November 12 update from the FAUW Board

Here are the non-confidential highlights of the November 12 Board of Directors meeting, and the president’s report.

Items of interest from the meeting

  1. Anti-racism advisor. We’ve hired Kathy Hogarth as an anti-racism advisor to the FAUW Board. Kathy will be attending FAUW Board meetings for the remainder of this year as part of this role. There’s more about Kathy in Dan’s president’s report below.
  2. The status of Policy 76 – Faculty Appointments. As we discussed at the Spring General Meeting, the P76 drafting process has shown us that the way we’ve always drafted and negotiated policy at Waterloo is no longer working. Here’s the latest: The drafting committee submitted a document to the Faculty Relations Committee co-chairs (the FAUW president and the provost) in late summer, which the Secretariat was unable to adapt into a usable policy without more work and guidance from FRC. Policy 76 was initially opened for revision largely to address lecturer titles and spousal appointments. FAUW’s Board and Lecturers Committee are currently working on identifying FAUW’s priorities for P76, specifically on the topic of teaching stream faculty. What happens next, we’re unfortunately still not sure, but we will keep you posted. We know this is frustrating and we appreciate your extreme patience with this.
  3. 1492 Land Back Lane. The OCUFA Board of Directors unanimously voted to support Haudenosaunee land defenders at 1492 Land Back Lane by donating $5,000 to their legal defense fund. The Librarians and Archivists Association at UW has sent a letter in support of the organizers to federal and provincial ministers (and local representatives). The FAUW Board voted to issue a similar statement of support along with our Equity Committee and to donate $1,492 to the legal defense fund. We also discussed other potential avenues of support for the Six Nations of the Grand River and other Indigenous communities that we might pursue in the future (or to pressure the university to implement), such as scholarships or paying taxes to the Indigenous nations whose land we work on. For example, FAUW reps are hoping the University will financially support local Indigenous students (e.g. from Six Nations of the Grand River).
  4. Copyright. There will soon be a new notice appearing once a term on LEARN to remind you about some of the legalities related to uploading content. If you have questions about copyright related to your course material or your own work, email copyright@uwaterloo.ca — that email goes to a team of copyright specialists across campus.
  5. Declaring a climate emergency. The Climate Justice Working Group has prepared a draft climate emergency declaration for FAUW. This will go to the Fall General Meeting for discussion. If you’re a voting member, you’ll receive the draft in your agenda package by December 1.

Keep reading for Dan’s president’s report, including a Policy 14 (Pregnancy and Parental Leave) update and more about Kathy Hogarth.

President’s report to FAUW board

dan brown, 9 Nov 2020

Last week, I confess I lost a couple days to anxiety about the US election. I expect I may not be the only one who did! Nonetheless, this is a busy time for FAUW, and for UW as a whole.

Policy 14 (Pregnancy and Parental Leave) will go out to the campus for a short period of consultation in the next few days. This draft policy extends the lengths of leaves that UW employees can access for pregnancy or parenting, spells out in far greater detail the process by which faculty return to their teaching after a parental leave, ends the practice of requiring two parents who are both UW employees to share benefits, and enables new employees to still access full leaves even if they are also new to Canada, among many other good changes. The proposed changes would be a major boon for many of our members and their families. My thanks to Robin Duncan and to FAUW past-president Bryan Tolson for being FAUW’s representatives on this committee, and to its chair, Moira Glerum, for her tireless work.

The Faculty Relations and Staff Relations Committee have sent comments on Policy 33 (Ethical Behaviour) back to the drafting committee chair, Beth Jewkes, for incorporation and comment. This process of negotiating changes to the policy draft was derailed by the pandemic, but appears to be getting back on track.

Our negotiating team continues to work hard on developing possible components of its mandate. The teams have been announced, and the negotiations start in early December.

I’m very pleased that Kathy Hogarth, who is an associate professor of Social Work at Renison University College, will be FAUW’s Special Advisor on Racism and Anti-Racism. Professor Hogarth is a founding member of the Black Faculty Collective and a member of FAUW’s Equity Committee. Her experience in helping organizations guide internal transformation and her research expertise in the areas of racism and equity will be a huge asset to FAUW as we shape our response to the university’s efforts on this subject and reconsider some of how FAUW operates. I’m grateful to her, and I look forward to working with her.

OCUFA, the provincial body that represents faculty unions and associations, met on Halloween. The organization has hired a new ED, Jenny Ahn, who has decades of experience in the labour movement, mostly with Unifor. Thank you to FAUW’s Kate Lawson for serving on the hiring committee. We had an interesting discussion at OCUFA about the provincial government’s desire to give university degree-granting privileges to Canada Christian College, headed by noted Islamophobe and homophobe Charles McVety.

A couple weeks ago, the university’s Board of Governors discussed a proposal for fossil-fuel divestment, spearheaded by Angela Carter, one of the founders of FAUW’s Climate Justice Working Group. The proposal was referred to committee for discussion at the next Board of Governors meeting in February. I’d encourage interested members to talk to Professor Carter for more detail. You can find the submissions to the Board on this topic in the agenda package (starting on page 44).

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