So far in 2021

With only two Board meetings so far this year, both largely focused on confidential negotiations, and no president’s report due to Dan Brown having been on leave, we haven’t had a whole lot to report on yet. But here’s a quick summary of what’s been happening so far this year:

  1. The drafting committee is working on minor edits to the updated Policy 14 (Pregnancy and Parental Leaves), directed by FRC and SRC. Once those have final approval, it will go to the University president for approval, Senate for information, and Board of Governors for approval. We anticipate that it will be on the agenda of the April Board of Governors meeting. Once passed by the Board, it is effective immediately.
  2. We have new terms of reference for a new committee to look specifically at teaching stream appointments and draft the necessary changes in policies 76 (Faculty Appointments) and 77 (Tenure and Promotion). The committee will be given a clear timeline and priorities. These terms of reference will be on the consent agenda at Senate this month and we expect to announce the members of this committee next week.
  3. We are updating our elections procedures, to support efforts to diversify the Board of Directors. In addition to changes at FAUW, we’re also talking about the need for increased representation of equity-seeking groups among faculty in general, in order to make increased representation within FAUW more realistic and sustainable. Nominations will open in March for five seats on the FAUW Board of Directors: four at-large positions, for which any voting member can run, and one seat reserved for a member with a lecturer appointment. If you are interested in running, or know someone who would make a great Board member, please contact Laura McDonald at laura.mcdonald@uwaterloo.ca or Peter Johnson (Elections Committee chair) at peter.johnson@uwaterloo.ca.
  1. The Renison Association of Academic Staff and Renison Board of Governors have both ratified the first collective agreement between RAAS and Renison.
  2. We’ve heard that different rules are being applied around eligible FPER expenses in different departments. If you have experience with any pandemic/WFH-specific FPER claims being approved or denied, let us know what you have and haven’t successfully claimed (please email Laura with the details). Note that the University has promised that information about T2200 forms (for federal WFH tax deductions) is coming soon. And if you’ve maxed out your FPER, email your chair or dean about work-from-home costs you’ve incurred since the start of the pandemic.
  3. The salary anomaly working group is on track—and might have a nice side effect of correcting an issue with incorrect hire dates in Workday that we know has been a problem for lecturers.
  4. We’re glad to see that the end of spring term didn’t move, and we are working to ensure that those of you teaching in both spring and fall will be able to have their exams scheduled early in the August exam period —this is always supposed to be the case, but it’s especially important these days.
  5. We voted to endorse the Knock Out Interest campaign, as requested by the Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association. The campaign calls on Prime Minister Trudeau to eliminate interest charged on federal student loans. This is a federal campaign created by the BC Federation of Students and endorsed by about 40 student unions across Canada. You can get more information on the campaign website at www.knockoutinterest.ca.

Finally: At our most recent meeting, we spent some time checking in to see how everyone is doing (those who wanted to share, that is). We talked about taking breaks and spending time outside, among other things. We recommend doing this with your colleagues: talk about your circumstances, find out what your colleagues need, and set reasonable expectations together!