Board meeting report: January 19, 2023

Here’s what the Board talked about at its last meeting:

  • The Policy 76/77 update and panel discussion, and the policy drafting committee’s process so far. You can watch the P76/77 panel on Microsoft Stream here (UW login required) and read the PDC members’ report on this blog.
  • The CAUT Equity Conference is coming up on February 10. Two or three members of the Equity Committee will be attending, and registration is still open.
  • Policy 3 (Sabbatical and other leaves). The Board agreed to proposed changes to Policy 3 that would allow faculty to transition between sabbatical and sick leave in the event of extended illness. This should be approved at Faculty Relations Committee soon and then sent to the Board of Governors. These changes were prompted by recommendations based on past Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee cases.
  • FAUW leadership transition. As we announced earlier this month, Lori Curtis has stepped down and vice president Mary Hardy has now assumed the role of president. The Board voted to have president-elect David Porreca begin his term in May this year, instead of July, and to have David join the board in a non-voting capacity until his term as president begins, to facilitate a smoother transition. David is a past president of FAUW (2012–2015) and will bring experience and institutional memory that will be very useful at this time.
  • Salary Anomaly Working Group. The Board appointed Rashmee Singh, Kate Rybczynski, and Michael Wallace as the FAUW representatives on the working group.
  • The salary negotiation team. Salary negotiations begin late this year, and will be issuing a call for interested team members in the coming weeks. Please send us any recommendations you have! We need a strong leader for the team, and at least one accountant.
  • The University’s mask policy. We’ve heard from several members who do not feel safe in small, crowded classrooms without asking students to mask. FAUW is considering asking for the data on which the University is basing its masking decisions.
  • CUPE sessional unionization. President Mary Hardy met with CUPE representatives and expressed support for their organizing efforts. She notes that there’s no disagreement about who represents whom.
  • Mary also met with the Staff Association to discuss common issues, including snow days and pension & benefits.

Policy 76/77 progress report as we head into mediation

Su-Yin Tan, Paul Wehr, and Mary Hardy (FAUW representatives on the 2022–23 Policy 76/77 drafting committee)

In late 2022, a new “path forward” for updating policies 76 (Faculty Appointments) and 77 (Tenure and Promotion of Faculty Members) was agreed with the university administration at the Faculty Relations Committee (FRC), in an attempt to bring to a conclusion the prolonged efforts to improve and regularize terms and conditions of employment for Lecturers, through the creation of a Teaching Stream professoriate.

The “path forward” outlined a four-step path, summarized here:

  1. The administration and FAUW will exchange policy drafts at the Faculty Relations Committee (FRC), beginning October 20, 2022.
  2. A Policy Drafting Committee (PDC) will convene for four meetings, co-chaired by representatives from the administration and FAUW.
  3. If there are outstanding matters that cannot be expeditiously addressed at FRC, an external mediator will assist in reaching an agreement at the PDC.
  4. Any matters still without agreement will be sent to interest arbitration with the mediator.

The FAUW PDC reps are Su-Yin Tan (Continuing Lecturer, and Chair of the Lecturers Committee since 2019), Paul Wehr (Continuing Lecturer, Chair of the Lecturers Committee Chair 2017–2019), and Mary Hardy (Professor, FAUW President). All three are elected members of the FAUW Board of Directors.

Policy drafts were exchanged in October, and the PDC completed its meetings in early January. The FRC has now agreed to proceed to step #3, in which an external mediator will assist both parties in reaching an agreement. As a result, we are now able to report back to the FAUW membership the results of steps #1 and #2, as we proceed into mediation sessions.

Continue reading “Policy 76/77 progress report as we head into mediation”

How often should we get paid?

Faculty and most staff at Waterloo are paid once a month, on the last Friday of the month. The University might consider the option of twice-monthly (two paycheques every month) or biweekly (a paycheque every two weeks) pay periods instead, if there’s enough demand from employees.

This poll is now closed.

Results

ResponsePercentage of responsesNumber of responses
Strongly prefer twice-monthly35%159
Slightly prefer twice-monthly12%55
No preference19%86
Slightly prefer monthly11%52
Strongly prefer monthly22%101
Total99%453

Bleak, but… (GM and board meeting reports: December 2022)

The highlight of the fall general meeting on December 7 was definitely Jay Dolmage’s audio glitching and getting stuck in a loop of him saying “bleak, but” as he tried to provide an update on the employee accommodations policy. (Jay later summarized in the chat: “PDC 57 has some reason to be optimistic that we can move this along in the new year.”)

“Bleak, but…” turns out to be a good summary of how members seem to be feeling about the role of faculty in governance at Waterloo. Policy development keeps stalling, faculty feel like senate meetings are rubber stamping sessions, and we don’t really get a say in a lot of university guidelines and academic processes that affect our work.

But there’s cause for hope. The administration agrees that the policy development process isn’t working, and we’ll be talking about how to fix that as soon as we see how the new Policy 76 process works out. There’s some real desire and momentum right now among members to find better ways of doing things, whether that’s a revised Policy 1 (the policy on policies), moving more items into the Memorandum of Agreement, or considering certification. And, most importantly, a whole lot of faculty members are interested and engaged with these issues and offering some great suggestions. Now we just need to make them happen. Some ideas we’ve heard recently—at this meeting or otherwise—include:

  • Regular open discussions about hot issues
  • Mobilizing faculty senators—maybe meeting in advance of senate meetings
  • Better tracking of member suggestions and Board follow up
  • Negotiating a workload policy
  • Solidarity with other employee and student groups at UW
  • Improving APRs (the process for these is governed by the MoA, but standards are currently set by each Faculty and department)
  • A member engagement committee to build networks and identify opportunities for members to work on issues
  • And, of course, the internal governance review that will be starting soon

What do you want to make happen, and how? Let us know in the comments, or contact Mary Hardy, acting president, or David Porreca, president-elect.

2023 negotiation priorities

We asked for ideas for goals in our next round of negotiations, which start in late 2023. Here are the most common suggestions:

Continue reading “Bleak, but… (GM and board meeting reports: December 2022)”

Member poll: Hybrid events

Other than the Hagey Lecture, FAUW events have so far remained fully virtual. We are considering starting to offer hybrid workshops and other events (e.g., town halls, general meetings) in 2023, depending on member interest.

Please fill out this poll to help us start planning these events – and feel free to leave a comment to expand on your answer!

If the poll isn’t working for you, try turning off any anti-tracking or ad-blocking extensions.

Board meeting report: November 2022

Here’s what the Board of Directors has discussed at recent meetings:

The 2022 Hagey Lecture. The recording of this year’s lecture, delivered by the Stratford Festival’s Antoni Cimolino, is now available.

Council of Representatives: The Board discussed (and supported) suggestions from Council members for FAUW to conduct more surveys and discussions with members. Be sure to ask your representative for more information from the latest Council meeting and FAUW’s new mask posters. We are still looking for representatives from the School of Architecture and the Stratford School.

Meeting tips: FAUW Parliamentarian Katy Fulfer shared a Robert’s Rules tip that unanimous or general consent can be a quick way to dispense of “routine business” or “questions of little importance.” The chair would say something along the lines of “If there is no objection, can be minutes be approved by unanimous consent?” If so, great! No need to deal with Teams lag when looking for virtual hands in getting a seconder. If anyone objects, then the usual process ensues.

Our 2021-22 audit. Our auditor presented the results of the audit for fiscal year 2021-22. The audited financial statements will be presented at the fall general meeting on December 7.

MoA changes. The Board approved minor changes to our Memorandum of Agreement with the University that were necessitated by Tri-Agency funding requirements. The changes still need to be approved by the University President and will be sent to faculty once they’re finalized.

The FAUW governance review. The Board voted to proceed with having Canadian Association of University Teachers lead the governance review. We still need to sort out the details and structure of the review but expect it to get underway soon, so get your input and ideas ready!

Policies 76 and 77. The path forward for resolving these policies was endorsed by lecturers and approved at Senate. We have now exchanged policy drafts with the administration and are determining which items we agree on, and which items the policy drafting committee will work on.

Compensation negotiations. We will soon need to put together a three-person negotiating team to start preparing for our 2023-24 negotiations. We’re also interested in hearing suggestions for negotiating priorities from members—drop them in the comments!

Committee and other appointments. Zelalem Negeri from Statistics and Actuarial Science has joined the FAUW Equity Committee, and Kaishu Wu is now our representative on the OCUFA Contract Faculty Committee, to keep us up-to-date with what’s happening with contract faculty across the province.

Board meeting report (and other updates): September 29, 2022

Here’s what we talked about at the September 29 meeting—plus a couple other updates:

Adjourning meetings. You might find our parliamentarian’s ‘fun fact’ from this meeting useful for your own regular meetings. Because board meetings have a set end time, and a regular schedule, a motion to adjourn is not needed if the meeting has reached its scheduled end time. If there is pending business, it gets carried over automatically to the next scheduled meeting.

New Faculty Dinner. Lori Curtis (FAUW president) noted the success of this year’s New Faculty Dinner, which is co-sponsored by FAUW and the University. We also help coordinate New Faculty Orientation. It’s been great meeting new faculty members in person this year, and we look forward to continue seeing you all at FAUW events!

OCUFA Advocacy Day. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations holds an annual “advocacy day,” when representatives from faculty associations meet with members of the provincial parliament to raise awareness about key issues in the postsecondary sector.  This year’s Advocacy Day will be an important opportunity to raise faculty concerns with the newly elected members of the provincial parliament and make the case for meaningful investment in public university funding, supporting university research, addressing fairness for contract faculty, and protecting our public universities. This year’s Advocacy Day is November 15, and FAUW plans to send at least one member of the Board.

Six Nations scholarship funding. The second round of scholarship funding has been issued to the Grand River Post Secondary Education Office to support Waterloo students from the Six Nations of the Grand River.

UW’s draft Electronic Monitoring Guideline. The administration shared a draft of this new guideline with FAUW, asking for feedback from FAUW. This is not the first time that FAUW has pointed out that, had employee groups been involved earlier in the process, we could have raised concerns earlier so they could be addressed more easily. This is also not the first time we’ve pointed out that a guideline should probably be an FS-class policy because it very directly concerns our terms of employment. You can expect to see this guideline in place by the provincial deadline of October 11, 2022.

A note on masks: Research shows that providing free masks and giving reminders are effective ways of getting people to wear masks. If you want, you could have your department order free surgical masks, N95s, or cloth masks and filters from Central Stores, and then place a box at the front of your classroom.

Board meeting report: September 15, 2022

The FAUW Board of Directors met for the first time in the 2022–23 academic year on September 15. For those new to the blog, we (try to) provide updates after (most) board meetings, to keep members up to date on what we’re working on.

At this meeting:

The board welcomed new directors and FAUW’s new executive manager, Matthew Root. If you missed it in our latest newsletter, Matt’s background is in labour relations, specifically in the broader public sector and post-secondary education fields, and he started in August. New directors this year are Nancy Worth (Geography), Shannon Majowicz (School of Public Health Sciences), and Paul Wehr (Psychology). See the full list of directors here.

Parliamentarian Katy Fulfer gave a refresher on what a parliamentarian is:

A parliamentarian is an advisor to an organization, including but not limited to the president, a meeting chair, officers, committees, and members, on rules of order (47:46). Their advice is non-binding. The president or (in a meeting) the meeting chair gets to make the final decision about procedure.

I imagine the parliamentarian like an angel on your shoulder, whispering advice. In the lingo of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, this angel is lawful neutral. The lawful part is probably obvious. The neutrality speaks to the parliamentarian’s role as a consultant. They do not participate in debate, and Robert’s Rules of Order goes as far to say they should abstain from voting unless ballots are used, where their vote will not be seen by members (47.55). 

Policy updates

FAUW President Lori Curtis expanded on some updates delivered at the August general meeting about the status of some policy issues. While we hear a lot about Policy 76/77, Policy 57 (Accommodations), Policy 12 (Compassionate Care Leave), and Policy 33 (Ethical behaviour) also remain incomplete. Our FAUW reps are pushing for movement on P57 and P12 at their PDCs. It is our understanding that Policy 33 is with the Secretariat. Lori also noted that FAUW brought up the Salary Anomaly Review again at the last Faculty Relations Committee meeting. While administration states they are fully supportive of the process beginning, we will keep pushing for this to actually move it forward. We also reminded the administration about the letters from the Equity and Lecturers committees with recommendations for improving the review process.

Continue reading “Board meeting report: September 15, 2022”

Fact Check: How to Fix Policy 76 in 19 minutes

—FAUW Lecturers Committee, August 19, 2022

A recent guest post on this blog outlined, in a video, a potential solution to Policy 76. Using the 2021 Lecturers Survey, the FAUW Lecturers Committee would like to add data points that are relevant to this discussion. The survey achieved an 80% response rate (192/240) lecturers.

Assumptions in the video

The proposed solution in the guest blog was based on several key assumptions:

Assumption 1:  A “common rule of thumb” that one teaching task = 10% of workload.

Response: Such a rule of thumb is not written in any policy or document that we are aware of. A clear definition of a “teaching task” does not currently exist for either Lecturers or tenure-track faculty. Such a definition would fall under the purview of a workload policy, which UW does not have. Other institutions, such as the University of Toronto have workload policies.

Assumption 2:  The majority of Lecturers have an 80% teaching, 20% service load.

Response: Based on the 2021 Lecturers Survey results only 43% of respondents actually have an 80% teaching/20% service load. Although 80/20 is the most popular type of lecturer contract, it does not apply to the majority of lecturers. The table below shows which contract types exist among survey respondents and how many lecturers fall into each contract type:

Continue reading Fact Check: How to Fix Policy 76 in 19 minutes