2015-2016 Announcments

June 21st,  2016 

Dear Colleagues,

TUFA’s Executive Committee has been apprised of the imprisonment in Iran of Professor Homa Hoodfar, an anthropologist at Concordia University, Montreal.  In response to a request for assistance from our colleagues in the Concordia University Faculty Association, TUFA is sending $1,000 to support their campaign to secure Prof. Hoodfar’s release and we are sending a letter as requested by CUFA to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stéphane Dion.

There is, however, also a role for individual TUFA members to play in supporting Prof. Hoodfar and that is to add your names to the +4,300 academics who have signed a petition calling for Prof. Hoodfar’s immediate release.


 

May 24th,  2016 

Dear Colleagues,

TUFA has two important events scheduled for tomorrow (Wednesday May 25th).

1. General Membership Meeting 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

As previously announced, we have scheduled a special GMM to set the Association’s bargaining mandate for the coming round of negotiations. Attached you will find a recommended mandate from the Executive Committtee and two briefing notes that provide some context for particular aspects of this recommendation. Following the suspension of Merit in the last round of negotiations, the Employer and TUFA struck a joint sub-committee to review our existing system and make recommendations to the Provost. This did not prove productive, but the TUFA members on the subcommittee have prepared a briefing memo (attached) based on their own analysis of our Merit award system. The Executive has declined to make a specific recommendation in regard to Merit, choosing instead to present two options for the Membership to discuss, and decide between, tomorrow. The second attachment provides data on LTA employment at Trent over the last 15 years. Please note: all LTA members employed in 2015/16 are eligible to attend and vote at this meeting.

This is an extremely important meeting for all TUFA members. Once finalized by the Membership, the bargaining mandate becomes the road map for the Bargaining Team and Executive Committee through the negotiation process. Make sure your voice is heard.

DATE:  Wednesday May 25, 2016

TIME:  1:30 PM – 3:30 PM

LOCATIONS:  AJM SMITH ROOM (107.2), BATA LIBRARY and ROOM 160 in Durham

 

2. Peer Review Information Session 10:00 am to noon

All members are invited to join us for an open information session on peer-review evaluation processes at Trent. The session, jointly sponsored by TUFA and the University, will focus on the review processes for personnel decisions related to tenure, reappointment and promotion. The session will be of interest to all who are involved in peer review, including future candidates for review. 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. Refreshments and light snacks will be provided. Thank you to those that have already RSVP’d.

 

DATE:  Wednesday May 25, 2016

TIME:  10:00 AM – 12:00 NOON

LOCATION:  AJM SMITH ROOM (107.2), BATA LIBRARY

In Solidarity,

 

 


May 16th,  2016 

Letter sent to members on April 12, 2016:

Dear TUFA member,
 
Consistent with a motion passed by the membership at the General Membership Meeting on March 16th, 2016, the Executive is launching an equity survey as part of our ongoing efforts to promote an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace.
 
One outcome from this survey will be an analysis of wage equity, in line with with the current provincial Government's Gender Wage Gap Strategy. We will also be assessing the extent to which the principle of equity has been reflected and advanced in hiring and other decisions related to members’ careers at Trent. To these ends, we need accurate information from our members about how they identify with different groups—especially those indigenous and equity-seeking groups related to the protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code.
 
It is vital that all members participate in this survey census so that we can recommend strategies for TUFA to address any inequities we find.  The survey instrument allows members to skip questions they do not wish to answer. In the event the analysis of collected data reveals inequities, we will recommend strategies to address these inequities, particularly during the coming round of bargaining. To allow for this, please complete the survey by April 29, 2016.
 
To complete our analysis, the data collected will need to be correlated with our existing member records on hiring dates, rank/step progression, merit awards, and tenure/promotion decisions. Consequently, these data will not initially be anonymized, but will be treated confidentially in the following ways.
 
Data with ongoing relevance to the union’s work of representation will be added to the Association’s member database. Information about month/year of birth, country of origin, ancestry/colour/race/culture, gender identity, and prior employment history will be retained. The rest of the data collected through this survey (pertaining to citizenship, disability, family and partnership status, religion, and sexual orientation) will be correlated with each member’s employment data and then placed in an anonymized database for analysis. The Association’s Equity subcommittee and anyone else contracted to analyze these data will be provided with the anonymized data only.
 
TUFA will store any information gathered through this survey securely and will destroy the raw data immediately following its processing. Data generated for this survey shall be used to advance the interests of TUFA members collectively, and for the specific purposes identified above and not for publications or any other purpose.
 
Any member identifying as a person with a disability will be contacted by TUFA to ensure that appropriate accommodations, if any, have been sought and provided.
 

Follow this link to the Survey:
${l://SueyLink?d=Take the Survey}

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:
${l://SurveyURL}

Follow the link to opt out of future emails:
${l://OptOutLink?d=Click here to unsubscribe}

 

 


May 14th,  2016 

Dear Colleagues,

I am contacting you to introduce myself as the association’s new Member-at-Large (Equity).  A major goal of TUFA’s Equity and Diversity subcommittee this year is to start analyzing data to determine whether there are any institutional equity issues related to parameters such as salary, merit, and promotion.  However, our analyses are only as good as our data, and we still have a lot of missing surveys.  Last month you should have received in your email a personalized Qualtrics link to our Equity Census. Your link is still active and so, if you’ve not already completed the Census, it would be appreciated if you could try to do so this weekend. Early next week, we will resend the Census to those who have not completed it as we intend to develop a complete and accurate picture of the membership (not a sample) for our analyses.

If anyone is interested in joining the Equity and Diversity subcommittee for this year (current members include Momin Rahman and Byron Stoyles, and we are happy to take more), or has any questions, please let me know.

Thanks,

Joanna

Joanna Freeland

Member-at-Large (Equity)


May 4th,  2016 

Dear Colleagues

Items requiring your attention follow:

1. New Executive Committee

We are pleased to announce that, as a result of our election and appointment processes just completed, we have finalized TUFA’s Executive Committee for the coming year. We would like especially to thank departing Executive Committee members Momin Rahman and Marco Pollanen for their service to the Association.  Thanks also to the 2016 Nominating and Elections Committee (J. Watson, C. Eddy, R. Hurley, A. Slepkov, and D. Newhouse) for all their work in finding a candidate for every office.  With a single candidate nominated for each open elected office, the nominated members were then declared elected by acclamation (per Article VII.2 of the TUFA Constitution). The Nominating and Elections Committee also made recommendations to the Executive for each of the open appointed positions in the coming year and the 2015/16 Executive formalized those appointments prior to the May 1st rotation in office.  

Your 2016/17 Executive comprises the following:

President                  - Jocelyn Williams (ANTH)

Vice President          - Dirk Wallschlaeger (TSE/CHEM)

Treasurer                  - Ray Dart (ADMN)

Secretary                  - James Watson (LIBR)

Member-@-Large    - Ingrid Brenner (NURS)

Member-@-Large    - Paul Elliott (EDUC)

Member-@-Large    - Byron Stoyles (PHIL)

Grievance Officer    - David Newhouse (INDG/ADMN)

Chief Negotiator      - Susan Wurtele (GEOG)

M@L (LTAs)           - James Cook (AHCL)

M@L (Equity)         - Joanna Freeland (BIOL)

M@L (Durham)       - Helen Haines (ANTH)

Past President           - Geoff Navara (PSYC)

Please note: TUFA’s incoming President is completing a sabbatical and so the Vice President will be acting in her stead through June 30th.

2. Special General Membership Meeting (mandate setting)

Please hold Wednesday May 25th for a special GMM to set the Association’s bargaining mandate for the coming round of negotiations. The meeting is scheduled to run from 1:30 pm to 3:30 on both campuses (Bata 107.2 and Room 160 in Durham). An Agenda and related documents will be circulated in advance of the meeting.

3. LTAs and Severance Pay

The contracts of many of our LTA colleagues ran out this weekend, and some of these members will not receive 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 their continuing membership status in the union for a period following the termination of employment by the Employer. See TUFA Constitution Article IV, Section 5:

. . . 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.

LTA members’ access to Trent’s library and email services should continue through September 30th, 2016. Please advise the TUFA office if you experience any interruption in these services.

4. Peterborough & District Labour Council – 60th Anniversary dinner

TUFA is sponsoring a table for 8 members to attend the 60th Anniversary celebration of the PDLC at the Kawartha Golf & Country Club (777 Clonsilla Ave) on Friday May 27, 2016. Members interested in attending should contact the TUFA office and we will provide free tickets on a first-come, first-served basis (members may request a 2nd ticket for a guest if so inclined). The evening’s keynote speaker will be Larry Brown, Secretary-Treasurer of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), and TUFA’s former Executive Administrative Officer, George Hewison will be providing music along with the Rank n File Band.

5. Labour History Event at Artspace this Thursday

Members of the Graphic History Collective (GHC) will be unveiling two new projects by the GHC on May 5th (6:00 pm to 7:00 pm) at the Artspace gallery downtown (378 Aylmer Street).

     Project 1: the launch of a new graphic novel: Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working-Class Struggle.

     Project 2: the unveiling of a special May Day billboard on the side of Artspace marking the importance of Canadian labour history.

 

Please see the Facebook event for more information.


April 15th,  2016 

Attached please find the Association’s bargaining bulletin # 5.

For previous issues please see the Trent University Faculty Association’s website.

 


April 8th,  2016 

Attached please find the Association’s  bargaining bulletin # 4.

 

For prior bulletins please see the bargaining page on the TUFA website: trentfaculty.ca

 


April 1st,  2016 

 

Attached please find the Association’s third bargaining bulletin. For previous issues please see the Trent University Faculty Association’s website.

 


March 31st,  2016 

Dear Colleagues,

The TUFA Executive Committee has arranged several additional opportunities for members to consult with us in preparation for bargaining. Other items of interest are also listed below.

 

1. Consultation with probationary members – April 6 at 11:00 am

Pre-tenure members are invited to share their concerns and perspectives with the Union as part of our preparation for bargaining.

  What: Probationary members consultation

  When: Wednesday, April 6th (11:00 am to 12:30 pm)

  Where: Bata Library, Room 103

 

2. Open Consultation – April 6 at 1:00 pm

Any and all TUFA members are invited to participate in this catch-all consultation with the Union’s Chief Negotiator.

  What: General consultation

  When: Wednesday, April 6th (1:00 pm to 2:30 pm)

  Where: GCS 115

 

3. Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education – April 13 at 1:30 pm

The Worldviews annual lecture is co-sponsored by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, OISE/University of Toronto, the Washington-based Inside Higher Ed, the London-based University World News, and the Academica Group. This year’s lecture, “Beyond the Competition Fetish: Higher Education for Global Wellbeing,” will be delivered by Rajani Naidoo, Chair in Higher Education Management at the University of Bath. The lecture will be webcast live. Visit http://worldviewsconference.com/ for more information.

   What: Worldviews Lecture

   When: Wednesday, April 13th (1:30 pm to 3:30 pm)

   Where: Webcast

 

4. OCUFA Status of Women Committee Workshop – April 29 in Toronto

Of interest to academic women in a wide range of fields, this workshop will equip participants with a range of skills - using a 5-minute strategic planning tool in advance of high stakes communications, identifying effective persuasion principles, and increasing impact by combining emotional and rational appeals.  Please contact the TUFA office for more information if you are interested in attending this event.

   What: Status of Women Committee Workshop

   When: Friday, April 29th

   Where: Fairmont Royal York, Toronto

In Solidarity,

 

James and Marcus

 

 

 


March 21st,  2016 

 

Attached please find the Association’s second bargaining bulletin.


March 15th,  2016 

Dear Colleagues,

In addition to the two important events already announced, we would draw your attention to two others on the horizon.

1. Consultation with Chairs and Directors – TODAY March 15 at 2:00 pm

Chairs and programme directors are asked for their feedback on issues of particular concern (workload, remuneration, etc.)

   What: Chairs and Directors consultation

   When: Tuesday, March 15th (2:00 pm to 3:30 pm)

  Where: CC-M2 - Council Chambers (and by conference call)

 

2. Spring General Membership Meeting - TOMORROW March 16 at 4:00 pm

We have scheduled the Spring General Membership Meeting (GMM) to begin at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, March 16th (Champlain’s Living Learning Commons and Room 160 at the Durham campus). OCUFA’s President (Judy Bates – Wilfrid Laurier) and Executive Director (Mark Rosenfeld) will provide a briefing on the provincial climate for bargaining and work being done to address academic precarity in Ontario’s universities.  In addition to reporting on the recent Confronting Precarious Academic Work conference, Judy and Mark will review specific efforts at other campus to improve contingent members’ security of employment.

  What: Spring GMM

  When: Wednesday, March 16th (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm)

  Where: Champlain College Living Learning Commons (Symons) and Room 160 (Durham)

Food and refreshments will be provided at both locations.  

 

3. Keep Hydro Public – Peterborough Campaign Launch – Saturday March 19 at 10:00 am

The Peterborough & District Labour Council has been involved in a developing campaign to resist the privatization of public utilities: Hydro One and Peterborough Distribution Inc. (PDI), particularly. Concerned members are invited to attend the campaign launch this Saturday (RSVPs to Mike Maddock from CUPE Local 504 - mike.maddock@gmail.com or call 705-930-5388). To send a letter to MPP Jeff Leal, there is a quick online template available at:  http://keephydropublic.ca/email-your-mpp/.

   What: Keep Hydro Public – Campaign Launch

   When: Saturday, March 19th, 2016 (10:00 am to noon)

   Where: Sadleir House (751 George St. N., Peterborough)

 

4. OCUFA Status of Women Committee Workshop – April 29 in Toronto

 

Building on the success of last year’s workshop, OCUFA is again hosting a small, interactive communications workshop, this time focusing on the theme of “Increasing your Persuasiveness.”  The ability to convince other people – to approve your idea, follow your leadership, implement your plan – has an enormous impact on your success. This interactive workshop offers research-proven approaches, instructive case studies and hands-on practice in applying the tools to your own persuasive challenges. Of interest to academic women in a wide range of fields, this workshop will equip participants with a range of skills - using a 5-minute strategic planning tool in advance of high stakes communications, identifying effective persuasion principles, and increasing impact by combining emotional and rational appeals.  Please contact the TUFA office for more information, or if you are interested in attending this event.

 

   What: Status of Women Committee Workshop

   When: Friday, April 29th

   Where: Fairmont Royal York, Toronto

 


March 4th,  2016 

Bargaining Bulletin Number One and the Bargaining Primer- delivered to members by Mail Chimp


March 3rd,  2016 

Dear Colleagues,

We have eight events scheduled for the next three weeks, including five targeted consultations related to bargaining. Please read down and make note of any events that you would like to attend.  We expect to schedule some additional consultations after the General Membership Meeting (for pre-tenure members, members involved in graduate supervision, etc.)

1.  Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLIFF) and Reception (Symons) – March 4

We are pleased to be bringing CLIFF to Trent. CLIFF films will be screened in Champlain College (Room 307) beginning at 3:15 pm this Friday.  We will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Tilco Plastics strike and have invited surviving participants to be recognized at the screening and to join us at the reception after (6:00 pm to 7:30 pm). Admission is free and open to all.

  What: CLIFF screenings – Peterborough

  When: Friday, March 4th (3:00 pm to 7:30 pm)

        Screenings: (3:15 pm to 5:45 pm) - Champlain College, Room 307

        Reception: (6:00 pm to 7:30 pm) – Champlain College, Seasoned Spoon

2. Consultation with Durham-based members – March 7

TUFA’s Executive is hosting an open consultation for members employed at the Durham campus.

   What: Durham Campus consultation

   When: Monday, March 7th (3:00 pm to 4:30 pm)

  Where: Durham conference room 160

3. Consultation with Humanities faculty - March 9

Member’s teaching in the Humanities are invited to participate in this open consultation. Let us know if you plan on joining this meeting by phone. 

   What: Humanities consultation

   When: Wednesday, March 9th (3:00 pm to 4:30 pm)

  Where: LEC 212 (and by conference call)

4. Consultation on Research and Intellectual Property - March 10

Do you have concerns about the IP protections afforded you under the collective agreement, or believe improvements are needed in the approach to faculty research? If so, we want to hear from you.

   What: Research/IP consultation

   When: Thursday, March 10th (1:00 pm to 2:30 pm)

  Where: Bata Library, Room 103 (and by conference call)

5.  Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLIFF) and Reception (Durham) – March 10

CLIFF films will be screened in the front Atrium of the Durham Campus beginning at 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 10th. Admission is free and everyone is invited to the reception following (6:00 pm to 7:30 pm)

  What: CLIFF screenings – Oshawa

  When: Thursday, March 10th (4:00 pm to 7:30 pm)

        Screenings: (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) - Durham campus, Front Atrium

        Reception: (6:00 pm to 7:30 pm) – Durham campus, Front Atrium

6. Consultation with Members in the Professional Schools - March 14

Members from the Schools of Nursing, Education, and Social Work are invited to join us for a discussion of their issues, especially in light of the accreditation requirements particular to their programs

   What: Professional Schools consultation

   When: Monday, March 14th (12:00 pm to 1:30 pm)

  Where: Otonabee College, Room 205 (and by conference call)  

7. Consultation with Chairs and Directors - March 15

Chairs and programme directors are asked for their feedback on issues of particular concern (workload, remuneration, etc.)

   What: Chairs and Directors consultation

   When: Tuesday, March 15th (2:00 pm to 3:30 pm)

  Where: CC-M2 - Council Chambers (and by conference call)  

8. General Membership Meeting - March 16

Further to the meeting call sent on March 2nd, we have invited OCUFA’s President (Judy Bates – Wilfrid Laurier) and Executive Director (Mark Rosenfeld) to brief our membership on work being done to address the precarity of many academic staff members’ employment across the province.  In addition to reporting on the recent Confronting Precarious Academic Work conference, Judy and Mark will review specific efforts at other campus to improve contingent members’ security of employment. At Trent, such members comprise approximately 1/3 of our bargaining unit and we can expect that issues relating to LTA employment will be raised by both sides at the bargaining table.

In Solidarity,


March 2nd,  2016 

Dear Colleagues,

We have scheduled the Spring General Membership Meeting (GMM) to begin at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, March 16th (Champlain’s Living Learning Commons and Room 160 at the Durham campus). The Association’s last scheduled GMM did not reach quorum: consequently, the meeting on March 16th will be deemed to have quorum regardless of attendance as per TUFA’s Constitution IX.2(h). Attached please find: 1) the tentative agenda for March 16th, 2) the unapproved minutes from our March (2015) GMM, 3) note of meeting from November 16, 2015, 4) the performance per budget for the period 1 July 2015 through 31 December 2015 with proposed budget for 2016/17, and 5) the 2015 audit.  

Additional documents may follow. Alternative document formats available on request.

Food and refreshments will be provided at both locations.

Per the Association’s “Policy on Payment for Care of Dependants,” individual members anticipating such expenses related to their attendance at this meeting should contact the TUFA office by March 11th to arrange for reimbursement.

In Solidarity,


February 26th, 2016 

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to be bringing the Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLIFF) to Trent’s Symons and Durham campuses.  On March 4th, CLIFF films will be screened in Champlain College (Room 307) beginning at 3:15 p.m. Additionally, we will be using this occasion to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Tilco Plastics strike. In 1966, a small group of women gained national attention when they sought to unionize their Peterborough workplace. Solidarity for these workers was strong and members of Peterborough’s Labour Council went to prison for actively supporting their Sisters on the line.  We have invited surviving participants to join us on March 4th so that we can recognize them for their principled stand a half century ago. Everyone is invited to join us for the reception (6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.) following the initial screening of the films.

Admission to CLIFF screenings and receptions is free to all.  A preliminary list of films is attached. We are still arranging the feature to follow the receptions.

Please note that a second screening of these films will take place on Trent’s Durham campus on Thursday, March 10th.

  What: CLIFF screenings – Symons campus, Peterborough

  When: Friday March 4th

        Screenings: (3:15 pm to 5:45 pm) - Champlain College, Room 307

        Reception: (6:00 pm to 7:30 pm) – Champlain College, Seasoned Spoon

        Feature Film: (7:45 pm to 9:15 pm) - Champlain College, Room 307

               

  What: CLIFF screenings – Durham campus, Oshawa

  When: Thursday March 10th

        Screenings: (4:00 pm to 6:00 pm) – Durham campus, Front Atrium

        Reception: (6:00 pm to 7:00 pm) – Durham campus, Front Atrium

        Feature Film: (7:00 pm to 8:30 pm) - Durham campus, Front Atrium

 

CLIFF at Trent - Sponsoring Organization

Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 3908

Ontario Public Interest Research Group of Peterborough

Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Local 365

Peterborough & District Labour Council

Trent Central Student Association

Trent Durham Student Association

Trent Graduate Student Association

Trent University Faculty Association

 

On behalf of the CLIFF Organizing Committee,

 

James and Marcus


 

February 24th, 2016 

Colleagues,  

It's Course Evaluation time again, and we wanted to take a moment to share some concerns. At last weekend's OCUFA Board Meeting there was a robust discussion of student course evaluations: specifically, how can we balance students’ desire to provide constructive feedback on our teaching, with our need to ensure a fair and robust process given that these evaluations inform hiring, tenure and promotion decisions. There is now a considerable body of literature documenting problems with student course evaluations in general, and online evaluations in particular. Studies have found that the response rate for online evaluations is typically lower than for paper surveys, and that online evaluations tend to result in lower ratings. We learned that some faculty associations are going so far as to advise their LTA and pre-tenure members against using online evaluations. At Trent, TUFA members may elect to use online evaluations if they wish, but they are not obliged to do so. We encourage you to carefully consider your options, and please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or concerns.


February 18th, 2016 

Dear Colleagues, 

As part of the Executive Committee’s pre-bargaining consultation with TUFA members, we have scheduled a Women’s Pre-Bargaining Caucus meeting  for Tuesday February 23rd (3:30 pm – 5:00 pm). The meeting is open to all members identifying as women and will be held in the Seasoned Spoon Cafe (Champlain College). We will provide a conference phone to facilitate the participation of those at Durham or not otherwise able to attend. Members are asked to RSVP (whether attending in person or by phone) so that we can arrange the room appropriately for the number of attendees, and can coordinate those calling in to reduce the number of lines and make it easier for those participating by phone to be heard. 

In Solidarity, Sue


February 11th, 2016 

Dear Members,

1. Nominations for TUFA Executive

The nomination period for elected positions on the Executive Committee closes on the 29th of February.  In addition to the positions previously announced (President, Vice President, and two members-at-large), the Nominating and Elections Committee must also fill the position of Treasurer as our current Treasurer will be on sabbatical next year. All positions are for two-year terms. Completed Executive Nomination Forms (blank attached) should be returned to the attention of the Secretary c/o theTUFA Office (Champlain College - Room E3) or they may be scanned and emailed to TUFA.

2. John Fekete Award (Service)

Thanks to all those who attended our December 10th reception recognizing the late Professors John Gilchrist and Bernie Hodgson. Photos from the event and the terms of reference for the award are all posted to our website. And, of course, we get to do it all again this year. . . provided we receive nominations from you. The deadline for 2016 award nominations has been extended by action of the Executive and Awards Committee to March 2nd. 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. Enquiries, nominations, and supporting materials may be submitted electronically to TUFA or sent directly to the TUFA Office in Champlain College - Room E3.


In Solidarity,

 


January 29th, 2016 

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to advise you of two local events that TUFA is pleased to sponsor:

1. ReFrame documentary film festival - January 29 through 31

Today is the first day of the ReFrame Peterborough International Film Festival. Although festival passes have sold out, rush seats are available for most of the films.  Descriptions of the documentaries being screened, along with information about the festival itself, are available at reframefilmfestival.ca and in the pdf ReFrame Program. TUFA has sponsored the festival for several years and is proud to do so again in 2016. Thanks to all members who participate in, and contribute to ReFrame.

2. Community Movements Conference: Exploring Roots and Routes - February 5 through 7

 

The Community Movements Conference is a student-organized conference that seeks to deepen communication and promote solidarity both locally and globally through workshops, dialogue and critical reflections on challenges in international development. Past conferences have featured noted academics, local and international organizations, and activists. This is a three-day event with a variety of speakers and workshops around the theme of migration.



January 27th, 2016 

Dear Colleagues,

This is a reminder that the first LTA Caucus meeting of the year will be held tomorrow (Thursday, January 28th) in the Morton Reading Room (Champlain College) from 10:30 a.m. to noon.  We have arranged to connect Trent Durham members by conference call from Room 160 on the Oshawa campus.  The meeting is open to all LTA members and you are invited to raise any issues (teaching load, reappointment procedures, etc.) relevant to your contractual rights and representation by the Union.  This is a key opportunity to ensure that your concerns and suggestions inform the bargaining process and our Chief Negotiator will be attending for that reason. We look forward to hearing your views tomorrow.

Members who wish to participate, but are not available to join the meeting at either location, should contact the TUFA office to receive instructions on how they may call-in to the meeting.


January 22nd, 2016 

Dear Colleagues,

The current TUFA Collective Agreement expires on June 30th, 2016, and the Executive Committee will be providing a variety of opportunities for consultation with the membership.  The first such opportunity will be an LTA Caucus meeting (open to all LTA members) on Thursday January 28th  at 10:30 am in the Morton Reading  Room (Champlain College). The meeting is scheduled to run until noon and members may raise any issues, such as teaching load or reappointment procedures, they think relevant to the contractual rights of LTAs and their representation by the Union.  We will have a conference phone set up to facilitate participation for those on the Durham campus or not otherwise able to attend. Members are asked to RSVP (whether attending in person or by phone) so that we can arrange the room appropriately for the number of attendees, and can take steps to coordinate those calling in to reduce the number of lines and make it easier for those participating by phone to be heard.

In Solidarity,

James and Marcus---

R. James Cook,

Member-at-Large (LTA)

Marcus Harvey,

 

Executive Director


January 14th, 2016 

Dear Members,

The 2015/16 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.  Any contested positions will be decided by election with a mailing date of Tuesday, March 15th. Completed nomination forms must be received by the Association's Secretary on or before the 29th of February.

Nominations are to be made for specific positions on the Executive and require two signatures (nominator and candidate). The positions open this year are for the President, Vice President and two members-at-large. All positions are for two-year terms. Completed nomination forms should be returned to the attention of the Secretary c/o theTUFA office (Champlain College - Room E3) or they may be scanned and emailed to the TUFA Office.

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 James Watson (Chair), Charmaine Eddy, Richard Hurley, David Newhouse, and Aaron Slepkov.

On behalf of the Nominating and Elections Committee,
James Watson,

TUFA Secretary


January 8th, 2016 

Dear Colleagues,

For the past several months, the Executive Committee has been working to prepare for the upcoming round of bargaining. Over the course of the semester, we will undertake the consultations with the membership that will inform our objectives and priorities for the bargaining table. As a first step in this process, the Executive is convening the Negotiations Council to facilitate communication with the whole membership and to serve  as a sounding board for bargaining-related matters. Those of you who have been around for several rounds of bargaining may have noticed an evolution in our use of the Negotiations Council and we expect this development to continue. 

As Chief Negotiator, I hope to see a good cross-section of the TUFA membership represented on the Negotiations Council.  As before, we ask that each academic department or unit within the University ensure they have representation on the Council: any TUFA member may serve, departments may name more than one representative, and departments with LTA members are reminded that the participation of such members is encouraged. In addition to departmental nominees, other members may be invited to serve directly by the Executive Committee consistent with our commitment to have broad representation (rank, equity-seeking groups, chairs, graduate directors, etc.) on the Council.

The Council’s initial task will be to advise the Executive on its consultations with our members and, following from that, to assist with the drafting of a bargaining mandate for presentation to the whole membership for endorsement toward the end of this term.

Service on the Negotiations Council will not be onerous. Much of the work will be done via email with occasional meetings. Once bargaining commences, meetings will be called on an as-needed basis. The rhythm of bargaining can be difficult to predict, but the Council operates on the understanding that not everyone will be available to attend every meeting. This, in part, is why we would prefer to have multiple representatives from each department.

In Solidarity,

Sue

 


December  10th, 2015 

TODAY! Join us at 3:00 for an end-of-semester celebration

Whether you are despondent at the ending of classes or wandering the halls, perhaps, in search of refreshment, TUFA has a solution to the December blahs. The French call it camaraderie, but we know it only as camaraderie and will be serving up big helpings of it at the Seasoned Spoon this afternoon.

   What: Fekete Reception and Seasonal Celebration

   Where: Seasoned Spoon (Champlain College)

   When: 3:00 to 5:00 pm today.

 

In Solidarity,

 

Marcus

 


December  8th, 2015 

Colleagues,

There are two opportunities for you to have fun this week.  Sadly, only two.

1. Durham Campus Potluck  

TUFA’s doughty Member-at-large (Durham), Helen Haines, has organized an end-of-semester potluck to be held in the Front East Atrium this Wednesday (December 9th) from 4:30 to 7:00 pm.  Please RSVP a dish either by email or by signing the sheet on her office door (Rm 181).  Plates, cutlery, and drinks (wine/pop) will be provided courtesy of TUFA.

2. John Fekete Award Reception and Seasonal Celebration

Our end-of-semester party on the Symons campus will be held in Champlain College (The Seasoned Spoon) this Thursday (December 10th) from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.  We will be using the occasion to present surviving family members of John Gilchrist and Bernie Hodgson with TUFA’s John Fekete Award and expect a very good turnout. If you are sure of attending, please RSVP so that we can arrange sufficient quantities of food and drink for the event. If you are not sure of attending, let a colleague talk you into it.

In Solidarity,

 

Marcus


December  3rd, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

There are several matters requiring your attention:

1. Volunteers needed for TUFA Committee assignments

TUFA has been very successful in recent years at building up the number of members involved in the Association’s activities.  Increased involvement means increased capacity and this is crucial as we head into bargaining. Now is the time, as they say, for all good TUFANS to come to the aid of the party.  Please consider the following committee assignments and let us know the one(s) on which you are most keen. We have tried to indicate the level of work (light, moderate, infrequent) as well as period of activity for each committee. Contact the TUFA office for additional information.

    Nominating and Elections Committee (light / active December through February)

    Awards Committee: (light / active January through March)

    Intellectual Property and Copyright Committee: (infrequent / throughout the year)

    Grievance Committee (moderate / throughout the year)

2. Upcoming Election and Appointment Calls

The Association will soon open nominations for TUFA Executive officers. This year, we will have four openings to fill amongst the elected officers (President, Vice President, and two members at large).

Our Collective Agreement expires on June 30th, 2016, and the Executive is well into the planning and preparation phase for the coming round of bargaining. To that end, expect a call early in the new year for departments to name representatives to the Negotiations Council which has served us well in the past as a consultative body  advising our bargaining team and Executive Committee. 

3. John Fekete Award Reception and Seasonal Celebration

We are pleased by our success in reaching out to the surviving family members of John Gilchrist and Bernie Hodgson, the two deceased members whom we will be honouring on December 10th.  Although we may not all have had the pleasure of knowing these men, the Association owes them a debt of thanks which we will see paid in this celebration. This is also TUFA’s end-of-semester party and a terrific opportunity to chat and relax with colleagues whose harried steps and furrowed brows have been a source of some concern to you these past few months.  RSVP if you will be joining us at the Seasoned Spoon on December 10th (3:00 to 5:00) for wine, cheese, coffee, pastries, and other such sterling indicators of a really fine time.

4. November GMM follow-up

A low turnout to our November 16th general membership meeting meant that we lacked quorum to conduct the business of the Association. We did, however, proceed with the content of the meeting - received the report of the Auditor and discussed both governance and equity issues at Trent. The Executive Committee has approved the Auditor’s report (circulated in advance of the GMM to all members) and intends to reappoint Steven Bark as the Association’s auditor for 2015/16.  Our guest speaker, Larry Savage, gave an interesting presentation on collegial governance and offered some strategies for strengthening the voice of faculty members and librarians. The Executive Committee anticipates working with our members on Senate and Faculty Board in the new year to consider steps that can be taken in this regard at Trent. Finally, the Equity subcommittee reported on the need for better data on the composition of Trent’s workforce in general and the TUFA membership in particular. To that end, the Executive solicited feedback on a plan to collect information from TUFA members regarding their individual identification with indigenous and equity-seeking groups—especially those related to the protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The information would be collected in a manner that would allow it to identify patterns and issues related to equity in the workplace.  The response to this initiative was quite positive and the Executive anticipates beginning the data collection process early in the new year.

5. OCUFA Conference - Confronting Precarious Academic Work

OCUFA’s 2016 conference will examine the realities of precarious academic work on our universities and consider solutions now and for the future. Key themes include: the impact of precarious academic work on faculty, students, and higher education; learning from the experience of precarious labour in other jurisdictions; responding to the challenges of precarious academic work; and re-imagining academic work for the future. The conference will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel Toronto in Yorkville (February 11-12).  TUFA will support a limited number of members to attend and so please contact the Association as soon as possible if you are interested.

6. Harry Crowe Foundation – Academic Freedom in the Managed University: Controversy, Conflict and Control

Academic freedom is widely recognized as the defining feature and central value of university and college life. New developments within campuses are limiting the ability of academic staff to exercise their right to speak, teach, and conduct research without constraint. The increasing concentration of power in the senior administration and the development of new managerial tools and policies to control and regulate faculty performance and behaviour point to the emergence of a new front in the struggle to defend academic freedom. This conference explores the rise of managerial fundamentalism in the academy, how it is manifested, what it means for academic staff, and what can be done to defend academic freedom in the face of these new challenges. The conference will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown Toronto (February 26-27). As with OCUFA’s conference, there is funding available to support interested members in attending. Contact us for more information. 

 


November 28th, 2015 

Colleagues,

1. Solidarity with Nipissing Faculty

TUFA is pleased to report that after a four-week strike the members of the Nipissing University Faculty Association have reached a tentative agreement with their employer and will be returning to the classroom.  Thanks to our President and Chief Negotiator for walking the line as solidarity picketers with NUFA members at key moments during the strike. For those interested, we have posted a couple of pics of our photogenic leader in action on the TUFA homepage

2. Global Climate Action, Nov. 29

To encourage action at the Climate Change Conference in Paris, a postcard-writing session in Peterborough will ask our politicians—municipal, provincial and federal—to act now. For postcards, come to Trinity United Church, 360 Reid St. (Simcoe St. entrance, a 5 minute walk from the bus station) this Sunday from 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm.  There will be a short talk by Professor Stephen Hill on the Paris conference. For more information contact Linda or Alan Slavin 705-745-5503 or by email <aslavin@trentu.ca>.  This is a child-friendly event: kids needed to help decorate the postcards. 

3. Take Back Our Hospitals! Durham Day of Action Dec. 5th

The Ontario Health Coalition is campaigning to fight Hospital closures and the privatization of medical services. To that end a rally is being planned at the office of MPP Brad Duguid at noon on Saturday December 5th.

   Scarborough/Durham Rally

  Saturday December 5, noon

   Office of MPP Brad Duguid, 2063 Lawrence Ave. E., Scarborough

Buses will be converging on MPP Duguid from the whole region. For more info on buses, email ohc@sympatico.ca or contact Kingsley Kwok (Scarborough) 416-835-3377, Trish McAuliffe (Durham) 905-706-5806. The event is sponsored by the Ontario Health Coalition and local health coalitions in the Scarborough/Durham Region.

4. United Way campaign  

Trent’s United Way campaign is currently short of its $70,000 goal.  With 20% of children under six living in poverty in Peterborough, and 1 in 6 families surviving on an income of less than $20,000 per year, the need for assistance is great. Reaching the fundraising goal will directly assist these disadvantaged members of our community and the United Way is asking for your help.   For those who wish to support the United Way, a copy of the pledge form is attached. Please return the completed form to Alison Scholl (412.3 Bata Library) or, if you prefer to donate online, you can do so here. Please be sure to list Trent University in the comment section, so that your donation is counted in Trent’s campaign.  For additional information, contact Torben Drewes, Faculty Co-Chair of the Trent United Way Campaign.

In Solidarity,

 

James and Marcus


November 23rd, 2015 

Presentation of the 2015 John Fekete Awards

Established in 2012, the John Fekete Award recognizes outstanding service to the Trent University Faculty Association, its members, or the academic profession generally. The award honours Professor John Fekete whose 36-year career as a member of the Trent University faculty was marked by extraordinary leadership, lasting achievements, and extensive service to the Union and its affiliates.

Join us on December 10th as we celebrate TUFA’s history and recognize two former members posthumously for their own contributions to the Association and its members.

John Gilchrist and Bernard (Bernie) Hodgson

December 10th, 2015

3:00 pm  to  5:00 pm

The Seasoned Spoon, Champlain College,

Trent University, Peterborough 


November 13th, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

A reminder that TUFA’s Fall General Membership Meeting (GMM) will begin at noon on Monday, November 16th (Otonabee College Room 143 and Room 160 at the Durham campus). 

We are very pleased that Dr. Larry Savage, Director of Brock University’s Centre for Labour Studies, will be joining us for the agenda discussion of Collegial Governance.  Larry’s research focuses on the politics of organized Labour in Canada, union organizing, and the strategies and tactics of professional unions and their members in the public sector. As a member of the Brock University Faculty Association, Larry was deeply involved in recent efforts by the members at Brock to strengthen the faculty voice on Senate.

Lunch will be provided at both locations.

Per the Association’s “Policy on Payment for Care of Dependants,” individual members anticipating such expenses related to their attendance at this meeting should contact the TUFA office by November 9th to arrange for reimbursement.

 

In Solidarity,


November 12th, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

TUFA President, Geoff Navara, spent a pleasant day last week walking the picket lines with striking members of the Nipissing University Faculty Association (NUFA) who walked off the job on November 2nd following the failure of efforts to come to a deal at the bargaining table with the Employer.  Consistent with TUFA’s standing policy on solidarity contributions, Geoff brought NUFA members an initial cheque for $1,000, pastries, and words of encouragement from their colleagues at Trent.  This kind of symbolic action is terrificly important to maintaining the morale of the striking academics and reminds them that the principles on which they are taking a stand (fair say in university governance, for example) benefit us all.  NUFA and the CAUT Defence Fund have put out a call for a second solidarity picket for this Friday at Nipissing’s Bracebridge campus. We would like to answer that call with a carload of TUFA members.  Nipissing’s Bracebridge campus is about 2 hours from Trent and costs will be covered. . . this is a great opportunity to show solidarity with fellow academic unionists. In addition to sending a car to Bracebridge, TUFA’s Chief Negotiator, Sue Wurtele, will also be on a solidarity picket this Friday, but at Nipissing’s main campus to drop off TUFA’s second solidarity contribution and walk the line in North Bay.

For those interested, we have posted some pics of our photogenic leader in action last week on the TUFA homepage and there is an enormous amount of material on NUFA’s strike website – including a summary of the substantive issues separating the parties. TUFA members interested in joining Friday’s driving picket to Bracebridge should contact the TUFA Office for more information.

In Solidarity,

 

James and Marcus


November 3rd, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

We have scheduled the Fall General Membership Meeting (GMM) to begin at noon on Monday, November 16th (Otonabee College Room 143 and Room 160 at the Durham campus). 

Additional documents (including those pertaining to the Treasurer’s Report and Audit) will follow. Please note that lunch will be provided at both locations.

 

Per the Association’s “Policy on Payment for Care of Dependants,” individual members anticipating such expenses related to their attendance at this meeting should contact the TUFA office by November 9th to arrange for reimbursement.


 

October 23rd, 2015 

Hello TUFA Members,

The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) have partnered with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to produce a survey on workplace stress. The survey is a first step in “assessing improvements to agreements between Faculty Associations and employers, greater awareness amongst Faculty Association members on the range of conditions and behaviours that foster harassment and increase workplace stress.”

I encourage all TUFA members to participate in the survey as it will result in information that should be very helpful in bargaining. The survey is methodologically sound, and will not only tap into what sorts of psycho-social stresses are exerted on members, but also in which areas and on whom. The data collected, when analyzed, can provide information useful in negotiations relating to the safety and well being of members, faculty and librarian complement, workload, and provide us with a better sense of the working conditions of our members on limited term appointments. OHCOW will provide TUFA with customized reports for Trent. The survey will protect confidentiality and data from it will be presented in a manner that protects your anonymity. As with any survey, the greater the response rate, the greater the force and credibility of the reports. Our hope is for a sufficiently robust response to provide useful and usable data on the impact that our workload has on our academic and personal lives.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/OCUFA_Stress_Survey

 

 

In solidarity,


 September 30th, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

Two important items follow:

1. Addressing Precarious Academic Work

Attached please find an open letter from TUFA President, Geoff Navara, on the urgent need to address precarious academic employment at Trent University.  TUFA’s Executive has identified this as a primary concern of the Association, both for our own LTA members as well as for the broader academic community.  To this end, we commend CUPE 3908 for organizing the upcoming  Challenging Intellectual Precarity Symposium at the end of the week. TUFA has offered to cover the registration costs for the first 15 TUFA members to register for the event, and have now filled 4 of these slots. Interested members should contact the TUFA office to be registered for the symposium.

 

2. Get Science Right

With the federal election just weeks away, it is more important than ever to draw public attention to the value of sound science and science policy. CAUT’s Get Science Right campaign is intended to increase voter awareness of such things as the need for better funding for basic research, the independence and integrity of academic research, and greater investment in government science. . . not to mention the value of evidence-based decision making for good and effective governance. For more information about what our colleagues across the country are doing, and what you can do, to champion Science this October, please visit the CAUT’s Get Science Right website as well as  Evidence for Democracy and PIPSC’s PublicScience site.  TUFA has a limited number of Get Science Right door hangers for members who would like to make their support for science a bit more visible!

 

 

In Solidarity,


September 29th, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

Please note the following.

1.  Challenging Academic Precarity Symposium

Our colleagues in CUPE 3908 have organized a three-day, interdisciplinary symposium, Challenging Academic Precarity, to explore the trend away from tenured faculty and toward full-time faculty on part-time wages. The first two days will feature a keynote address, roundtables and panel discussions. The final day will be an exploration of avenues for future intervention and activism. Any TUFA members interested in attending should contact the TUFA office: we will provide complimentary registration to the first 15 members asking to be registered.

 

    What: Challenging Academic Precarity

    When: October 2nd-4th

    Where: Peterborough

 

2.  CAUT Forum for Aboriginal Academic Staff

The Canadian Association of University Teachers has announced that its 5th Forum for Aboriginal Academic Staff will be held November 6th and 7th, 2015, at the Radisson Hotel in Winnipeg.   

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has documented Canada’s practices of cultural genocide and their ongoing effects. The report outlines the actions necessary to redress the legacy of colonialism and advance the process of Canadian reconciliation. The TRC also puts forward powerful recommendations for structural change at Canadian educational institutions, change necessary to achieve truth, justice, and healing. But these recommendations come at a time when governments are harshly cutting expenditures and the entire public education system is under threat. This forum will be a critical opportunity for dialogue among academic staff from across Canada to examine local and national strategies for implementing the Commission’s recommendations - and challenge the destructive economic policies that stand in the way of repairing the damage done by Canada’s colonial project.

Consistent with TUFA’s policy of supporting the conferences of our affiliates, the Association hopes to sponsor several representatives to attend this important event. Please contact the TUFA office if you are interested in participating.

 

3.  TUFA Supports WUSC Student Refugee Program

Acting on a recommendation from the Association’s Committee on Community and Social Justice Contributions, TUFA’s Executive has authorized a $2,500 donation in support of the Trent/WUSC initiative to assist with the Syrian refugee crisis. More information about this initiative is available here and here.  With sufficient support, Trent may be able to host a second Syrian student under this program.  Members wishing to make individuals contributions to the effort should contact Richard Morgan, Trent’s AVP Development: completed pledge forms (see attached) and/or cheques made out to Trent with WUSC noted in the reference should be sent to Richard’s attention in the Advancement Office, Mackenzie House.

4.  All-Candidates Meeting – Social Issues

An All-Candidates meeting to address such issues as Health, Income, Housing, and Immigration has been scheduled for this evening (Tuesday, September 29th) at Market Hall from 7:00 to 9:00 pm with doors opening at 6:30. Attached please find the Legal Centre’s Newsletter which includes the advance questions and backgrounders for this meeting.

 

5.  OCUFA – Status of Women 2015 Award of Distinction

The OCUFA Status of Women committee is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Award of Distinction. This award honours those who have improved the lives of women academic staff at Ontario universities and is presented to a member in good standing of an OCUFA-affiliated faculty association. Information on the award as a listing of past recipients can be found on the OCUFA website.  The deadline for nominations is December 1, 2015.

6.  Voices-Voix report: Dismantling Democracy

The Voices-Voix coalition has prepared a hard-hitting report entitled: “Dismantling Democracy: stifling debate and dissent in Canada.”  The report exposes how the federal government has gutted the capacity of its own departments and independent agencies to offer information and analysis needed to make sound policy choices. From scuttling the long-form census, to muzzling scientists, to cutting funding for evidence-based advocacy, the report argues that the government has pursued a deliberate strategy to repress alternative views. The report's findings draw from 110 case studies and show a pattern of actions by the federal government to silence critics, stifle debate, diminish knowledge, and dodge accountability.

 

7.   Canada Watch: On the Politics of Evidence

The Politics of Evidence Working Group, in collaboration with the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies at York University, have published a special issue of Canada Watch on the Politics of Evidence. This issue also  includes essays written by Technoscience Research Unit and Technoscience Salon community members: Natasha Myers, Lina Beatriz Pinto García, Denielle Elliott, and Michelle Murphy.

8.  TCSA – Election Day request

The TCSA is working hard to encourage student voting in the October 19th federal election and asks that TUFA members be mindful of the potential impact this may have on classes that day. Students who live off campus will be voting at polls downtown and the TCSA has hired extra buses to help students travel between campus and their polling stations. Depending on the waiting time at the polls, students may be delayed in arriving to some of their classes.  Anything that TUFA members can do to encourage student participation in the federal election will be greatly appreciated.

 

In Solidarity,

 

James and Marcus


September 15th, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

 

A welcome back Wine and Cheese Party at Trent’s Durham campus will take place this Thursday evening (September 17th) beginning at 5:30 pm in the East Atrium. Thanks to Helen Haines, the Executive Committee’s Member-at-Large (Durham), for organizing this meet-and-greet. The event is open to all TUFA and CUPE 3908 members (poster attached).

 

In Solidarity,


September 14th, 2015 

Colleagues,

The Trent University Faculty Association is of one voice in expressing its alarm at the threats that have been aired at feminist scholars at the University of Toronto.  Universities are built upon a foundation of free inquiry.  As faculty members and academic librarians, we recognize that this inevitably means raising questions that challenge existing norms. We also realize that violence against women is a contemporary reality across Canada and around the world.  Trent has proudly sponsored a program in gender and women studies for decades, and there are many students and faculty in academic programs across the university who are committed to a critical engagement with feminist issues.  TUFA recognizes that critical analysis of inequities on these and other grounds are an essential part of what we do. We continue to voice concern and call for action related to missing and murdered aboriginal women and we join our U of T colleagues and the many students who study with them, in standing firm in the face of threats, and carrying on the indispensable work of understanding gender inequality in our society.

In Solidarity,


September 11th, 2015 

 

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of TUFA’s Executive Committee and staff, welcome back to Trent at the start of a new academic year. I trust that you found time over the summer, not only to be productive in your academic endevours, but also to carve out opportunities to refresh and restore yourself. For those who are joining us for the first time, I wish to extend a special welcome. I hope that your time here at Trent will be rewarding and exceed your expectations.

Last year, the membership approved a new constitution for the Association. As a result, we now have a larger and more representative Executive representing the faculty at large, but also providing insight from various sections of our membership (e.g., LTAs, Durham, diversity and equity seeking groups). The twelve members currently serving on the Executive (listed below) are a  robust group of individuals with whom I look forward to working in the coming year. Please feel free to reach out to any one of us with comments, feedback or concerns.

This coming year promises to be filled with critical discussion and action, requiring the engagement of the membership as a whole. Our collective agreement expires on June 30th, 2016, and we must soon gear up for negotiations with the Employer. As in previous rounds of bargaining, this will involve the Executive, Chief Negotiator and Bargaining Team seeking input from, and providing information to, the membership throughout the process. 

With respect to TUFA’s Pension Arrangement, the Executive continues to work with the Employer on the possibility of migrating our stand-alone pension plan into a larger jointly sponsored pension plan (JSPP). Procedures for such transfers are being finalized by the Ontario Government. A transfer to a JSPP would provide Trent with relief from the solvency deficit special payments that are projected to consume a devastating proportion of the University’s operating budget in future years while at the same time providing employees a shared role in plan management and access to more diverse investment options, not available to small plans like ours. It should be stressed, however, that no such migration of our Plan could occur without further member consultation and consent.

The Ontario Government is in the process of developing a new funding formula for the Post Secondary Education sector. TUFA’s Executive is working alongside the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) to raise awareness of funding issues relevant to Trent with the appropriate decision-makers.

The matter of job precarity continues to be a vexing issue for many TUFA members. With continuing cuts to the instructional budget, the number of limited term appointments available could be further reduced in coming years. This situation is not unique to Trent, and the Executive is working with our provincial (OCUFA) and national (CAUT) affiliates to advocate on behalf of precariously employed academics. This will, undoubtedly, be an important issue in bargaining.

This is a sample of the many issues and concerns that we as an Association will be addressing in the coming year. I believe that we have a strong foundation as an advocacy organization with a commitment to fairness and equity. Over the years, I have had the privilege of talking with people who have taught and worked at Trent for over 30 years. These individuals fought for many of the collective rights that we now enjoy. From these TUFA veterans, I often hear that “there is nothing new” or “we’ve seen this before” in relation to the latest crisis.  I take these words to heart as we enter into the year ahead. There is within our membership incredible insight and knowledge and we strengthen and build our union as we address each new challenge in its turn. Our Association is an agent of change at our University, and collectively we have the capacity to make Trent an even better place to work and study.

 

Your Executive Committee:

Geoff Navara, President, Psychology,

Dirk Wallschlaeger, Vice President, Chemistry

Marco Pollanen, Treasurer, Mathematics

David Newhouse, Grievance Officer, Indigenous Studies/ Business Administration,

James Watson, Secretary, Library,

Susan Wurtele, Chief Negotiator, Geography

Momin Rahman, Member at Large (Equity), Sociology

Jocelyn Williams, Past-President, Anthropology

Ingrid Brenner, Member at Large, Nursing/Biology

Helen Haines, Member at Large (Durham), Anthropology

R. James Cook, Member at Large (LTA), Ancient History & Classics

Byron Stoyles, Member at Large, Philosophy

------

In Solidarity,

 

Geoff


 

September 9th, 2015 

 

All-Candidates meeting

Where: McDonnel St. Activity Centre (Lawn Bowling Clubhouse)

Date: Thursday September 10th

Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm (admission starting at 6:30 pm)

Refreshments provided.

Everyone welcome. Please distribute widely.

 

Join us for an All-Candidates meeting focused on the needs of working people:       Health Care,  Retirement Security,  Good Jobs,  Universal Child Care

 

Sponsored by The Peterborough and District Labour Council and the employees of Trent University:

      TUFA         CUPE 3908         OPSEU 365           CUPE 3205

 

 

In Solidarity,


August 28th, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

TUFA is planning several events in the first weeks of September. 

1. Picnic – September 3rd

We need to know how many members plan on attending our afternoon picnic on September 3rd.  If you’ve not already replied to our previous message (copied below), please send a quick yes/no to us in response to this email to let us know if you’re planning on joining us for lunch on the 3rd. We’ll have an assortment of sandwiches, salads, and treats at no cost to members or their families.

Previous Message:

Dear Colleagues,

As we steel ourselves for the academic year ahead, there yet remain some fragments of summer left to enjoy. To that end, TUFA members and their families are invited to attend a Welcome Back picnic on September 3rd at the Riverview Park and Zoo (1230 Water Street, close to main campus). We have reserved Picnic Shelter 2 (see attached map) with parking close by.  The picnic will run from 12:00 to 3:00. Members with children are encouraged to bring along frisbees, soccer balls, croquet gear and any other games not involving bouncy castles (Park rules) or sharpened projectiles (TUFA rules). Of course, the Park also has a children's playground with splash pad, a miniature train, and the zoo exhibits themselves to be enjoyed (see Park Info for more information).  For the safety of animals in the zoo, pets (with the exception of working service dogs), alcohol, balloons and drinking straws are not permitted on site.

To facilitate the ordering of food, please rsvp to TUFA and do let us know if you have any special dietary needs. The Association's email list for LTAs may not be up-to-date with regard to new LTA hires and so Chairs are asked to ensure that new TUFA members in their department receive this invitation. .  . .

 

2. All Candidates Meeting – September 10th

On September 10th, join us for an All-Candidates meeting hosted by Peterborough and District Labour Council and co-sponsored by Trent’s unions -- TUFA, CUPE 3908, and OPSEU 365. The event will focus on the needs of working people and related issues (good jobs, child care, retirement security, and health care).

   What: All-Candidates meeting

   Where: 577 McDonnel St (McDonnel St. Activity Centre/Lawn Bowling Clubhouse)

   When: Thursday, September 10th 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm (admission starting at 6:30 pm)

 

   Refreshments provided

 


July 9th, 2015 

Dear Colleagues,

Please note the following.

1.  Salary Parity Adjustment

The Union has confirmed with the Employer that this year’s salary parity adjustment will be 1.71%. Consequently, the value of all steps on the salary scale increased by 1.71% effective one minute before midnight on June 30, 2015. This change, along with annual step progression, should be reflected in members’ July pay.

 

2.  Flexible Benefits  

The Union has agreed to sign a letter of understanding with the Employer expanding TUFA members’ use of the TrentU card on an interim basis, to permit members to use their flexible benefit for any service provided by the TrentU card. This includes, but is not limited to, On and Off campus food service providers (including Whistle Stop, Black Honey, and Nata’s Café), Trent Athletics, Trent Parking fees, City Bus Pass, Bookstore, and the Trent Print and Post.

 

3.  Solidarity Petition – Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association

Esmail Abdi, a leader of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association, was arrested on the 27th of June following his attempt to obtain a visa to attend the 7th Education International World Congress in Ottawa in late July. After his passport was confiscated at the border, Abdi was ordered to return to Tehran to meet with prosecutors. However, upon reporting to the prosecutors' office he was arrested. Abdi's arrest comes after nationwide rallies were held earlier this year to protest wages that leave the majority of teachers below the poverty line. Education International is deeply concerned about the repression facing representatives of the Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers Trade Associations and has asked LabourStart to launch a petition campaign.

It will only take a minute -- please send your message of support now.

 

4.  Black Lives Matter – Peace Vigil

Please join Community and Race Relations Committee and the Peterborough Peace Council for a Peace Vigil at Confederation Square to honour those murdered in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, N.C. and those resisting racism everywhere. (Flyer attached)

When: Sunday, July 12th at 2:30pm         

Where: 500 George St. N., Peterborough (Across from City Hall)

June 21st, 2016