KEY WEST, Fla. — Faculty at The College of the Florida Keys (CFK) have spoken and by a vote of 20-13 establish the newest chapter of the United Faculty of Florida (UFF). The vote count followed a three-week period of balloting by mail and was certified today by the Florida Public Employees Relations Commission. Thirty-three of 34 faculty members voted in the election.
“Our outstanding faculty, assistant librarian and advisors have spoken,” said Steve Prettyman, Computer Science department chair. “Today they stood up for the future of the college and how its faculty and staff will be recognized. Our students, employees, and the college will greatly benefit from this decision. We are moving in a new direction, and I am proud and excited that the college will benefit from this vote.”
“I want to congratulate The College of the Florida Keys faculty as it becomes the thirty-second UFF chapter, as well as the fifteenth college chapter,” 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 Monroe County is inspiring. I and all the members of UFF welcome these faculty members as the United Faculty of Florida-The College of the Florida Keys Chapter (UFF-CFK). We are excited to add their passion, expertise and professionalism to our combined efforts to improve higher education in the state of Florida.”
“I’m excited and full of optimism about this outcome,” said Dr. Kirsten DeVries, professor of History. “I think the union will help the faculty, library staff and advisors more effectively contribute to the positive development of The College of the Florida Keys. I look forward to working with all members of the college community, because I know we all want what is best for our students and community. If we work together with that as our goal, we can do amazing things.”
The College of the Florida Keys faculty join faculties at St. Johns River State College, Lake-Sumter State College, Pasco-Hernando State College, Tallahassee Community College and State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota as the sixth new UFF college chapter in the past three-and-a-half years. Florida Polytechnic University also voted for union representation in that time. In all, the United Faculty of Florida has grown from 25 to 32 chapters in the past three-and-a-half years as college faculty realize that higher education needs their collective voices to support high quality education and to promote adequate and fair funding for public institutions.
UFF is the higher education affiliate of the Florida Education Association (FEA) and represents more than 14,000 full-time faculty, including those at all 12 public universities in Florida, at 15 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.