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.
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
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!
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