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FSU Nuts & Bolts: Seeking bargaining team members


Dear Member,

This issue of Nuts & Bolts is all about bargaining.  Yes, bargaining is back. 

Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)  

For those who don’t know, the CBA (sometimes just called ‘the contract’, or ‘agreement’) codifies all the work conditions, inclusive of salaries, raises, etc. for all the faculty members and librarians on campus (exclusive of employees who hold administrative positions or are department chairs). Those covered by the contract are part of what is called the FSU bargaining unit (the contract applies to everyone in the bargaining unit whether or not they have joined the union though only union members can ratify the contract). The contracts are legally binding agreements that are first negotiated by the Core Bargaining Team and Admin (see below) and then ratified by members.  Our CBA’s generally run for three (3) years.  Our current CBA covers the period from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2023.  Yes, it was not until February 2022 that we ratified the 2020-2023 CBA.  This is not unusual.  Many times, we do not complete bargaining until well into the new contract year.  

2023-2026 CBA 

Bargaining for the July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2026, CBA begins Spring 2023.  The FSU will inform the Provost’s Office and the Vice Chancellor of Human Resources in mid-December of our intent to begin bargaining in Spring. 

Core Bargaining Team (CBT) 

The Core Bargaining Team is the sole group that represents the FSU and negotiates with the Provost office and human resources for our successor agreement, the 2023-2026 CBA.  The CBT membership includes a librarian and at least one member of each rank.  

The CBT responsibilities 

The CBT proposes new language and/or amended language to the CBA.  This includes team members coming together to draft contract language for insertion into the CBA. This language is then presented to administration in a bargaining session.     

How does the CBT know what to propose?  

The FSU policies require the CBT to conduct a member survey.  The survey will be distributed in mid-November.    

In addition to a survey, the FSU Grievance Committee and FSU leadership maintain a running list of issues with contract language that requires clarification.  The CBT also reviews the past contract negotiations to determine what was done and what needs to be done. FSU member inquiries are also examined.  

What happens in a bargaining session?  

The CBT and administration (Provost, other Provost staff, Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, and Senior Labor Relations) meets together for a time of two to three hours.  One side presents a proposal. Discussion ensues. Counter proposals are made, usually at the next session.  

Time commitment 

Although we say we begin bargaining Spring 2023, when we end is unknown. Sometimes an agreement is done in the same calendar year. Others time, not so.   

Individual CBT members will need to be at all bargaining sessions (usually two-to-three-hour blocks) every couple of weeks and available to meet as a team between bargaining sessions.  

In exchange for serving, Article 5.6 of the contract incudes language related to providing a CLR or stipend to those who serve as a CBT member.  The CLR or stipend exists for the length of bargaining.  

How to be a CBT member 

To be on the CBT you must a dues paying member in good standing of the FSU.   

If you wish to join the CBT, please complete the attached application.  Once completed email the application to

Opportunities to be part of bargaining  

If serving on the CBT is not possible, there are still opportunities for you to be involved in your contract negotiations. 

Expanded Bargaining 

The FSU bargaining team is all FSU members (see here for a primer on expanded bargaining). The CBT are your designees who speak in bargaining sessions.  If you are an FSU member in good standing, you can attend a bargaining session as a silent attendee. This means you watch the proceedings without speaking.   

The CBT will send an email invitation to members announcing a bargaining session with instructions on how to be an expanded member. We anticipate expanded members will be virtual attendees.  

Bargaining Support Team (BST) 

Many times, the CBT is focusing on contract language yet also needs to inform you the members of what is taking placer and ask you to take some action.  A Bargaining Support Sub Committee, or Bargaining Support Team (BST) will be formed for the purpose of doing outreach to members and to ask members to act.  

Timeline on CBT activities 

Oct. 3 

Core Bargaining Team member applications are due 

Oct. 4th to 19th  

Committee of FSU Executive Committee members review applications and conduct brief interviews 

Oct. 19th 

FSU Executive Committee meets and selects the Core Bargaining Team (CBT)  

Oct 20th 

Selected members are contacted and asked to accept the appointment.  As outlined in Article 5.6 of the CBA, the team  member may receive a stipend or a course release for serving 

Oct 24th 

The FSU informs the provost’s office of Spring 2023 stipend/CLRs for the CBT 

Oct 25th to Nov 10th 

CBT meets.  Reviews and updates a survey to be sent to members. 

Nov and Dec 

Meet to begin drafting proposals.  Establish schedule to meet.  Determine when all members can meet for Spring bargaining.  

Mid December 

The FSU formally writes to the provost that we are ready to bargain beginning Spring 2023.  We include the day/times when the CBT is available to bargain.  

Spring 2023 

Bargaining begins.  

From the Faculty Staff Union

For information on the FSU, links to our contract and bargaining updates, and a calendar of events, see the FSU webpage