UBCFA Faculty Focus: Fall Term Update

UBCFA Faculty Focus

Welcome Back

Welcome new and returning members to the Fall 2019 Term at UBC. We have a few updates for you regarding Faculty Association events and activities over this coming term, so please mark your calendars.

Fall General Meeting –
Tuesday, October 22, 1 pm – 3 pm

UBCV: Robert H Lee Family Boardroom, Alumni Centre

For the business portion of the Fall General meeting, we’ll be reviewing changes to the Association’s bylaws. Many of the proposed changes are in response to concerns we heard from members when we brought our Bylaws into compliance with the Societies Act last fall. We’ll circulate the proposed changes well in advance so that you have an opportunity to review them and formulate your questions for when we meet.

Also at this meeting, David Robinson, Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) will be giving an informative presentation on academic freedom. We look forward to having you join us for what is sure to be an insightful talk, which will be followed by an open discussion.

Fair Employment Week – October 7 to 11

The Faculty Association will be hosting a number of events to showcase and celebrate the work of our contract faculty on both campuses including an Information Booth at the Nest on Tuesday, October 8 from 11 am to 1 pm (UBCV). Drop by and support your contract faculty colleagues.

End of Term Celebrations

We will be celebrating the end of term on Tuesday, December 3rd at our Okanagan campus and Friday, December 6th at the Vancouver Campus.

Contract Negotiations

Before the summer hiatus, the Faculty Association was busy bargaining the next Collective Agreement. We will be back at the bargaining table with several dates scheduled in September. As always, we’ll keep members informed of the issues and our progress at the table through our regular Bargaining updates. Please visit our Bargaining Blog to check out the items we’ve discussed with the University to date.

Current Issues

The Faculty Association is currently dealing with some important grievance matters as well as a number of other issues that affect the membership. We will be in an arbitration hearing with the University in the second week of October regarding the participation of Associate Deans in various processes spelled out in the Collective Agreement. Associate Deans are excluded from the bargaining unit, and the question which the hearing will address is whether Associate Deans, whom the parties have agreed are excluded from the bargaining unit, access bargaining unit rights or participate in bargaining unit processes under the Collective Agreement, beyond where roles have been expressly negotiated for excluded academic administrators, related to appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure set out under Part 4, Article 5 of the Collective Agreement.

We will soon be communicating with the membership on a disagreement we are having with the University on the indemnification of faculty members where they are named in legal action or complaint (such as human rights, defamation). While we believed our grievance on this matter was effectively settled, the University has since advised us otherwise. We are awaiting formal communication from the University. When we have received that communication, we will inform you of the discussions, outcomes, and what you should do if you find yourself named in a lawsuit or other formal legal action.

The Faculty Association works hard to promote your interests, protect your academic freedom and uphold your right to an equitable and respectful workplace. Whether we’re dealing with broader issues affecting our more than 3300 Association members, or workplace problems relating to you personally, we’re here to help.

We wish you the best for the term!

Bronwen Sprout