On February 14 the Association and the University met for the first time for the current round of Collective Bargaining. During this meeting the Parties exchanged proposals and provided a general overview of the problems the proposals are intended to solve, or the objectives they are meant to accomplish. Below we review some of the University’s proposals to give you an idea of what the University hopes to achieve in this round of bargaining.
To date the University has made no proposals regarding across the board increases. This simply reflects where we are in the bargaining process, and is not an immediate cause for concern. (After we receive the proposal, the story could be different.)
Among the major proposals put forward by the University, eliminating tenure at the rank of Assistant Professor seems to be a high priority. This proposal was also on the bargaining table in the last round. It is well known that President Toope does not believe that someone should be tenured if they do not meet the criteria for promotion.
The University proposed merging the existing Merit and PSA pools into one new pool that would be used for merit only. The University also proposed allowing individual Faculties to determine the start and end date for the “year” that comprises the evaluation period for merit and PSA. It turns out that at least some Faculties are in violation of the Collective Agreement on this matter while others have no difficulty in being compliant (the Sauder School of Business, for one), so we are still trying to determine what the real issue is with this.
The University proposed that the parental leave policy as it affects the tenure clock be changed such that leaves of less than 15 weeks do not result in extending the tenure clock by one year. We have yet to determine how many faculty members, if any, that this would affect, or whether this is a serious issue on campus. When we have more information we will be better able to respond to this issue.
The University is seeking to allow Ph.D. students to teach, without giving them sessional appointments, or the protections that come with such appointments. While we can see the need for Ph.D. students to gain teaching experience, the University has not indicated how sessional rights will be protected under their proposal.
The University has made some other proposals that are more technical in nature. You can review all of their proposals here.
It is helpful to remember that the proposals tabled when bargaining begins are only the opening positions of the Parties. Clarity and specific language will evolve over time, as will an indication of priorities. The initial proposals are intended to provide each party with a preliminary indication of the other’s objectives. During bargaining, we will consider the University’s proposals and do the necessary research to formulate responses to their proposals. Undoubtedly the university will be engaged in a similar exercise.
Over the next several weeks we will blog about the Association’s proposals in more details.