Prebargaining – What you already have

Categories: Bargaining, Bargaining Unit, Bargaining Updates 2022,

In this first edition of our Bargaining Advisories, we respond to common questions and concerns you’ve raised about the rights and protections we have already negotiated. 

Last fall, as we prepared for the upcoming negotiating round, the Faculty Association’s Bargaining Preparation Committee (BPC) surveyed  the membership on areas of bargaining priorities. We were pleased that almost 1500 of you responded to the survey with meaningful feedback. The BPC also held over 15 consultation sessions for both campuses to hear your workplace concerns directly. During those consultation sessions, we heard from many of you about areas where the new protections negotiated in the last round have not yet been implemented or where there is still some confusion over what rights were secured.  Here we’d like to help you understand the tools you already have in the Collective Agreement and how to use them.  If you would like more information on these or any other aspects of the Collective Agreement, do not hesitate to reach out to us for clarification or assistance.

Workload fairness and balance:

Time to perform all aspects of your job: Part 1, Article 13.01 states that all members shall be afforded the opportunity to “perform their responsibilities.”  This means that the assigned parts of your workload cannot be so time-consuming or onerous that they leave you no time or insufficient time to perform the self-directed activities of your position in a balanced work-year.  If your assigned teaching or service routinely leaves you with inadequate time for scholarly or educational leadership work, for instance, you should raise your concerns with your Head. The solution to an unbalanced workload is NOT for you to simply work harder or longer hours!

An equitable assignment of work within your unit: Part 1, Article 13.02 requires your unit to have a collegially developed and transparent policy about how assigned work is distributed.  It also requires that workload allocation be “reasonable and equitable.” Part 1, Article 13.03 (e) further specifies that “when the Head assigns teaching, they will consider the amount of work in the particular courses assigned based on factors such as class size, mode of delivery, contact hours, and amount of teaching assistant support.”  This means that your unit needs to ensure fair and balanced teaching assignments, based on a consistent and transparent set of policies, and factoring in the kinds of elements (class size; marking load; TA support; new-course-prep, and so on) that can significantly affect the amount of time it takes to complete your teaching responsibilities.  If your unit does not have a workload policy, does not distribute it, or does not consider the various factors contributing to assigned teaching (like class-size), point them to this language in the Collective Agreement.

Self-directed service:  Part 4 Article 4.05 specifies that “service is a combination of assigned and self-directed tasks,” including service performed “for the benefit of Departments, Faculties, Extended Learning, or other parts of the University (including the Faculty Association) and for professional organizations and the community at large.”  This specifically also includes “mentoring activities” and “professional, academic, and public service work done to advance the inclusion of all those who have been historically excluded based on gender, race, religion, sexuality, age, disability or economic circumstance.”  If your unit refuses to recognize the service you choose or are elected to do that meets these definitions, point them to this language in the Collective Agreement.

Tenured and tenure-track faculty (TTF) teaching loads:  Teaching loads for Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors of Teaching may be calculated in a variety of ways; most units correlate them closely – and rightly – to the normal assigned teaching loads of members in the research stream.  The absolute maximum teaching load for all TTF faculty is additionally defined by proxy in the Collective Agreement.  In Part 4, Article 2.02 (g), the maximum teaching load for full-time Lecturers in each Faculty is now set to match that of Sessional Lecturers in each Faculty, (eg., full-time for a Sessional Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts is 9 credits/term, so a Lecturer’s maximum full-time load cannot be greater than that, and often less to accommodate administrative or special teaching responsibilities, in addition to their month of vacation).  Lecturers’ work is a combination of teaching and service.  Assistant, Associate and Full Professors are required to engage in teaching, service, and either scholarly activity or educational leadership, with the additional professional, mentoring, innovation, planning, and administrative responsibilities attendant upon this important work and accompanying tenure itself.  A TTF faculty member’s maximum teaching load should therefore always be significantly less than the maximum full-time load for a Lecturer in the same unit, as TTF faculty have these other major responsibilities which must be accommodated in the assignment of workload.  If this is not the case for you, point your unit to this language and/or contact the Faculty Association.

Sessional Lecturers’ pre- and post-term work: Part 7, Article 2.04 specifies that “any work required outside the period of appointment will be clearly stated in the appointment letter and remuneration for the work will be provided for.”  This language means that Sessional Lecturers cannot be expected to work for free outside of the period of their contract, whether that work be marking or preparatory or administrative work.

Tenure and Promotion:

Varieties of scholarly activity: All forms of scholarly activity count in appointment, reappointment, tenure, and promotion processes.  Part 4 Article 4.03 specifies that distinguished engineering or architectural design, creative performance, contributions to the scholarship of teaching, significant professional innovations, and significant professional-field contributions all count as “scholarly activity.” Article 4.03 also specifies that “diverse substantive contributions to knowledge and methods of dissemination, as recognized within the field of inquiry, are valued.”  The SAC Guide references “blended cases” that combine professional, performance, clinical, and published contributions, but in the Collective Agreement, all such contributions are considered equally scholarly activity. An important reminder: the Collective Agreement supersedes the SAC Guide, so if there are any discrepancies between the two, the Collective Agreement governs.

Expedited promotion/tenure reviews for faculty hired at tenured ranks: Article 5.14 (d) in Part 4 specifies that “the President may make an initial appointment of Associate Professor with tenure, Professor with tenure, Associate Professor of Teaching with tenure or Professor of Teaching with tenure where (1) the Departmental Committee, including the Head, a representative of the Faculty Committee and a representative of the Senior Appointments Committee, and (2) the Dean have recommended in favour of the appointment.”  While the SAC Guide tries to suggest that such expedited procedures may only be used in certain rare cases, the Collective Agreement clearly makes this option available to all initial appointments at senior ranks.

If you have any questions about the language in the Collective Agreement or other workplace concerns, please contact the Faculty Association for assistance. We are here to help!