The October 30 Bargaining session featured discussions on Grievance and Arbitration, Reduction in Force, and Faculty Evaluation. A tentative agreement was signed on Non-Discrimination after some word-smithing. Our next Bargaining Session will be on November 21 from 3:30 - 6:30 in the Leesburg boardroom. The documents discussed can be found on the Bargaining Proposals page.

Faculty United

October 8 Session

A Memorandum of Understanding concerning Program Managers was agreed and signed. We also discussed Union Rights , Grievance and Arbitration (the administration provided a new proposal), and we presented an update to Evaluation. The documents can be found on the Bargaining Proposals page. Our next Bargaining Session will be on October 30 at 3:00 in the Leesburg boardroom.

Bargaining Session in October

LSSC Attends the Fall UFF Meeting

The Lake-Sumter union chapter was represented by our President, Dr. Debby Hicks and Senator Jeremy Norton.

UFF Fall 2019 Conference

Bargaining Session on September 3 cancelled due to the hurricane

Our next meeting will be on October 8 at 3:00

UFF-LSSC Chapter Officers Elected

We selected our inaugural officers at the August chapter meeting. They are: Dr. Debby Hicks - President, Nora Rackley - Vice President, Amber Karlins - Secretary, and Dr. David Walton - Treasurer. Jeremy Norton will serve as Senator to the statewide organization.

Bargaining Session update for July 25

The Bargaining Committee met for four hours with administrative team on Thursday, July 25 and discussed their counters to Article 6 (Union Rights), Article 8 (Faculty Evaluations), and Article 12 (Tenure, Promotion, and Rank) in addition to our counterproposals on the previous articles. No articles were agreed to at the session as it became obvious that additional work and discussion will be required. Our next session will be on September 3 from 5:00 - 7:00 in SB 210.

Bargaining Session update for June 3

The Bargaining Committee met again with the administrative team on Monday, June 3 to discuss Articles 1, 3, and 5. They delivered counter-proposals which were discussed during the two hour meeting. We reached a tentative agreement on Article 3.3 Non-Assignment after a minor change.

Bargaining began on April 9

The Bargaining Committee went to the negotiating table, for the first time, with the administration and their representative, attorney Brian Koji, on April 9. Numerous faculty members attended this session as opening statements were made by the members of the about our purpose and expectations. We presented an extensive initial proposal including thirteen articles as well as a preliminary program manager section. It was an excellent start to the process.

Faculty Unit approves the UFF-LSSC Constitution

Our inaugural UFF-LSSC Constitution and Bylaws were completed and approved by the unit. Please review for details.

Lake-Sumter State College Faculty Votes to Unionize

Lake-Sumter State College PERC Vote

The faculty of Lake-Sumter State College (LSSC) has spoken and by a vote of 62-6 becomes the newest United Faculty of Florida (UFF) chapter. The vote count followed a three-week period of balloting by mail and was certified by the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission. In all, 90 percent of the faculty voted in the election.

"This is a very important day for the faculty of Lake-Sumter State College," said Dr. Debby Hicks, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences. "Today we stood up for our students, ourselves and Lake-Sumter State College. We are moving in a new direction, and I am proud and excited to be a part of this movement."

"I want to congratulate the Lake-Sumter State College faculty as it becomes the thirtieth UFF chapter, as well as the thirteenth Florida college, to become part of the United Faculty of Florida," said Dr. Karen Morian, President of UFF. "This vote clearly demonstrates that these dedicated faculty members understand that their collective voice is vital to improving their institution. Their drive to more effectively serve their students and the communities of Lake and Sumter Counties is inspiring. I and all the members of UFF welcome these faculty members as the United Faculty of Florida-Lake Sumter State College (UFF-LSSC). We are excited to add their passion, expertise, and professionalism to our combined efforts to improve higher education in the state of Florida."

©2019 United Faculty of Florida - Lake-Sumter State College Chapter