2014-2015

 


 June 24th, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

 

TUFA has set up an Equity and Diversity sub-committee and is looking to recruit willing members to serve for the coming year.  The chair of the committee is Momin Rahman, Equity and Diversity Officer for the Executive, and Byron Stoyles from the Executive has agreed to serve on this sub-committee. As Momin is from Sociology and Byron is from Philosophy, we welcome members from the Sciences.  We also particularly welcome women to join us to ensure some gender equity, and colleagues from other equity-seeking groups that are currently under-represented on TUFA committees, particularly Aboriginal members and those who identify as disabled.

The workload will not be onerous over the coming year, with meetings planned for every two months and some specific limited tasks to achieve, including organizing a diversity and equity themed event, providing the Executive with an assessment of priority equity issues, and putting in place a plan to address these over the coming years.

Please contact Momin Rahman if you want further information about the work before you volunteer.

 

In Solidarity,

 

Momin Rahman,

Equity and Diversity Officer

 

Byron Stoyles,

Member-at Large

 


May 22th, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

Members planning to apply for promotion, tenure, or reappointment in the coming year may be particularly interested in item #3, below.

1. OCUFA releases handbook on university funding formula review

OCUFA has released its Funding Formula Review Handbook. The handbook contains OCUFA’s principles for the funding formula, a critical analysis of performance-based funding, an overview of the structure of the funding formula, and a look at some of the myths around the current method of allocating funding to Ontario’s universities. The information contained in the handbook will inform OCUFA’s engagement with the funding formula consultations.

2. CUPE 1943 Rally – May 21, noon to 1:00

There's a rotten deal being served up to food service workers at Peterborough Regional Health Centre by their employer, Compass Group Canada.  Concerned TUFA members can show support for the members of Local 1943 by attending the Rally for Fairness for Food Service Workers planned for tomorrow (Thursday) from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. at the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (corner of Hospital and Medical Drive).

3.  Information session on peer-review processes – May 28, 10:00 am to  noon 

The open information session on peer-evaluation processes originally scheduled for today, has been rescheduled to Thursday, May 28th.  The session, jointly sponsored by TUFA and the University, will focus on the processes underlying personnel decisions. All members are welcome to attend, and the session should be of particular interest to anyone who will be involved in peer-review decisions in the coming year, including candidates.

Date:  Thursday May 28, 2015

Time:  10:00 am – noon

Location:  A.J.M. Smith Room (107.2), Bata Library

Leading the session will be Susan Wurtele (Chief Negotiator for TUFA), Stephanie Williams (AVP Human Resources), and Holger Hintelmann (Dean of Arts and Science, Sciences). The formal presentation will be followed by a question period.  If there is sufficient interest, a similar session might be offered in the Fall. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided and so please RSVP to Jenna Cullon <jcullon@trentu.ca> by the end of the week (May 22nd) if you plan on attending.

4. Call for nominations for Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Working Group

CAUT is seeking nominations for two vacancies on the Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Working Group. The Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Working Group reports to the CAUT Executive Committee and makes recommendations on initiatives CAUT and its local associations could take to advance the diverse interests of Aboriginal academic staff in universities and colleges in Canada.

Nominees for the working group should have considerable experience representing the interests of Aboriginal academic staff, and should have knowledge of relevant policy matters. The nomination procedure and forms are available on the CAUT website.

The deadline for receipt of nominations is July 1, 2015. Nominations of members of marginalized groups are encouraged, including but not limited to Aboriginal peoples; women; racialized academic staff; academic staff with disabilities; and lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, queer, and two-spirited academic staff.

5. CAUT Distinguished Academic Award

CAUT is soliciting nominations for the 2015-16 CAUT Distinguished Academic Award. The Award is given annually to recognize an academic who has excelled in each of the three principal aspects of academic life: teaching, research, and service. The recipient will be an individual whose teaching, research and service has contributed significantly to the lives of students, to their institution, to their field of study, and to the community. Nominations for the Award may be submitted by individuals, local associations, or others. The deadline for nominations is August 31, 2015. The nomination form and procedures are available on the CAUT website.

Nominators should submit a letter explaining the rationale for the nomination and give detailed information about the nominee’s record in teaching, research and service.  It is essential that the nominator provide information for each of these three areas as excellence in all three is required.  The nominator should also include documentation that would help the jury in its decision making.  It is the responsibility of the nominators to provide all necessary information as the jury will review only the material it receives.

Nominations will be adjudicated by a jury of the most recent former presidents of CAUT.  The jury’s recommendation will be made to the Fall Council for approval. The award and a $1,000 honorarium will be presented at the Spring CAUT Council. The recipient will be invited to give an address to Council. The address will be subsequently published by CAUT.  

6. Convocation – RSVP for the academic procession(s)

Those who have not done so already are reminded that sending an RSVP for the academic procession(s) -- even after the May 15th  deadline – will be appreciated by the event organizers. Here is the link to RSVP.  Ceremonies are grouped by program/department and each one is expected to last approximately 90 minutes. Questions should be directed to Joanne Sokolowski, <joannesokolow@trentu.ca>.

In Solidarity,


May 7th, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

Further to our previous message, Nova Scotia’s Liberal government has passed Bill 100: the horrid piece of legislation aimed at refashioning public higher education while giving some vicious kicks to Labour rights in the process. The issue was discussed at the Canadian Association of University Teachers’ (CAUT) Council last weekend with Canadian faculty and librarians agreeing that actions taken under the new legislation should be censurable and now, in a letter issued to each of Nova Scotia’s university presidents, CAUT has warned Nova Scotia’s university presidents that any attempt to trigger the Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act would result in proceedings of formal censure. So stay tuned as this one isn’t done. CAUT’s statement and the nine letters sent out yesterday can be read online, here.

Closer to home:

1. TUFA Member to defend Science at Ryerson event.

Maggie Xenopoulos is one of the guest speakers scheduled to participate in a day-long symposium tomorrow (May 8th) at Ryerson. The event, “Flying Blind” will address the public’s right to know, government obstruction, and fixing access in Canada. As a researcher who uses the Experimental Lakes Area for her work, Maggie was one of the speakers at the “Get Science Right” event that we co-hosted with CAUT in December, 2013.  We appreciate when any of our members take a principled stand in defence of Science and the Academy and so a hearty “thanks” to Maggie for stepping up. If a day spent growing indignant sounds like your cup of tea, there may still be room for more registrants at the Ryerson event. See attached flyer for details.

2. Joint Session on Peer-Review

We have learned that the joint session planned to provide members with an opportunity to discuss peer-review processes on May 20th conflicts with the previously scheduled Teach & Tech Ideas Day. We are working with the Employer to reschedule our event and will keep you posted. 

3. Review of Ontario’s Budget

Probably the less said about Ontario’s demonstrated commitment to higher education, the better. Attached is OCUFA’s assessment of Ontario’s 2015 budget, fyi.

 

In Solidarity,


April 30, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

The apparent cessation of hostilities directed against us by the North, West, and sometimes East winds is cause for celebration. To that end, the following may be of interest:

1. Embattled colleagues need your support!

Nova Scotia’s provincial government is considering legislation (Bill 100: the Universities Accountability and Sustainability Act) that would allow employers to over-ride collective agreements and refuse to engage in collective bargaining in times of financial crisis.  This legislation would permit the banning of strikes and prevent the processing of grievances.  If this legislation is implemented, it will seriously undermine faculty advocacy in Nove Scotia’s post-secondary education sector.  And we would expect to see similar initiatives crop-up elsewhere, including Ontario.    

Our colleagues at ANSUT (Association of Nova Scotia University Teachers), their public sector allies, and faculty associations across the county are organizing to defeat Bill 100 in the Nova Scotia legislature.  You can help by staying informed and by signing on to the petition linked below.  According to CAUT, the provincial government's plan is to rush this through readings in order to pass it before an effective opposition can mount, and so time is of the essence.

Online petition: http://nsuniversitiesuncut.ca/

2. LTAs and Severance Pay

The contracts of many of our LTA colleagues run out today, and some of these members will not be receiving contracts for the coming year. Those who have worked at Trent (in any capacity) for a total of 60 or more months (not necessarily consecutive) may have a right to severance pay and should contact the TUFA office for additional information about how this entitlement is being handled by the administration.  All LTAs are reminded of the recent changes to the TUFA Constitution that establish your continuing membership in the union past the termination of your employment contract with the Employer. See Article IV, section 5:

The membership of members on leave from the University shall continue through the period of leave. Members with limited term appointments shall continue as members of the Association for one year from the start date of their most recent employment contract with the University, or six months from the expiration of a multi-year appointment, or upon the expiration of any seniority rights that may have accrued, whichever comes last.

Additionally LTA members’ access to Trent’s library and email services should continue through September 30th, 2015. Please advise the TUFA office if you experience any interruption in these services.

3.  Linda Slavin fundraiser a success

Thanks to those of you who participated in the Elizabeth Fry Society’s “Rebel with a Cause” fundraiser. The event sold out and TUFA’s assistance and sponsorship were greatly appreciated by the organizers and activists connected with E. Fry.

4. Changes in Office

Effective May 1, the newly appointed elected and appointed members serving on TUFA’s Executive Committee will take office.  We would like especially to thank departing Executive Committee members Ray Dart, Kathryn Norlock, and Brenda Smith-Chant for their service to the Association.  Your new Executive comprises the following:

President – G. Navara (PSYC)

Vice President – D. Wallschlaeger (ERST/CHEM)

Past President – J. Williams (ANTH)

Treasurer – M. Pollanen (MATH)

Secretary – J. Watson (LIBR)

Member – I. Brenner (NURS/BIOL)

Member – T. Sheel (MATH)

Member – B. Stoyles (PHIL)

Chief Grievance Officer – D. Newhouse (INDG/ADMN)

Chief Negotiator – S. Wurtele (GEOG)

Member (LTA) – R.J. Cook (AHCL)

Member (Durham) – H. Haines (ANTH)

Member (Equity) – M. Rahman (SOCI)

In Solidarity,


April 8, 2015 

Dear Colleagues

At the end of February, we closed the flash survey in which we had invited members to tell us:  “If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be and why?” About a quarter of you responded and we are pleased to report back what we learned.

Faculty Flash Survey Responses

 


April 2, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

With good wishes for the long weekend, the following may be of interest:

1.  Only 30 tickets left for fundraiser in honour of Linda Slavin

Members wanting to support the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough by attending the “Rebel with a Cause” fundraiser should secure their spots quickly: fortunately, we have an in. . . Christine Diaz from the Registrar’s Office is handling ticket sales and so it is easy to swap money for tickets on campus. Christine can be reached at christinemdiaz@gmail.com.

   What: Rebel with a Cause Fundraiser

   Where: Rugby Club at Nicholls Oval

   When: Thursday April 23, 2015 (7:00 pm to 9:30 pm)

   Tickets: $50 (with $40 tax receipt) available from the Elizabeth Fry Society 

2. CAUT Analysis of Bill C-51 the Anti-Terrorism Act

Bill C-51, the federal government’s Anti-Terrorism Act, has raised concerns about the potential impact on the basic civil liberties of all Canadians. The proposed legislation would establish criminal offences that infringe upon the right to free expression. Security agencies would be granted unprecedented and intrusive powers to monitor and share information about Canadians, with no increase in oversight or accountability. While much of the focus of the debate has rightly centred on the infringements on civil liberties generally, the legislation will also affect academic freedom and free speech on university and college campuses.

CAUT’s analysis of the Bill is available for download and the latest edition of the CAUT Bulletin has an article on the March 14th Day of Action to protest this legislation.

3. TransStories

The Presidential Advisory Committee on Human Rights, Equity, and Accessibility is hosting a free public event for members of the Trent commununity to learn about transgender and transsexual experiences through story, policy, practice, and politics. “TransStories” will be an interactive presentation by TUFA member Karleen Pendleton Jiménez (School of Education and Professional Learning).

   What: TransStories

   Where: Seasoned Spoon

   When: Thursday April 9, 2015 (11:30 am to 1:00 pm)

In Solidarity,


March 26, 2015 

Colleagues,

The Employer has received expressions of interest in the recent retirement-incentive offer from a small number of TUFA members who have less than 12 years of service. The Employer would like our members to know that, if there are others with less than 12 years service who are interested in the program, the Employer would be willing to consider their request on an individual basis, subject to the needs of the University and their Department. Any such members should submit their expression of interest in retirement to Dana Large in Human Resources by Friday March 27, 2015.


March 19, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

There are several worthy causes that we would like to bring to your attention.

1.  Fundraiser in honour of Linda Slavin

Members are encouraged to support the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough by purchasing tickets for the “Rebel with a Cause” fundraiser honouring the many contributions made by Linda Slavin to the Peterborough community. The Elizabeth Fry Society advocates for, and provides services to, criminalized and imprisoned women, as well as those at risk of criminalization. The work they do is terrific; Linda is terrific; and TUFA’s Executive was therefore delighted to accept the recommendation from our Committee on Community and Social Justice Contributions that TUFA contribute $500 to support this event. 

   What: Rebel with a Cause Fundraiser

   Where: Rugby Club at Nicholls Oval

   When: Thursday April 23, 2015 (7:00 to 9:30)

   Tickets: $50 (with $40 tax receipt) available from the Elizabeth Fry Society

 

Linda Slavin

2. Solidarity support for striking colleagues

Faculty colleagues at the University of Northern British Columbia have been on strike since March 5th  unbcfa.ca. TUFA has committed to sending the local Faculty Association up to $5,000 ($1,000/week) to help them secure wage parity from their employer. We are not, of course, the only Association to make such a commitment and funds and statements of support have been flooding into the UNBC-FA from across the country. Still, being on strike is tough and TUFA members with friends or colleagues at UNBC-FA should certainly feel free to pass along personal messages of encouragement and support as the strike there enters its third week.  

In light of the extraordinary developments with CUPE locals at York and the University of Toronto, members at our GMM on March 3rd voted to extend $1,000 in strike support to each of CUPE 3902 and 3903.  Those funds have been sent to the striking locals along with messages of encouragement for the principled stand that union members there are taking to secure a fair agreement. University Affairs published an interesting opinion piece by Melonie Fullick reflecting on the bigger issue which lies at the root of these strikes: “Past is prologue when it comes to contract faculty.”

3. Student Centre Challenge

At their meeting last week, Executive Committee members discussed the initiative by the University to secure additional funds to build the new Student Centre. Recognizing the long-term value of this initiative to TUFA and its membership, the Executive voted to approve a $5,000 contribution to this project  and also agreed to promote the effort to our colleagues. In addition to the contribution from TUFA, Executive members and senior staff are making personal contributions to this effort and we encourage other TUFA members to join us in supporting construction of the Trent Student Centre. Donations to the Student Centre Challenge are tax deductible and may be arranged through payroll deduction. Information about the proposed centre, as well as the consultants report from February 2015, are available at: www.trentu.ca/studentcentre.

4. Zero Tuition Canada Campaign

Our colleagues at Cape Breton University have taken the lead in pressing for an alternative to tuition fees in Canada’s university sector.  Our Executive Committee voted to support this initiative and TUFA’s President has sent an invitation to Leo Groarke urging him to consider joining with us in this campaign. Although he made no commitment at this point, President Groarke noted that students’ tuition concerns are being considered by Trent and that he “would encourage faculty and students who believe this is the right way forward to go ahead and do so [i.e. sign onto the campaign].” To that end, members are invited to consider the following letter from CBU-FA President, Scott Stewart, and consider signing the campaign petition.

Subject: Letter to Faculty Associations Presidents

Date: March 5, 2015 at 11:59:13 AM EST

Hello everyone,

I am Scott Stewart, President of the Cape Breton University Faculty Association.  Together with the President of the Cape Breton University Students’ Union and the President of Cape Breton University, we launched a campaign at a press conference this morning calling for an end to tuition for post-secondary education in Canada. More specifically, we call for an early transition to a policy of free tuition for all those who require it, including all First Nations students. This would be followed by a staged move towards the abolition of post-secondary education tuition fees altogether by a date to be defined through a process of constructive consultation between federal and provincial partners.

A copy of our letter is attached. I ask you, as President of your Faculty/Academic Staff Association, to show your support for our campaign by writing an email to me indicating that you want to add your name to our letter.  In a month or so, we will send our letter with the ‘signatures’ of Faculty Association, Students’ Union, and University Presidents from across the country to the leaders of all federal parties.

No doubt, you have some questions about our campaign. Anticipating this, we have attached a document containing  ten questions regarding our campaign as well as answers to those questions explaining how zero tuition is fairer, simpler and more cost effective than the current system.

Finally, I ask you to inform your members about our campaign and ask them to visit the campaign’s web page:   http://www.zerotuitioncanada.org/  There, they can find copies of the ‘three president’s letter, the Q&A document, and, perhaps most importantly, a petition that they can ‘sign’.

When we send the federal parties our signed letter, we will also inform them of the number of people who have indicated their support for our campaign. We hope that the combination of these two strands of our campaign will require our federal parties to take seriously the current crisis in escalating tuition fees and student debt loads, and actually do something about it. 

If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch.

In solidarity,

Scott Stewart

Professor of Philosophy

President, Cape Breton University Faculty Association (CBUFA)

 

In Solidarity,


March 18, 2015 

 Dear Colleagues,

Following approval of the revised Constitution by action of the membership on 13 November 2014, the Nominating and Elections Committee was struck to oversee the 2015 election and related transitional issues in moving from our old electoral system to the new system. Nominations for elected positions on the Executive Committee opened on 24 December 2014, with a 13 February 2015 deadline for receipt of completed nomination forms.  It was challenging to find candidates to fill every office and so the Nominating and Elections Committee requested that the Executive grant a three-week extension to complete this task.  Ultimately, the Committee did secure one candidate for each elected position and recommended that the Executive declare elected by acclamation the members as listed below:

President – Geoff Navara (1-year term)

Vice President – Dirk Wallschlaeger (1-year term)

Secretary – James Watson (2-year term)

Treasurer – Marco Pollanen (2-year term)

Member at Large – Ingrid Brenner (2-year term)

Member at Large – Tarun Sheel (1-year term)

Member at Large – Byron Stoyles (1-year term)

 

The Executive Committee accepted this recommendation and these officers have been acclaimed consistent with Articles VII, VIII, and XVI of the Constitution.

 

The Nominating and Elections Committee also recommended five members for one-year terms to the five appointed positions on the Executive Committee as listed below. 

Chief Grievance Officer – David Newhouse

Chief Negotiator – Susan Wurtele

Member at Large (LTA) – R. James Cook

Member at Large (Durham) – Helen Haines

Member at Large (Equity) – Momin Rahman

 

The Executive Committee accepted this recommendation and these officers have been appointed consistent with Article V of the Constitution.

Jocelyn Williams will continue on the Executive Committee, serving ex officio as TUFA’s immediate Past President.

Thanks are owed to the other members of the Nominating and Elections Committee (Rory Coughlan, Richard Hurley, Momin Rahman, and James Watson) for ensuring that our first year with the revised Constitution begins also with a complete Executive Committee.  All new members on the Executive will take office on May 1st, 2015.

In Solidarity,


March 13, 2015 

 

Dear Colleagues,

We have received a time-sensitive request from the TCSA and are pleased to forward the following call for volunteers to be interviewed on March 17th from 12pm - 2pm in the OC Commons as part of a documentary project to draw attention to the financial pressures facing Ontario’s university students. The TCSA has created a doodle poll: http://doodle.com/ceckwnyet224zmhz to facilitate individual scheduling.  Time is short and so please act quickly if you are interested in participating.  Attached are two background documents: one provides the list of interview questions; the other, background information on the campaign.

 

Dear Faculty Member,

On behalf of the Trent Central Student Association I am writing to invite you, as a Trent faculty member, to participate in documentary on challenges within the post-secondary education system such as student debt, high tuition fees and unfairness towards international students. 

We would like to provide you with the opportunity to share your opinions and stories to ensure that our education system is accessible and a vehicle for a better, more equitable society in the future. 

The same policy-makers who have allowed tuition fees to increase beyond reach benefitted from a highly subsidized, high-quality post-secondary education system. Government investment in our institutions has dropped from 80% to under 50% in most cases. These policies are quickly eroding the education system for the next generation and we are hoping that past, present and future students will unite against the student debt sentence.

Students across Ontario are lobbying their institutions to join the call and put pressure on the province to invest in high quality, public post-secondary education. For too long students have seen a system that is increasing in cost and decreasing in quality. Enough is enough; the hikes and debt sentences end here.

We are calling on our “public” institution and government to progressively reduce tuition fees and increase access to education by removing barriers and supporting institutions through additional funding. 

Please find attached the questionnaire from which we will be asking a selected number of questions. (In most cases, we may not ask all of the questions listed.)

Our students’ union would greatly appreciate if you could partake in the Debt Sentence documentary. If you are interested and available please contact myself at vpcampaigns@trentcentral.ca, filming will be taking place between [February 9th and February 13th . Please note March 17th date above].

Hope to hear from you soon.

United We Are Stronger, 

Boykin G. Smith

Vice President Campaigns and Equity 

Trent Central Student Association 

 

In Solidarity,

 


 

March 6, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

Thanks to all the members who joined us for the GMM earlier this week. It was gratifying to have such a good turnout. Please be reminded that today (Friday March 6th) is the last day to deliver a completed Nomination form to the TUFA office: I am pleased to report that the Nominating and Elections Committee has now received nominations in good order for all open elected positions on the Executive.  Other matters of note:

1. KWIC Event - "Mending the Gap in Gender Equality"

Kawartha World Issues Centre and the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre are hosting an evening event in celebration of International Women's Day. “Mending the Gap in Gender Equality” will take place on Friday March 6th, at SEEDS OF CHANGE (534 George Street North, Peterborough). The doors open at 5:30pm, and at 6pm, there will be a potluck, music, and celebration. The panel presentation and discussion will begin at 7pm. Special guests include: the Raging Grannies!, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, The Red Pashmina Campaign, and Under One Sun.  This event is FREE, and all are welcome in this gender and child friendly space.

 

2. OCUFA - Moving our priorities forward

At its October meeting, OCUFA’s Board of Directors identified the following as its priorities for the year: contract faculty and faculty complement; online learning; and university pension plans. Last month’s meeting of the Board was all about ensuring that these priorities continue to move forward.

On the contract faculty/faculty complement front, a special panel session was held with contract and full-time faculty leaders from across the province. The panel outlined the scope of the challenges currently faced by contract faculty and concluded with a call for greater solidarity between full- and part-time faculty to achieve common goals, the preservation of the academic profession, and the provision of high-quality university education. Directors were also briefed on the We Teach Ontario initiative, a campaign designed to highlight the work of contract faculty and the challenges they face. This campaign launched on Feb. 25, 2015, and can be accessed at www.weteachontario.ca.

Discussion of online education centred on the lack of faculty representation on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Online Learning Consortium (OOLC). The OOLC was created by the Government of Ontario to increase online learning options in the province and is being run primarily by Colleges Ontario and the Council of Ontario Universities. The Board is top-heavy with administrators, and OCUFA’s position is that a faculty leader – with experience in online learning, policy development, and collective bargaining – should be given a seat in order to ensure that the faculty perspective is heard. A draft letter calling for faculty representation has been circulated to member faculty associations and TUFA will be writing in support of OCUFA’s position.

OCUFA has been leading a project to examine the feasibility and advisability of creating a jointly sponsored pension plan (JSPP) for member faculty associations looking for new pension options. Directors were briefed on the progress of the project, and the group tasked with this project (headed up by TUFA member Susan Wurtele) is expected to make recommendations in the summer of 2015. The Board discussed both the potential benefits and drawbacks of the project and a group was created to look more closely at the government’s proposed pension regulations. More information on the pension project can be found at www.ocufapensionreview.ca.

Finally, the Board recognized individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the lives of professors and academic librarians in Ontario. At a special luncheon, OCUFA’s Status of Women Award of Distinction and the Lorimer Award for Collective Bargaining were both presented. This year’s Award of Distinction winners are: Sandra Acker (Toronto); Melanie Campbell (Waterloo); Kathryn Church (Ryerson); Haideh Moghissi (York); and Marcia Rioux (York). The Lorimer award went to: Sheila McKee-Protopapas (Wilfrid Laurier) and Edward Carter (Guelph).

 

3. OCUFA - Making sense of the funding formula for Ontario universities

In anticipation of a government-led review of Ontario's university funding formula, OCUFA is preparing a series of six articles examining the issues around the current funding formula. Below is part four of six. You can read parts  one, two, and three on OCUFA’s website. We will share the remaining two parts in the series as they come available.

For most people, even those who work in the university sector, the funding formula for Ontario universities is a bit of a mystery. It has been reformed and tweaked so many times in recent decades that it has become complicated and opaque. Its complexity makes it difficult to grasp how government funding is actually allocated among Ontario’s universities. This short piece will attempt to pull back the curtain and leave the reader with a clearer sense of how the current funding formula works.

To begin with, it is important to understand that the funding formula does not determine how much funding is available to support universities’ operating budgets, but rather how funds are distributed among institutions. The level of funding made available for universities is a political decision that is laid out in the Ontario Budget each year. The role of the funding formula is to provide an objective method for distributing those funds among Ontario’s universities.*

This was not always the case. When the first iteration of the current formula was established in the late 1960s, it was designed to determine the level of funding needed to deliver quality education at each institution. The formula estimated the actual cost of educating each student according to their level of study and program. Each university was then provided with an operating grant that reflected the number of students they enrolled and the estimated cost of delivering quality education to those students. This arrangement only lasted a few years. By 1973, the formula had become purely a mechanism for distribution, no longer playing a role in determining the total amount of operating support provided.

Many of the key features of the funding formula, however, are still drawn from the original model. The existing funding formula remains “student-centred” in the sense that the mechanism used to distribute operating grants reflects enrolment numbers. Enrolment is weighted by level of study and program by assigning basic income units (BIUs) that reflect the relative costs of teaching and research. By level of study, for example, more funding is needed to support the smaller class sizes and one-to-one mentoring of graduate students in their education as scholars than introductory course lectures for more junior undergraduates. By program, the cost of maintaining a lab for teaching and research in the physical sciences is more expensive than the parallel activities in the social sciences. More expensive programs are therefore assigned higher BIU weights.

In the current formula, the dollar value of the BIU is determined by the total amount of funding available (determined by the Ontario Budget) divided by the number of BIUs distributed each year. Operating grants are then allocated to each institution based on their share of these eligible BIUs. All of this is pretty straightforward, but the next step is where the formula gets a bit counter-intuitive. A university’s share of BIUs is not simply calculated on a year-to-year basis. Instead, it is based on their historical share of funding as of the 1986-87 school year (an arbitrary date that reflects the introduction of the current policy). This reference date can be changed over time, but has not been updated for many years.

Beginning from this reference date, each institution’s share of available funding remains the same unless their number of BIUs changes substantially (the current threshold is whether a university’s five-year ‘moving-average’ of BIUs has increased or decreased by 3 per cent). This is known as the “corridor model” and was put in place to ensure continuity and stability in funding for the sector. It also protects against institutions taking advantage of the funding regime by expanding enrolments to receive additional funds at the expense of other institutions.

The result is a method for allocating funding that at its core reflects the number of students in the system, but the level of funding is not directly dependent on the actual enrolment in any given year. This model supports a certain degree of consistency and predictability in funding, but in its current iteration provides no mechanism for ensuring that the amount of funding each institution receives is adequate to deliver high-quality education. Stay tuned for the next part in this series, which will explore the strengths and weaknesses of the current funding formula for Ontario universities in more depth.

*Government funding for universities is made up of two components: funding envelopes that have been put in place to provide mission-specific funding (e.g. to support bilingual or northern institutions) and basic operating grants that account for most public funding. It is the basic operating grants that are distributed according to the funding formula at issue here.  

 

In Solidarity,


 

February 27, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

Good news!

1.  CUPE 3908 - Strike averted

We are pleased to report that CUPE 3908’s bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with the Employer in the early morning hours today, thereby avoiding a strike.  TUFA congratulates our colleagues for working through the night to reach this resolution and we would like to thank those of our members who showed their solidarity with the members of Unit 2 by signing CUPE’s petition or otherwise communicating support for their positions.

2. OCUFA – We Teach Ontario

On a related note, we would draw members’ attention to the broader problem of underpaid, insecure employment throughout the Academy.  Within our own bargaining unit, many LTA members work shoulder to shoulder with tenured and tenure-track colleagues, but receive TUFA wages for only 3/4ths of the year, often while teaching a heavier course load. Some of these members are meeting critical long-term needs for Trent’s academic departments, but – lacking job security – have applied for, and regained, their own jobs many times over.  As staffing plans and specific course allocations for next year are being discussed across the campus, this is a particularly important time for us to support our LTA colleagues in whatever ways we can. It is also an ideal time to look beyond our campus for opportunities to strengthen solidarity, and to enhance the public’s appreciation of the contributions made by contract faculty to Ontario universities.

This week, our provincial affiliate launched the “We Teach Ontario” campaign to highlight the important work done by contract faculty and the challenges they face.

Central to this campaign are profiles completed by contract faculty, which are then converted into shareable cards on the website. All TUFA members are encouraged to check out the campaign sites and resources linked below and LTA members are, of course, invited to engage with the campaign directly.

Website: www.weteachontario.ca

Twitter: www.twitter.com/weteachontario

Facebook: www.facebook.com/weteachontario

OCUFA launch blog: http://ocufa.on.ca/blog-posts/faculty/ocufa-launches-campaign-to-highlight-important-contributions-made-by-contract-faculty/

OCUFA press release: http://ocufa.on.ca/press-releases/adjunct-walkout-day-growing-use-of-contract-faculty-in-ontario-traps-many-in-precarious-work-threatens-quality-of-higher-education/

 

In Solidarity,


 

February 24, 2015 

 

Dear Colleagues,

Please note the following:

1.  National Adjunct Day

Tomorrow (Wednesday February 25th) has been designated National Adjunct Day in the United States and some Canadian faculty associations are using the occasion to draw attention to the insecure employment of many of our colleagues. Please show your support for contract and sessional faculty at Trent by wearing black tomorrow.  This is a stylish opportunity to demonstrate solidarity with our own LTA members as well as our colleagues in CUPE 3908. For more information, please see this attached flyer.

2. Flash Survey closing

Last week, we sent a flash survey to the membership asking: “If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be and why?” The survey will close at the end of the day Thursday and, if you have not yet responded, the link for the active survey is: https://trentu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_ebKCjkHX8XkI6tD

3. Women’s Social

The next Women’s Social will be held this Thursday (February 26th), beginning at 8:00 pm in Le Petite Bar (399 Water St. N.). We have no agenda and there is no formal business to conduct. Spread the word and bring a friend!

4. OCUFA’s Academic Matters addresses Contingency in the Academy

The October edition of Academic Matters focuses on the future of academic labour and has several brief articles with particular relevance for National Adjust Day. We encourage you to read Herbert Pimlott on “Solidarity in the Ivory Tower,” as well as the piece by Stephanie Ross and Larry Savage on the value of having faculty associations expand the horizons of their advocacy to take in the bigger political picture.  These articles are all available online at: http://www.academicmatters.ca/

In Solidarity,


February 19, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

CUPE 3908’s Unit 2 members will be in a legal strike or lockout position at 12:01 am on February 27th. We are hopeful that the Employer will bargain fairly with CUPE and that the Parties will reach a deal in advance of that deadline, but in anticipation of a possible labour disruption by another campus union, we want to ensure that our own members know their rights and are aware of what TUFA is doing in support of our fellow unionists on campus.

TUFA is in contact with CUPE officers and staff and will provide support and assistance as needed. Bargaining updates from 3908 are available online at <http://cupe3908.org/bargaining>.

In the event of a strike or lockout involving CUPE 3908 Unit 2 members, please be advised of the following.

1. The Employer may not shift work from CUPE members onto TUFA members. Unit 2 represents over 300 student academic workers. Most Unit 2 members are Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), but many work as both graduate and undergraduate Student Markers, Academic Assistants, and Computer Lab Advisors. TUFA would consider any shift of Unit 2 work to our own members to be in violation of Article IV of TUFA’s collective agreement and would address such impositions accordingly. Showing solidarity with our colleagues in CUPE requires us not to do their work: please advise the TUFA office if you are asked to perform any extra duties in place of Unit 2 workers in the coming days and weeks.

2. Problem(s) created by the strike are the Employer’s to manage and resolve. Chairs or members asked about the potential impact of a strike on their courses should relay accurately an itemized picture of the work that will not get done as a consequence of the withdrawal of Unit 2’s labour. Please detail courses that will be effected, assignments that will not get graded, exams or quizzes that will not be proctored, expected delays in the return of assignments or submission of grades, etc.  If asked for an assessment of steps that might be taken to mitigate these problems, we would suggest estimating the number of hours of work represented by the hypothetical cessation of Unit 2 labour. It is not the responsibility of TUFA members or other unionized workers on campus to take on additional work to mitigate the impact of job actions undertaken by members of CUPE 3908.   

3. TUFA does NOT have language in our own collective agreement that permits us to refuse to cross picket lines. Consequently, you will be expected by the Employer to attend to your assigned duties and responsibilities, even if that means crossing picket lines to do so. Be advised that you may be docked pay or disciplined by the Administration for failing to attend to your work responsibilities. That said, you are within your rights to do what work you can off campus, thus avoiding the necessity of crossing CUPE picket lines. Further, when you must cross picket lines, you are encouraged to do so respectfully, and in the spirit of solidarity.

4. TUFA officers will avoid crossing picket lines unless it is required of us to do our jobs (for lectures, office hours, etc.), TUFA staff will conduct the Association’s day-to-day business off campus, and with regard to meetings with the Employer, TUFA will offer to conduct such meetings off campus when they are required. TUFA staff will be available to members at off-campus locations and times yet to be announced.

5. When not attending to their own assigned duties, TUFA members are encouraged to spend some time on the picket line in solidarity with members of CUPE 3908.

6. TUFA members may wish to support students in understanding that a strike or lockout is a legal action and that, once any job action has concluded, Senate and other academic bodies will work to develop a plan for return to classes/exams.

TUFA will continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide further updates as warranted.

In Solidarity

 


February 18, 2015 

Dear Colleagues

In our efforts to better understand various issues of concern to our members, the TUFA Executive would like to encourage you to participate in a simple flash survey. There are just two questions: “If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be and why?” and “Please indicate to which decanal division you belong.” TUFA respects your privacy and all responses are anonymous. Responses will be analyzed, with general trends reported back to the membership."

The link for the active survey is: https://trentu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_ebKCjkHX8XkI6tD

 

In Solidarity,

 


February 17, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

The Spring General Membership Meeting (GMM) has been scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday, March 3rd (12:30 to 3:00 with locations on the Peterborough and Oshawa campus to be determined). The Chief Negotiator’s Report will include an update on the new Pension regulations, and representatives of the CAAT Pension Plan have been invited to make a presentation. TUFA is obligated under Appendix T, Paragraph 4, of the Collective Agreement to explore a pension merger. It should be stressed, however, that no changes to the Pension Arrangement could be effected unless and until the membership decides to ratify such changes.

Attached in pdf format (alternative formats available on request) please find the tentative agenda, unapproved minutes from our last GMM, and three documents comprising the Treasurer’s Report (Statement of Reserves, Performance per Budget/Proposed Budget for 2015/16, and Notes to the Proposed Budget). 

Additional documents relating to the TUFA Pension arrangement are in preparation and will be circulated to members in advance of our meeting on the 3rd.

Per the Association’s “Policy on Payment for Care of Dependants,” individual members anticipating dependant-care expenses related to their attendance at this meeting/reception should contact the TUFA office prior to the GMM to arrange for reimbursement of those costs.

In Solidarity,


February 17, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

Several matters require your attention:

1.  Postponement of Nominations Deadline for Executive Office

Acting on a request from the Chair of the Nominating and Elections Committee, the Executive has pushed back the deadline for submitting nomination for Executive office from February 13th to March 6th.  All related timelines in the Constitution have also been pushed back three weeks. As revised in November, the Constitution requires individuals to stand for specific offices on the Executive Committee and the Nominating and Elections Committee requires the additional time to ensure that all positions will be filled.  The Nomination form is available on TUFA’s website and completed forms should be returned to the TUFA office (CC-E3) or scanned and emailed to tufa@trentu.ca.  Nominations require two signatures (nominator and candidate). This year, nominations are sought for all positions as follows: President, Vice President, and two members-at-large will be elected for one-year terms;  the Treasurer, Secretary, and one member-at-large will be elected for two-year terms.

 

2. Lunch for Chairs and Grad. Directors tomorrow

TUFA’s collegial Chairs and Graduate Directors are invited to join members of the Executive Committee for lunch this Wednesday (February 18th) in the Morton Reading Room. There will be no formal agenda, but we hope to discuss the nature of the work involved in serving in these positions, the health of academic departments and programs, and the future of those units at Trent. 

 

   Meeting of Chairs and Graduate Directors with TUFA Executive Committee members

  Wednesday, February 18

   11:30 am to 2:00 pm

   CCN 303 (Morton Reading Room)

 

3. Women’s Social

Following on our successful Social this fall, we have scheduled the next TUFA Women’s Social for Thursday February 26th (8:00 pm start) at Le Petite Bar. As before, there will be no agenda and no formal business to conduct. Spread the word and bring a friend! RSVP to tufa@trentu.ca.

   Women’s Social

   Thursday, February 26

   8:00 pm start

   Le Petite Bar

   399 Water Street North

In Solidarity,


February 3, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to report that Janice Millard (Library) and Kirk Collins (Business) have volunteered to serve on TUFA’s Awards Committee and will review all nominations received for the John Fekete Award by the February 9th deadline.

Other matters warranting your attention follow:

1. Benefits Booklet now available


The Employer and Sun Life have revised the Benefit booklet which can be downloaded in pdf format from the TUFA website. The booklet provides detailed information about TUFA members’ negotiated benefits:  extended health care, semi-private hospital care, emergency travel insurance, dental care, long-term disability, and survivor income.

2. Proposed Pension regulations now available

The Province has posted the Proposed Regulations under the Pension Benefits Act - Regulations to Facilitate the Merger of BPS SEPPs with Existing JSPPs or Conversion to new JSPPs.  Our consideration of  merging the TUFA Pension Plan into the CAAT Plan could not proceed until we had more certainty about the Province’s approach to such mergers.  With these draft regulations now available, we will be able to provide the membership with more specific information on what joining the CAAT Plan would entail and we plan on having a full discussion of the merger option at the upcoming General Membership Meeting (March 3rd). Members interested in reading the proposed regulations will find them at: http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=17522&language=en.

3. Workshop on Writing Compelling Commentary – OCUFA

OCUFA’s Status of Women Committee is sponsoring a workshop designed to help academic women build their professional skill set as academic experts and commentators. Diversely-positioned women scholars are encouraged to attend.  Additional information can be found on the attached flyer. Interested members should contact the TUFA Office for more information or to get registered for the event. Enrolment is limited.  Consistent with TUFA’s Policy on Conference Assistance, members attending this conference are eligible to have their travel and accommodation costs defrayed by the Association.   

In Solidarity,

 


January 23, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

Please note, the particular value of item #1 for the mind, item #2 for the body, and item #3 for the soul. . . .

1.  ReFrame and TUFA

Today is the first day of ReFrame, Peterborough’s International Film Festival, and we hope to see many of you over the weekend.  Information about ReFrame, along with descriptions of the documentaries being screened, can be found on the ReFrame website reframefilmfestival.ca. TUFA is proud to be a sponsor of the Festival and congratulates our members, Nadine Changfoot and Aisha Jamal, for having their films accepted by the selection committee.  Nadine’s film, will be screened on Saturday at 1:15 pm (Showplace) with a Question and Answer session with the filmmaker to follow. Aisha’s film is scheduled for 7:30 pm on Saturday (Market Hall) and she will also be available for a Q&A session after the screening.

2. Health and Safety Information Sessions

Smoking Cessation

January 29th  (Thursday) – OCA 126

Mary Pat Fasken from the Peterborough County-City Health Unit will provide an information session on smoking cessation from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. Bring your own lunch; attendance on a first-come, first-served basis.

Burning Cessation

February 13th (Friday) – CCN M2

Amanda Nichols from Peterborough Fire Services will provide an information session on fire prevention and fire extinguisher operation from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. Bring your own lunch; attendance on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dying Cessation

February 17th – 18th (Saturday and Sunday) – DNA B110.1

A standard First Aid Training + Level C CPR training session is being offered to University employees to ensure first aid is promptly available, should the need arise, in their work area.  Space for this session is limited to twelve participants.  This training is available to any University employees (graduate students may be considered where space is available). For registration and further information about this training, visit:  www.trentu.ca/healthandsafety/training.php

3. Nominations reminder

The deadline for submitting nominations for positions on the TUFA Executive is February 13th. The Nomination form is available on TUFA’s website and completed forms should be returned to the TUFA office (CC-E3) or scanned and emailed to tufa@trentu.ca.  Nominations are to be made for specific positions on the Executive and require two signatures (nominator and candidate). This year, nominations are sought for all positions as follows: President, Vice President, and two members-at-large will be elected for one-year terms;  the Treasurer, Secretary, and one member-at-large will be elected for two-year terms.

Members interested in standing for election are encouraged to ask members of the 2014/15 Nominating and Elections Committee for additional information. This year's Committee members are David Newhouse (Chair), James Watson, Rory Coughlan, Richard Hurley, and Momin Rahman.

4. OCUFA News – On the trail of Premier Wynne

Premier Wynne’s 10-day tour of Ontario campuses concluded this week with a visit to Queen’s on January 19th. OCUFA has posted some brief reports on Wynne’s visit to several other universities Western and Wilfrid Laurier . In both instances, the issue of contract (precarious) employment and the importance of a stable complement of tenured faculty were stressed.

 

In Solidarity,


January 14, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to report that, following last week’s message, Prof. Julian Aherne volunteered to serve on the Multi-Workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee and the Executive Committee has now confirmed that appointment with the Employer. 

Other matters warranting your attention follow:

1. Community and Social Justice Contributions

Last spring, the Association’s membership approved two policies and a new budget line to enhance our capacity to support community and social justice initiatives and projects.  The membership also charged a subcommittee (comprising Ray Dart, Janet Miron, and David Holdsworth) to oversee the Association’s disbursement of these funds in the current fiscal year. To that end, the subcommittee wishes to alert all members that the “Community and Social Justice” budget line has $9,000 remaining and that potential recipients of TUFA assistance should be directed to the new application procedures form posted to the TUFA website. Members who are themselves involved with local organizations that could qualify for TUFA assistance or sponsorship should feel free to encourage such applications.

application form.doc                application form.pdf

2. Faculty Leadership in E-Learning Workshop

Attached is the agenda for an OCUFA-sponsored workshop relating to online learning: specifically, the opportunities for pedagogical improvement it creates and the challenges associated with deploying new learning technologies to improve educational outcomes rather than institutional bottom lines. The workshop will be action oriented, gathering information from participants and working towards the development of an action plan for professors, academic librarians, and faculty associations across the province.  By the end of the day, participants will have identified concrete strategies that will help resolve problems with on-line learning at their institutions. 

Consistent with TUFA’s Policy on Conference Assistance, members interested in attending this conference are eligible to have their travel and accommodation costs defrayed by the Association.  Please contact the TUFA office for more information.

3. Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education

The first annual Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education will feature Simon Marginson, Professor of International Education at the Institute of Education, University of London. Professor Marginson will deliver a lecture titled, “Universities, the plutocracy and the 99%: Is high participation in higher education the problem or the solution, in societies that are becoming more unequal?”  Professor Marginson’s free lecture will take place on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m in the Ground Floor of the OISE Library, University of Toronto. To register, or for information on how to access the lecture online, please visit the OISE website: http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/hec/Worldviews_Lecture_Series/index.html

4. Reinstating the Long-Form Census

Evidence for Democracy is supporting a private member’s bill proposing to amend the Statistics Act to reinstate the long form census and expand the authority of the Chief Statistician of Canada. Bill C-626 was introduced by Kingston’s Member of Parliament Ted Hsu on September 22, 2014, and entered second reading on November 7, 2014. The second hour allotted for second reading will occur later this month, with a vote expected in the first week of February 2015. Please consider signing Evidence for Democracy’s online form in support of Bill C-626: https://evidencefordemocracy.ca/census

In Solidarity,


January 8, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

It is our pleasure to welcome you back to campus at the start of a new year. Four matters relating to the Association’s governance require your attention.

1. Nominations and Elections

As announced on December 24th, nominations are open for elected positions on the Executive Committee in accordance with Articles VIII and XVI of TUFA's Constitution.  Contested positions will be decided by election with a mailing date of Friday, February 27th. Completed nomination forms should be returned to the attention of the Association’s Secretary c/o the TUFA office (Champlain College - Room E3) on, or before, Friday the 13th of February – scanned forms emailed to tufa@trentu.cawill be considered timely if sent by 11:59 pm on that date.  Nominations are to be made for specific positions on the Executive and require two signatures (nominator and candidate). The transition to the new Executive structure requires the election of the President, Vice President and two members-at-large for one-year terms while the Treasurer, Secretary and one member-at-large will be elected for two-year terms.

Members interested in standing for election are encouraged to ask members of the Nominating and Elections Committee for additional information. This year's Committee members are David Newhouse (Chair), James Watson, Rory Coughlan, Richard Hurley, and Momin Rahman.

2. John Fekete Award

Thanks to all those who attended our December 4th reception for Prof. Fekete and the inaugural recipients of the award TUFA members established in John’s  name to recognize his outstanding and extensive contributions to the Association and its members. Photos from the event along with information about the 2014 recipients, and the terms of reference for the award are all posted on our website.  And, of course, we get to do it all again this year. . . provided we receive nominations from you. The deadline for 2015 award nominations has been extended to February 9th. All current or former members of the Association are eligible to either nominate, or be nominated for, the John Fekete Award which recognizes service to the Association and the profession.  Nominations and supporting materials may be submitted electronically to tufa@trentu.caor sent to the TUFA Office in Champlain College - Room E3.

3. Spring General Membership Meeting

Please plan on attending this important meeting. Agenda items will include: the Association’s proposed budget for 2015/16, recommendations of the Awards Committee, election of two members to the Community and Social Justice Contributions Subcommittee for 2015/16.

   Spring GMM

   Tuesday March 3rd

   12:30 pm to 3:00 pm

   Locations: OCA 134 (Peterborough), Room 121 (Oshawa)

4. Call for Volunteers

In addition to 9 members serving on the Executive, another 16 are currently serving as TUFA appointees in other capacities, but we do have additional spots to fill.  Please contact TUFA’s Executive Director if you would like additional information about the following:

   a) TUFA has two seats on Trent University’s Multi-Workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee: currently, only one is filled (thanks to Ellen Olsen-Lynch). We are especially interested in finding a member from the sciences to serve as TUFA’s second appointee to this important committee for the remainder of the year and, ideally, for 2015/16 as well.

   b) TUFA’s Executive is looking for volunteers to serve on our 2015 Awards Committee.

In Solidarity,


December 24, 2014 

Dear Members,

The 2014/15 Nominating and Elections Committee is pleased to open nominations for elected positions on the Executive Committee in accordance with Articles VIII and XVI of TUFA's Constitution as amended by action of the membership on November 13th, 2014.  Any contested positions will be decided by election with a mailing date of Friday, February 27th. Completed nomination forms must, therefore, be received by the Association's Secretary on or before the 13th of February.

Nominations are to be made for specific positions on the Executive and require two signatures (nominator and candidate). The transition to the new Executive structure requires the election of the President, Vice President and two members-at-large for one-year terms while the Treasurer, Secretary and one member-at-large will be elected for two-year terms. Completed nomination forms should be returned to the attention of the Secretary c/o the TUFA office (Champlain College - Room E3) or they may be scanned and emailed to tufa@trentu.ca.

Members interested in standing for election are encouraged to ask members of the Nominating and Elections Committee for additional information. This year's Committee members are David Newhouse (Chair), James Watson, Rory Coughlan, Richard Hurley, and Momin Rahman.

On behalf of the Nominating and Elections Committee,

David Newhouse,
Past President

James Watson,
Secretary


December 3, 2014 

Dear Colleagues,

Thanks to those who commented on our question about scheduling a meeting of the LTA Caucus.  The best time for the meeting was Wednesday, December 10th from 10:00 am to noon.  We have reserved Bata Library, Room 103 for the meeting and will have a conference phone available for members unable to attend in person. As noted in our earlier message, the purpose of this meeting is twofold.  First, the revised Constitution has several mechanisms intended to strengthen the LTA voice in the Association and the Executive would like to have an opportunity to discuss these with our LTA members. Second, we would appreciate hearing from you on the terms and conditions of employment for LTA members at Trent as well as on the distribution of service and teaching work within your departments. 

Members calling in will need to dial a toll free number sent in an email on December 3rd @ 2:15

In Solidarity,


November 20, 2014 

Dear Colleagues,

CAUT has asked that we forward the following time-sensitive message on to our members:

__________________________________________________

Date: November 20, 2014 at 10:42:44 AM EST

Subject: CAUT urges action on Bill C-279 on Trans Day of Remembrance

November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance. This day provides an important moment for us to reflect on the past and present violence and discrimination faced by the trans members of our communities. It also serves as a reminder that our fight against transphobia must be ongoing, and that it must manifest in all the work we do: in our defense of academic freedom, in our promotion and practice of equity, and in negotiating rights and protections for trans academic staff.  

We must also stand for trans rights in the political realm. In this spirit, CAUT – in partnership with Amnesty International, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, Gender Mosaic, and many other organizations – has been working to lobby for the passage of Bill C-279, which would add protection for gender identity into the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code. In addition to the social justice allies with whom we have collaborated, law enforcement officials have advocated for this bill, stating that it would give them greater power to protect trans people and to prosecute their aggressors.

Bill C-279 is currently in the Senate awaiting a final committee hearing and, subsequently, 3rd  (and final) reading. In honour of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a call-in has been organized for November 20 in support of Bill C-279. We urge all CAUT member associations to participate, and to ensure that this message reaches your individual members. 

To participate, please call one of the Senators on the Senate Committee reviewing the Bill, and say the following, or your version of the following:

  • My name is __________________ and I am calling from _____________________ to urge you to support the swift passage of Bill C-279 on Gender Identity as it is currently drafted.
  • Canada’s transgender communities have long suffered discrimination and violence and this legislation is part of the solution to protecting the human rights of transgender individuals.
  • I would like you to know that I am not afraid of sharing public spaces including bathrooms with transgender people.
  • But I am afraid that unless C-279 passes unamended, transgender people will continue to live in fear each and every time they enter a public space.
  • Delays in passing legislation cost lives. This bill is as perfect as it’s going to get. Please do the right thing and support Bill C-279 as drafted. Let this be your legacy for this Parliamentary session.
  • Thank you for your time.

You can find contact information for the Senate committee members, and additional information about the bill, on the PSAC website here: http://psacunion.ca/take-stand-transgender-rights-contact-senators-november-20.

Thank you for distributing this message, and thank you for recognizing with CAUT the contributions that our trans colleagues make to our universities and colleges, and the imperative we all share to ensure none of us is subject to transphobic violence and discrimination.

David Robinson

Executive Director / Directeur général

Canadian Association of University Teachers

Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d’université

__________________________________________________

Message forwarded in solidarity,


November 20, 2014 

Dear Colleagues,

Thanks to the members who attended last week’s General Membership Meeting in both the Peterborough and Oshawa locations. The Auditor’s report was accepted, the auditor reappointed for the current fiscal year, and the revisions to our governing documents were approved as presented.  The amending of the Constitution has been a multi-year project and we would especially like to thank the members who did the initial heavy lifting on our Constitution Task Force: Momin Rahman, Gillian Balfour, Jason Doherty, Geoff Navara, and Al Slavin.

The new Constitution has been posted to our website at: http://www.trentfaculty.ca and is attached here for your convenience.  The revised governing documents require us to make a number of changes in the coming months.  We have flagged the most significant of these below and urge members to take advantage of our expanded structures to increase their involvement in the union.

1. The current Executive will continue in office until May 1 at which time the terms of new Executive officers shall begin as described under Article XVI.1 “Transition” of the Constitution.

2. The Executive must strike the Nominating and Elections Committee (N&EC) soon in preparation for elections in February.  The N&EC will be chaired by Past President, David Newhouse, and will include the Secretary, James Watson, and at least two other members who are not currently serving on the Executive.  It will be the task of the N&EC to set the date for our election as well as to open nominations, at least, two months beforehand (i.e in early December). The N&EC will also work with members interested in serving on the Executive to try and ensure that we will have candidates for all the open elected positions on the Executive. Please contact the TUFA office, David, or James if you are interested in serving on the N&EC Committee.

3. Unlike previous TUFA elections, members will be standing for specific positions in February. Under the new system, the Executive will comprise the following elected members: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and three members-at-large. The Past President serves ex officio. As well, there shall be up to 5 appointed members: the Grievance Officer, Chief Negotiator, and up to three additional at-large members (intended to increase participation from Oshawa-based members, LTAs, and members of equity-seeking groups). The appointment of these members-at-large may take place anytime. Please contact TUFA if you’re from one of the groups designated at V.5 (a-c) and interested in appointment to the Executive.

4. By action of the membership on November 13th, the annual fee for retired TUFA members who wish to continue their connection with TUFA (as Associate members) has been set at $25.00.  We will advise the Trent University Association of Retired Persons of this change.

5. It is now required that the Minutes of Executive Committee meetings be available within seven days of their approval.  At its meeting next week (November 25th), the Executive will consider how best to accomplish this change. For the time being, any member interested in reviewing Executive Minutes may arrange to do so by scheduling an appointment at the TUFA office.  Minutes for the following meeting dates in the 2014/15 year are now available: June 9, June 18, June 26, July 21, September 4, and September 30. Additionally, the Executive conducts business by email and minutes any actions taken in item-specific Records of Motion. The following approved Records of Motion are also available for inspection: 10 June, 11 June, 24 September, 21 October.

Finally, the 2013-2016 Collective Agreement is now at the printers with distribution to all members expected for the first week of December.

In Solidarity,


November 17, 2014 

Dear Colleagues,

We are sending the attached invitation to all TUFA members in the hope that many of you will be able to join us on December 4th (3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) at the Peterborough Golf and Country Club where we will be honouring John Fekete and this year's four recipients of the John Fekete Award: Graham Cogley, Doug Curtis, David Kettler, and George Nader. 

Please share this invitation with any retired colleagues who might also be interested in attending. Members, retired members, and significant others - all are welcome.

In Solidarity,

 


October 30, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

We have scheduled the Fall General Membership Meeting (GMM) for the afternoon of Thursday, November 13th (Otonabee College Junior Common Room and Room 110 on the Oshawa campus). Attached in pdf format (alternative formats available on request) please find the tentative agenda, unapproved minutes from our last GMM, and three documents relating to the proposed amending of TUFA’s governing documents.  The first of these provides the clean text of the revised Constitution being proposed by the Executive Committee for approval by the membership. The second is a briefing note from the Executive describing the process to be followed in amending the Constitution and detailing the substantive changes made to the proposed Constitution following the presentation of the Constitution Task Force’s recommendations last year.  The third lays out the proposed Constitution beside the current Constitution to facilitate comparison.

Additional documents (including those pertaining to the Treasurer’s Report and the Audit) will follow.

Members are invited to a reception immediately following the GMM. This will also be held in Otonabee’s JCR (known by many as “The Cat’s Ass”). Per the Association’s “Policy on Payment for Care of Dependants,” individual members anticipating dependant-care expenses related to their attendance at this meeting/reception should contact the TUFA office by November 7th to arrange for reimbursement of those costs.

In Solidarity,

 


October 28, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to advise you on several matters:

Research Assistant Unionization

TUFA’s Executive Committee has endorsed a campaign initiated by CUPE 3908 to unionize unrepresented researchers at Trent. There are sound reasons for TUFA to endorse this campaign: a successful campaign would strengthen the labour community on campus, and improved terms and conditions of employment for research assistants and postdocs would make Trent more competitive in attracting highly qualified personnel. Also, we believe that TUFA should take a principled lead in advocating for good working conditions (for everyone) at Trent.  

For more information about this campaign, visit http://www.trentra.ca/. In the coming weeks, members should expect to see organizers on campus looking to talk with individual RAs. TUFA has been advised by CUPE 3908’s leadership that if faculty supervisors have particular times or days that they need to keep free from interruption, they should inform the campaign organizers <trentRAcommittee@gmail.com> to be accommodated.

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Presentation of Diversity Survey results

Sociology professor, Momin Rahman, is concluding a study (sponsored, in part, by TUFA) on experiences of diversity at Trent. He will present a summary of the results of that study at our upcoming General Membership meeting on November 13th and then again, in a fuller form, on November 19th (3:00 pm) in the Science Complex, Room 115. The final report is expected to be released in December.

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Provost Search Committee – call for comments

The Provost Search Committee invites TUFA members and others to express their opinion to the committee in regard to the desired “attributes” that our new Provost should have.  TUFA encourages members to share their views with the search committee and, for any members who feel so inclined, we would appreciate being copied on member submissions. In this way, TUFA’s Executive Committee members will be aware of suggestions made by the membership in the event that the Executive decides to, itself, provide feedback to the search committee. Comments should be sent to Brenda Blackburn (bblackburn@trentu.ca): members wanting to share their comments with TUFA should copy <tufa@trentu.ca>.

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LEC’s Senior Common Room – Memberships

Lindsay Morris, the new Head of Lady Eaton College, has asked us to remind members that full access to LEC’s Senior Common Room is open to any TUFA member who purchases an SCR membership from the College Office. The deadline for collection of these fees has been extended through the end of the month. Please review the attached flyer for details.

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OCUFA Status of Women Committee awards

Our provincial affiliate is soliciting nominations for its Status of Women Committee’s Awards of Distinction. Information about these awards as well as the nomination form are available online at: http://ocufa.on.ca/ocufa-awards/status-of-women-award-of-distinction/.

 

 


October 10, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

There are several matters requiring your attention:

Multi-Workplace Joint Health and Safety Committee

TUFA appoints two members to the Joint Health and Safety Committee each year and we would like to thank Peter Dawson and Ellen Olsen-Lynch for their service last year.  Ellen will be continuing on the Committee, but Peter is stepping down and we need to replace him. Anyone interested in serving in this capacity should contact the TUFA office for more information. Per Article I.7.7 of the Collective Agreement, such service to the Association also counts as University service.

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TUFA Department Visits

The Executive Committee invites the Chairs or Directors of Academic Departments/Programs to contact us if you wish to have TUFA representatives attend part, or all, of an upcoming departmental meeting.  The purpose of such visits would be to ensure that TUFA is better informed of members’ concerns, for us to receive feedback on specific problems or inefficiencies that TUFA might address through the Deans’ Office or in Joint Committee, and to discuss the local impact of University-wide strategic decisions (such as the shift to responsibility-centred budgeting, new student recruitment initiatives, and faculty attrition).

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Equity Initiatives

CAUT:  A central part of CAUT’s new equity structure is the creation of four networks designed to provide members of marginalized groups from associations across the country with an opportunity to advise CAUT on its equity work. The four networks are:

•         Network of Academic Staff with Disabilities;

•         Network of Racialized Academic Staff;

•         Network of LGBTQ2S Academic Staff; and

•         Network of Women Academic Staff. 

Please contact the TUFA office if you would like more information about participating in any of these four equity discussion groups.  Participating members will be consulted electronically by the CAUT’s Equity Committee and/or the CAUT Executive to help CAUT advance equity among its members, within the national association, and at our universities and colleges. TUFA members engaged with CAUT’s equity networks will also be asked to serve as an informal advisory committee to TUFA’s own Executive so that these national discussions can be disseminated and translated effectively at Trent.

OCUFA: OCUFA has established a Queer Caucus discussion list  as a means to communicate and develop strategies for enhancing a supportive community for gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans-identified, and two-spirited academic staff in Ontario. The intent, in part, is to support members (especially in smaller or remote universities) where there may not be a sufficient critical mass to make institutional support networks feasible. Those interested in subscribing may do so at http://ocufa.on.ca/members-area/queer-caucus/

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John Fekete Award reception

Originally scheduled to follow the November 13th General Membership Meeting, the John Fekete Award reception has been rescheduled. We will still have a reception after the November 13th GMM, but one confined to simple expressions of inchoate joy. Members wanting fully to celebrate with Drs. Fekete, Cogley, Curtis, Kettler, and Nader must now wait until the end of classes to do so and are urged to join us at the Peterborough Golf and Country Club on December 4th (3:00 to 5:00 pm) for this purpose.

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Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

TUFA is consulting with CAUT and other Associations to determine what, if any, elements of Canada’s new legislation regulating the sending of any “commercial electronic message” (CEM) may apply to emails sent by TUFA to its members.  We expect to provide members with an update explaining how we will be interpreting this law – and, in particular, what elements in our communications may constitute CEMs – shortly. Meantime, any member wishing NOT to receive CEMs from the Association should indicate that fact in reply to this email. Members opting out in this fashion would continue to receive non-CEM information by email while anything identified as a potential CEM would be sent to them via their campus mail addresses in hard copy rather than electronically.

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Special Open House – Alumni Affairs

Alumni Affairs has asked us to extend an invitation to all TUFA members to visit the “Ron Thom and the Allied Arts: Trent University's Master Planning Architect" exhibit at Alumni House on Wednesday, October 22 (between 11 am and 4 pm). This will be the exhibit’s last day at Trent.  For additional information please visit the following sites.

      Trent website: http://www.trentu.ca/fiftyreunion/ronthom.php

      Monocle Magazine: http://monocle.com/magazine/issues/73/campus-visionary/

 

In Solidarity,

 


 

September 17, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

Please mark your calendars for the following:

TUFA EVENTS

Women’s Social

After a hiatus of a couple of years, we are resurrecting this informal gathering. There is no agenda and no business will be conducted: this is just an opportunity to get together. Spread the word and bring a friend!  If possible, please RSVP to tufa@trentu.ca  so that we can get a sense of numbers for hors d’oeuvre.

   Wednesday September 24th

   7:00 pm start

   Sapphire Room

   137 Hunter Street West

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Fall General Membership Meeting

Please plan on attending this important discussion of the Association’s operations and finances: agenda items will include comprehensive amendments to the TUFA Constitution and the auditor’s report on the Association’s finances.

   Thursday November 13th

   3:00 pm to 5:00 pm

   Location: TBA

Fall Reception and Presentation of the 2014 John Fekete Awards

Join us as we celebrate TUFA’s own history and recognize four members who contributed enormously to the Association’s development. This is the John Fekete Award’s inaugural year and, by action of the membership at our Spring GMM, four members will be presented with the award on November 13th: Graham Cogley, Doug Curtis, David Kettler, and George Nader.

 

   Thursday November 13th

   5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

   Location: TBA

 

AFFILIATE CONFERENCES

TUFA supports the valuable work done by our affiliate organizations and we try to have one or more members in attendance at every CAUT and OCUFA conference. Funds are available to defray member’s travel expenses for this purpose: please contact the TUFA office for more information if you are interested in either of the following events:

OCUFA – Annual Conference

OCUFA is celebrating its 50th anniversary and this conference provides an opportunity to look at the evolution of OCUFA and academic staff associations in Canada and consider what has and hasn't been accomplished, the directions and goals that faculty associations might pursue in the future, and how our aims can be achieved. Key themes include:  challenges in labour relations and the academic labour market; our associations’ engagement with other unions, local communities, and the broader public; building inclusive organizations; and, promising developments in activism across the globe.

   OCUFA - “Faculty Associations in the 21st Century”

   Friday October 24th

   Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto

   http://ocufa.on.ca/conferences/faculty-associations-in-the-21st-century-learning-from-the-past-shaping-the-future/#sthash.ssIOBeS1.dpuf

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CAUT - Librarians' & Archivists' Conference

With librarianship and archival practice under threat across the country, the purpose of this year’s conference is to develop the campaign skills necessary to meet the challenges the library and archives community faces. The conference agenda is available at: http://events.caut.ca/librarians-archivists-2014/Agenda_5.28.14.pdf

 

   CAUT – “From Talk to Action - Building Successful Campaigns”

   Friday October 31st & November 1st

   Fairmont Château Laurier, Ottawa

   http://events.caut.ca/librarians-archivists-2014/

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COMMUNITY ACTIVISM

Climate Change Rally

The group For Our Grandchildren (4RG) is organizing a Climate Change Rally as part of the Purple Onion Festival.  Show our politicians that the time for action to reduce greenhouse gases is now! Also, please consider signing the online Peterborough Declaration on Climate Change 2014 at http://tinyurl.com/my6famu.

   Climate Change Rally

   Sunday September 21st

   1:30 pm to 2:30 pm

   Millennium Park (Water St. at King)

   http://forourgrandchildren.ca/event/peterborough-climate-change-rally-2/

In Solidarity,

 


September 9, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

Appendix R of the new collective agreement suspends merit awards through June 30, 2016. Meanwhile, the parties have committed to assessing the existing merit system as well as possible changes that may be made to it. Before undertaking this exploration with the Employer, TUFA’s Executive Committee would like to have a better understanding of our members’ priorities with regard to employment-related incentives and the recognition of their work. Toward this end, the Executive has prepared a survey to collect members’ views. The information collected will be shared with members of the Executive Committee as well as with the Merit sub-committee (formed under Appendix R of the new agreement) and will inform the next round of collective bargaining.

 

The survey may be accessed at  < https://trentu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_brZllBoVRWiZjKd >  and will remain open until the close of business on Friday September 19th. Your time and assistance with this project are greatly appreciated.


September 8, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

Under Article IV.15 of the TUFA Collective Agreement (available at> http://www.trentfaculty.ca/node/659<), all members holding continuing appointments, excepting those on leave or in their final year of service, are obliged to submit an annual report to the appropriate Dean (with copy to the Department Chair) by 4:00 pm on Friday, October 3rd.  The Employer and Union have been working on a new standard annual report form to facilitate this process, but have not yet agreed on the final version of that revised form, in part, because TUFA wishes to consult once more with our members before completing this project. A revised draft of the form (for faculty members) has, however, been completed and so the parties have agreed to allow faculty members the choice of either using the old version of the form OR the new draft version for this year’s review.  Please note: a revised version of the Librarian’s form has not yet been readied for circulation and so Librarian members should use last year’s form.

The Deans’ Office will be sending both forms out to the membership shortly. Regardless of which you decide to use, TUFA would appreciate knowing your thoughts on the new form. Does it adequately cover the wide variety of faculty work? Do you feel it provides a good balance in terms of research, teaching, and service? What suggestions do you have for improvement? Comments should be sent to tufa@trentu.ca by Friday October 31st.


June 27, 2014

Dear Colleagues,
 
I am pleased to report that the tentative agreement reached by our Bargaining Team received majority approval at Monday's GMM. Subsequently, the Board of Governors also ratified the agreement and so the parties will be issuing a joint announcement regarding the new agreement shortly. For those who were unable to attend our meeting, there was a vigorous discussion following the Chief Negotiator's report, especially with regard to the suspension of merit for the remaining two years of the agreement. Related to that suspension, the agreement also provides for a sub-committee to review the merit system within 60 days of ratification. To better inform the selection and deliberations of TUFA members on that sub-committee, the Executive urges members to provide us with your feedback on our existing merit system, the recognition of faculty/librarian excellence at Trent, and/or other possible incentive/reward mechanisms that could be explored. We will certainly keep members informed as we strike this sub-committee and will consider additional ways to consult with the membership on what is clearly an important issue to many.
 
Given the complexity and duration of bargaining these past two years, I hope you will join me in thanking Sue Wurtele and the members of her team -- Marco Pollanen, Bruce Cater, and Marcus Harvey -- for all their work on behalf of the Union and its members. Toward that end, I would be remiss if I did not mention that Sue has just received one of three Service Awards from our provincial affiliate for, among other things, her service on OCUFA's Board of Directors, as Co-Chair of the their Pension Policy Group, and as a member of OCUFA's Collective Bargaining Committee. . . which she will be chairing in the coming year. Congratulations, Sue!
 
In Solidarity,
Jocelyn
 
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Jocelyn Williams
President

June 26, 2014

Dear Colleagues,
 
TUFA is supporting an initiative to survey the University community regarding individuals' experiences of diversity at Trent. Members are asked to consider completing the survey before it closes Monday at midnight.
 
Trent Diversity Survey
 
As part of Trent's 50th anniversary program, this project seeks to collect reflections on experiences of diversity at Trent over the last half-century.
 
Trent has an informal reputation as a queer friendly university, and we hope to hear from those of you who are queer identified about how you really experienced the acceptance of sexual diversity in your time.
 
Trent is increasingly multi-ethnic, reflecting changes in Canadian society more generally.  We also want to hear about your experiences as an ethnic minority at Trent and in the local community.
 
The recognition of disabilities is also a relatively recent but important part of public culture in Ontario, so please tell us your experiences if this is your diversity.
 
Even if you do not identify with any diverse or minority community, Trent may be a place where you encountered diversity for the first time and your experiences of this are also part of the Trent story.
 
 
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
 
1.  Take the survey to give us your reflections at https://trentu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_1RGhHYuIS3r0Bw1 
 
2.  Come join a discussion of diversity at the Trent50 reunion weekend, where we will present some of these stories.
 

June 12, 2014

Dear Colleagues,
 
The TUFA Bargaining Team concluded negotiations of a tentative agreement with the Employer yesterday afternoon. The Executive Committee has now accepted this agreement and is recommending it for ratification by the membership. We have scheduled the Ratification Vote to be held at a General Membership Meeting (GMM) on June 23rd (noon to 2:00 pm) in GCS-114. Attached please find the following documents relating to that vote: 1) the full text of all proposed changes to the collective agreement, 2) a "Summary of Negotiated Settlement,"  and 3) the tentative Agenda for the Special GMM. A fourth document, "Framework for Merging TUFA Pension Plan into CAAT Pension Plan," will be sent out subsequently to provide members with an update on the ongoing state of discussions relating to a possible future merger with the CAAT Plan. That Framework is not, however, part of the agreement to be ratified and will be provided for informational purposes only.
 
Details of Tentative Agreement:
The first of the attached documents provides the Minutes of Settlement and full-text of the tentative agreement. The second document provides an issue-by-issue summary of the tentative agreement in which we describe the changes to our collective agreement language and indicate how those changes relate to the bargaining mandate. We ask that you not circulate any of these three documents. As always we welcome questions about the agreement and I am happy to respond to your queries in person, in writing, or over the phone.
 
Details of Ratification Vote:
Consistent with the process adopted for our last ratification vote, only LTAs who -- as of the date of the vote on June 23rd -- are currently employed or who have accepted a future contract of employment as a TUFA member may vote on ratification. The Executive will, however, recommend that the Membership seat as guests (with voice, but no vote) any individual who held an LTA appointment this past year and wishes to attend the meeting. The TUFA Constitution does not provide for proxy voting and so, as in the past, this ratification vote will be conducted through in-person attendance at the meeting. Members with appointments to the Oshawa campus may claim mileage expenses incurred in attendance at this meeting. Members requiring child-care or dependent-care support in order to attend the Ratification Vote are eligible for assistance per the Association's "Policy on Payment for Care of Dependents" and should contact the TUFA office for more information.
 
On behalf of your Bargaining Team,
Susan Wurtele,
Chief Negotiator
 
On behalf of your Executive Committee,
Jocelyn Williams
President
 
Trent University Faculty Association
 

June 11, 2014

Colleagues,
 
With Ontario voting tomorrow, we are pleased to pass along the following information sent earlier today by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations.
 
In Solidarity,
Marcus
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Marcus Harvey
Executive Director
 
Take a moment to visit OCUFA’s election page (http://ocufa.on.ca/ontario-election-2014/?mc_cid=c24df35b0a&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) . In addition to analyses of the party platforms, expert commentary, and other useful resources, you can send an email to your local candidates (http://ocufa.on.ca/ontario-election-2014/?mc_cid=c24df35b0a&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) telling them that higher education is important to you and to Ontario. One day may not be a lot of time, but it is time enough to remind our representatives of the economic, social, and democratic benefits of well-funded universities.
 
Of course, the most important thing you can do this election is vote. If you’re not sure where your polling station is, check out this handy poll locator from Elections Ontario (http://faq.elections.on.ca/faq/performsearch.do?type1QuestionId=1&mc_cid...) .
 
Make your voice heard on June 12.
 
The grades are in! OCUFA releases platform report card
 
 
Over the course of the election campaign, OCUFA has analysed the three major parties’ platforms to determine where each party stands on important issues affecting the postsecondary education sector.
 
Our analyses of the Liberal (http://ocufa.on.ca/assets/OLP-Platform-Long-form-analysis-FINAL.pdf?mc_c...) , NDP (http://ocufa.on.ca/assets/NDP-Platform-Long-form-analysis-FINAL.pdf?mc_c...) and PC (http://ocufa.on.ca/assets/PC-Platform-Long-form-analysis-FINAL.pdf?mc_ci...) party platforms examine in detail each party’s position (if they have one) on funding for postsecondary education, faculty hiring, affordability, protecting collective bargaining rights and pensions.
 
We’ve now created a report card that provides a quick snapshot of what each of the platforms has to say on each of these important issues (read it here (http://ocufa.on.ca/assets/OCUFA-ElectionReportCard-FINAL.pdf?mc_cid=c24d...) ). Proposals outlined in the parties’ platforms received grades ranging from A (for the Liberal Party’s commitment on pensions) to F (for the PC Party’s platform as a whole). But there were far too many incompletes across the board, where the parties were silent on pressing issues affecting postsecondary education. 
 
In some cases, the parties provided more detail about where they stand on higher education in their responses to our questionnaire (http://ocufa.on.ca/?p=5415&mc_cid=c24df35b0a&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) - for example, the Liberal Party (http://ocufa.on.ca/assets/OLP-Response.pdf?mc_cid=c24df35b0a&mc_eid=[UNI...) clarified that they would increase university funding by one per cent per year for the next three years, and indicated that the four-year tuition framework they put in place capped tuition increases at one per cent above inflation; the NDP (http://ocufa.on.ca/assets/NDP-Response.pdf?mc_cid=c24df35b0a&mc_eid=[UNI...) indicated support for issues of concern around funding and faculty hiring, but made no firm commitments.
 
In the final stretch before the election, OCUFA will continue to raise the profile of higher education issues in the campaign and will continue to advocate for policies that will make a real difference to students, their families, and faculty members across Ontario.
 
OCUFA releases results of higher education questionnaire for political parties
Every election, OCUFA asks Ontario's leading political parties to fill out a questionnaire on issues important to professors and academic librarians in Ontario. It is a chance for each party to outline their plans for higher education and labour relations. We are pleased to present the results of the 2014 survey.
 
Here are some select highlights from each party:
 
Green Party of Ontario (read the full response (http://ocufa.on.ca/assets/GPO-Response.pdf?mc_cid=c24df35b0a&mc_eid=[UNI...) )
* The Green Party pledges to increase university and college operating budgets (by an unspecified amount) while freezing tuition, all within the context of a multi-year funding plan.
* They will convert education tax credits into up-front, needs-based grants for students.
* The Green Party belives that reforms to retirement security and pensions are best handled at the federal level.
* They promise to review recent changes to teacher training in Ontario, and make reforms "to the benefit of all parties."
 
 
Ontario Liberal Party (read the full response (http://ocufa.on.ca/assets/OLP-Response.pdf?mc_cid=c24df35b0a&mc_eid=[UNI...) )
* The Liberals tout their announced 1 per cent yearly increase to university funding over the next three years, and their commitment to funding $500 million in deferred maintenance at Ontario's universities.
* The 30 per cent off tuition grant will continue.
* They suggest that their push for differentiation and "centres of excellence" will help universities attract top quality faculty. In addition, they promise to fund 15,000 new undergraduate spaces, and indicate that this will include funding for more professors.
* The Liberals will continue with policies - such as solvency relief - designed to improve the sustainability of university pension plans
 
 
Ontario New Democratic Party (read the full response (http://ocufa.on.ca/assets/NDP-Response.pdf?mc_cid=c24df35b0a&mc_eid=[UNI...) )
* The NDP will freeze tuition fees and provide and unspecified amount of compensatory funding to universities.
* They will make Ontario student loans interest free.
* The NDP will bring in a variety of labour reforms, including successor rights in the contract sector; the provision of an additional route to binding arbitration on the first contract; changes in reinstatement procedures during an organizing campaign; neutral off-site voting and electronic voting for certification; and access to binding arbitration for either party in prolonged strike situations.
* They will create 1,000 new teacher positions, and respect university teacher training programs as "partners, not left scrambling to deal with major policy shifts."
 
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario (read full response (http://ocufa.on.ca/assets/PC-Response.pdf?mc_cid=c24df35b0a&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) )

* The PC Party responded with a form letter that did not address our questionnaire.

 

 
 
October 1st, 2015