UF Board of Trustees Approves 2.5 Percent Faculty Salary Raises

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Candi Churchill, UFF Service Director speaks on behalf of the faculty at Emerson Alumni Hall.

The University of Florida’s Board of Trustees approved a decision in favor of the UF Administration to raise salaries on Thursday at Emerson Alumni Hall.

The UF chapter of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) and the University of Florida Administration gave presentations on increases in faculty salaries.

Faculty members can expect an average 2.5 percent raise, based on merit at the discretion of the supervisors within each college, Janine Sikes said in an email.

Sikes, assistant vice president for media affairs at UF, explained that supervisors have the final say in the percentage of raises awarded to faculty, so long as they stay within the total amount allotted for raises.

Candi Churchill, UFF Service Unit Director, said that the faculty proposed a 2.75 percent salary increase.  According to a survey, about half of faculty members said they felt undervalued and would consider leaving the university if they were offered a comparable job elsewhere.

“In order to meet the Special Magistrate’s recommendation, $10 million of these one-time funds would need to be withdrawn year after year for this recurring raise, and that would deplete the reserves. The University would also need to divert other funds that are currently committed in College, Department and other unit budgets, necessitating cuts. Major cuts at this time would impede advancement,” UF President W. Kent Fuchs said in a letter to the board of trustees.

Dr. Steven M. Scott, Chair of UF Trustees, said there are over $100 million needed repairs that were not getting any type of funds and funds are well-restricted.

“We have a duty as a board to protect our reserves,” Scott said.

Tallahassee attorney Michael Mattimore said the UF Administration proposed a 2.5 percent salary increase. The administration had already given the faculty $19 million in performance funding, but was against the $40 million the faculty requested for salary increases.

Both organizations agreed the figures provided by each organization were inconsistent.

John Biro, a UFF member, said the figures presented by the administration were purely fiction. He said the UFF had done their homework in finding the figures that they presented at the meeting.

“Hundreds of faculty have not received a raise at all,” Biro said.

About Victoria Smith

Victoria is a reporter for WUFT News and can be contacted by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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