June 4, 2012
This is a reminder that the proposed Bargaining Mandate will be discussed at our GMM tomorrow (Tuesday) scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm (Peterborough, LEC 201; Oshawa, Room 160).
We are also pleased to now report the results of the Association's elections last month.
Following the extension of the deadline for receipt of Nominations to May 7th, the Nominating Committee presented to the Executive Committee the names of two nominees: David Newhouse and James Watson. With three slots available to be filled, both members were acclaimed to the Executive Committee and the election process closed for this year. Any members interested in serving on the Executive are, however, encouraged to contact the TUFA office as there are a number of spots on the Executive that may be filled by co-option at any time.
The elected members of the Executive Committee have assigned this year's critical officer positions as follows:
David Newhouse - President
Ray Dart - Secretary/Treasurer
James Watson - Grievance Officer
Bruce Cater - Salaries and Benefits Officer
Because the Executive Committee wishes to co-opt additional members in the coming weeks, it was decided not to assign either the Communications portfolio, or the position of Vice President at this time.
As previously announced, Susan Wurtele, has been appointed Chief Negotiator and is joined on the bargaining team by Marco Pollanen and Bruce Cater.
June 4, 2012
In solidarity with CAUT and hundreds of other organizations around the country, TUFA's website and social media sites will be blacked out today (June 4th).
As the Canadian government pushes ahead with a budget bill that would vastly transform important regulations and services in the absence of transparent public discussion, we are joining with colleagues across the country to say Silence is Not an Option. The darkening of our websites sends a unified message to decision-makers: Protect Canadian values. Protect our land, water, and climate. Our communities. Our public services. Our human rights and democracy.
Visit BlackOutSpeakOut <http://www.blackoutspeakout.ca/index.php> to access tools to make your voice heard. Those on Twitter can follow #blackoutspeakout <https://twitter.com/#!/search/%23blackoutspeakout> during the day for updates and to join the conversation.
Please also consider adding your name to the BlackOutSpeakOut petition:
English petition - http://www.care2.com/go/z/20308889
French petition - http://www.care2.com/go/z/20313863
May 31, 2012
Attached please find the Proposed Negotiations Mandate for discussion at our upcoming GMM (June 5th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.). At that meeting, the Executive Committee will formally recommend approval of this mandate as prepared by the Negotiations Council. Members will be informed of the rationale underlying each of the specific components of the mandate and will have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss the issues before voting. The mandate is the articulation of the Union's objectives and principles and, as such, will guide the bargaining team at the table. For this reason it is crucial that the team have confidence that the mandate is a clear reflection of the will of the Membership. Although many of the issues contained in the mandate are interrelated, the Membership may act at the meeting to approve the document in whole or in part and may amend portions of the mandate if that is the will of the body.
We would like to thank all those members who have participated in the consultation process, and especially the members of the Negotiations Council, for their assistance in getting us to this point. We look forward to our collective discussion of these important matters on Tuesday.
May 28, 2012
As you will remember, the Harassment and Discrimination Policy was discussed at the Bargaining Table during the last round of negotiations. Absent an agreement at that time, the Parties agreed to continue the negotiations of this one issue beyond the signing of the collective agreement. This extension was subject to the clear understanding that any policy that replaced the current policy (contained in Appendix E) would have to be ratified by the TUFA membership. The discussion of the policy was subject to significant delays but we recently arrived at a point where TUFA conveyed to the Employer that we had gone as far as we could without turning the process back the membership for their feedback. Most of the Union’s concerns (including those articulated in the last round of bargaining, in University-wide consultations and through TUFA’s legal counsel) have been addressed. The policy in its current iteration (attached) was circulated to Faculty Board and Senate earlier this month. We expect that the Employer will table this version in the upcoming round of negotiations and so we are taking this opportunity to seek membership input on the policy. In order to facilitate discussion at the upcoming general membership meeting, the Executive would be happy to receive questions or concerns both by email in advance of the GMM or at the meeting.
May 14, 2012
We have received questions from some LTAs regarding the relationship of the Parity correction to Employment Insurance (EI) benefits and so we contacted Service Canada for more information. The maximum insurable earnings amount is currently set at $45,900 (in 2010 it was $43,200). As this amount is less than the 9-month pay received by an LTA at salary step A1, we do not anticipate that the change in reported earnings should have any effect on members' EI benefits. Those who have drawn EI since 2010 should have been receiving the maximum benefit payments in which case the pay correction will not result in any increase to those payments. According to Service Canada, the pay correction is attributable to the year(s) it covers and should, as a technical matter, be reported to Service Canada (1-800-206-7218) by those drawing EI benefits, after receipt of payment from the University in June.
We hope this is helpful.
May 14, 2012
The provincial campaign to Save Local Schools is organising a host of coordinated events across the province this Saturday (May 12th). The event planned for Peterborough will begin at Confederation Park (in front of PCVS) at noon with a march downtown scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm. A fuller description of Saturday's activities clipped from Facebook is pasted below.
Additional information is also available online at www.savelocalschools.com
_______________Event Announcement Copied from Facebook________________
FREE OUTDOOR EVENT OPEN TO EVERYONE! and btw IT'S FREE!
Hey groovy Peterborough raiders, residents, and those who want to make some noise! THIS IS THE MAJOR PROTEST and we're looking at having an excellent and fun-filled time this Saturday. We have live bands booked including Crooked Republic, Evangeline Gentle, The Seven Potters, Taylor Abrahamse, SuperQuest, Sean and the Shiners, Candle Cave Ensemble Part 2, and many more!
If the fantastic live music and entertainment isn't enough to jam up your senses, we have food vendors coming out to fill up your tum with our delicious local food.
Across Ontario communities will be participating in this wonderful day where we let our provincial elected officials know that we are not happy with the ARC process, and something needs to change. We are demanding across Ontario a moratorium on school closures until McGuinty's broken School Closure Process is FIXED!
Make sure you're there for our Save Local Schools blood pumping, adrenaline junkie march at 1 o'clock SHARP. We are marching downtown just to remind the community we're still here and hopefully catch the attention of a couple local politicians.
It's going to be a great day, make sure you're there! You don't want to miss out on our last big protest to SAVE LOCAL SCHOOLS!
_______________End Clipped Announcement_______________
May 9, 2012
A number of members have asked us about the scope of the parity adjustment and whether it will pertain to LTAs no longer on contract. The simple answer is yes. The University has an obligation to make this adjustment on behalf of any TUFA member employed on, or since, July 1, 2010. This includes individuals who have retired since that date, LTAs whose appointments have ended, members now in administrative positions or otherwise out of the bargaining unit, those on leave, etc. We have confirmed with the Employer that the first effort to compensate those who are no longer active employees will be to deposit funds directly to the account each of these individuals last used for payroll purposes. Failing that, the Employer will send out cheques for any amounts owing.
May 8, 2012
Dear TUFA members,
We are writing to report on matters related to the TUFA Salary Parity formula. First, we have now received final data showing that the (estimated) parity adjustment that was applied to our salaries in July, 2010, was low. It turns out that the adjustment of 0% was 0.68% below what we were owed. As a result, your June 2012 pay will show a 0.68% increase, retroactive to July 2010. TUFA is working with the Employer to ensure that all forms of compensation based on salary (stipends, pensions, etc.) are appropriately adjusted. Last Thursday, Statistics Canada also released the final salary figures for the 2010-11 year. These data will be used to determine whether any correction is needed for the (estimated) parity adjustment of 0% that was applied in July 2011. We will let you know as soon as we have met with the Employer to determine whether a further adjustment is necessary.
The second news item is very serious. On May 3, 2012, Statistics Canada announced that the Full-time University and College Academic Staff Survey (FT-UCASS) has been discontinued. No rationale was provided, but it seems safe to assume this is part of ongoing cuts at Statistics Canada. For TUFA, this represents a significant loss as the UCASS data comprise the basis for the calculation of our Parity Adjustment. CAUT and OCUFA are working to find a replacement for these data, but the general consensus suggests that this will be a difficult task. In addition to concerns with the future feasibility of our current parity formula, one of the more immediate consequences of this change is that we will not have the data necessary to calculate the parity adjustment for the third year of our current contract (i.e., the adjustment to be applied in July 2012). The Executive Committee and Bargaining Team are assessing our options and will report back to the membership at our upcoming General Membership Meeting in early June.
May 2, 2012
This email will be the last of our regular weekly messages until the fall/winter academic session sparks to life in August. We will, of course, circulate important information concerning bargaining and other urgent matters as warranted throughout the summer which, we hope, will be productive and relaxing for all TUFA members (although one would seem to preclude the other).
Please consider standing for a position on TUFA's Executive Committee. Union work is gratifying and highly informative. In a bargaining year especially, we need strong leadership drawn from as broad a cross-section of the membership as possible to participate in the governance of the Union and ensure that a fair deal is reached at the bargaining table. Please contact Ray Dart, Chair of our Nominating Committee, for more information - <email@example.com>.
For those unable to commit to Executive Service, there are other ways to make valuable contributions to your union. In particular, the Executive would like to expand the Association's Grievance Committee and establish a Communications Committee. This latter committee would meet (via email or skype) as necessary to distil and package communicate news from the bargaining table to ensure that the membership is kept informed of our Negotiation's activities through the summer. Please contact <firstname.lastname@example.org> if you are interested in serving on these committees.
Last weekend, the Association's Vice President, Past President, and Executive Director attended the Spring Council meeting of the Canadian Association of University Teachers. Council is where much of the policy and political work of the CAUT gets done.
One of the more contentious issues at this Council related to governance at the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. These two universities are now on notice that, unless they amend their agreement with Jim Balsillie's private think tank, the Centre for International Governance (CIGI), they will face censure in November. Reported on nationally, CAUT's initiation of the censure process stemmed from concerns that appropriate safeguards were not in place to protect academic integrity at the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA). Central to these concerns was the ouster of the BSIA's director, Dr. Ramesh Thakur, which was the subject of a CAUT investigation authored by Professor Len Findlay from the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Findlay's report provides insight into the trend toward subordinating universities to private interests in the production and dissemination of knowledge and is available from <http://www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=937>.
Please consider adding your name to LabourStart's campaign to save the life of Professor Abdolreza Ghanbari who is now awaiting execution in Iran's Evin prison.
Abdolreza Ghanbari is a 44-year-old lecturer of Payam e Nour University who was arrested at his home in Pakdasht on 4 January 2010 and charged with ‘Moharebeh’ (enmity towards God) for receiving unsolicited emails from an armed opposition group to which he does not belong. While in detention, Prof. Ghanbari was interrogated for 25 days in a row and forced to confess under duress to unproven charges. Prof. Ghanbari's lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, has herself been condemned to a six-year sentence in Evin prison for "propaganda against the regime" and "acting against national security." The latest information from Education International suggests that Prof. Ghanbari's health is deteriorating and he is being denied necessary medical treatments. For more information visit Education International's website at <http://www.ei-ie.org/en/uaas/uaa_details/39>.
CAUT's Contract Academic Staff Committee is seeking submissions to an edited volume on the causes, experiences and consequences of the shift to greater reliance on contingent academic labour in the academy. The Committee is interested in original research on how and why this has happened and its consequences for the working lives of all post-secondary academics and their students, as well as anecdotes and reflections on the experience of contract academics. The collection's primary focus will be Canada, but comparative material relating to the U.S.A. and U.K. would also be considered. If you have research or reflections on this issue, please send an abstract of 500 words or less, an estimate of the length of the finished piece (3,000-4,000 words for reflections, 5,000-6,000 words for original research), and your full contact details to Robert Johnson by June 30, 2012. Authors of accepted proposals will be contacted with details and deadlines.
The CAUT's next librarian conference, "Contested Terrain: Shaping the Future of Academic Librarianship," will consider threats posed by such corporate practices as deskilling, outsourcing, misusing technology, and reducing services. Participants will help develop action plans to protect academic librarians and the public good they provide. The conference is scheduled for October 26th & 27th in Ottawa. Financial assistance is available for members attending on behalf of the Association. Please contact the TUFA office for more information.
April 25, 2012
The General Membership Meeting to approve TUFA's bargaining mandate for the upcoming round of negotiations has been scheduled for Tuesday June 5th from 1:00 until 3:00 pm, but can be extended if necessary. The meeting will take place in LEC 201 (Peterborough) and Room 160 (Oshawa). Refreshments will be provided. Please mark this important meeting on your calendar and stay tuned for more information.
The Peterborough and District Labour Council is holding its annual Day of Mourning Ceremony this Saturday (April 28th) at 11:00 am at City Hall (500 George St. North). Gord Wilson, former president of the OFL is the guest speaker and TUFA's former staffer, George Hewison, will also be performing at the event. The ceremony will be followed by a light lunch at the Black Horse Pub.
On April 4th, TUFA's Executive Director and our Vice President participated in a lobbying day at Queen’s Park organized by OCUFA. This event provided faculty associations an opportunity to meet with local MPPs and voice concerns over cuts to post-secondary funding, threats to our pension funds, and other issues of concern to academic staff. We met with Jeff Leal (Peterborough), Christine Elliot (Whitby-Oshawa), John O’Toole (Durham), Jerry Ouelette (Oshawa), and Tracy MacCharles (Pickering). The visits were designed (successfully for the most part) to allow teams drawn from different Associations to forge connections with the politicians while fleshing out OCUFA's key talking points with campus-specific illustrations. TUFA plans to follow up on our more successful meetings by inviting some of these MPPs to visit Trent's campuses. One of the heartening aspects of our meetings was the consistent recognition of Trent's social, economic, and cultural value as a vital part of both Peterborough and Oshawa. More on these meetings will be posted on the TUFA blog (http://trentfaculty.wordpress.com/).
April 24, 2012
Nominations are now open for TUFA members interested in serving on the Association Executive.
Members elected to the Executive serve for a two-year term, starting May 1st, or immediately following an election if one is required.
All members of the Association, including those holding Limited Term Appointments, are eligible to serve on the Executive. Previous experience is not required.
There are currently THREE Executive members returning for the second year of their term (Cater, Economics; Dart, Business Administration; Smith-Chant, Psychology) and THREE more whose elected term is up. The terms of the co-opted members on the Executive expire annually and there are currently TWO co-opted members on the Executive. Of those whose terms are expiring, TWO have confirmed their willingness to stand again for the Executive (Newhouse, Indigenous Studies; Watson, Library). This leaves FOUR vacancies on the TUFA Executive to be filled by election or co-option following the requirements of the TUFA Constitution.
Nominations will be accepted until the close of business on Monday May 7, 2012. Please submit nominations to TUFA's Secretary, c/o email@example.com. Nominations require the signature of at least two members in addition to the signature of the nominee, and should be submitted on the attached nomination form. As has been done previously, we will consider the signature requirement to be met provided an individual clearly states his/her intent (either to nominate, or to accept a nomination) in an email (sent to firstname.lastname@example.org) with contact information.
For further information about this opportunity please don't hesitate to contact the two members of the Nominating Committee, Ray Dart (email@example.com) and Rachel Wortis (firstname.lastname@example.org), or the President of TUFA, David Newhouse (email@example.com).
April 18, 2012
Another term may be winding down, but labour activism in Ontario is starting to heat up with several events that TUFA members might find interesting.
First, the York University Faculty Association is hosting a public forum on Community Engagement as Social Action this Friday (April 20th). The event will bring community activists, youth organizers, labour leaders, academics, and students together to reflect on the current economic situation and to strategize around opposition to the slash-and-burn budgetary policies of today. A poster advertising the forum and providing a schedule of the day's events is attached. There is no registration fee, but interested individuals are asked to pre-register at <http://pushingforward2012.eventbrite.com>. The link is easily accessed via our facebook page <http://www.facebook.com/trent.facultyassociation> and our twitter feed (@trentfaculty)
Second, planning continues around the OFL's Day of Action on April 21st <http://ofl.ca/index.php/news/index_in/ontario_day_of_action_demand_prosp.... A bus has been arranged to transport union members from Peterborough to the rally at Queen's Park and so please let us know as soon as possible if you would like more information about securing a seat on the bus.
We have received a request from a doctoral candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto to circulate a survey relating to his research project: “Sexual Minorities at Ontario Universities: Negotiating Their Campus Climate.” The survey is open to any faculty member who self identifies as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQQ).
The survey will close on April 30th, 2012. It may take up to 30 minutes to complete. You can choose not to answer a question, but the survey must be completed in one sitting as you will not be able to save it, nor return to complete it later. Responses will be kept confidential and any identifying information shared by participants in the survey will be removed from the findings. Identifying information shared by participants about any specific university will not be publicly available.
This study has been approved by the Trent University Research Ethics Board #22373. If you have comments or concerns about participating in this study, please contact Karen Mauro <firstname.lastname@example.org> in Trent’s Research Office, or contact the Office of Research Ethics at the University of Toronto <email@example.com> / (416) 946-3273. All other questions about the survey should be directed to Jude Tate <firstname.lastname@example.org> or Professor Kari Dehli <email@example.com.
To participate in this survey, please click the link below and you will be provided with more information about the study and a consent form required of all respondents.
GO TO THE SURVEY: <http://app.fluidsurveys.com/s/LGBTQQ-In-OntarioUniversities/>
As you might remember from last term, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) faces cuts and changes that may be sufficient to kill NSCAD as a university. At 125 years, NSCAD is the oldest independent school in Canada granting fine arts degrees. A good article on the problems faced by NSCAD is available at: <http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/84226-if-nscad-were-a-paper-mill-it...
April 11, 2012
Many thanks to all TUFA members who attended yesterday's GMM.
On Sunday morning, we circulated an urgent appeal regarding the "Peterborough Needs PCVS" campaign. Members are reminded that the campaign organizers will make their decision about whether or not to proceed with a judicial review later today (Wednesday) at noon. That decision will be based on the level of financial commitments made to the cause by that time. Those wanting to support the initiative can deposit funds directly into the Save PCVS account:
Peterborough Community Credit Union
167 Brock Street, Peterborough
The branch opens at 9:00 am on Wednesday. Alternatively, contributions can be made through paypal at the Peterborough Needs PCVS website: <http://peterboroughneedspcvs.com/>. Donations to "Peterborough Needs PCVS" will not be issued a charitable donation receipt. There may be funds left over after the legal challenge has been completed. In this case, donors of more than $100 will receive a refund that is prorated according to the portion of funds used to fight the legal challenge.
Some months back, we posted a call for volunteers on behalf of the Lakefield College School's debating program, and judges are still needed for the Fulford Spring Debate Tournament. This is an annual provincial tournament with some twenty independent schools participating. This year’s resolution is "Be it resolved that alternative First Nations focused secondary schools be established in Ontario." Judges do not need
any expertise in debating or the subject matter. The tournament takes place on May 12th, 2012, from 9am to 3pm (with a break for lunch). With thanks to those who have already volunteered, anyone interested in participating in this event should contact Manal Stamboulie, Director of Library and Information Studies at Lakefield College School (705-652-3324, ext. 346 / email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>).
April 8, 2012
Per a member's request, we are forwarding the following time-sensitive appeal regarding the closure of Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School.
To all faculty members:
As many of you know, supporters of PCVS, our local integrated Arts high school that was featured this week on the Rick Mercer show, has been slated for closure at the end of the term. The closure was recommended by a school board that doesn't seem to care about the quality of this school, the many accomplishments of its students, its 184 year history (yes, it predates confederation!), its distinguished record as a school promoting diversity, its anti-bullying record, and its importance to the Peterborough downtown core and to the community in general. This is a full school, the least expensive to run among city schools, and the closure was imposed upon it by trustees not from this area, supposedly because they could move the students to schools with outdoor grounds, and give them better programming. The fallacy of the latter claim has already been demonstrated, as integrated arts students cannot even get courses at the school they would be moved to that they now have at PCVS! Our local trustees voted against the closure of PCVS, but despite the dominance of the City of Peterborough in the district represented by the Board, they had only 2 of 11 votes.
A large group of Peterborough residents, former PCVS grads and other supporters have been fighting valiantly to prevent closure, but the cards have been stacked against us at every turn. It has now come down to court action to stop the closure, in the form of an injunction and a judicial review. A judicial review is a very expensive process that carries the potential risk of the court awarding damages if the ruling goes against us. The applicants [made up of certain members of the coordinating committee] would be held legally responsible for any damages awarded to the Board. Our legal team estimates we need to raise $250,000 (with $150,000 of this total needed only if we have an adverse ruling and are responsible for damages) to proceed with a judicial review. We can only proceed with a judicial review if we have enough financial support to protect the applicants. We need to know by Wednesday, April 11 at noon if you we have enough financial support to launch a judicial review. If you believe in quality education and fairness in decision-making, and you care what happens to Peterborough, the Save PCVS movement needs your help.
You may donate by:
Depositing funds directly into the Save PCVS account
Peterborough Community Credit Union
167 Brock Street, Peterborough
Monday through Thursday 9:00 AM to 5:00PM
Friday 9:30 AM to 7:00 PM
Closed Good Friday, April 6 and Easter Monday, April 9
Visiting the Peterborough Needs PCVS website
and making a donation through PayPal: http://peterboroughneedspcvs.com/
Donations to Peterborough Needs PCVS will not be issued a charitable donation receipt. There may be funds left over after the legal challenge has been completed. In this case, donors of more than $100 will receive a refund that is prorated according to the portion of funds used to fight the legal challenge.
Please consider making a financial contribution to save this venerable school.
April 3, 2012
A reminder that TUFA's next GMM will take place this Monday (April 9th) from 4:00 - 6:00 pm (LEC 201, Peterborough/ Room 127, Oshawa). Attached please find an updated Statement of Reserves.
We have been asked to circulate an announcement regarding a new questionnaire being sent to faculty and librarians across Ontario by the Ontario Confederation of Faculty Associations (OCUFA).
OCUFA's last questionnaire (2010) received more than 1,200 responses and proved a valuable resource: informing advocacy efforts with government, the media, and the public on behalf of faculty and librarians throughout Ontario.
This latest questionnaire is designed to gauge the opinions of Ontario’s university faculty and librarians on a variety of current and emerging issues in higher education. The information collected will be used to propose new policies, engage politicians and civil servants in policy debates, and to connect with the public through the media. Information that comes directly from those on the academic front lines enhances OCUFA's ability to advocate on your behalf.
Responses will be aggregated at the provincial level so as to maintain the confidentiality of individual respondents as well as the identity of the institutions with which respondents are affiliated. The questionnaire should not take more than 15 minutes to complete and OCUFA is offering the chance for respondents to win a new iPad. The deadline for completing the questionnaire <http://ocufa.on.ca/faculty-questionnaire/> is April 13, 2012.
Brock University's ESL instructors are now in Day 9 of a strike protesting the Board of Trustee's refusal to ratify an agreement reached by the parties at the bargaining table. Additional information is available from CUPE 4207's website <www.4207.cupe.ca/>, and an online petition can be accessed at <http://cupe.ca/action/brock-esl-strike>.
We previously announced the OFL's planned Day of Action (April 21st) at Queen's Park. Plans are now being made to bring the event closer to home by holding a sympathetic Day of Action in Peterborough on April 21st. Anyone interested in helping to organize this event should attend the planning meeting scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday, April 4th at 4:00 pm) in the offices of the Peterborough and District Labour Council (246 Romaine Street, Peterborough). Everyone welcome.
CAUT and OCUFA have now responded to the Federal and Provincial budgets, respectively. The CAUT report is posted in pdf format at <www.caut.ca/uploads/Analysis_Federal_Budget_2012.pdf>; OCUFA's, at http://ocufa.on.ca/wordpress/assets/OCUFA-Budget-Analysis-2012-FINAL.pdf>.
For those so inclined, the Workers Health & Safety Centre has opened registration for the 2012 Cliff Pilkey/WHSC Annual Golf Tournament which will be held on June 28th at the Deer Creek Golf Club in Ajax. Information about this charity event is available from <www.whsc.on.ca/whatnews2.cfm?autoid=715>.
March 27, 2012
Attached please find the first of TUFA's Bargaining Bulletins for the upcoming round of negotiations along with a copy of our bargaining survey. We are pleased to report that we have received completed surveys from approximately 1/3 of our members and have extended the deadline to complete the survey until Friday in the hopes of boosting our response rate over 50%.
Members interested in getting involved in the bargaining process should feel free to call or stop by the TUFA office (CC-E3) to discuss how their particular talents might be deployed to best advantage in service to the collective. We do promise, of course, to return member activists relatively unharmed to their departments after bargaining has concluded.
March 23, 2012
With apologies to those who have already returned their completed bargaining survey, we would like to remind those who have not that the deadline for submitting your survey is March 27th (this coming Tuesday). For your convenience a blank copy of the survey is attached.
March 21, 2012
TUFA's Spring General Membership Meeting has been scheduled for Monday April 9th, 2012. The meeting will run from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in LEC 201 (Peterborough) and in Room 127 (Oshawa). There will be a reception in the LEC Senior Common Room immediately following the meeting. Refreshments will be available in the Oshawa meeting room beginning at 4:00 pm. Members can participate in the GMM from either location, regardless of whether they are identified as “Peterborough” or “Oshawa” faculty. Agenda items will include issues pertaining to bargaining and TUFA's budget for 2012/13.
The Ontario Federation of Labour has changed the start time for the April 21st Day of Action to accommodate those coming to Toronto from out of town. The rally at Queen's Park is now scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm and should end by 5:00 pm. The Day of Action is being organized to protest the Drummond Report's recommendations to cut public-sector jobs and to demand that the Premier roll-back corporate tax cuts.
OCUFA recognizes outstanding teachers and academic librarians through its Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards. Do you know a colleague who has shown leadership in teaching and/or teaching-related activities (such as course design or faculty development)? The 39th annual call for nominations has now been posted and interested members are encouraged to visit OCUFA's website for additional information: . The deadline for receipt of nominations is May 21st, 2012.
For those of our members who prepare course packs, it is worth knowing that CSPI Coursepacks is a member of the CAUT's Affinity Program. Now, when you identify yourself as a CAUT member, Canadian Scholars’ Press will donate a portion of the revenue from your coursepack to CAUT’s Academic Freedom Fund. Additional information is available at
On a final note, a useful application for finding classrooms on the Symons Campus is now online
March 13, 2012
TUFA's Negotiations Council and Executive Committee want to hear from you. The attached bargaining survey provides members with an opportunity to comment on substantive work and workload issues as we develop our bargaining mandate. Hard copies of the survey are also being sent to every member via their department. You are welcome to either complete the mailed copy of the survey and return it to the TUFA office, or you can type your responses into the attached document and email that back to us instead. As noted on the survey document, information contained in this survey will only be used in aggregated form.
March 6, 2012
In the wake of the Commission on the Reform of Ontario's Public Services, OCUFA has released its analysis of Don Drummond's "path to sustainability and excellence," particularly those recommendations dealing with higher education. Though it may appear that post-secondary institutions got off lucky with the prospect of 1.5% annual funding increases (compared to 1% increases for secondary and elementary schools), the Commission's own assumptions suggest that enrolment growth and inflation would more than eat through the additional funds. Using the Commission's projections, OCUFA calculates that per/student funding under this model would actually decrease 12% by 2017/18. . . and this in the province that already lags all others in per-student funding. It is worth noting that, as a proportion of university budgets in Ontario, provincial transfers plunged from 61.9% in 1988/9 down to 37.3% in 2008/9. Further decreases seem entirely likely to wreck havoc on an already cash-strapped system. OCUFA expands on these serious issues at <http://ocufa.on.ca/wordpress/assets/OCUFA-Drummond-Report-Analysis-Feb.-....
To meet increasing demand for post-secondary education while paring costs, the Ontario government is apparently also contemplating a shift to three-year bachelor degrees and the possibility of having as many as 60% of all university credits earned online. An internal Ministry report ("3 Cubed: PSE institutions as centres of creativity, competency and citizenship equipped for the 21st century") which leaked to the media last month is now also the subject of an OCUFA commentary: <http://ocufa.on.ca/2012/ocufa-responds-to-leaked-proposals-for-reform-of...
The implications of all this blue-sky thinking for the maintenance of quality education at Trent will certainly animate our participation in OCUFA's upcoming (April 4th) lobbying activities at Queen's Park. We look forward to reporting on TUFA's contribution to those efforts shortly thereafter.
After many years of service to Trent (and TUFA), Professor John Fekete will retire this summer. To mark the occasion, Cultural Studies is hosting a reception with music, light refreshments, and a cash bar. In addition to celebrating John's work, the reception will also launch the John Fekete Visiting Speakers Fund.
The reception for John is scheduled to take place at the Lady Eaton College Pit on Friday, March 30th from 2:30 until 5 pm with remarks beginning at 3:30 pm or thereabouts. Those interested in attending should RSVP to <email@example.com>.
Trent's updated "Charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities" was approved last month by the Board and is now available online at <www.trentu.ca/studentaffairs/campuslife_charter.php>.
February 29, 2012
Welcome back, colleagues!
March 8th is International Women’s Day and the Kawartha World Issues Centre (KWIC) has posted several events taking place that day. Of note, several TUFA members will be participating in a multi-media presentation and panel discussion that evening (7:00 - 8:30 pm) at the Peterborough Public Library. The event -- Building a Culture of Peace -- promises to explore "fresh perspectives on gender visibility, intersecting identities, liberating spaces, institutional accountability, and building solidarity."
The Ontario Federation of Labour has called for a Day of Action on April 21st (1:00 pm) at Queen's Park. The demonstration will protest provincial austerity measures in the context of continuing corporate tax breaks and cuts. TUFA is connected to the OFL through our membership in the Peterborough and District Labour Council. We will provide additional information as it becomes available; in particular, we will let members know if bus transportation will be provided to and from the protest.
Through our affiliates, TUFA monitors developments at other universities in the province and across the country. Of continuing interest, we note the AUCC's unfortunate conflation of academic freedom and institutional autonomy as well as the restrictive agreement that the administrations of Western and UofT reached with Access Copyright. TUFA raised this second issue at Joint Committee where we were informed that our University Librarian has been charged with leading a discussion of how Trent should respond to this situation. TUFA will meet with Robert Clarke as soon as possible to ensure that our members' concerns in this matter are heard.
More recently, a deal between Jim Balsillie's think tank, the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), and York University has led the CAUT to condemn both the specific agreement as well as any collaborations that allow third parties a voice in academic hiring or decision-making. What about Trent? While we have not seen an agreement like the CIGI/York collaboration, TUFA must remain alert to the fact that faculty rights and authority are at risk in our changing political environment. Toward that end, we may be wise to use the opportunity afforded us at the bargaining table to bolster our language around certain of our qualitative terms and conditions of employment.
And in that vein, preparations for bargaining continue -- stay tuned for opportunities to meet and discuss TUFA issues and concerns in the coming weeks.
February 14, 2012
TUFA's LTA members may be interested in joining the CAUT's listserv for contract academic staff, which provides an opportunity to share information of interest for contingent academic employees at Canadian universities and colleges. This listserv not only offers the opportunity to share information, but also allows contingent employees to support each other in what can be trying and stressful employment circumstances. Members wishing to participate in this listserv should send their names and e-mail address to Jocelyne Fortier (firstname.lastname@example.org) on the CAUT's staff.
CAUT has reposted two important memos relating to the longstanding recognition in Canadian universities that almost all of an academic staff members' documents and records are in the custody and control of the faculty members individually and not of the university which employs them. In recent years this understanding has come under threat, typically as a result of universities trying to comply with third-party requests to access faculty members' records. Clearly, these types of requests pose a problem as such surveillance violates the principle of academic freedom. To read more on this issue please see <www.caut.ca/uploads/Memo0941_Custody_Control_ASR.pdf> and <www.caut.ca/uploads/Memo1117_Addendum_CC_ASR.pdf>. Any member asked to provide access to her email, or to relinquish custody or control of his files (electronic or physical) should contact the TUFA office.
If you have news or announcements of likely interest to other TUFA members, please forward to email@example.com for possible inclusion in one of our email updates.
February 9, 2012
Attached please find a letterfrom David Newhouse to the Provost and Vice-President, Academic.
February 7, 2012
The Canadian Association of University Teachers is condemning agreements struck by the University of Toronto and the University of Western Ontario that may result in the surveillance of faculty correspondence, unjustified restrictions to copyrighted works, and more than a million-dollar increase in fees to the licensing group, Access Copyright. Among the terms of the agreement are provisions defining e-mailing hyperlinks as equivalent to photocopying a document and a flat fee of $27.50 for each full-time equivalent student (up from less than $4.00/student/year previously). Professor Sam Trosow, a member of UWO's Faculty of Information and Media Studies and the Faculty of Law, has posted a critique of the new Access Copyright agreements on his blog: <http://samtrosow.ca/content/view/112/43/>.
The timing of this agreement is particularly odd as the Supreme Court is preparing to clarify the educational use of copyrighted works in the coming months and this will likely undercut Access’s bargaining position. We are encouraged that the official notice on the Bata Library website regarding the expiration of the old agreement with Access Copyright <www.trentu.ca/admin/library/about/copyright.html> refers users to the CAUT's "Guidelines for the Use of Copyrighted Material," but will nevertheless seek confirmation from the administration that a similar deal to the one made at the UofT and UWO is not being contemplated for Trent. Interested TUFA members are encouraged to review CAUT's summary of this issue and/or read the full text of the UofT agreement for themselves.
CAUT Backgrounder: www.caut.ca/uploads/Backgrounder_UTUWO_Agreements.pdf
Did you know that our affiliations with CAUT and OCUFA give TUFA members access to those organizations' discount programs? Through OCUFA, we are entitled to join EDvantage, a program administered by the Ontario Teacher's Insurance Plan. For more information, or to register for an EDvantage card, please visit: <http://notes.ocufa.on.ca/EdvantageReg.nsf/fmEnrollment?OpenForm>
TUFA members are also eligible for group rates on a variety of services and products through the CAUT's Affinity Program. This program provides additional options when making decisions related to travel, insurance, mortgages, investments, and credit cards. Information about CAUT's Affinity Program is available at: <www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=368>.
January 31, 2012
The first meeting of TUFA's Negotiations Council is being scheduled for February 13th. Additional information regarding time and location for this meeting will be sent to all those who have been designated to serve on the Council by their departments or who have otherwise volunteered to participate. The Council will be chaired by TUFA's Chief Negotiator. Thanks to those departments which have already passed along the names of their representatives.
To recap the goals of the Negotiations Council: representatives of academic departments and other constituencies within the Union will be instrumental in articulating the membership's concerns and priorities. As such, these concerns and priorities will form the base for the bargaining mandate that will be presented to the membership for endorsement in the Spring.
The bargaining table is where our working conditions are set. We hope and expect that many of our members will engage in the Union's internal discussions as the negotiations process begins to unfold.
A National Day of Action affirming that "Education is a Right" has been called for tomorrow (February 1) by the Canadian Federation of Students. Trent students will be demonstrating at 1:00 pm in front of Peterborough's City Hall before marching to M.P.P. Jeff Leal's office on King Street. TUFA members are urged to show their solidarity with the Trent Central Student Association around this important event. For more information about the relevance of this National Day of Action to academic staff, please visit the CAUT's website <http://www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=1059>.
Further to last week's announcement of the workshop in Toronto being organized by OCUFA's Status of Women Committee, attached please find an agenda and additional information about the May 4th event. Workshop discussions will address promotion, tenure, and how to deal with workplace bullying. Members interested in participating in the workshop should contact TUFA's office for information about registration and travel assistance.
Nominations for the 39th annual 2011/12 OCUFA Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards are now open. Nominations can be made by anyone in the Trent University community. The nomination deadline is May 21, 2012. Guidelines and supporting documents are posted on the OCUFA website at <http://ocufa.on.ca/ocufa-awards/>. Please consider nominating a deserving colleague.
Finally, we have been asked to circulate the following request for volunteers:
Lakefield College School's debating program is looking for Trent faculty to participate as judges in the Fulford Spring Debate Tournament, a one-day event involving three rounds of roughly twenty concurrent debates. Sixty judges are needed, and it would be best if they were educators.
This year’s resolution is "Be it resolved that alternative First Nations focused secondary schools be established in Ontario." Judges do not need any expertise in debating or the subject matter: a briefing session will be held at the opening of the day. The tournament will take place from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (with a break for lunch) on May 12th, 2012.
For more information contact:
Director of Library and Information Studies
Lakefield College School
phone: 705-652-3324, ext. 346
January 24, 2012
TUFA's Treasurer, Ray Dart, is putting together a task force to consider our collective approach to community funding and contributions. He is seeking a few (two or three) members to participate in this short-term and focused endeavour. Those interested may email Ray directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or can contact the TUFA office (email@example.com).
The Community Funding and Contributions Task Force will:
1. review our funding and contributions situation (we currently fund Trent Child Care $10,000 per year and allocate an additional $1,000 per year for other community requests, gifts, and donations),
2. review the approaches of other Faculty Associations,
3. solicit feedback from our members, and
4. develop a policy proposal for consideration by the Executive and Membership.
The task force's work will be complete by end of term (April, 2012).
This past weekend, TUFA hosted a two-day Bargaining Workshop and we would like to thank our nine participants who volunteered their time over a Friday/Saturday as well as our facilitator, Peter Simpson, from the CAUT. The workshop's highlight was a full-day simulation that participants said gave them valuable insights to the bargaining process. In the coming months, the TUFA blog (trentfaculty.wordpress.com/) will outline key concepts and issues facing us in bargaining which, as Peter noted several times, "is one of the key places where real change in the university happens."
Along these lines, we remind members to forward the names of department representatives and other volunteers interested in serving on our Negotiations Council to the TUFA office as soon as possible. Many thanks to those who have already communicated their willingness to serve on the Council: it should begin its work in the next week or so.
Our provincial affiliate's Status of Women Committee is sponsoring a one-day workshop in Toronto. The organizers' description of "Navigating the Academy: Lessons and Strategies for More Equitable Universities" follows:
Keynote address to be given by Professor Carla Fehr, Wolfe Chair in Science and Technology Studies, University of Waterloo and co-Principal Investigator for ISE ADVANCE, a $3.3 million US National Science Foundation grant testing strategies for promotion and retention of women and minorities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Professor Fehr has provided leadership to many academic and research communities to promote hiring and retention strategies that build diversity in those communities. She has a research background in both Biology and the Philosophy of Science and works in the philosophy of biology, feminist philosophy, and feminist science studies, among other research interests.
Workshop topics will cover tenure, promotion, race and gender; how academic excellence is defined and what it takes to excel in the academy; workplace bullying and how to deal with it; and saying yes to the right things as you build your academic career.
Members interested in participating in the workshop may apply to TUFA for funding to cover the cost of registration and travel.
Finally, the ReFrame Peterborough International Film Festival is back with a myriad of documentaries to choose from this weekend (January 27-29). There are still tickets available, but they tend to get snapped up quickly. Please go to reframefilmfestival.ca/ for film schedules, ticket information, and more.
January 17, 2012
This is a bargaining year for all of us in TUFA and the Executive Committee encourages all members to be involved in protecting our workplace and, by extension, the University as a whole. To that end, there are still a few open slots available for members interested in joining the Bargaining Workshop this Friday/Saturday. Please contact our office (extension 7123) for more information. We urge you to consider setting aside time for this important event.
At our last meeting, TUFA's Executive Committee voted to endorse the Canadian Association of University Teachers' "Save Library & Archives Canada" campaign. We encourage TUFA members to learn more about the serious threats being posed to Canada's documentary heritage. The CAUT has posted a compact website <www.savelibraryarchives.ca> where you can find additional information. You can also use that campaign website to send a message to Heritage Minister, James Moore. Please visit our blog, <trentfaculty.wordpress.com>, facebook page <facebook.com/trent.facultyassociation>, and join our twitter feed, <@trentfaculty>, where we will post developments in the fight to save the integrity of Library & Archives Canada.
Closer to home, the Executive Committee has written the Chairperson of the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board to raise several concerns relating to the planned closure of Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School. A copy of our letter is attached. TUFA Members who are interested in the campaign to preserve the downtown school should visit the "Peterborough Needs PCVS" website <peterboroughneedspcvs.com> for additional information.
January 16, 2012
We are saddened to convey news of the sudden passing of Mr. Lorne Ellingson, a lecturer in the Department of Indigenous Studies and the Co-ordinator of the Foundations for Indigenous Learning Program. Lorne was also chair of the Aboriginal Student Recruitment Committee, working closely with the Aboriginal Education Council.
Lorne passed away in Toronto on Sunday, January 15, 2012. He leaves his family: wife, Jane Adair Hamilton; daughter, Chloe (26); and son, John-Allan (24).
Lorne began his employment at Trent in 2003 as a course instructor in the Indigenous Management and Economic Development Program. He became an LTA lecturer in 2006 and was widely regarded as an excellent teacher whose courses became very popular. He taught an extremely well received course on the meaning of work in the Business Administration Program and authored the text “Conversations that Matter: A path to personal and professional growth" (2007).
An informal opportunity for Trent students, colleagues, and other members of our community to gather and remember Lorne will be held at the Ernie and Florence Benedict Gathering Space, First Peoples House of Learning on Tuesday, January 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. All are welcome to come, share stories, and support one another through this difficult time.
Counselling and support are available through the staff of the First Peoples House of Learning. The family welcomes messages from members of the Trent community at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Trent University Faculty Association expresses its sincere condolences to the Ellingson family. The flag atop the Bata Libray is being lowered to half mast in honour of Lorne’s contributions to the University.
January 3, 2012,
Dear TUFA members,
For the past several months the Executive has been working on background preparations for the upcoming round of bargaining. In the coming weeks, these preparations will become more visible and will involve the membership more directly. There are two important opportunities for members to get involved in bargaining in the New Year.
First we extend an invitation to all members to attend a bargaining workshop on January 20 and 21 in Peterborough. Led by Peter Simpson of CAUT, this workshop will serve as both an introduction to bargaining and a refresher. It is aimed at all TUFA members and will provide an invaluable introduction to bargaining preparations. It is also a fantastic training exercise for members who might consider serving on the bargaining team. (Please note: participation in the workshop does not constitute a commitment to further involvement in bargaining.) To sign up, contact Sue Wurtele (email@example.com) or Marcus Harvey (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will also be happy to answer any questions.
The second opportunity for membership involvement comes in the form of the Negotiations Council. In past rounds of bargaining, the Council has served as a sounding board for the bargaining team during negotiations. As we discussed at our November GMM, we will be using the Negotiations Council in a different way this round.
New Structure for Negotiations Council:
The Negotiations Council will work with the Executive and the Chief Negotiator in advance of bargaining to develop the TUFA bargaining mandate. Once bargaining begins, the Council will continue on an as-needed basis to discuss issues/concerns as they arise.
The advance work of the Council involves: identifying important issues for bargaining; assisting with the design and analysis of a bargaining survey; assisting with membership consultation; and assisting the Executive to develop the bargaining mandate which will be taken to the membership for endorsement toward the end of the Winter Term.
To ensure wide representation throughout the bargaining process, each academic department or unit within the University is being asked to ensure they have representation on the Negotiations Council. The TUFA Office will coordinate this process and will be sending out email invitations shortly. The Executive will also review the membership of the Negotiations Council to ensure broad representation including for example, representation based on different ranks, types of appointments, members of equity seeking groups, chairs, graduate directors, etc. The Executive may issue additional calls to ensure this representation is achieved. If you are concerned that a particular group may not have been identified, please let us know and we will make sure they are included.
Preparing for bargaining is very important work. The Council structure has being designed in such a way that its tasks will not be onerous. During the term much of the work will be done via email with occasional meetings. Once bargaining commences, meetings will be called on an as-needed basis. The rhythm of bargaining can be difficult to predict, but the Council operates on the understanding that not everyone will be available throughout the entire bargaining process. Success in bargaining depends on strong connections among the Executive, the Bargaining Team, and the membership -- broad representation throughout the process is one important way we will achieve this.
Please give serious consideration to joining us for both the Bargaining Workshop and as a member of the Negotiations Council. Through membership involvement we can ensure that the negotiations for our next collective agreement are successful and culminate with an agreement that reflects the needs of our entire membership.
Last Updated: November 29, 2012