[indoor-gardening] EDUCATION: COLLEGE: NAMED COLLEGES: UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA : SCANDALS : EMPLOYMENT: FIRING JOB TERMINATION : FUNDING SOURCES : AGRICULTURE : UNITED STATES: STATES: FLORIDA : POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY : INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM : LIBERTARIANISM : AUSTERITY : ORGANIZATIONS: NAMED ORGANIZATIONS: AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL (ALEC): EMPLOYMENT AT WILL LAWS: St. Johns County Horticulture Agent’s Removal Raises Questions of UF’s Power over County Facility, Resources

 

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EDUCATION: COLLEGE: NAMED COLLEGES: UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA :

SCANDALS :

EMPLOYMENT: FIRING JOB TERMINATION :

FUNDING SOURCES :

AGRICULTURE :

UNITED STATES: STATES: FLORIDA :

POLITICS: POLITICAL PARTIES: REPUBLICAN PARTY, TEA PARTY :

INDUSTRIES: PETROLEUM :

LIBERTARIANISM :

AUSTERITY :

ORGANIZATIONS: NAMED ORGANIZATIONS:
AMERICAN LEGISLATIVE EXCHANGE COUNCIL (ALEC):

EMPLOYMENT AT WILL LAWS:

St. Johns County Horticulture Agent’s Removal Raises Questions
of UF’s Power over County Facility, Resources

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St. Johns County Horticulture Agent’s Removal Raises Questions
of UF’s Power over County Facility, Resources

By JAKE MARTIN

Posted: May 27, 2016 – 11:23pm

Updated: May 27, 2016 – 11:58pm

St. Augustine Record

http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2016-05-27/st-johns-county-
horticulture-agents-removal-raises-questions-ufs-power#.V0rHivkrLYU

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/j5crkfy

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Supporters of Keith Fuller, the former horticulture extension agent for St. Johns County removed from his post last year by the University of Florida, say his ousting is indicative of problems greater than personnel spats at the countys Agricultural Center and symptomatic of the universitys power on the countys dime.

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Fuller, who has also been an unpaid columnist for The Record for three decades, was given notice by UF of the non-renewal of his annual contract on Aug. 4, 2015. What ensued has become a nearly yearlong fight to regain his job, aided by Agricultural Center volunteers loyal to Fuller, against a backdrop of questions raised about St. Johns Countys memorandum of understanding with UF for extension services.

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The terms of that memorandum, approved by the Board of County Commissioners in June 2014, changed the status of Fuller and others at the Agricultural Center from long-standing county workers to non-tenured and non-permanent employees of UF.

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Meanwhile, the county continued to pay 100 percent of Fullers salary and benefits, as well as those of several other former county employees. According to county documents, Fullers salary for the 2015 fiscal year was $51,594.71 plus $14,343.33 in pooled fringe benefits.

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Of the 12 extension positions identified in the countys projected payroll budget for the 2015 fiscal year, eight were paid 100 percent by the county, three were paid 60 percent by the state and 40 percent by the county, and one was paid 20 percent by the state and 80 percent by the county.

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The countys reimbursement to UF for salaries and benefits for the 2015 fiscal year was $501,478 but budgeted at $582,715. Budgeted for the 2016 fiscal year was $600,200, which has again been requested for the 2017 fiscal year, according to this years Administrators Budget Workbook.

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snip

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Supporters of Fuller say whats been lost since his departure is a county voice in a leadership position at the Agricultural Center in exchange for several voices from the universitys headquarters in Gainesville calling for volunteers to put the matter to rest and move on.

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Fuller told The Record in April that he and other employees were not aware of the full ramifications of the memorandum until a meeting with UF human resources staff after it was signed.

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snip

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Florida is an employment-at-will state, meaning an employee can be dismissed by an employer for any reason  without having to establish just cause for termination  and without warning.

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snip

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Momol signed Fullers last annual performance appraisal, dated Feb. 5, 2015, in which Fuller was given a commendable overall rating.

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Comments accompanying Fullers exemplary performance in delivery/contacts read: Number of local programs and clientele contacts are admirable. Teaching skills are top notch and agent relates well to his audience. However, comments for his improvement required performance in communication and reporting skills read: A professional tone of voice with faculty, staff and volunteers is required at all times. We will appreciate your attention to this area in 2015.

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Additional comments, lacking in Fullers three previous appraisals, said Fuller puts an extreme amount of effort into his extension programs and provides knowledge and skills that are respected throughout the community.

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Fuller was given an exemplary rating in each of his three previous appraisals, all of which were signed by Momol.

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snip

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Fullers supporters say the county and UF are not abiding by Florida Statute 1004.37, dealing with county extension programs.

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As written in Florida Statute 1004.37: Boards of county commissioners or other legally constituted governing bodies will approve or disapprove of persons recommended for extension positions in the county.

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snip

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In a May 24 letter from Master Gardener Nana Royer to Jim DeValerio, interim horticultural agent for St. Johns County, she said UFs statements on the Fuller situation havent helped volunteers make sense of confusing changes at the Agricultural Center over the past year.

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I do not agree it is okay to simply stand aside, pretend all is well and let a wrong (Fullers dismissal) go unrighted, she wrote. To move forward, as you have suggested, would require that I stand on the shoulders of the bullying, the lies, and the disrespectful censorship by the UF/IFAS administration, as well as the inaction of the St. Johns County Commissioners.

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She closed her letter with notice of her resignation as a UF/IFAS Master Gardener volunteer.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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About ALEC

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ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve model bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

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Employment at Will | Employment & Labor Insider

Florida Law Firm Fires Workers For Wearing Orange – ABC News

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Employment at Willwhat does it mean? | PlanetPOV

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Apr 1, 2012 – Posts about Florida Department of Corrections written by 01varvara. … Orange Shirts By Nutter Boss in Neo-Fascist Republican Florida … The Republicans want to spread the godless brutal employment-at-will system

Employers hold the hammer when it comes to office politics – Reuters

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Finds Titles Such as These

Bowman, James S. “At-will employment in Florida government: A naked formula to corrupt public service.” Working USA 6, no. 2 (2002): 90.
http://tinyurl.com/hc3popp

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Morriss, Andrew P. “Exploding myths: An empirical and economic reassessment of the rise of employment at-will.” Mo. L. Rev. 59 (1994): 679.
http://tinyurl.com/z2xagg5

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McGinley, Ann C. “Rethinking civil rights and employment at will: Toward a coherent national discharge policy.” Ohio St. LJ 57 (1996): 1443.
http://tinyurl.com/jems9cr

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Duffy, Dennis P. “Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress and Employment at Will: The Case against Tortification of Labor and Employment Law.” BUL rev. 74 (1994): 387.
http://tinyurl.com/huepu78

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Battaglio, R. Paul. “Public service reform and motivation: Evidence from an employment at-will environment.” Review of Public Personnel Administration (2010).
http://tinyurl.com/z5rhmzo
http://tinyurl.com/gr3cntl

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Autor, David H., John J. Donohue, and Stewart J. Schwab. “The employment consequences of wrongful-discharge laws: large, small, or none at all?.” The American Economic Review 94, no. 2 (2004): 440-446.
http://tinyurl.com/gngxm4z

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