Weekly Update – November 5, 2021
November 5, 2021
Weekly Update – November 5, 2021
Grievance Advisory – Direct consultation with CUASA bargaining unit members for HyFlex courses
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.
By order of Arbitrator Knopf, hybrid courses, including but not limited to HyFlex courses, shall be discussed between the parties at the JCAA. 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, and particularly those that are governed by an arbitrator’s direction, 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 Arbitrator’s direction have rights under the CUASA collective agreement and are asked to contact firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
Promotion For Instructor Is with PhDs
This week, CUASA received a proposed Memorandum of Agreement from the University to settle the issue of promotion to Instructor II for those Instructor Is with PhDs who were hired prior to May 1, 2021. Per the proposed MOA, all employees currently at the rank of Instructor I who hold a PhD shall be promoted to the rank of Instructor II effective September 1, 2021.
CUASA held a meeting of the Instructor caucus this afternoon to present the proposed MOA and seek feedback from our Instructor members. We are pleased to announce that the following motion was passed unanimously by those in attendance:
MOVED (C. Fogarty-Bourget/E. Cyr) that CUASA Instructors accept the University’s proposed Memorandum of Agreement as presented.
Accordingly, we have informed the University of the Association’s acceptance of the Memorandum of Agreement as presented. Updates on the implementation of this agreement will be shared as they become available.
In case you missed it, last week we announced a new intersectional, multi-disciplinary project from the CUASA Anti-Racism Working Group (ARWG). The project, called Provocative Practice, is dedicated to anti-oppression work in the union community.
Each issue of Provocative Practice is guided by a keyword that reaches across disciplines to find the intersections between pedagogies, practices, and interventions committed to anti-oppression.
The first issue is entitled “Movement: An Interview with Dr. Kelly Fritsch” and can be found here: https://cuasa.ca/pp.
Background report on the history of the IHRA “working definition of anti-Semitism”
Over the past year, the Council of CUASA has received several requests to consider the “working definition of anti-Semitism” adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance plenary session on May 26, 2016.
For the purposes of assisting Council with this discussion, Council Member and Professor in the Department of History, Dr. Dominique Marshall, has written a background paper for the CUASA membership on the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism and its relation to the academic context.
You can read Dr. Marshall’s report here.
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.
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. UOITFA members care deeply about student learning conditions and faculty working conditions which is why they voted so strongly in favour of striking if the university fails to address these serious 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
We would appreciate your assistance in circulating the link to the letter as broadly as possible via email and social media to your friends, family, and colleagues.
Together, we can support UOITFA to avoid a strike and improve faculty working conditions and student learning conditions at Ontario Tech.
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.
A record-setting 85 percent of UMFA’s members voted in favour of strike action. Wages of UMFA members rank second-last of Canada’s largest 15 research universities.
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 email@example.com.
CUASA’s External Relations Officer, Raj Singh, wrote to President Benarroch to express support with UMFA’s modest salary demands and to call on the University of Manitoba administration to come to an agreement that UMFA will be satisfied with. You can read that letter here.