May was a very busy and productive month of bargaining; we achieved a lot in this time, and have signed-off on most of our non-monetary proposals. The outstanding issues are office space and the definition of the bargaining unit. We have otherwise made some great gains in language on what is categorized as non-monetary Articles. Should the non-monetary language agreed to so far be ratified when placed before you for a vote, it is our opinion we will all have made some real and significant gains on this front.
During these negotiations, the Employer showed us respect and a commitment to providing us an equitable workplace with our tenured and tenure-track colleagues. In light of this collegial atmosphere, we agreed to open discussion on two Articles that are classified as “monetary” – Article 5: Rights and Privileges of the Association, and Article 16: Professional Responsibilities and Workload Assignment. In the former, we are primarily seeking Association service recognition for Teaching Faculty Members that are already enjoyed by our tenured and tenure-track Faculty Members.
Unfortunately, the pace of negotiations has slowed significantly since we presented Article 16, our workload proposal. I dare say that the initial respect we enjoyed, has also declined over the last several meetings. Perhaps this is to be expected as we are now discussing core problems and our #1 bargaining issue.
If you were here for the first round of Teaching Faculty negotiations, you may remember that this was a contentious issue. The Employer and Association could not agree at that time to a cap on course load assignment, and we would not agree to 8. We left this issue to further discussion among Faculty workload committees. We learned from this that alternate processes are not sufficient in ensuring a reasonable workload assignment, and so this is the top priority for us in this round of bargaining (N.B. this started several years before the Teaching Faculty joined the Association and HR imposed their workload guidelines on us).
We’ve also learnt from past experience that when we don’t get a fair and reasonable workload assignment in writing, the Employer will go ahead and force their workload model even if we’ve told them again and again we don’t want it. This is our top bargaining priority. No means no, and our next agreement must clearly express this.
Our workload proposal is first and foremost about ensuring you have the space and time to excel in your teaching activities, and to ensure UOIT is fostering an environment conducive to the sort of quality education that should be provided at a post-secondary institution. With one of the highest workload assignments in the province, the current teaching environment at UOIT is one that puts neither the student nor the faculty member first, but rather bottom lines and profit margins. As the university reaps revenue surpluses year over year, it is time to start investing some of these windfalls back into quality education, and the faculty members who provide it.
We have a lull in bargaining dates over much of July and August. However, there is still important work we can do to support our bargaining mandate during this time, and facilitate a speedy ratification of a fair agreement as early as possible. Please contact the Association if you have been assigned eight or more courses – we would like to file grievances on this, which is an important way of letting the Employer know there are problems that need to be fixed in the workplace. Our Action Committee will also be in touch about upcoming in-person meetings, where we can discuss our best path forward to a speedy, fair and equitable collective agreement.
Kimberly Nugent (UOITFA Chief Negotiating Officer)
Proposal 1 – Global Changes
Article 1 – Purpose
Article 4 – Management Rights
Article 6 – Dues Deduction
Article 7 – No Strike or Lockout
Article 8 – Correspondence
Article 9 – Joint Committee
Article 10 – No Discrimination or Harassment
Article 11 – Grievance Process and Arbitration Procedure
Article 12 – Health and Safety
Article 14 – Academic Freedom
Article 15 – Appointments
Article 17 – Performance Review
Article 18 – Official File
Article 19 – Continuing Appointment
Article 20 – Promotion to Master Lecturer
Article 21 – Intellectual Property
Article 23 – Discipline
Appendix C – List of Arbitrators
LOU – Employment Equity
LOU – Continued Email and Library Privileges
Proposal 22 – Deletion of Workload LOU
Article 2 – Recognition and Definition of the Bargaining Unit
Article 3 – Definitions
Article 13 – Working EnvironmentMonetary:
Article 5 – Rights and Privileges of the Association
Article 16 – Professional Responsibilities and Workload Assignment
Article 24 – Compensation
Article 25 – Pension and Benefits
Article 26 – Vacation and Holidays
Article 27 – Leaves of Absence
Article 28 – Term
Appendix A – Compensation
Appendix B – Benefits Coverage
LOU – Student Supervision