The start of our October 25 Board meeting was disrupted by a visit from a familiar-looking chicken farmer and their prize chicken.
(Watch the video or read the description on YouTube.)
Something was also a little off about the FAUW executive officers that day…
But hey, there was candy!
The actual meeting
Reports from visitors
After this bizarre delay, the meeting began with an update from Fatma Gzara on the progress of the the Complementary Teaching Assessment Project Team (CTAPT). CTAPT was tasked with “researching and developing methods of assessing teaching and learning complementary to Student Course Perception surveys.” Fatma told us that CTAPT has hired a researcher to review the literature and how teaching is assessed at other universities, the U15 in particular.
The results of our two referenda came back this week, one on FAUW’s dues structure and another on some relatively minor changes to the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA). Both passed, with large majorities of FAUW’s membership in agreement (86% of voters were in favour of the dues change and 94% for the MoA changes). If you missed the votes or want to learn more about them, read more about why our dues structure is changing and the changes to the MoA.
A member recently raised a concern about being asked to teach at irregular times. Leaving aside the possibility of extenuating circumstances, which requires further exploration and discussion on our end, we want to take the opportunity to make sure our members are aware that you cannot be mandated to teach outside of the core hours of 8:30 to 5:30. There is a standard Instructor Teaching Constraints and Preferences Form that at least some departments are using (Economics, for example), and you’ll see that you have to opt in to evening teaching hours.
Katy Fulfer from FAUW’s Equity Committee also visited to talk about faculty and student responses to the anti-immigration event that almost happened on campus in April of this year. Of note:
- Student organizers who received emails of support from individual faculty members felt supported and were able to use these letters to show the legitimacy of their concerns to the administration.
- Faculty would have appreciated a forum to discuss issues and organize actions with other faculty members. FAUW (or the Equity Committee) might be a good facilitator for this conversation. Not having this kind of discussion left faculty feeling isolated, especially those most threatened by anti-immigrant views.
A few briefer updates:
- The Board expects to see a lecturers salary working group report by mid-November.
- The Pension and Benefits Committee voted last week on how to spend the additional funding for benefits that we negotiated earlier this year. We are happy to announce that the reimbursement rate for dental will be going up from 80% to 95% as of January 1, 2019. We’ll have more details on this in another post this week. And rest assured: vision care is still a priority for FAUW, as we know it is for our members.
- The University’s sexual violence policy (policy 42) was created quickly in time for a provincial deadline last year, on the condition that it be reviewed this year because it needed more work. At the last meeting of the policy 42 drafting committee, the committee voted on whether or not employees should be included in the policy. The majority of committee members voted no, and we are waiting to hear what happens next. That could be redrafting the committee’s terms of reference.
- Bryan Tolson (FAUW President) participated in an emergency OCUFA conference call about the repeal of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. More on that soon.
- A member asked recently about access to on-campus medical services for new faculty, noting that a number of other universities provide this. We also know that it can take some time for new faculty to find a primary care provider when moving to the region. Given that UWaterloo recently signed onto the Okanagan Charter (PDF), we are looking into the possibility of making this happen for new faculty.
For those who’ve moved to Waterloo Region in the last few years:
- Navigating University Governance for Faculty Members, November 9
- What you should know about the Ontario University Pension Plan, November 16
- FAUW General Meeting, December 4 at noon
*Here’s a comparison shot: