UF President Responds To Faculty Union
University of Florida President Bernie Machen responded to the claim that the school's budget cuts violate the Faculty Union's collective bargaining agreement at the Community Campus Council breakfast Wednesday morning. His message: It's too late to complain.
In a room full of community leaders and deans from various colleges on campus, Machen explained why the proposed $47 million budget cuts and the elimination of 430 jobs on campus are necessary. "The only thing that's a little disappointing is everyone had the chance to have input," said Machen," and some groups elected to sit aside and not have input. If you don't have input when you're given a chance to, you have a poor position to come in at the end and criticize what has been done."
Despite Machen's comments, Faculty Union President John Biro remains unconvinced. "It's not clear to us," claims Biro, "that UF does not have some resources to which it can turn to handle those cuts as an alternative to the layoffs."
The proposed cuts still have to be approved by the University's Board of Trustees, and Biro is hoping the administration will talk with the union before talking to the board. "These proposals for cuts were handed down without what we regard as adequate and meaningful conversation," says Biro.
Regardless, Machen stands by his claim that it's too little, too late. He says that he let each college's dean make the final decision on what is getting cut from their departments. "When the faculty declined to have input," said Machen, " the deans are still responsible for bringing forward cuts."
Machen also says that there's no time to re-discuss any alternative solutions to the budget crunch because the cuts must begin on July 1st.
-David Hamilton, WCJB TV20 News
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