During the past few years, USF has shown remarkable determination in its attempt to alienate every employee union with which it negotiates.
In April, the faculty union came to an agreement on a new contact after 10 months of debate.
The Oracle has chronicled the fruitless negotiations between USF and the Police Benevolent Association for the University Police. The situation now borders on an impasse. Though the recruitment and retention of quality officers is at stake, throughout the process USF has declined to show the urgency expected to provide UP with what they need to be as effective as possible.
Now, another union has found dealing with USF to be next to impossible. The St. Petersburg Times reported on its Web site that they had received an e-mail that was sent to members of the USF staff union.
The e-mail informs union members that the union has requested a federal mediator to intervene in the negotiations. The e-mail makes note of USF’s disturbing stance in regard to a third party. USF is refusing to involve a mediator, but the administration reportedly lacks interest in resolving negotiations through other avenues.
The contract negotiations between these two parties have been taking place for three years. The ineptitude to come to terms with a union that represents more than 2,000 USF staff members reflects negatively on the school.
The more USF frustrates employee unions, the more its image is tarnished as an employer. As it stands, USF is becoming a place where high-quality employees will no longer desire to work.
As the University expands its sphere of influence, there are many who wait for USF to show respect to those who have made its progress possible. While those in charge of the bargaining are willing to drag their feet, these unions represent employees who don’t have the time or money to waste.
USF’s inability to come to terms with these vital organizations displays once again that the school seriously needs to reassess its priorities. There is no chance of USF ever reaching its academic and research goals if it continues to ostracize those who make their success possible.