USF staff union seeks federal mediator
The union representing USF's nearly 2,000 staff members has asked a federal mediator to intervene in their contract negotiations with USF management.
The staff union is entering its third year of negotiations, which it describes as "stalled" in an e-mail sent this morning to its members.
"We have exhausted every approach in talks with management without resolution to many important issues to the staff," the e-mail explained. "In our view Federal Mediation will offer professional guidance for both sides to move to an agreement."
"It is clear that to continue talks as they have been conducted will not lead to agreement soon. We asked management to join us with Federal Mediation. So far they have refused without offering any other solution to find resolution. Nevertheless we have taken the step of calling in mediation."
Staff union leaders say that the USF board of trustees has been "reluctant" ever since it was established in 2003 in January 2003 to negotiate a labor contract. A court decision forced USF management to start negotiations in August 2005, but so far the two sides can't agree.
Among the outstanding non-economic issues:
* Comprehensive leave benefits.
* Job Security: layoff procedures, placement in lieu of layoff, recall
rights, and protection of pay in reassignments.
* Establishing fair and clear performance standards and evaluations.
* Fair grievance procedures.
* Union organizational rights to access the staff and provide
The e-mail concludes on this somber note: "If we can’t make immediate and significant progress with the use of Federal Mediation, we will be forced to seek resolution outside of direct negotiation with USF management."