Weekly Update – November 12, 2021

November 12, 2021

Weekly Update – November 12, 2021

 

Updated: Grievance Advisory – Direct consultation with CUASA bargaining unit members for HyFlex courses

The Association is issuing a revised version of our advisory from last week on HyFlex courses in order to make a correction, and to provide further clarity on different issues.

HyFlex courses – Article 13 consultations related to Winter term 2022 and onward

The Association is receiving reports that University administrators are attempting to discuss at upcoming meetings, or are already discussing, the issue of HyFlex courses directly with its members, as if the issue is fully resolved.

Under the terms of Item 25 of the Minutes of Settlement for the 2021-2024 collective agreement, “The Parties agree that given the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergency laws and pandemic management legislation, it is important for the parties to consult about COVID-19 associated changes to working conditions.”

CUASA views any implementation of HyFlex courses to be a substantial change to working conditions for its members. It is essential that the University engage in discussions with the Association before making any changes to course delivery requirements.

Until such discussions are held, and the parties determine an appropriate way forward, all members continue to have rights to decline a HyFlex assignment if they believe that it will increase their workload contrary to Article 13, or if it continues to be unsafe for them to conduct an in-person component pursuant to Article 35 of the collective agreement and all the laws of Ontario.

CUASA members are asked to promptly notify the Association if any of the following occur: any consultations held directly with them on the issue of HyFlex; if the modality of any assigned course is being changed to HyFlex for this academic year; or if they are being ordered to teach HyFlex after having already declined to do so and in accordance with their rights on this matter. Members are reminded that the general teaching assignment consultation process for each academic year has also not changed and no agreement between the parties has been reached to amend any past practice that may exist at the unit or faculty levels above that which is prescribed by the collective agreement. Therefore, Articles 6, 13, and 15 continue to fully apply in the circumstances.

The Association is also aware that University administrators have been directly approaching and informing Senate on the issue of HyFlex. The collective agreement identifies the parties’ agreement to respect the traditional role of Senate, which is an academic one. On matters related to articles of the collective agreement, the labour relations dispute about HyFlex may only be resolved between the Association and the University. Any CUASA Senator who believes they are being informed differently during the course of their service or asked to resolve labour relation matters in Senate contrary to the Minutes of Settlement for the 2021-2024 collective agreement have rights under the CUASA collective agreement and are asked to contact grievances@cuasa.ca immediately.

Student Experience Questionnaires for HyFlex

Further, in line with the recent award from Arbitrator Knopf on the administration of student experience questionnaires, the format for student evaluations of teaching to be used for hybrid courses, including but not limited to HyFlex courses, shall be discussed between the parties at the JCAA. CUASA members have the right to determine the mode of delivery for their questionnaires, and how that delivery will happen for hybrid courses is still to be determined.

 

CUASA Welcomes Dr. Dominique Marshall as Vice President

The Association is excited to welcome Dr. Dominique Marshall, Professor in the Department of History, as its new Vice President. Dr. Marshall will begin transitioning into the role in the coming weeks.

We extend a sincere thank you to Dr. Marshall for being willing to take on this important position.

 

ICYMI: Solidarity with UOITFA and UMFA

CUASA stands in solidarity with our colleagues at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association (UOITFA) who are nearing a strike position, and at the University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA), who are presently on strike. Please see below for more information on how you can show your support.

UOITFA

Members of the UOITFA have voted 90% in favour of striking if the Ontario Tech administration refuses to agree to a fair deal. The vote comes after six months of bargaining, during which the UOITFA has been urging the Ontario Tech administration to take action on issues related to faculty burnout including workload, mental health, pay equity, and pension issues.

Please show your support for the UOITFA by sending a letter to the Ontario Tech administration today here: https://www.uoitfa.ca/take-action

UMFA

Members of UMFA are on strike after negotiations reached an impasse when mediation failed to produce an agreement. UMFA tabled a final offer that prioritized recruitment and retention and would have avoided a strike, which was rejected by the university administration.

Call or email University of Manitoba President Michael Benarroch and tell him to stand up for faculty and students by giving UMFA a fair deal: 204-474-9345 or president@umanitoba.ca.

CUASA’s External Relations Officer, Raj Singh, wrote to President Benarroch to express support for UMFA. You can read that letter here.

 

Academic Community Updates

OCUFA supports college faculty bargaining for better working conditions

OCUFA, which represents 17,000 securely and precariously employed faculty, academic librarians, and other academic professionals at Ontario’s universities, stands in solidarity with college faculty across the province as they work to negotiate a new collective agreement.

Represented by the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU), the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology-Academics (CAAT-A) bargaining team has a strong mandate from its members to seek improvements on workload, working conditions, equity, Indigenization, and intellectual property rights. These concerns are shared by OCUFA’s members and must be adequately addressed by Ontario’s College Employer Council (CEC) to ensure a high-quality, accessible postsecondary education system in Ontario.

To keep reading, click here.

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