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Press Release

St. Johns River State College Faculty Unionize

The faculty of St. Johns River State College (SJRSC) have spoken and by a vote of 83-27 establish the newest chapter of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF). The vote count followed a three-week period of secret balloting by mail and was certified today by the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission. In all, 77 percent of the faculty voted in the election.

Sandra Dotson-Kirn, SJRSC Nursing Instructor:

“This is a huge move in the right direction, improving communication between administrators and employees. I see positive things happening in the future for both!”

Clay Moore, SJRSC Faculty Senate President, Biological Sciences Professor:

“Having a chapter of United Faculty of Florida at SJR State is another important step forward for the faculty and their collaboration with the administration in the shared governance of the college.”

Dr. Bruce Fox, SJRSC Spanish Professor:

“I am very excited that we will now have a faculty union here at SJR State! This is not at all a repudiation of our administrators or an ‘us-versus-them’ movement. This unionization effort has been about developing and enhancing shared governance and establishing collective bargaining as legal equals under Florida’s Constitution.”

Dr. Karen Morian, President of UFF:

“I congratulate the St. Johns River State College faculty as it becomes our 31st chapter, as well as the 14th Florida college, to become part of United Faculty of Florida. Each of these faculty union drives was initiated by local faculty, not union staff or state union leaders. No one outside of their institutions collected any cards. They all filed with nearly double the required authorizations and majority membership. This is historic and a national example to the labor movement. We are thrilled to add their passion, expertise and professionalism to our efforts to improve higher education in the state of Florida.”

Background:

St. Johns River faculty join faculty at Pasco-Hernando State College, Lake Sumter State College, Tallahassee Community College, State College of Florida (Manatee-Sarasota) and Florida Polytechnic University in voting for union representation since 2016. In all, the United Faculty of Florida has grown from 25 to 31 chapters since 2016 as faculty and higher education professionals realize that higher education needs the collective voices of faculty to support high quality education and to promote adequate and fair funding for our public institutions.

SJRSC serves Putnam, Clay and St. Johns counties, which include Palatka, St. Augustine and Orange Park. It is known for being the location of the Florida School of the Arts (Floarts). Opened in 1976, Floarts is one of the premier public art colleges in Florida. SJR State awards its students technical certificates, A.A., A.S. and B.A. degrees. The college is also known for its excellent nursing program, and recently started an LPN certificate. Faculty have published articles in high-profile scholarly academic journals, books by academic and commercial presses, as well as presenting at conferences focused on teaching innovations.

Contacts:

Jay Maggio, St. Johns River State College Organizing Committee Co-Chair
jmaggio909@gmail.com, (352) 642-6204

Karen Morian, UFF President
karen.morian@floridaea.org, (904) 704-1033

Candi Churchill, UFF Field Organizer
candi.churchill@floridaea.org, (352) 281-7454

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UFF is the higher education affiliate of the Florida Education Association (FEA) and represents more than 20,000 full-time faculty, including those at all 12 public universities in Florida, at 14 state colleges and community colleges, and at the private Saint Leo University. UFF also represents more than 8,000 graduate assistants at four public universities in Florida. FEA is affiliated with the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, as well as the AFL-CIO.

 

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