‘Academic Views’

September 2020

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on September 2020 | Filed in Academic Views

President’s Report

David Stewart, President

Dear Colleagues,

We are beginning a new fall term unlike anything any of us have experienced before and one which will bring challenges that none of us anticipated. The personal has become professional in ways that have taken us all by surprise and many of us are dealing with family demands that we were not expecting. The responsibilities and anxieties created by this situation have obviously affected all dimensions of our lives. Nonetheless, the response of academic staff members to the COVID-19 situation has been phenomenal and we all should take pride in how we have addressed the challenge. The Administration continues to state how much they value our contributions in these circumstances, and we look forward to more tangible expressions of their gratitude. The situation is certainly very different from what I was expecting when I put my name forward to run for President. It is a great honour to have been chosen to represent you in this capacity and while I cannot promise to not make mistakes, I can promise to do my best on your behalf. We are currently involved in several grievances with the university. These include an unprecedented number of policy grievances, several investigations and numerous grievances reaching the arbitration level. I will be providing more information on this later in the fall.

I want to thank Paul Rogers for his years of service as President and for working to ensure as smooth a transition as possible under the circumstances. Similarly, I wish to thank Executive Director Sheila Miller and the TUCFA staff for their extraordinary work this spring and summer. The first meetings of our new executive, board and departmental representatives are scheduled for later this month and I look forward to working with the members you have selected as your representatives on these bodies.

With limited access to campus, opportunities for face to face interactions and meetings are limited. However, there are a couple of initiatives that I wish to move forward on as quickly as possible. First, given the changed nature of the work environment, we will be sending out a survey asking people about their experiences and how these have changed and how we might proceed with the assessment process in these circumstances. Responses to this survey will inform how we approach our discussions with the Administration in this area so please complete the survey. Marie-Andrée Bergeron, Nigel Caulkett, Hamid Habibi, and Melanee Thomas are taking the lead on this project and we all appreciate your co-operation on this important issue.

The second initiative is one that I highlighted in my campaign, namely improving membership engagement. I will be asking the Executive to appoint a Task Force on membership engagement to get views from the membership on your needs and expectations and to identify ways in which we can improve communication and representation. You are likely to be approached for your opinions on this as well, either through a survey, as part of a discussion group or both.

I was very pleased that the wage re-opener not only resulted in a wage increase, which the Provost indicates will take effect in October and be retroactive but also accepted the arguments we made and rejected most of the points the Administration raised in support of their argument for a salary cut. I want to express our appreciation to those who worked so hard to build and present our case on this issue. Our Collective Agreement expired on June 30, 2020 and we will be sitting down at the bargaining table on this soon; in the meantime, we will also be looking at bargaining for the following year. Obviously, the situation with both the Administration and Government will be difficult.

We have worked out an understanding to co-operate with the Confederation of Alberta Faculty Associations in the consultations with respect to the government’s Alberta 2030 post-secondary plans and Sheila Miller and I had a meeting with the Minister of Advanced Education to identify some of the concerns we have going forward. In this environment, it is critical to both build alliances and get access to decision makers.

I have replaced Paul Rogers on a variety of committees including the Academic Crisis Management Team (ACMT) and the committee recommending changes to GFC on the Handbook (the former GFC and APT Manuals relating to appointment, tenure, promotion and merit). Our interests and those of the Administration diverge on these issues and I am working to present our views as forcefully as possible. We are committed to collegial self governance and to ensuring that academic staff members play a major role in identifying vacancies, making appointments and establishing the standards for tenure, promotion and merit. I am grateful to be working with Associate Director Don Kozak on some of these issues and making sure that the Administration is aware of our concerns. With the ACMT we were able to achieve modifications in the technology statement to students as well as the return to work protocol but these involved compromises and the membership on this committee is determined solely by the Administration.

Although face to face meetings with the membership are not possible in these circumstances, I hope to set up regular townhall meetings through Zoom where I can respond to questions and hear concerns you wish to raise. Again, more communication on this front will be forthcoming.

Once again, let me say that is a great honour to represent you as President and I look forward to working with the Executive, Board, and departmental representatives in advancing our issues in the next two years.

Best wishes,

David

Back to Top

 

Updates and Changes to the USRI

You may recall that the Faculty Association filed a grievance regarding the use of USRI in tenure, promotion, merit assessment and hiring with the Provost last June. The grievance has moved through the grievance process of the Collective Agreement and the Faculty Association Board of Directors has decided to proceed to arbitration. The Association’s position is, the Administration should not be using USRI scores as a summative assessment tool or as evidence of teaching effectiveness in hiring, tenure, promotion, and merit processes.

An expert panel established by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) firmly established that such student ratings are intrinsically discriminatory based on a variety of legally prohibited grounds, as well as on several other inappropriate bases (e.g. general attractiveness). [See Report of the OCUFA Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching Working Group]

The Association, like others before us, argues that given the intrinsically discriminatory nature of student ratings, any decisions related to tenure, promotion, and salary increases (merit pay) that have been partly based on these ratings, has been affected by this intrinsic discrimination and has resulted in irreparable harm to those affected.

The Provost has recently announced some changes to the USRI questionnaire. These changes are the result of work being done by the USRI Working Group which reports to the GFC, and they appear to be addressing some of the obvious shortcomings of USRI in attempting to limit some of the intrinsic bias. However, the recent changes do not address the grievance that the Association filed, and therefore, do not change the position of the Faculty Association regarding how USRI scores are used in evaluating members for merit or tenure and promotion. While the USRI Working Group continues to work on modifying the questionnaire, consultations with stakeholders may prove to be ineffective if the purpose or perceived purpose of the USRI is affected by the outcome of the upcoming arbitration. For this reason, the Faculty Association is not participating in these changes until the arbitration is complete.

Back to Top

 

Faculty Association Representation

The Faculty Association would like to remind its members about the right to representation under the Collective Agreement. One of the key purposes of the Faculty Association is to protect academic staff interests through its work to resolve conflicts between members and the Administration. From time to time academic staff members may contact the Association for confidential advice. Many conflicts can be resolved informally at an early stage by the academic staff member with the advice of the Association and do not require Faculty Association representation. However, when there are situations that escalate which have the potential to lead to discipline, the Administration is required to advise you of your right to have a Faculty Association representative attend with you. In other situations, such as resolving conflicts, a Faculty Association advisor may also be useful. Please be aware of your rights for advice/representation. At any meeting with an Administrator where you are concerned that you need advice or representation – especially where the Administrator indicates that the results of such a discussion might lead to discipline — you can ask for a recess in the proceedings to allow you to have time to contact the Faculty Association for assistance.

Back to Top

 

Faculty Association Office Remains Available

As with most of our members, the Faculty Association Staff continue to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a strange and difficult time for new members to begin a career at the University of Calgary. We hope that your first few weeks have been a pleasant experience despite these challenges. While the Faculty Association staff are also working remotely; staff are available to assist new and ongoing members in the new reality. Likewise, new and often unexpected challenges arise for all members as the pandemic and University budget constraints unfold.

We continue to do our best to help members to navigate these issues. When an academic staff member contacts the Faculty Association, their inquiry is directed to the most appropriate staff person and triaged in order to best assist those individuals who have time sensitive concerns. Faculty Association staff endeavor to get back to individuals as quickly as possible. The best way to reach us is by emailing Faculty.Association@tucfa.com with your concerns and, if possible, how you would like us to help. However, we continue to monitor our phone line for voicemail messages, so feel free to also leave a message at (403) 220-5722.

Back to Top

 

Membership Emergency Fund

The Faculty Association provides Member Emergency Funding to help individual members under emergency circumstances due to a sudden loss or decline in remuneration from the University. Member Emergency Funding is not intended to be used in cases where normal remuneration is inadequate for an individual’s expenses. Rather, this funding is available when there is an unexpected drop in remuneration, or when a personal emergency arises. This funding is not intended to replace the normal assistance available from the government or other agencies.

In addition to current members, individuals who have held sessional, limited term or contingent term appointments which have recently terminated are eligible to apply. Relief may be provided as a grant, an interest-free loan, or as a combination grant/loan.

For more information on Member Emergency Funding, please contact Faculty Association Executive Director Sheila Miller, by phone, (403) 220-5722 or by email, Faculty.Association@tucfa.com.

All inquiries will be held in the strictest confidence.

Back to Top

 

Deans Surveys

The Faculty Association of the University of Calgary, in accordance with its policy concerning the Assessment of Deans and equivalents, has completed a survey of the academic staff members in Faculties where the Dean is at the end of their term, which includes the Dean of the Faculty of Law and the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The Association has begun to distribute an email survey to the academic staff members in Faculties where the Dean or Dean-equivalent is at the mid-point of their term including the Vice-Provost (Libraries and Cultural Resources), the Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, the Dean of the Haskayne School of Business, and the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing.

The results of these surveys are shared with the respective Deans and the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) subject to response thresholds in the policy. In the case of review or search committees, the results will also be shared with the members of those committees. The results for the survey of the Dean of the Faculty of Law and the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine have been distributed to members.

In accordance with the Faculty Association policy, information on only the quantitative results (statistics) of the survey will be released to the Association membership provided that the number of surveys received meets our requirements for the distribution of results. To ensure the survey’s validity, we treat responses in the same manner as an Association ballot.

Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.

Back to Top

September 2020

President’s Report


Updates and Changes to the USRI


Faculty Association Representation


Faculty Association Office Remains Available


Membership Emergency Fund


Deans Surveys

 

 

June 2020

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on June 2020 | Filed in Academic Views

President’s Report

Paul Rogers, President

With my term as Association President expiring on 30th June, this is my final message to you. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve in this role over the last two years, though I firmly wish that the last few months had not been as “interesting” as they have been. With you, the Association, and the University having to deal with significant challenges on a number of fronts these are very difficult times and my only comfort is the great confidence I have in both incoming Association President, David Stewart, and the staff of the Association, led by the redoubtable Sheila Miller (Executive Director), as they strive to promote and protect the interests of academic staff. I thank all of you, and especially those members who have served on the Department Representatives group, the members of the Association’s Board of Directors, and the members of the Association’s Executive Committee for all the wisdom and support that I have been offered during my term as President, and I encourage everyone to continue to provide the same to David Stewart during his term.

The Government of Alberta and Post-Secondary Education

You are surely well aware of the significant cuts the Government of Alberta has made to the funding it provides to both the University of Calgary and the wider post-secondary education (PSE) system in the Province (as reported in the Government’s budgets for 2019-20 and 2020-21). The damage that these cuts will cause is as yet unclear, as University Administration has revealed little detail of its plans for dealing with the cuts. The damage is sure to be very significant, and likely to be more so with additional Government funding cuts expected for the next two or three fiscal years at least.

There are additional troubling signs for post-secondary education in Alberta relating to the “Alberta 2030: Transforming Post-Secondary Education” initiative that has been announced by the Government, with the consulting firm McKinsey being awarded a $3.7M contract to develop a new strategy for the entire tertiary education system in the Province. Based on the limited information available so far on this initiative the Association has concerns relating to:

  • What opportunities there will be for academic staff, who do all the teaching and drive all of the research in the PSE system, to participate actively and significantly in the development of the new strategy?
  • What damage to Faculties, departments, programs, and disciplines might results from the imperative to “reduce duplication” across the PSE system?
  • How an increased focus on the “training” of students for immediate jobs might damage the breadth and depth of high-quality programs funded at the Province’s two research-intensive Comprehensive Academic and Research Universities (the UofC and the UofA), and reduce the capacity of the UofC to contribute to the intellectual, social, and cultural development of Alberta?
  • How might the governance changes embodied in the new strategy reduce the primacy of the voices of academic staff members and the authority of academic governance bodies in decision-making processes at the UofC?
  • How might governance changes diminish institutional autonomy (and increase Government direct control)?
  • How might the Government attempt to remove or reduce the rights of academic staff members in the intellectual property they create?
  • How might the new strategy impact the important role of Faculty Associations in university governance and in promoting and protecting the rights of academic staff members?

The Association will be making it clear to the Government that as the representative of more than 2,300 academic staff, we expect to be invited to participate in this initiative.

University Administration’s “Growth Through Focus” Plan

After a positive beginning to his term as President during which President McCauley visited all Faculty Councils to listen to the concerns of academic staff across the University, the Association has been disappointed that very little has been shared with the University on what was learned during this “listening tour” and how the President intends to act on what was learned. It is only in the last few weeks via a short presentation at General Faculties Council on 11th June and an online Town Hall on 24th June that any information has been shared relating to what will be the University’s vision and plan following the imminent demise of “Eyes High” a couple of years from now.

The Association is very troubled by some of the content in the GFC presentation and Town Hall which raises the following concerns:

  • Why is this information coming out so very late in the academic year when the severity of the Government of Alberta cuts to UofC funding has been known since late-2019? While there appears to have been plenty of discussion of this plan amongst the Executive and Senior Leadership Teams, there appears to have been no involvement of academic staff or of academic governance bodies so far.
  • Further, with an apparent plan to have decisions made by mid-October, what will be the opportunities for academic staff to participate in planning and decision-making from this point on? The GFC and Town Hall slide shows appear to suggest that opportunities will be limited to participating in some sort of survey that will launch this week. Academic staff must be involved and take a leading role in determining what the future UofC will be – these are not decisions to be made solely by Administration.
  • The Association believes that the strength of a comprehensive research-intensive university comes from the full range of disciplines that it houses. If the goal is to “focus”, who is it that will be making decisions (and on what basis) as to which areas will grow and which will wither? Can a comprehensive research-intensive university really do without (or make do with drastically underfunded) Mechanical Engineering, or Political Science, or Philosophy programs? It has been over 6 months since “differential cuts” appeared on a slide at the November 2019 budget town hall, but no information has been shared on what Administration’s plans are in this regard.
  • There is far too much attention paid to developing a “distinct brand” rather than protecting the quality of academic programs and research. I have been approached by several colleagues bemused by this who have asked what is the brand of some of the top research-intensive universities globally or within Canada such as Stanford, Oxford, Toronto, or McGill?
  • Finally, there are signs of an apparent lack of transparency on the Administration’s part in this process. Only last week did it become public that McKinsey & Company was hired to perform some sort of “high-level diagnostic” in late 2019, and no documentation on the nature or results of this study is available outside of Administration. Further, only through information provided at a University of Alberta town hall (on its similar plan for the future under the banner “UofA for Tomorrow”) was it made public that the UofC is one of 6 Canadian universities participating in a global benchmarking initiative known as UniForum. The Association is unaware of any communications from Administration on the UofC’s participation in UniForum.

I expect that you will be hearing much more on this topic from incoming Association President David Stewart.

Academic Staff Member Concerns with Remote Instruction for Fall Semester 2020

The Association continues to hear from a number of members on a range of concerns relating to remote instruction in Fall 2020. The main concerns we are hearing are common across a wide range of faculties and include the following:

  • Members with health concerns who do not wish to teach any course components in person in Fall 2020. If you wish to teach fully remotely but are being pressured to offer some course components in person, please bring this to the attention of the Faculty Association office.
  • Members with child-care or other caregiving responsibilities who are unable to teach course components synchronously in Fall 2020. If you are in this situation and wish to teach asynchronously but are being pressured to teach synchronously, please bring this to the attention of the Faculty Association office.
  • Members who have concerns relating to the significant increase in workload relating to moving an entire in-person course to remote instruction. This is a particular concern to those with larger than average teaching loads.
  • Members who have concerns as to the preservation of their intellectual property rights in their teaching materials with the involuntary move to remote instruction.
  • Members who do not have access to good “technology” at home to support remote teaching. It is the Association’s position that the University should provide the equipment necessary (e.g. camera, microphone) and that members should not be expected to fund the acquisition of this equipment from their limited Professional Expense Reimbursement allocations.
  • Members who would like more ready access to support and/or advice (both general and discipline-specific) to help with the move to remote instruction.
  • Members who see no value in final examinations that are open book/open web and do not wish to have a registrar-scheduled final examination as one of the assessments in their courses in Fall 2020. If you do not wish to include a final examination in your course but are being pressured to include one, please bring this to the attention of the Faculty Association office (Faculty.Association@tucfa.com).
  • Members teaching laboratory-based course components in Faculties where there have been reductions in technical staff who support laboratories.

The Association and Administration have signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) relating to remote teaching in Fall 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This MoA includes the following two new elements:

  • Improvement in sick-time for sessional instructors: all Sessional staff with appointments for the Fall 2020 term who become ill with COVID-19 after the beginning of the Fall 2020 term will continue to receive full salary and benefits for the duration of their illness, or until the expiry of the Fall 2020 term, whichever occurs first.
  • Regarding the Universal Student Ratings of Instruction (USRI): student feedback through the USRI will be collected for Fall 2020 courses; however, the Governors will only release this feedback to course instructors. Feedback will not be released to department heads, associate deans or deans unless the course instructor provides prior approval.

I should note that academic staff members have concerns over and above anything mentioned above, especially relating to how merit and promotion processes will be adjusted in the light of disruptions to teaching and research activities relating to COVID-19. Please be aware that it has already been agreed that these important concerns will be dealt with through negotiations between the Association and Administration in the Fall.

Back to Top

 

Expenses of Working Remotely: Keep Your Receipts

Several members have raised concerns around the additional expenses incurred as a result of the transition to working remotely. For example, some members did not have webcams or a suitable laptop for working at home, some members have had to purchase home office equipment for improved ergonomics, and some have seen their utility costs increase significantly. The Faculty Association continues to raise these concerns with the Administration. As was noted in the past, the Association was able to negotiate early access to the 20/21 Professional Expense Reimbursement (PER) amount, so members have been able to utilize those funds since April 1. PER or funding from other sources (such as research grants) may provide some relief where the expenses are appropriate under those rules. However, where there is not a source of funding, some members have asked whether they will be able to get a T2200 form to allow for deductions from taxes for these expenses. In the past the Administration has refused to provide such forms; however, they are currently investigating whether the situation related to the ‘stay at home’ order may change this. The Faculty Association is also pursuing this further with CAUT. As this question is still up in the air, it is recommended that members keep good records of these additional expenses including any relevant receipts in case they may become useful at a later date.

Back to Top

 

Item from the Faculty Association’s Universities Academic Pension Plan (UAPP) Trustee

You may have read in the media that AIMCo, the investment manager for significant pension plans and other assets in Alberta, has incurred a substantial loss relating to an unwise investment strategy that it has been pursuing. The Chief Executive Officer of AIMCo, Kevin Uebelein, issued a public statement on 30th May (see https://www.aimco.ca/insights/a-message-from-the-ceo) in which the scale of the loss was estimated at around $2.1B on an investment portfolio of around $118.8B. This loss is on top of the “regular” fall in investment portfolios experienced by institutional investors worldwide, associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. AIMCo’s Board of Directors followed up with a public statement on 14th May (see https://www.aimco.ca/insights/a-message-from-the-board) announcing that it is undertaking a “comprehensive review” of the failed strategy to identify lessons learned and enhancements to AIMCo’s investment and risk management processes.

The “regular” and failed strategy losses will clearly have some impact on the UAPP, but the scale of this will not be known until the “shape” of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic becomes more clear. The UAPP Board of Trustees has posted publicly its Annual Report for calendar 2019 (see http://uapp.ca/media/1281/2019-annual-report-final.pdf) which includes an “update” page focusing on changes in plan assets since the year-end (as page 5) and also a “subsequent event” note to the financial statement (on page 65).

Back to Top

 

Grievance Updates

This has been a very busy year for the Faculty Association. Currently the Association is working on about 100 open files which include the full gamut from simple questions to major investigations, and dismissals. In addition to these, the Faculty Association has been working through several policy grievances and a multitude of upcoming arbitrations with the University Administration. Policy grievances and arbitrations consume a considerable amount of time for the Association grievance officers and professional staff. The following is a briefing on some of the policy issues that the Association is currently dealing with.

The Collective Agreement Articles 12.8 and 12.9 outline how teaching duties can be assigned to academic staff in Spring and Summer sessions. Teaching in the Spring or Summer Session may be assigned as part of the regular workload for academic staff in the Instructor ranks. It is not permissible under the Collective Agreement for regular assigned duties to include teaching in both Spring and Summer sessions in one academic year (July 1 – June 30). If the teaching is voluntarily agreed to by the academic staff member in addition to regular assigned duties, the academic staff member is to receive extra compensation for this work as per the Collective Agreement, Schedule “A”. For academic staff in the Professorial ranks, teaching in the Spring or Summer sessions cannot be assigned as part of the regular workload (although academic staff members can voluntarily agree). And again, any teaching that is over and above the regular assigned duties would be subject to extra compensation. There was a practice in the Faculty of Nursing of assigning workload in both spring and summer. The Association filed a grievance on this which has been rejected so we are proceeding to arbitration. The Association sides person for this upcoming arbitration is Jim Turk, the former Executive Director of CAUT. This arbitration was to be proceeding this Spring. However, given the pandemic, it has been put on hold and has now been scheduled for March 24 to 26, 2021.

The Association filed a grievance against the use of the Universal Student Rating Instrument (USRI) as a summative assessment tool and the administration’s use of it as evidence of teaching effectiveness in hiring, tenure, promotion, and merit processes. Association representatives met with the Provost in September and she has since denied this grievance. The Association’s Board of Directors has voted to proceed to arbitration. Both sides have now appointed sides people and a chairperson has been assigned by the Alberta Labour Board. The arbitration is now scheduled for January 25 to 29 and February 26, 2021.

The Association has grieved the Academic Medicine and Health Service Program Agreement that the University has entered with Alberta Health Services (AHS). The grievance alleges that the Governors signed an agreement with Alberta Health that is in violation of our Collective Agreement. The Association did not ask for remedies that would harm our members; rather we are insisting that the Governors not sign any future agreements that affect the terms and conditions of employment without our agreement, given our rights as the exclusive bargaining agent of academic staff. The Provost rejected this grievance so it too will proceed to arbitration. Both sides have now appointed sides people and will be working to appoint a chair soon.

Before the 2019 round of merit assessments, the Association and Administration agreed to the form (Academic Performance Report) that would be used. Since the software company chosen by Administration to administer the APR was in the United States, the Association expressed concerns around the storage of APR and tenure and promotion information in the US as it would make that information subject to the United States Patriot Act. The Association was assured that the information would not be stored in the US. The Association was later informed that the information provided was incorrect. On this basis, the Association filed a grievance with the Deputy Provost. The Association has met with the Deputy Provost on this and she has denied the grievance. The Association has elevated this to the Provost and a meeting with the Provost has been held. The Provost has denied this grievance and this grievance will be proceeding to arbitration.

Within the Collective Agreement is a Letter of Understanding on Contracting Out. This agreement allows the Administration to contract with third parties in certain circumstances for teaching and other academic work. However, the Administration has been using this agreement to offer courses without providing any compensation to those teaching the course. Our problem is that with their interpretation, they could decimate the Faculty Association as they claim they can contract out without limit. We believe that there are limits. This is not just an aspect of contract law; the Canadian Revenue Agency, Employment Standards, and other bodies are actively dealing with issues about whether a person is an employee. This grievance was denied by the Provost and the Association’s Board of Directors has decided to proceed to arbitration.

Once the GFC Academic Staff Criteria & Processes Handbook was approved by GFC, the Association believes that the Faculties should have been freed to start making changes to the Faculty Guidelines related to tenure, promotion, assessment, and hiring criteria. However, we have been told by some Deans that the Provost’s office has directed them not to make any changes. Therefore, we filed a grievance against the Provost for denying the Faculty Councils their rights to make changes to Faculty Guidelines. We met with the Provost. In her reply, she agreed to let the Faculties update their Faculty Guidelines but only to the point to delete all the material that is now illegal, such as references to processes that now contradict the Collective Agreement. However, she did not say that the Faculty Councils can start making changes. Although her grievance response did not say this, we believe that the Administration wants to stop the Faculties from making any changes to the Guidelines until the Handbook committee finishes making changes to the Handbook. As a compromise, we agreed to delay proceeding with the grievance until the end of September.

The Association has recently filed two policy grievances related to sessional instructor contracts and the move online during the pandemic. The first one is for Winter 2020 Sessional instructors; the second is for Spring/Summer 2020 sessional instructors. We did try to get this included in the recent MOA on COVID-19 that we signed but the Administration steadfastly refused to consider extra compensation for sessional instructors.

The Association argues that sessional instructors are given a contract that specifies the workload, establishes a half-course equivalent for that work, and then provides payment for the specific work done. It is a fee for service model. If the Governors change the amount of work assigned, the HCE and the compensation must be adjusted accordingly. What is being argued is that having come to an agreement on what job is to be done, the HCE value of that work, and the corresponding compensation, the Governors have unilaterally changed the provisions of that contract by putting the course online in the middle of the term. Because this was done unilaterally, we are proposing to grieve the Governors for violating their contracts with sessional instructors and asking for an across the board increase in the HCE of 25%.

For Spring/Summer sessional instructors, the Association’s argument is somewhat different in that the courses hadn’t started at the time the grievance was filed. However, for some of the Spring/Summer sessional instructors, the contracts were already in before the Provost announced the courses would be on-line. During the discussions of the COVID-19 MOA, the Association pressed for sessional instructors to be permitted to reopen their agreements for Spring/Summer. The Administration refused. So this grievance is about those members where the Governors have changed the nature of the contract without negotiation with the affected member.

The first stage of the above two grievances (Winter 2020 sessionals and Spring/Summer 2020 sessionals) was heard by the Deputy Provost. She has denied the grievance stating that there is no evidence that there was any increase in workload as a result of the move to remote course delivery and that all academic staff were provided with additional resources to support the transition to remote delivery. The Association has informed the Provost that we intend to move to the next level in the grievance which is a meeting with the Provost. This meeting will likely happen in September. In the meantime, we would like to hear from sessional instructors to gather evidence. Do you agree with the Deputy Provost that there was no increase in workload as a result of the move mid-term to remote delivery? Please send us your stories or any other information you have detailing any increased workload you experienced due to the move to remote delivery. We would also like to hear whether sessional instructors had access to the resources that the Deputy Provost claims were available to all academic staff for the move to remote delivery. Please send this information to the Faculty Association office at Faculty.Association@tucfa.com. In using any of the information gathered, we will not divulge your name or other identifying information to the administration.

Back to Top

 

Updated form for Reduced Duties Leading to Retirement

Recently the Faculty Association alerted Academic Relations to issues with the form associated with Reduced Duties Leading to Retirement (RDLTR). The previous form was inconsistent with the Articles of the Collective Agreement. The Association’s concerns have mostly* been addressed and a new form should be available to academic staff. If you have previously requested a form, we advise you to contact Human Resources again to ensure you have the most up to date document.

Under the Collective Agreement, RDLTR allows an eligible academic staff member to apply for a reduced assignment of duties (i.e. leave without pay (LWOP) from a portion of duties) immediately preceding a specified retirement date as named by the academic staff member. There are three specific options for RDLTR plus an option for alternative arrangements to be considered. RDLTR is approved by the Provost on the recommendation of the Dean (or Dean-equivalent) and such approval cannot be unreasonably withheld. The Collective Agreement language can be found in Schedule ‘A’, Article 2.22. A copy of the Collective Agreement is available online here.

One benefit of the RDLTR arrangement is that the employer pays the full employer’s share of required premium contributions for benefit plans (as listed in Article 2.22.3) as if the staff member were on full pay. Further, subject to the provisions of the Universities Academic Pension Plan, the staff member may elect to establish the LWOP period as pensionable service under that Plan, in which case the Governors contributes both the required employer’s share and the employee’s share applicable to the LWOP period.

*One outstanding issue with the form where the Association does not agree with the Administration relates to the rare case where an academic staff member requests that the RDLTR arrangement be rescinded. A RDLTR arrangement can only be rescinded with the agreement of both Parties to the Collective Agreement, i.e. the Faculty Association and the Governors. On the form, academic staff members will see a note outlining the possible re-payment of employer pension and benefit amounts if a RDLTR arrangement is rescinded. The Administration has asserted they have the option to require an academic staff member to reimburse the employee-portion of the pension contributions and the group benefits paid on their behalf by the University during the RDLTR period. The Association disagrees that this is permissible under the Collective Agreement and has told the Administration that once they require this reimbursement by an academic staff member, it would likely become the subject of a formal grievance. We ask that any academic staff member considering a request to rescind their RDLTR arrangement contact the Faculty Association for an initial discussion.

Back to Top

 

Faculty Association Representation

The Faculty Association would like to remind its members about the right to representation under the Collective Agreement. One of the key purposes of the Faculty Association is to protect academic staff interests through its work to resolve conflicts between members and the administration. From time to time academic staff members may contact the Association for confidential advice. Many conflicts can be resolved informally at an early stage by the academic staff member with the advice of the Association and do not require Faculty Association representation. However, when there are situations that escalate which have the potential to lead to discipline, the administration is required to advise you of your right to have a Faculty Association representative attend with you. In other situations, such as resolving conflicts, a Faculty Association advisor may also be useful. Please be aware of your rights for advice/representation. At any meeting with an Administrator where you are concerned that you need advice or representation – especially where the administrator indicates that the results of such a discussion might lead to discipline — you can ask for a recess in the proceedings to allow you to have time to contact the Faculty Association for assistance.

Back to Top

 

Faculty Association Office Remains Available

As with most of our members, the Faculty Association Staff continue to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. New and often unexpected challenges arise for our members as the pandemic and University budget constraints unfold, and we continue to do our best to help members to navigate these issues. The best way to reach us is by emailing Faculty.Association@tucfa.com with your concerns and, if possible, how you would like us to help. However, we continue to monitor our phone line for voicemail messages, so feel free to also leave message at (403) 220-5722.

Back to Top

 

Membership Emergency Fund

The Faculty Association provides Member Emergency Funding to help individual members under emergency circumstances due to a sudden loss or decline in remuneration from the University. Member Emergency Funding is not intended to be used in cases where normal remuneration is inadequate for an individual’s expenses. Rather, this funding is available when there is an unexpected drop in remuneration, or when a personal emergency arises. This funding is not intended to replace the normal assistance available from the government or other agencies.

In addition to current members, individuals who have held sessional, limited term or contingent term appointments which have recently terminated are eligible to apply. Relief may be provided as a grant, an interest-free loan, or as a combination grant/loan.

For more information on Member Emergency Funding, please contact Faculty Association Executive Director Sheila Miller, by phone, (403) 220-5722 or by email, Faculty.Association@tucfa.com .
All inquiries will be held in the strictest confidence.

Back to Top

 

Correction in Tenure / Promotion / Renewal / Transfer

In the last edition of this newsletter (May 2020), we stated that in the case of promotion/transfer to the ranks of full Professor or Teaching Professor, the case would go to the Promotion Review Committee. That was incorrect in reference to transfer between the streams (e.g. from the Teaching Professor to Professor, or from Professor to Teaching Professor). The Collective Agreement states that applications for transfer will be “processed per the Dean’s decision, subject only to an appeal to the Promotion Review Committee”. In other words, unlike promotions, transfers to the rank of Professor or Teaching Professor do not go to the Promotion Review Committee except in the case of appeal. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience that our inaccurate information may have caused.

Back to Top

 

Gazette

CAUT Dues Changes

A minor change in CAUT dues take effect on July 1, 2020. These dues are calculated by applying a mil rate to the national average salary at each rank. While the mil rate remains unchanged at 1.50, variations in the national average salary result in slight changes to the dues amounts. The monthly amounts are as follows:

CAUT Membership Fees 2020-21 (2019-20)

  • Professor $19.92 ($18.80)
  • Associate $15.86 ($15.16)
  • Assistant $12.88 ($12.26)
  • Part-time/Sessional $3.91 ($3.84)

The amount paid to the CAUT Defence Fund remains the same for 2020-21 at $5.50 per month.

 

Back to Top

June 2020

President’s Report

Expenses of Working Remotely: Keep Your Receipts

Item from the Faculty Association’s Universities Academic Pension Plan (UAPP) Trustee

Grievance Updates

Updated form for Reduced Duties Leading to Retirement

Faculty Association Representation

Faculty Association Office Remains Available

Membership Emergency Fund

Correction in Tenure / Promotion / Renewal / Transfer

 

GAZETTE

CAUT Dues Changes

May 2020

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on May 2020 | Filed in Academic Views

Academic Staff and Remote Instruction

As we all know, in March there was an urgent need to act quickly in responding to the CoVID-19 pandemic which resulted in an almost immediate transition from predominantly classroom-based instruction to entirely web-based instruction in the winter term. The winter semester was not a loss for students or the University thanks largely to the hard work and flexibility of academic staff members. With fully remote instruction continuing into spring/summer 2020, members of the Association are continuing to bear the unexpected additional workload burden associated with remote instruction. Members with significant concerns are encouraged to bring these to our attention.

It’s not clear when we will be able to safely resume classroom-based instruction fully, and with the news that instruction in fall 2020 will be predominantly remote, we have to think the implications of continuing remote instruction for academic freedom, security, and equity.

It is important to note that the Association believes that, outside of deliberately-created on-line programs approved by Faculty Councils, the method of delivery of courses should be left to the academic staff member as part of your academic freedom. Circumstances have forced a temporary adjustment to that, but we believe that post-COVID, you should not lose your right to choose the best method of course delivery. Your rights as an academic haven’t changed in this era of remote instruction – the Collective Agreement and the University of Calgary Intellectual Property Policy remain in force.

While Academic Freedom protects academic staff from actions by the Administration, it doesn’t protect an academic’s reputation in the public realm. While this has always been the case, one should be more conscious of this in an era of online lectures. It’s important to remember that all online activities may be recorded somehow, and these records are difficult to delete and could be reviewed later. Further, the ability for students to record lectures without permission is greater online. Even with the best efforts of academic staff, the teaching platforms, and the University Administration, there’s no guarantee that these records or recordings made of your lectures will not be reviewed or shared someday.

Whether recorded by an academic staff member or by a student, the lecture or other material presented on-line is the intellectual property of the creator and sharing or using that recording without the consent of the creator would be infringing on that person’s intellectual property and copyrights. The University of Calgary Academic Regulations addresses students recording lectures, and instructors might want to draw students’ attention to those policies in their course outlines and/or at the beginning of online lectures.

Worse, in some more controversial lectures, snippets of the discussion could be taken out of context to embarrass or discredit academics. Unfortunately, the University, like most, does not have a great track record when it comes to defending members whose reputations are being targeted by the public, the media, or the Government. Assume that anything you say and do online has the potential to be shared with the public.

While inequities persist at the University of Calgary, they may be less visible and exacerbated when working remotely. The sudden transition to online instruction likely resulted in an increased teaching workload for most members, but the change in workload was not distributed equally as the challenges varied significantly among disciplines and among individual classes. Additionally, there are other unseen factors such as childcare, eldercare, illness, access to resources, and so on, that can result in inequities.

The Faculty Association has negotiated a number of changes to processes already. In particular, all tenure-track academic staff members had their tenure clock extended, provisions were established to allow adjustments for those on research and scholarship leave or about to go on one, and the 2020-21 PER entitlement was opened up early to allow more resources to be available to academic staff when they needed them. Going forward, the Memorandum of Agreement with the Board of Governors establishes that further negotiations will occur given that remote instruction will continue in the Fall; in particular we will be discussing adjustments that will need to be made to the assessment, tenure, and promotion processes and criteria.

Sometimes, having little choice but to adopt new technologies can help us to make significant progress in how we do things. Perhaps, members are becoming more comfortable with online instruction technologies now and will be interested in continuing to use them to enhance learning. However, in most cases, online instruction cannot fully replicate the engagement that’s achieved through in-person instruction. Decisions around online learning must be pedagogically driven/supported and not driven by the need to balance the University budget. As stated earlier, decisions as to how and when academics use online instruction after the pandemic are clearly in the realm of academic freedom and should, therefore, be made by the academics.

Members are encouraged to contact the Faculty Association if they have questions or concerns about the issues raised in this article.

Back to Top

 

Sessional Instructors Teaching in Winter, Spring or Summer 2020

The Faculty Association has filed two policy grievances related to sessional contracts and the move online during the pandemic. The first one is for Winter Sessional instructors; the second is for Spring/Summer sessional instructors.

The argument is that sessional instructors are given a contract that specifies the workload, establishes a half-course equivalent for that work, and then provides payment for the specific work done. It is a fee-for-service model. If the University changes the amount of work assigned, the workload listed in the contract (i.e. the half-course equivalent [HCE] value) and the compensation must be adjusted accordingly. This is in contrast to regular academic staff who work full time and are governed by the Workload Article in the Collective Agreement.

What is being argued for Winter sessional instructors is that having come to an agreement on what job was to be done, the HCE value of that work, and the corresponding compensation, the Governors unilaterally changed the provisions of that contract by putting the courses on-line in the middle of the term. This added significant work for the sessional instructors that was not considered in the contract or compensation. The sessional instructor may not have accepted the contract if they knew that they would have to completely revamp the course or perhaps they would have not accepted it for the amount of compensation offered. Because this was done unilaterally, we have grieved the Governors for violating their contracts with sessional instructors and have asked for an across-the-board increase in the HCE for those contracts of 25%.

For Spring/Summer sessional instructors, the argument is somewhat different in that the courses hadn’t started at the time we filed the grievance. However, for some of the Spring/Summer sessional instructors, the contracts were already in force – for example, for sessional instructors who have a one-year contract, or where they signed the contract for Spring/Summer before the Provost announced the courses would be on-line. During the discussions of the COVID Memorandum of Agreement, the Association had asked the Administration to allow sessional instructors to reopen their agreements for Spring/Summer. The Administration refused. So, this grievance is again about those sessional members where the Governors have unilaterally changed the nature of the contract without negotiation with the affected member.

Back to Top

 

Tenure/Promotion/Renewal/Transfer

Normally, the Faculty Association offers workshops related to the tenure, renewal of tenure track, promotion or transfer between the streams for academic staff members who are considering applying through these processes. Given the current situation, we are unable to provide the same sort of workshop as we have in the past; however, we remain available to help members with any questions they have regarding these processes. What follows are some of the suggestions we have for members who may be applying for tenure, promotion, renewal, or transfer between the streams this year. In all of the comments below the term “Head” is defined as being the person who prepares the initial recommendation regarding your application, in non-departmentalized faculties, this could be an Associate Dean or some other person designated by the Dean. It cannot be a shared role; there can only be one “Head” for each applicant.

Special Deferral due to COVID-19 Pandemic

All members who are on the tenure track have automatically received a one-year deferral of consideration, whether you are applying this year or in a future year. The reason is that everyone’s work has been disrupted and therefore everyone deserves additional time before being reviewed for tenure or renewal. However, if you want to apply for tenure this year, you are free to do so.

Promotion is linked with tenure if you are at the introductory rank and are on the tenure-track

For people who are applying for tenure at the assistant level (i.e. assistant professor, assistant archivist, assistant librarian) or instructor, receiving tenure will automatically move you up to the associate level or senior instructor. If you have those ranks on the tenure track you cannot apply for promotion without tenure. For anyone else (those at other ranks, or those who are not tenure track), there is not the same link between tenure and promotion.

Where to find the rules

The rules regarding the process for tenure, renewal of tenure track, promotion, and transfer between the streams are established in Article 28 of the Collective Agreement. You can find the Collective Agreement on the Faculty Association’s webpage (www.tucfa.com).

While the Collective Agreement defines the process to be used, the criteria for consideration are found in the GFC Academic Staff Criteria and Processes Handbook (aka the “GFC Handbook”). You can find it here: https://ucalgary.ca/hr/sites/default/files/teams/239/gfc-academic-staff-criteria-and-processes-handbook_final.pdf. Those criteria will be in effect for the current applications; however there is a working group actively reviewing the GFC Handbook, so if you are looking to apply in future years, check back to see what changes are put in place.

The Collective Agreement and the GFC Handbook permit Faculty Councils to interpret the criteria in the GFC Handbook to explain how they apply in the various disciplines. Although the Faculty Councils may refine and interpret GFC’s criteria, they may not add, contradict, or create new criteria unless specifically authorized to do so by the GFC Handbook. The problem is that the Faculties have not been permitted to update their Guidelines for several years. (Although the Faculty Association has filed a grievance against the Provost arguing that Faculties should be allowed to update their Guidelines, she has refused to release the Faculties to start such work. Presumably, she is waiting for the GFC Handbook Working Group to make a recommendation to GFC on changes.) So, when you look at your Faculty’s Guidelines, you have to read them recognizing that none of the processes apply anymore (they are in the Collective Agreement now) and that the criteria need to be interpreted consistent with the GFC Handbook. That being said, the Faculty Guidelines are very important in determining how your Faculty will look at your application.

You can find the Faculty Guidelines here: https://www.ucalgary.ca/hr/work-compensation/labour-relations/academic-labour-relations/academic-staff-tucfa/guidelines. As with the GFC Handbook, the Faculty Councils will likely start redrafting their Faculty Guidelines in the next academic year, so if you are applying for these processes in future years, pay attention (and participate!) in the discussion of any proposals for changes to these Guidelines that are considered by your Faculty Council. For those applying in the current year, any changes to Guidelines would not be applied retroactively, so even if changes are made to the Guidelines this year it will likely be the case that the existing version is what will be used in considering your case.

Tenure/Renewal Timeline

The “normal” progression towards tenure for those hired at the entry-level rank within a stream is that there is a four-year tenure-track appointment. At the beginning of the penultimate year (i.e. year 3) you would apply for a two-year renewal. At the beginning of year 5 (penultimate year of renewal) you would apply for tenure.

For anyone hired on the tenure-track at a rank higher than the lowest rank, you are not eligible for a renewal of tenure-track and would be expected to apply for tenure at the beginning of the penultimate year (year 3).

There are many ways to change this timeline.

At any time that you think you are ready to go for tenure, you can go for tenure “early”. However this should be used carefully as you can only apply for tenure twice, and going early may have the effect of shortening the amount of time available to you. We would advise consulting with your Head (or equivalent) and/or the Faculty Association before applying early.

You can also change the timeline through deferrals. For all current tenure-track members, there has been a one-year deferral put in place in recognition of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as noted earlier.

There are four kinds of deferrals listed in the Collective Agreement. They can be used at the point of renewal or at the point of tenure consideration (see Collective Agreement Article 28.6.3 for tenure or 28.8.3 for renewal):

  1. Personal – at any time on or before November 25, you can defer consideration for one year by notifying the Dean. You can only use this once, either at the point of renewal or tenure. This is an entitlement — it cannot be denied.
  2. Dean’s deferral – this is generally used for anything outside of your control. Dean’s deferrals are very common when there is sickness, or a personal crisis, or when academic duties restrict you from working on your research, or other such reasons. These are granted at the discretion of the Dean. They can be approved more than once, but after the first, the Dean has to go to the Provost for confirmation.
  3. Parental deferrals – if you take a parental leave, you automatically get a parental deferral.
  4. Provost and VP Academic Deferrals – The Provost can approve deferrals; usually, these are for more serious cases or situations.

Application Process

For all the processes – renewal, tenure, promotion, and transfer – you give the Dean notice of your intention to apply by June 15th. In the case of all processes except renewal, you will provide names of possible referees at the same time. In the case of those in the professoriate, or professional streams, the referees will be from outside the university; in the case of those in the instructor stream, they may be from within the university, outside of your department. You can also provide a list of individuals you feel should be consulted as part of your application either from within or outside the University.

By September 1, you provide a copy of your CV and teaching dossier with a cover letter and the rest of the material listed in Appendix 28A of the Collective Agreement. The onus is on you to make your case.

You can update your application at any time when you believe there is new information that has a significant impact on your application. You can do this by sending the update to the Dean up until they make a recommendation, after that to the Provost’s office.

Remember, your whole career counts, not just work at the U of C.

Head’s Review

By November 3, the Head will prepare an assessment of your application, based on the advice received and his/her own views, and supply a copy to you. Between November 3 and 10th, the Head should be available to discuss this with you.

Following this discussion, the Head has until November 18th to revise the recommendation and provide a final copy to you and the Dean.

In the case of renewal of tenure track, the Dean can simply forward a positive recommendation to the Provost if they choose, or they can send it to the Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committee. In the case of all other processes, the recommendations go to the Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committee.

You can reply to the Head’s recommendation in writing to the Dean by November 25.

FTPC Review

The Faculty Tenure and Promotion Committee (FTPC) is a Dean’s advisory committee. The composition is listed in Article 28.11.1 of the Collective Agreement. You are to be informed of the members of the FTPC by November 10th. If you have concerns about any member, you can ask for a replacement.

The Committee meets between December 1 and January 15th for their preliminary meeting. You don’t go to that meeting. If they are considering giving you anything other than what you applied for, they will pause in their proceedings and invite you to reply to the committee’s concerns in writing and invite you and the Head to appear before them. That second meeting happens by February 1. You have to be given at least one week’s notice between receiving the letter and the date of the meeting.

If you are invited to appear, you have the right to take an Advisor with you. This can be any academic staff member. We encourage you to take someone with you who knows your work or who knows the system, to help you at the FTPC meeting. In the case of career-threatening situations, the Faculty Association is happy to provide an Advisor to work with you.

At the end of the process, the committee will make a recommendation to the Dean. For those considered for renewal, promotion, or transfer, the question is yes/no. For those applying for tenure for the first time, there is a third option, which is that the committee can recommend that you be given the opportunity to apply again in two years; your contract date would be adjusted accordingly.

The recommendation of the FTPC goes to the Dean who may change the recommendation before sending it forward. However, if the Dean changes the recommendation, you will be informed of both the Dean’s recommendation and the committee’s recommendation. The Dean must send this to the Provost, copied to you, by February 8. If the recommendation from the Dean is negative, you can appeal.

Central Process

From this point on, the process splits between those cases where tenure or renewal is a consideration and those cases where promotion or transfer is the only issue.

In the case of tenure or renewal, the Provost reviews all of the cases. She can approve/deny the recommendations, send them back to the FTPC to reconsider, or send them to an appeal committee. She can also ask to meet with you and the Dean (separately or together). You can also appeal the decision of the Provost to an appeal committee. The appeal committee is made up of three academic staff appointed by the Faculty Association and the VP Research, plus a non-voting Faculty Association rep.

In the case of promotion and transfer, if the recommendation is for promotion to a rank other than Professor or Teaching Professor, the Dean’s recommendation is the end of the process (unless there is an appeal). If the promotion/transfer is to the full Professor or Teaching Professor rank, it will go to the Promotion Review Committee (PRC). The PRC also deals with any appeals from other ranks.

In the case of positive recommendations for promotion to the full Professor or Teaching Professor ranks, the PRC will consider every case. If they are considering overturning any case, they will invite the applicant and the Dean to appear before them. Again, you can bring an advisor. Similarly, in the case of appeals heard by the PRC, you will be invited to appear before them.

Support from the Faculty Association

In any of these processes, the Faculty Association will endeavour to provide you with advice and support and answer any questions you might have. Note that all Faculties proceed through these processes simultaneously, so the workload in the Faculty Association office peaks at the various deadlines. Please give us as much notice as possible regarding your questions/concerns so that we provide you with the best advice possible. We take a triage approach at these times, so we try to prioritize those whose careers are being threatened (e.g. denial of tenure) first. If you contact the Faculty Association regarding these processes, please provide as much information as possible, including any documentation received, and note if you are facing a deadline. This helps us get back to you as quickly as possible.

The Faculty Association has non-voting representatives on all of the various committees. It should be noted that in this role, the Faculty Association’s reps are there for the good of all members; they are not advocates for individual applicants/appellants. If you are looking for a Faculty Association advocate to accompany you to a meeting or provide advice, that would be a different person.

You can contact the Faculty Association by email Back to Top

 

Member Emergency Funding

The Faculty Association provides Member Emergency Funding to help individual members under emergency circumstances due to a sudden loss or decline in remuneration from the University.
Member Emergency Funding is not intended to be used in cases where normal remuneration is inadequate for an individual’s expenses. Rather, this funding is available when there is an unexpected drop in remuneration, or when a personal emergency arises. This funding is not intended to replace the normal assistance available from the government or other agencies.

In addition to current members, individuals who have held sessional, limited term or contingent term appointments which have recently terminated are eligible to apply. Relief may be provided as a grant, an interest-free loan, or as a combination grant/loan.

For more information on Member Emergency Funding, please contact Faculty Association Executive Director Sheila Miller, by phone, (403) 220-5722 or by email, Faculty.Association@tucfa.com.
All inquiries will be held in the strictest confidence.

Back to Top

 

CAUT National Survey for Members on the Impact of COVID-19

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) is seeking to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the working lives of staff at universities and colleges across the country. This information will be used by CAUT to inform their policy and advocacy work.

While the survey is entirely voluntary, we are encouraging your full participation to ensure as many academic staff and general staff as possible are included in this critical study.

The survey is open to those who were working at one or more Canadian post-secondary institutions (universities, colleges, and polytechnics), in March of this year.

The survey, which can be found here, National survey for members on the impact of COVID-19, consists of approximately 30 questions—some multiple-choice and some open-ended—that should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. The survey will be open until June 8, 2020.

Back to Top

 

Faculty Association Office Remains Available

As with most of our members, the Faculty Association Staff continue to work remotely during the CoVID-19 pandemic. New and often unexpected challenges arise for our members as the pandemic and University budget constraints unfold, and we continue to do our best to help members to navigate these issues. The best way to reach us is by emailing Faculty.Association@tucfa.com with your concerns and, if possible, how you would like us to help. However, we continue to monitor our phone line for voicemail messages, so feel free to also leave message at (403) 220-5722.

Back to Top

 

Deans Surveys

The Faculty Association of the University of Calgary, in accordance with its policy concerning the Assessment of Deans and equivalents, has started distributing a survey to the academic staff members in Faculties where the Dean is at the end of their term include the Dean of the Faculty of Law and the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The Association will be distributing a survey to the academic staff members in Faculties where the Dean or Dean equivalent is at the mid-point of their term including the Vice-Provost (Libraries and Cultural Resources), the Dean of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, the Dean of the Haskayne School of Business, and the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing. Due to the pandemic, the mid-term surveys have been delayed until the fall.

The results of these surveys are shared with the respective Deans and the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) subject to response thresholds in the policy. In the case of review or search committees, the results will also be shared with the members of those committees.

In accordance with the Faculty Association policy, information on only the quantitative results (statistics) of the survey will be released to the Association membership provided that the number of surveys received meets our requirements for the distribution of results. To ensure the survey’s validity, we treat responses in the same manner as an Association ballot.

Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns.

Back to Top

 

Bargaining

There is still no news on the results of the wage reopener arbitration from last fall. News from this arbitration will be shared promptly with members when there is something to report.

Given the pandemic, the Association and Governors have postponed bargaining which was scheduled to begin this spring until September 2020.

Back to Top

 

Association Officers for 2020/21

The Board of Directors has announced the Association’s Officers for 2020/21 (effective July 1, 2020). Joining President-Elect David Stewart on the Executive will be:

Vice-President and Treasurer – Mary-Ellen Tyler

Principal Negotiator – Hamid Habibi

Grievance Advisors – John Baker and Kent Donlevy

Officers-at-Large – Nigel Caulkett and Melanee Thomas

Back to Top

May 2020

Academic Staff and Remote Instruction

Sessional Instructors Teaching in Winter, Spring or Summer 2020

Tenure / Promotion / Renewal / Transfer

Member Emergency Funding

CAUT National Survey for Members on the Impact of COVID-19

Faculty Association Office Remains Available

Deans Surveys

Bargaining

Association Officers for 2020/21

March 2020

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on March 2020 | Filed in Academic Views

 

A Message from Faculty Association President

Paul Rogers, President

The Faculty Association staff have been transitioning to working remotely for the past week. The Association office is now closed until further notice in keeping with the University directives to work remotely. We are receiving your emails and voicemail messages, and responding as quickly as we can.

As the situation with COVID-19 evolves, the health and safety of Association members and their families is our top priority. The Association has supported the Administration in moving classes online and now asking everyone who can work from home to do so. However, these decisions bring with them unprecedented challenges for many members. Given the diverse membership of the Association, the challenges and concerns we have been made aware of vary greatly. As members voice these concerns, we have been bringing them to the attention of the Administration and working toward solutions.

As we move toward social distancing and isolation, it is more important than ever to be mindful of our peers and our own well-being. In addition to the Homewood Health system, Staff Wellness is offering support by phone.

Please visit the University website for more information and ideas.

With so much attention being paid to the COVID-19 situation, concerns around the Government of Alberta’s 2020-2021 budget and the implications of this for the 2020-2021 University of Calgary (U of C) budget have, quite rightly, moved to the backburner for now. Nevertheless, I thought it worth providing some very brief comments on the Association’s perspective on both the Government of Alberta and U of C budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.

First, the provincial budget:

  • As expected, this contained another round of cuts to the Campus Alberta Grant (funding the U of C’s general operations). The reported cut to the U of C’s Campus Alberta Grant is $26.7M which would represent a 6% cut from the prior year.
  • Combining the cuts represented in the two Government budgets (2019-20 and 2020-2021), announced over a period of a little more than 4 months, the U of C’s Campus Alberta Grant is down $59.6M or 12.4% in total. Such a large funding decrease cannot be absorbed without damaging the scope and quality of our teaching and research endeavours.
  • The new performance-based funding model was introduced, including Investment Management Agreements intended to “replace Comprehensive Institutional Plans and institutional mandates”.
  • The budget documents also note that government intentions include “developing a strategic direction and governance model for the post-secondary system, and focusing on the sustainability of institutions”. In connection to this, prior to the budget, the Government announced that it would be conducting a post-secondary system review and that a “Request for Proposals” would be posted in March seeking for an “experienced vendor” to analyze the post-secondary sector and assist in the creation of a new vision and long-term strategy for the PSE system in Alberta.
  • The budget “continues to call for tight controls on public sector compensation”, noting that “public sector compensation restraint is imperative”, and includes an anticipated reduction in staff of 398 (or 1.2%) across the post-secondary sector as a whole.

The issue of performance-based funding and Investment Management Agreements, mentioned above, remains somewhat unclear, with our current understanding being as follows:

  • The U of C has released no information on the performance measures that might be included in its Investment Management Agreement (IMA) with the Government.
  • The measures being included in the IMA for Alberta’s other leading research-intensive institution, the University of Alberta, together with their weighting, are apparently the following:
    • Total expenditure (40%)
    • Enrolment (40%) – split across domestic (25%), Indigenous (10%), and international (5%)
    • Administrative expense ratio (10%)
    • Non-Alberta sponsored research revenue (10%).
  • It has been rumoured that the implementation of performance-based funding and the IMAs may be delayed for a year.

Next the U of C budget:

  • Very little has been made public yet about the U of C’s 2020-2021 budget. Based on remarks by the Provost at GFC, the budget will be approved by the Board of Governors in March.
  • The 6% cut in the Campus Alberta Grant announced in the provincial budget is not much different from the 5% cut that was expected.
  • Student tuition fees for next year have been increased significantly (these were passed at a Board of Governors’ meeting in January).
  • Of critical interest to the Association is what the cuts will be to Faculties and to what extent these will be differential.

Back to Top

 

Government Relations Update

Labour Relations Consultation

The Faculty Association was invited by the Ministry of Labour and Immigration to participate in a consultation around the Alberta Labour Relations Code. In our response, we raised several concerns about the current legislation which has Academic Staff Associations existing both under the Post-Secondary Learning Act (PSLA) and the Labour Relations Code. As an Association of Academic Staff within the University and under the PSLA, we see our mandate being beyond the limits of simply a bargaining agent. In addition to our role in bargaining and grievances, we are part of the collegial governance mechanisms of the University and strive to contribute to the wellbeing of the Academic Staff on that basis. In representing our members in discussions of policies at General Faculties Council and on various university committees, we are not simply taking the ‘union line’ but are trying to make sure that the voice of academic staff is heard at all levels. Sometimes our role is to ensure fairness and due process; in other cases, it is as a collector and conveyor of the views of our membership within the councils of the University. There is no other body that can effectively relay the views of the academic staff as a whole.

The establishment of the Association as a trade union for bargaining purposes was made by the previous NDP Government in response to rulings by the Supreme Court of Canada regarding the right to strike as essential to bargaining units, but the reality is that the Supreme Court’s requirements could have been met with far simpler changes under the PSLA. At the time of this change, the Association advocated for the simpler solution of amending the authority of the Association under the PSLA.

Given that the Association membership includes a large and diverse community of academics, including physicians, psychologists, social workers and others involved in clinical work, as well as many researchers who have laboratories that need to be regularly maintained, strikes and lockouts would not seem to be the best form of dispute resolution and binding arbitration would seem to be a better fit. Binding arbitration was the dispute mechanism prior to moving the Association under the Labour Relations Code. Binding arbitration had worked well in the past to preserve labour peace in the post-secondary sector, and we continue to believe it is a more effective solution that avoids disrupting the primary functions of the University (teaching and research) which would inevitably occur in the case of a strike or lockout. Therefore, we have advocated for a return to this system.

Given the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding the right to strike as essential to bargaining units, there needs to be a provision that allows Academic Staff Associations to opt for strikes as the resolution mechanism if they choose under certain circumstances. However, this does not need to preclude binding arbitration as the preferred mechanism. One approach would be for the Association and Governors to agree to a resolution mechanism before bargaining begins. Knowing the mechanism for resolution (binding arbitration vs. strike/lock-out) prior to bargaining, affects the nature of the discussions at the bargaining table.

Another issue that was raised in our Labour Relations Code submission was the complex and ongoing issue of designation. This is the process by which membership in faculty associations is determined. The current system is ineffective and glacially slow. We have proposed that arbitrators be empowered to make decisions about the designation of academic staff upon submission by the Parties of the individual agreements. This would be a quicker and more elegant solution. Over time, a certain level of jurisprudence would form, but we would not be delayed by the processes of the Labour Relations Board.

The Faculty Association will continue to seek opportunities to engage with the Ministry of Labour and Immigration on these issues.

Outcomes-Based Funding

The Government of Alberta announced on January 20, 2020 the plans to introduce a new funding model for the Campus Alberta Grant (CAG). In addition to a reduction in the Campus Alberta Grant, a portion of the grant will be tied to outcomes agreed to by the Minister of Advanced Education and the University Administration in an Investment Management Agreement (IMA). The plan is to have the IMAs in place for April 1 and it will tie 15% of the University’s 2020-21 CAG allocation to the outcomes of the IMA. The IMAs will remain active until March 31, 2023 and the portion of funding tied to the outcomes will increase to 40% of the CAG allocation.

The Faculty Association has not been included in negotiating the terms of the IMA. In the spirit of Collegial Governance, the Association believes that it is essential that the finalized agreement is shared with members of the University community and that any data sources referred to in the agreement be open and transparent.

The Faculty Association made a submission to the Ministry of Advanced Education on February 21, 2020 regarding the new funding model. The submission focussed on three main points: (i) the Government should take more time to consider the implications of the proposed scheme and to identify an appropriate set of measures; (ii) the existing set of proposed measures is a poor fit with research-intensive institutions; and (iii) a scheme that can only reduce funding (not provide additional funds for excellent performance) is unwise and excessively punitive in the current context of large multi-year cuts in Government funding.

In the submission, the Association agreed that decisions about funding, resource allocation, and all other aspects of the post-secondary system should be evidence-based, but evidence needs to be carefully weighed and considered, and the risks of unintended consequences need to be fully explored before rushing to action. It seems that the Government is rushing, unnecessarily, to implement something that goes far beyond the election platform promise to measure post-secondary program labour market outcomes, without fully considering the context and implications of outcomes-based funding schemes.

Given that the U of C has already been dealt a 6.9% cut to its Campus Alberta grant for the current fiscal year (imposed after half the year had already passed) with an additional 6% cut announced for this year, introducing a funding scheme that might lead to additional cuts in funding is entirely unreasonable. The Government should take additional time, at least 12 months, before introducing any outcomes-based funding mechanism.

Alberta’s post-secondary system is structured via the six-sector model and is focused on the 5 adult learning system principles of accessibility; affordability; quality; accountability; and coordination. It is only following a thorough review of these principles and of the six-sector model that systematic changes should be made to Alberta’s post-secondary system and funding model. The introduction of an outcomes-based funding scheme is premature without a higher-level assessment of the entire system and how is it structured.

The U of C is one of two (along with the University of Alberta) leading research-intensive universities in Canada, ranking in the top 6 nationally in terms of research funding. The U of C and the U of A educate more than 80% of the students in the Comprehensive Academic Research Universities sector and attract more than 95% of the research funding of all post-secondary institutions in Alberta. Major research-intensive universities like the U of C have enormous impacts on the cities and provinces where they are located, not all of which can easily be measured in a few simple metrics. The research, teaching, and community engagement activities of the U of C help ensure the development of Alberta on social, cultural, and intellectual dimensions, as well as the economic dimension. The performance measures proposed in the consultation document from the Government do a very poor job of covering the range and richness of the value that the U of C provides to Alberta in return for the funds invested by the Government.

As a leading research-intensive university in Canada, the U of C is focused on high quality in everything that it does. In support of this focus on high quality, the U of C has for many years been tracking its performance on over 30 metrics that have been approved by its senior academic decision-making body, the General Faculties Council. How the U of C’s performance increases on these measures, most of which can be directly compared with the performance of the top 5 research universities in Canada, is closely monitored as the U of C implements its Academic Plan and its Research Plan. There is a great risk that the Government’s introduction of new metrics, unrelated to those that the university has focused on for many years as it pursues its mandate, will lead to a decrease in the quality of the work that the U of C does. Should the Government persist and impose unilaterally a set of measures that do not align well with the fundamental purposes of a research-intensive university, this would also constitute a significant infringement of institutional autonomy.

Several of the measures proposed by the Government seem unrelated to the fundamental purpose of a research university. Such institutions aim to educate students to become fully engaged, thoughtful, and critical citizens in a vibrant society, and with the knowledge to continuously develop and contribute no matter what technological, social, or economic changes they are faced with over the long term.

Additionally, some of the measures proposed by the Government seem to be in conflict or might lead to undesirable consequences. For example, if institutions are incentivized to reduce time to completion of degrees, this conflicts with increasing elements of work-integrated learning, which would lengthen programs. It might also lead to institutions reducing the number of students from underrepresented groups who might need additional time and support to complete their programs.

Another concern of the Faculty Association was that some of the measures that the Government proposed are not under the control of the U of C but instead are directly affected by government policy and actions. For example, the number of graduates who are employed two years after graduation as teachers, social workers, nurses, and others who are primarily employed in government-funded institutions, is likely dependent on government decisions (rather than upon anything that the University does).

The ability of research universities to function well rests firmly on stable and predictable funding. The necessary investment in the academic staff required to develop and deliver high-quality programs, and to design and undertake top-quality research/scholarship requires a long-term view. The introduction of an outcomes-based funding scheme that can only reduce funding fundamentally undermines this, and is likely to lead to increases in the proportion of teaching carried out by contract academic staff in highly precarious positions – this will damage the quality of the student experience as well as diminish an institution’s ability to fulfil its mandate for research and scholarship.

Back to Top

 

Community Service Award


Faculty Association President, Paul Rogers, (right) presents the Community Service Award to Dr. Mea Wang (left).

This year the Faculty Association was pleased to confer its Community Service Award to Professor Mea Wang, an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science in the Faculty of Science. The Community Service Award recognizes an individual or group of academic staff members for their exceptional service to our broader community. In her academic role, Professor Wang’s research focuses on computer networking and cloud computing for the Internet of Things, and augmented and virtual reality. Professor Wang teaches core computer science courses including Computer Programming, Operating Systems, Computer Networking, and Software Entrepreneurship.

Beyond her work as an academic, Professor Wang works to build networks between mentors, teachers and youth in the Calgary community. This has significantly impacted Computer Science and Entrepreneurship education. From her first year as an Assistant Professor, Dr. Wang created and organized the first Calgary Computer Science Teachers Symposium in the Department of Computer Science. This symposium has been running semi-annually since 2009.

Professor Wang was a leader and Calgary region Ambassador for the Technovation Challenge between 2013 and 2019. Technovation is the world’s largest global tech entrepreneurship competition for female school students. The 12-week program offers students aged 10 to 18 years old the opportunity to learn the necessary skills including teamwork, problem solving, and communication to emerge as tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Professor Wang’s leadership in Technovation helped build a team of approximately 150 volunteer mentors across career stages and industries.

Her outreach activities have helped to balance the gender distribution in Computer Science and tech-based entrepreneurship while building connections between our University and the local and global tech sector. In doing so, this has contributed to a natural relationship between the Department of Computer Science, computer science educators, and the local and global tech industry. Her outreach work has benefited students from the Department of Computer Science as they engage in these programs, gain entrepreneurial skills and networks which have helped them to secure jobs in their field.

While Dr. Wang received the award this year, it is important to recognize all Faculty Association members, all members of the University community and all Calgarians who reap the benefits of the valuable relationships between academic staff and their fellow citizens.

The Association would like to thank the members of the Awards Committee: Committee Chair and Association Board Member, Justine Wheeler, from Libraries and Cultural Resources, Allan Ingelson from the Faculty of Law and Haskayne School of Business, Sharaz Khan from Haskayne School of Business, Meadow Schroeder from Werklund School of Education, and Kristin von Ranson from the Faculty of Arts.

Back to Top

 

Financial Statements

The Faculty Association’s audited financial statements for 2018-2019 were approved by the Board of Directors on February 11, 2020. The audit was executed as required by the Association’s bylaws. The auditors found that there was excellent cooperation between management and other personnel, and that the audit numbers support the assurance that the Association is in good financial shape.

The financial statements for the fiscal year 2018-2019 are available here. If you have any questions, please contact the Association office.

Back to Top

 

Dues are tax deductible

As you prepare your taxes, remember that your Faculty Association dues (which include your CAUT dues) are tax deductible. You can find these dues on your pay stub and in box 44 of your 2019 U of C T4.

Back to Top

 

GAZETTE

Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program Vote

The Faculty Association membership voted to approve the Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program. The ballots were issued on January 29, 2020 and the votes were counted on February 14, 2020. The results of the vote were as follows:

Yes: 294 (94.8%)
No: 16 (5.2%)
Total votes Cast: 310

No ballots were spoiled.

Number of ballots issued to ongoing members: 1852 – Voter turnout: 310 (16.7%)
Number of ballots issued to sessional members: 0

Election of President and Board of Directors Members

The Election Committee reports the following results for the election of Association President and Chair of the Board as follows:

David Stewart: 287
Mary-Ellen Tyler: 203
Total votes cast: 490

No ballots were spoiled; six were not counted as the voter could not be identified.

David Stewart was declared elected.

The Election Committee further reports the results for the Board of Directors election as follows:

Marie-Andrée Bergeron: 223
Marcia Epstein: 143
Hamid Habibi: 237
Kaela Jubas: 110
Ed Nowicki: 106
Jessica Shaw: 278
Francine Smith: 170
Melanee Thomas: 325
Trevor Tombe: 323
Justine Wheeler: 187
Ian Winchester: 147
John Wright: 150
Total votes cast: 478

No ballots were spoiled; six were not counted as the voter could not be identified.

The following members were declared elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors: Marie-Andrée Bergeron, Hamid Habibi, Jessica Shaw, Melanee Thomas, and Trevor Tombe. Justine Wheeler was elected to a one-year term on the Board of Directors. In addition, it should be noted that Polly Knowlton Cockett was elected by acclamation to a one-year term on the Board of Directors in the designated sessional seat. </p

For both elections, the total number of ballots issued was 1852 to ongoing members and 615 to sessional members.

All of the new members take office as of July 1, 2020.

Back to Top

March 2020

President’s Message

Government Update

Community Service Award

Financial Statements

Dues are Tax Deductible

GAZETTE

December 2019

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on December 2019 | Filed in Academic Views


It has been a very busy semester for the Faculty Association, and I’m sure it has been for you as well. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of good news to share in this edition of Academic Views. Below you will find information about the Provincial Budget, the University finances, and other issues that the Faculty Association is working on.

However, as the semester winds down, the holidays approach and bring with them time to rest and reenergise with family and friends. We hope that you take time to relax and enjoy the holidays.

From everyone at the Faculty Association, we wish you the very best of the season!

Paul Rogers, President

Back to Top

 

Government Update

Following the release of the provincial budget, the UCP Government wasted no time in tabling Bills 20, 21, and 22 to enact various pieces of the budget changes.

Under the provincial budget, the total operating grant for Advanced Education will be reduced by about 12% over 4 years. Both the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary are getting a 6.9% cut to the ‘Campus Alberta’ grant (the operating grant) in the current fiscal year (the one that is more than half over). This is a reduction of almost $33 million for the UofC. Universities will be able to increase tuition by 7% per year on average for each of the next three years. A new funding model is coming in 2020-2021 that will likely be performance-based, though there remains uncertainty as to what the criteria will be. The overall goal is to reduce compensation costs at post-secondary institutions by 7.8%, although the Government says this will be mainly through attrition.

The current year Campus Alberta Grant cuts were supposedly based on each institution’s “ability to absorb” a cut. Specifically, the Government cut most institutions (the six institutions comprising the Independent Academic Institutions sector of the Governments six-sector model were not cut) by almost 50% of their five-year-average annual “surplus” (for fiscal years ending 2014 through 2018). While this might look reasonable at first blush, the method they used to determine the surplus includes donations to the endowment and unspent endowment income amounting to $190M, thereby dramatically overstating the UofC’s true operating surplus.

The budget does not directly address the wage reopeners that various unions, including us, are in the midst of, but there is a warning that “further reductions (in staffing) may be necessary to accommodate for awards through arbitration in 2019/20.” This warning is meant to place employee bargaining teams in the difficult position of choosing between higher wages and jobs.
The Government wasted little time before introducing Bills 20 and 21, which will enact much of the planned budget along with many other changes. It is difficult to capture all of the ramifications of Bills 20, 21, and 22 because they are omnibus bills, which means that they do many things simultaneously in a variety of different pieces of legislation. Some of the changes have a direct and immediate impact on members of the Faculty Association, while others may have longer-term and less clear impact.

Bill 20, the Fiscal Measures and Taxation Act, does a couple of things:

Eliminates new tuition tax credits and changes how tuition credits can be carried forward and transferred.

Modifies the Post-Secondary Learning Act by giving the Minister some power related to enrolment at institutions, transfers, and admissions. It is unclear what this means, but given their previous statements about consolidating programs, this could conceivably give the Minister the ability to close a program at one institution and move students to another with full credit at the receiving institution.

Bill 21, the Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability Act, does several things that impact our members and Alberta Post-Secondary Education:

Bill 21 gives the Cabinet the ability to terminate the agreement with the Alberta Medical Association. It also gives the Cabinet the ability to terminate any other agreement related to compensation matters under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Act. This could include the AMHSP (Academic Medicine and Health Services Program) master agreement or individual agreements with our members under the AMHSP.

Bill 21 makes significant changes to the Alberta Labour Relations Code, including the rules regarding the use of replacement workers during a strike or lockout. It also gives more power to the Essential Services Commissioner to impose binding arbitration.

Bill 21 changes the Post-Secondary Learning Act by changing the limit on tuition fee increases for 2020 through 2023 and putting the cap for those years into regulations. It allows for changes to Alberta Student Loans with increases to the interest rate. This is in addition to the removal of tuition as a tax deduction in Bill 20 and will significantly increase the cost of post-secondary education to students and/or their parents. For our members who are recent graduates, this could also significantly increase their costs if they can no longer carry forward the costs of their tuition. These changes are expected to have a significant impact on the accessibility of post-secondary education in Alberta.

The Public Service Employee Relations Act is changed by reversing what the former government did regarding budget officers, systems analysts, and auditors. The former government made it so these types of jobs could belong to a union, so a number of people at the UofC were being put into the Alberta Union of Provincial Employess (AUPE) as a result.

Finally, and most significantly, Bill 21 creates a new Public Sector Employers Act that gives the government the power to issue directives to all public sector employers under their authority (including our Board of Governors), which the employer must follow in bargaining. This includes the term of the agreement, the fiscal limits the employer must operate within, and other directives. This new Act requires the Governors to provide a wide variety of labour relations information to the government to ensure they comply with the directives of the government. Further, the directives of the government regarding bargaining must be kept confidential by the Governors and cannot be disclosed to anyone without the consent of the Minister.

Bill 22, the Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions and Government Enterprises Act, does not have as much direct impact on the Faculty Association, but some sections might impact us or the UofC:

Bill 22 dissolves the Campus Alberta Strategic Directions Committee. This committee was composed of the Presidents and Board Chairs of each post-secondary institution and was to provide advice to the Minister regarding “Campus Alberta”.
The Employment Pension Plans Act is amended in a number of ways that we are still trying to decipher. These changes may have some minor effects on the Universities Academic Pension Plan (UAPP) and we will continue to investigate.

Bill 22 also removes the ability of the Local Authorities Pension Plan and Public Service Pension Plan to move their assets from the Alberta Investment Management Corporation’s (AIMCo) management and requires the Alberta Teachers’ Pension Plan to move its assets under AIMCo.

Bill 22 dissolves the Alberta Capital Finance Authority. While the government will continue to provide low-cost loans to local authorities (including the UofC Board of Governors), it will be done more directly by the government and not through this authority. This gives more direct authority over loans to the Minister.

Back to Top

 

University Budget Cuts; We’re all in this together?

Given the cuts to the Provincial budget, the University Administration is making deep cuts to operations at the University.

One of the messages from the Administration is that we’re all one family and that we have to face these cuts together. However, academic staff have already been operating in an environment of significant fiscal austerity based on the actions of university Administration over the last decade.. The Governors’ bargaining teams have been relentless over the last 10 years in pushing for zero percent wage adjustments for academic staff. This, despite the university running operational surpluses that could have easily paid for cost of living adjustments. Administration’s behaviour here does not appear to have won the University any Government favour and instead has left its ‘family’ vulnerable in an already weakened position.

The result is that academic staff are underpaid when compared with the University of Alberta and other members of the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities (U15).

Statistics Canada collects data on Academic Staff salaries across Canada. While the data is not yet complete for 2018-2019, it gives a good indication of how salaries for academic staff at the University of Calgary compare to academic staff at other universities in Canada.

In 2017-2018, the University of Calgary was 12th among the U15 universities and well below the average of those universities. In fact, the average of the U15 average salaries for 2017-2018 is 10 percent higher than the average for the University of Calgary. The Provincial Government claims that Alberta’s Public Service is overpaid compared to other provinces, but this is clearly not the case for academic staff at the University of Calgary.

If the current trends continue, the salaries of academic staff at UofC will continue to fall behind those of colleagues at other universities. In addition, the Government’s proposed two percent rollback would accelerate this and result in the University of Calgary at the bottom of the U15.

As the salaries for academic staff at UofC have not been keeping pace with the increased cost of living, members have already been realizing substantial losses to their purchasing power.

If we are truly all in this together, this issue will have to be addressed for the UofC to attract and retain academic staff. After all, the academic staff work tirelessly to drive the University’s mission with a direct impact on the student experience and the University’s ability to create, innovate, and discover.

We will be reporting to you further in the near future regarding the Wage Reopener Arbitration and upcoming bargaining cycle.

Back to Top

 

USRI Grievance Arbitration

In June, the Association launched a grievance against the use of the Universal Student Rating Instrument (USRI) as a summative assessment tool and the administration’s use of it as evidence of teaching effectiveness in hiring, tenure, promotion, and merit processes. Association representatives met with the Provost in September and she has since denied this grievance. The Association’s Board of Directors has voted to proceed to arbitration.

The Association’s position is:

(1) the USRI does not measure the teaching effectiveness of an instructor. (There is excellent background information about this on the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations website — https://ocufa.on.ca/assets/OCUFA-SQCT-Report.pdf.)

(2) USRI student responses are subject to race, gender, age, and other prohibited grounds of discrimination, as well as other biases not stated in the Alberta Human Rights Act. Thus, the USRI is a deeply flawed instrument, which produces data that is inherently biased and if used to assess an instructor’s teaching effectiveness constitutes a breach of the instructor’s rights under the Alberta Human Rights Act and the protections against discrimination in the Collective Agreement.

(3) The use of the USRI by the administration provides student users with an anonymous opportunity to harass instructors and as such its use – as opposed to its application which is a breach under the Alberta Human Rights Act – is in breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act which requires that employers provide a safe workspace.

(4) Further, the protections against misuse of USRI results as contained in the GFC Academic Staff Criteria & Processes Handbook, providing that student evaluation is “one factor on which the evaluation of teaching shall be based (4.2.3)” and that “all information provided by the student should be taken into account when interpreting the results” (4.2.4) are inadequate to address this issue. Again, this is so given the fundamentally flawed nature of the instrument to provide assessment and that its use for that purpose is contrary to the Alberta Human Rights Act.

Therefore, given that the instrument cannot measure what it claims to measure, that the application of results from it offend the rights of Association members under the Alberta Human Rights Act, and its very use is a breach of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the Association takes the position that USRI information should not be used in matters of hiring, merit assessment, tenure, and promotion.

We have taken the position that USRI results should only be used for formative purposes, provided only to the academic staff member affected.

In her response, the Provost says there is no evidence that the USRI is a violation of human rights. She argues that because it is in the Collective Agreement and the Handbook, it should continue and that the USRI Working Group is reviewing the use in the merit process.

Given the preponderance of evidence about the misuse of student ratings, we are disappointed in the Provost’s response. It is therefore with regret that the Association’s Board of Directors feels obligated to take this matter to arbitration.

Back to Top

 

Faculty Guidelines

As members might have noticed, the Faculty Guidelines have not been updated in several years. These guidelines are often now in conflict with the Collective Agreement and other policies of the University.

Over much of the last decade, the Faculty Association and the Governors have been negotiating the processes related to tenure, promotion, and assessment into the Collective Agreement. This was finally achieved in 2017. During those negotiations, there was a moratorium on changes to what was then called the Procedures Pertaining to Appointment Promotion, and Tenure of Academic Staff (APT Manual) and the Faculty Guidelines.

Following the approval of the GFC Academic Staff Criteria & Processes Handbook in April 2019, there was no longer an impediment to the Faculty Councils updating their Faculty Guidelines. If members are being told that their Faculty cannot update its guidelines, this is not due to any actions from the Faculty Association. As there has been no effort to take positive steps to fulfil the requirement, the Association views this to be a violation of Articles 28 and 29 of the Collective Agreement and has filed a grievance with the Provost.

Back to Top

 

Nominations for Board of Directors

The Faculty Association is seeking nominees to the Association Board of Directors and for President.
There are six (6) vacancies open for election on the Board of Directors; five (5) three-year terms and one (1) one-year term. The designated sessional seat is a one-year term and is also open for election. Nominees must be current members of the Association or have held a sessional position at some point since May 1, 2019. Nominations are also being accepted for the position of President and Chair of the Board of Directors. Any member nominated for President and Chair of the Board must have been a member who has served on the Board of Directors for at least one year during the previous five years, or
be a current member of the Board of Directors.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, February 10, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. Nominations must be received at the Faculty Association office by that time.

Nominations must be received in writing. Also required on the nomination form are the signatures of at least three members of the Association, as well as the written consent of the nominee. Nominations should be accompanied by a statement from the nominee of a maximum of 100 words, which will be circulated along with the ballots. No member may nominate more than two candidates.

Potential candidates should be aware that the Board of Directors meetings are regularly scheduled on Tuesday afternoons, approximately once per month from September to June. Additional meetings are scheduled as required. Board members are also regularly appointed to a variety of other Association, University, and external committees as representatives of the Association.

Please contact the Faculty Association office for a nomination form.

Back to Top

 

Faculty Association Supports University of Northern British Columbia Faculty Association

In solidarity, Faculty Association Board Member, Justine Wheeler, travelled to Prince George to support the University of Northern British Columbia Faculty Association in their strike. In addition to Wheeler joining the picket, the Faculty Association sent a $2,000 donation to support their efforts.

Back to Top

 

Faculty Association Supports Local Food Banks

In lieu of holiday gifts, the Faculty Association donates to local food banks. The Campus Food Bank and the Calgary Food Bank each received a donation of $2,500 in recognition of the valuable support they provide during the holiday season.

WE WISH YOU THE HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS AND ALL THE BEST FOR 2020!

Back to Top

 

Faculty Association Office Closurs

The Faculty Association office will close Friday, December 20 at 11 a.m. for the holiday season and will reopen on Monday, January 6. The Association’s voicemail will be checked regularly on days the University is open. Have a safe and happy holiday!

Back to Top

 

Department Representatives

The following is a list of Department Representatives, by department, for the 2019-2020 academic year. If your department or faculty is not listed below, it is because the Faculty Association has not received information about the election of a representative from your area.

  • Art – Denis Gadbois
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – Quan Long
  • Biological Sciences – Marco Musiani
  • Cardiac Science – Stephen Wilton
  • Chemical and Petroleum Engineering – Pedro Perira Almo
  • Chemistry – Kevin Thurbide
  • Civil Engineering – Raafat El-Hacha
  • Classics and Religion – Irving Hexham
  • Clinical Neurosciences – Minh Dang Nguyen
  • Communication, Media and Film – Marcia Epstein
  • Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine – Jason Anderson
  • Computer Science – Ben Stephenson
  • Critical Care Medicine – Brent Winston
  • Department of Medicine – Richard Haber
  • Economics – Trevor Tombe
  • Ecosystem and Public Health – David Hall
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering -Mike Smith
  • Emergency Medicine – Eddy Lang
  • English – Faye Halpern
  • Geography – Aaron Williams
  • Geomatics Engineering – Ivan Detchev
  • Geoscience – Dan Georgescu
  • Haskayne School of Business – Olga Petricevic
  • History – Annette Timm
  • Kinesiology – Reed Ferber
  • Libraries and Cultural Resources – Rhiannon Jones
  • Mathematics and Statistics – Berndt Brenken
  • Nursing – Cynthia Mannion
  • ODEPD – Shirley Voyna Wilson
  • Philosophy – Chris Framarin
  • Physics and Astronomy – Denis Leahy
  • Physiology & Pharmacology – James Fewell
  • Political Science – David Stewart
  • Production Animal Health – Michel Levy
  • Psychiatry – Chris Wilkes
  • Psychology – Kristin von Ranson
  • Radiology – Roberto Sotero-Diaz
  • School Architecture Planning and Landscape – Graham Livesey
  • School of Languages Linguistics Literature and Cultures – Elizabeth Montes Garces
  • School of Public Policy – Myles Leslie
  • Social Work – Yahya El-Lahib
  • Sociology – Naomi Lightman
  • Student and Enrolment Services – Lindsay Victor
  • Surgery – Elijah Dixon
  • Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning – Carol Berenson
  • Veterinary Clinical and Diagnostic Science – Alfredo Romero
  • Werklund School of Education – Darren Lund

Back to Top

 

December 2019

Happy Holidays

Government Update

University Budget Cuts; We’re all in this together?

USRI Grievance Arbitration

Faculty Guidelines

Board of Directors Nominations

Supporting UNBCFA

Association Supports Food Banks

Association Holiday Closures

Department Representatives

October 2019

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on October 2019 | Filed in Academic Views

 

Fair Employment Week: October 7-11

The working conditions of contract academic staff (sessionals) are of both local and national concern, which is why the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) annually promotes and plays a coordinating role in Fair Employment Week (FEW). This year, FEW runs from October 7 to 11 and is a national event that raises awareness of the difficulties inherent in being a member of the contract academic staff. These academics are often on the front lines of attacks on academic freedom, quality, fair treatment, and the value of research.

Normally, sessional instructors at the University of Calgary are contract academics who are hired to teach individual courses; they are not expected to do research and they are not offered long- or short-term commitments beyond the individual courses. These academics often work for lower pay, and with the uncertainty of whether or not another short-term contract will be offered to them.

Last year, the CAUT published the first national survey on Contract Academic Staff in universities and colleges. A copy of the survey entitled “Out of the Shadows: Experiences of Contract Academic Staff” can be found online here. Some key findings from the survey include:

  • Between 2005 and 2015, there was a 79% increase in university teachers working part-time.
  • 53% of respondents want a tenure-track university or full-time, permanent college job.
  • 69% of survey respondents feel their working conditions need to change.
  • 45% of respondents reported that if they did not get their contract instructor pay, they wouldn’t be able to pay their monthly bills.
  • Two-thirds of respondents said their mental health has been negatively impacted by the contingent nature of their employment, and just 19% think the institutions where they work are model employers and supporters of good jobs.

The Faculty Association at the U of C was not surprised by these results and many of the responses to the survey reflect the anecdotal experiences of sessionals we have been privy to year after year. In March 2019 the Association took a snapshot of academic staff at the U of C which revealed that 24% of academic staff at that time held sessional positions. The number of sessional academic appointments in Winter 2019 was greater than the number of Associate Professors. In addition, over half of sessionals are female which is in contrast to statistics for ongoing academics. Sessionals are employed in every corner of the University and some Faculties employ more sessionals than continuing academics. In some cases the number of sessional instructors make up a third to over a half of academic staff in a Faculty.

Canadians are concerned about the increased reliance on sessional academics for instruction. According to a 2019 national survey commissioned by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) 52% of Canadians believe that a trend towards more reliance on sessional instructors is hurting the quality of post-secondary education.

It is important to emphasize the incredible dedication of sessional academics to their jobs since they are highly-qualified individuals who care deeply for the University and their students. However, the Association advocates for the Governors to create pathways for sessional academics to be appointed to continuing academic appointments when there are continuing staffing needs. The Association has always recognized that the concerns of contract academic staff should be the concerns of us all. Please let your colleagues and administrators know that the unfair treatment of sessionals at the U of C needs to be resolved.

Back to Top

 

Sessional Travel Fund

Currently, as was negotiated by the Faculty Association, the University of Calgary is offering sessional travel grants to offset the cost of travel for sessional academic staff. Eligible Sessional Instructors can apply for up to $1,500 reimbursement. The joint committee, which includes Association and Governors representation, reviews applications twice a year with deadlines in the fall and winter semesters.

The deadline to apply for this round is November 7th, 2019, 4:00 pm. Application forms and procedures can be found on the UofC HR website. Additional information can be found in the Collective Agreement, Schedule B, Article 10.

Back to Top

 

Call for Nominations for Faculty Association Community Service Award

The campus community is invited to make nominations for the Faculty Association Inspired Service Award – Community Service. [Deadline: November 8, 2019].

The Community Service Award recognizes members of the Faculty Association of the University of Calgary who have provided exceptional service to the community and gone above and beyond the requirements of the position. The members honoured have thus made outstanding contributions of personal time and effort for the benefit of others. New this year, a group that has been involved in the same project/initiative may be nominated as a group.

Special emphasis will be placed on those service activities that involve outreach to the community beyond the University and activities that go beyond the regular duties of the academic staff members. In this context, service may include volunteer work, as well as educational outreach or the application of research and other scholarly activities in the community.
Nominations will be accepted from any individual(s), whether or not they are a member of the Faculty Association.

A nomination form and list of past recipients can be found here.

Back to Top

 

Meeting with Minister

Paul Rogers, Faculty Association President, and Sheila Miller, Association Executive Director, met with the Honourable Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education on September 17th.

Rogers and Miller stressed the importance of collective bargaining and raised opposition to interference from the Alberta Government, specifically Bill 9: Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act. When the rules governing the Faculty Association were moved into the Alberta Labour Relations Act, it left the Association without the guarantee of going to binding arbitration without the agreement of the Governors. Such an agreement with the Governors to go to arbitration for wages was pivotal in obtaining a collective agreement in the last round of bargaining and Bill 9 puts that at risk. For this reason, the Association filed a Statement of Claim against Bill 9 over the summer.

Rogers spoke to government funding and pointed out that the University has been fiscally restrained for a number of years already. He conveyed that there is not much left to cut without directly impacting the quality of teaching at the University. However, while salaries for academic staff at the University of Calgary have been falling behind those of other comparable universities such as the University of Alberta, the hiring of other personnel like management staff (who are not delivering courses) has been rising rapidly.

This meeting was the beginning of a dialogue with the Minister. The Association will continue to speak with the Minister and advocate for the academic staff at the University of Calgary.

Back to Top

 

Retirement Planning Seminars

The Faculty Association had very high interest and attendance at the retirement planning seminars which were held in February and June 2019. The next retirement seminars will be held at the following times:

Thursday, November 21st – 9:00am to 11:30am (Main Campus)

Thursday, November 21st – 1:00pm to 3:30pm (Main Campus)

The seminar, which will be the same as the ones held previously, will include a presentation by Steve Preece and time for questions.

Steve is a Bachelor of Commerce graduate from McMaster University. He has been delivering financial workshops to the general public since 2012. As this is an educational program, there will be no promotion or solicitation of financial products. Examples and illustrations will be generic, without reference to specific products or services. All costs associated with this workshop are being covered by the Association.

The seminar may include general information about the retirement process at the University of Calgary and where to find that information in the recently updated policies. However, the seminar will not provide significant information or specifics regarding the academic pension plan.

What can you expect to learn?

  • Determine if you can retire early
  • Integrate your finances with your goals and values
  • Use new tax laws to your advantage
  • Properly allocate your assets within your retirement plans
  • Ask the right questions when evaluating insurance coverage
  • Discover how to maximize your income without unnecessary financial risk
  • Ensure your estate plan still functions properly under new laws

This seminar is open to any Faculty Association member who is planning their retirement. Early to late career members are encouraged to attend as many of the benefits of planning for retirement are enhanced by planning early.

As materials are prepared in advance for use in the workshops, only those who register prior to the date of the seminar will be permitted to attend. While we make every effort to accommodate all individuals, we are constrained by room sizes and encourage you to book early to ensure your spot. To register, please contact the Faculty Association office by email, faculty.association@tucfa.com or by phone (403) 220-5722.

Back to Top

 

Upcoming Election: For Our Future

The federal election campaign is well under way, and the marathon will last until October 21. The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has developed an election toolkit that focuses on four key issues affecting academic staff. More information from the CAUT can be found here.

Back to Top

 

Update on Wage Reopener Arbitration

Bill 9, the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act, which prohibits any wage reopener arbitrations taking place until after the end of October, came into force on June 28, 2019. As a result, the arbitration the Association and the Governors had scheduled for 30th September and 1st October did not occur.

After consulting with legal counsel, the Association filed a Statement of Claim against the Alberta Government. Note that a number of other unions in Alberta who have been impacted by Bill 9 are also taking legal action.

The Association and the Governors have re-scheduled the wage re-opener arbitration for the 2nd and 3rd of December.

Back to Top

 

Faculty Association Supports Student’s Union Food Bank

There is increasing demand on the Students’ Union foodbank and they put out an urgent call for support from the community. In response, the Faculty Association stepped up with a $2,000 donation. The support from the Faculty Association will allow the foodbank to purchase food staples that will help feed members of the campus community.

Back to Top

October 2019

Fair Employment Week

Sessional Travel Fund

Community Service Award

Meeting with Minister

Retirement Planning Seminars

Upcoming Election

Wage Reopener

Faculty Association Supports Student’s Union Food Bank

August 2019

by Faculty Association | Comments Off on August 2019 | Filed in Academic Views

 

Summer Update from the Faculty Association

Note from the Association President

This has been a very busy academic year for the Association, as we continue to deal with the implications of the movement of the Association under the Labour Relations Code as a union. Progress made includes revising the Association by-laws, updating a number of Association internal policies, and continuing to discuss “essential services” with the university administration.

As President of the Association, I serve as the Association’s representative on a number of ongoing UofC committees including: General Faculties Council (GFC); GFC’s Executive Committee; and GFC’s Academic Planning and Priorities Committee. While the work of these ongoing committees keeps me busy, there are two other areas of activity this past year that I wish to highlight:

• I served as the Association’s representative on the President Search Committee, whose efforts concluded with the announcement of the appointment of President Ed McCauley in November 2018. I am encouraged by President McCauley’s eagerness to learn about the concerns of academic staff (he attended a meeting of the Association’s Board in January, and is visiting all Faculty Councils as part of a “listening” tour), and look forward to learning soon how what he has heard impacts his plans for the university.

• I served as a member of GFC’s ad hoc committee on Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure, which concluded its work in April with GFC’s approval of a new “Academic Staff Criteria and Processes Handbook”. This is the culmination of many years of effort to amalgamate the relevant contents of the previous Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure manual and the General Promotion Committee manual into a single document, following the movement of the promotion, tenure, and assessment processes into the collective agreement. I must recognize, and commend, the sterling efforts of Association Associate Executive Director Don Kozak on this file. With this work completed, a working group has been established (by GFC’s Executive Committee) to review the new Handbook, and each Faculty will be revising its unit-level guidelines relating to appointment, promotion, tenure, and assessment.

I know from talking with many of you that you too have had a hectic year, and that your workload continues to grow annually, so please be sure to take time before the fall semester begins to enjoy what remains of summer with family and friends.

Back to Top

 

Government acts to delay bargained wage reopener arbitration

In late May all academic staff were sent an email to inform them that the Government of Alberta had sought input from the Association on the Government possibly delaying public sector wage reopener arbitrations (the Association’s written response can be found at: https://www.tucfa.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/GoA_ATBF_Submission_2019-05-27-FOR-WEB.pdf).

Since then, the Government has passed Bill 9, the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act, which prohibits any wage reopener arbitrations taking place until after the end of October. This means that the arbitration the Association and the UofC Board of Governors had scheduled for 30th September and 1st October will not now take place. The Association considers Bill 9 to be an unconscionable, and illegal interference in collective bargaining.

After consulting with legal counsel, the Association will be filing a Statement of Claim against the Alberta Government. Note that a number of other unions in Alberta who have been impacted by Bill 9 are also taking legal action. None of these claims will be heard in court until 2020, which will be after we learn what additional actions the Government of Alberta will be taking following the report of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s Finances, due in August, that will impact the Government’s budget and how it intends to deal with public sector unions.

Back to Top

 

Dean surveys

The Faculty Association of the University of Calgary, in accordance with its policy concerning the Assessment of Deans (and equivalents), distributed a survey by campus mail to the academic staff members in three Faculties (Arts, Cumming School of Medicine, and Science) for assessing the Deans of these Faculties. The Association’s policy requires us to survey the membership partway through the appointment and again at the possible renewal point in the terms of all Deans. All academic staff members in these Faculties, as well as any academic staff members who have joint appointments involving any of those Faculties were invited to submit their responses. Thank you to all of those academic staff who took the time to fill out the surveys. The results of these surveys are shared with the respective Deans and the Provost and Vice-President (Academic) subject to response thresholds in the policy. In all cases, once the surveys reach a threshold for distribution, all quantitative results are provided to Faculty Association members. The results of these were sent out to the membership by email in April.

Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns about this process.

Back to Top

 

Updated Code of Conduct

The updated University Code of Conduct came into effect on July 1, 2019. There are a number of changes that have implications for Academic Staff members. University HR has assembled a series of frequently asked questions that might help members to better interpret the new rules in the Code. [See: https://www.ucalgary.ca/hr/code_conduct_faqs]

The Faculty Association will monitor how the new rules are enforced and will be available to help members to navigate them. There may be questions that you have for which you want to remain anonymous. As communication with the Faculty Association is confidential, the Association may be able to get clarifying advice from HR or the administration while maintaining your anonymity.

Back to Top

 

Faculty Association representation

The Faculty Association would like to remind its members about the right to representation under the Collective Agreement. One of the key purposes of the Faculty Association is to protect academic staff interests through its work to resolve conflicts between members and the administration. From time to time academic staff members may contact the Association for confidential advice. Many conflicts can be resolved informally at an early stage by the academic staff member with the advice of the Association and do not require Faculty Association representation. However, when there are situations that escalate which have the potential to lead to discipline, the administration is required to advise you of your right to have a Faculty Association representative attend with you. In other situations, such as resolving conflicts, a Faculty Association advisor may also be useful. We have been concerned that not all Heads, Deans, etc. have been appropriately advising members of your rights for advice/representation.

Back to Top

 

Membership emergency fund

The Faculty Association administers a Member Emergency Fund to help individual members under emergency circumstances due to a sudden loss or decline in remuneration from the University.

The Member Emergency Fund is not intended to be used in cases where normal remuneration is inadequate for an individual’s expenses. Rather, this fund is available when there is an unexpected drop in remuneration, or when a personal emergency arises. This fund is not intended to replace the normal assistance available from government or other agencies.

In addition to current members, individuals who have held sessional, limited term or contingent term appointments which have recently terminated are eligible to apply. Relief may be provided as a grant, an interest-free loan, or as a combination grant/loan.

For more information on the Member Emergency Fund, please contact Faculty Association Executive Director Sheila Miller, by phone, (403) 220-5722 or by email, faculty.association@tucfa.com.

All inquiries will be held in the strictest confidence.

Back to Top

 

GAZETTE

Faculty Association Board of Directors

Eight members of the Board of Directors had terms that ended on June 30, 2019. Six of these members responded to the Association’s call for nominations and were acclaimed to return to the Board, five to serve for three-year terms beginning July 1, 2019 [John Baker (Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy), Kent Donlevy (Werklund School of Education), Tish Doyle-Baker (Faculty of Kinesiology), Karen Then (Faculty of Nursing), and Mary-Ellen Tyler (School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape)] and one, Polly Knowlton Cockett to serve a one-year term as the sessional member of the Board.

The Association thanks departing Board members Michael Sideris (Schulich School of Engineering, Department of Geomatics Engineering) and David Stewart (Faculty of Arts, Department of Political Science) for their valued service to the Association.

Back to Top

 

Financial statements for 2017-2018

The Faculty Association’s audited financial statements were approved by the Board of Directors on January 29, 2019. The audit was executed as required by the Association’s bylaws. The auditors found that there was excellent cooperation between management and other personnel, and that the audit numbers support the assurance that the Association is in good financial shape.

The financial statements for the fiscal year 2017-2018 are available here. If you have any questions, please contact the Association office.

Back to Top

 

CAUT dues changes

A minor change in CAUT dues took effect on July 1, 2019. These dues are calculated by applying a mil rate to the national average salary at each rank. While the mil rate remains unchanged at 1.50, variations in the national average salary result in slight changes to the dues amounts. The monthly amounts are as follows:

CAUT Membership Fees 2019-20 (2018-19)

Professor $18.80 ($18.41)

Associate $15.16 ($14.83)

Assistant $12.26 ($12.00)

Part-time/Sessional $3.84 ($3.81)

The amount paid to the CAUT Defence Fund remains the same for 2018-19 at $5.50 per month.

Back to Top

 

August 2019

Note from the Association President

Government acts to delay bargained wage reopener arbitration

Dean surveys

Updated Code of Conduct

Faculty Association representation

Membership emergency fund

 

GAZETTE

Faculty Association Board of Directors

Financial statements for 2017-2018

CAUT dues changes