This was a packed meeting! Here’s what we covered:
Black and Indigenous faculty mentorship. The Equity Committee is creating an informal mentorship program to support faculty hired through the Black and Indigenous Excellence initiatives. FAUW is funding one-on-one meetings to support this.
Policy development. FRC has received new drafts of two policies: Compassionate Care & Bereavement Leave (12) and Employee Accommodations (57). The Board reviewed Policy 12 at this meeting and will discuss 57 at the next. What we negotiated for compassionate care and bereavement leave is documented in our last settlement, and Policy 12 will cover at least those provisions—which are already in place! You can find out what leaves and benefits you have in our Faculty Guide.
One open question is whether requests for extension might be handled by a central office (as is proposed for accommodations under the new Policy 57), rather than by deans or other supervisors/managers (as they currently are). FAUW’s position is that this central, arms-length office is absolutely necessary for fair, equitable, and compassionate treatment of employees. Another question is whether the policy will apply to post-doctoral fellows and research faculty (which we hope it will).
Compensation negotiations. We are starting to look for compensation negotiating team members. A detailed call for members is available on our website; please get in touch with Mary Hardy if you are interested or would like to recommend someone.
Research professors. The Board got caught up on the pre-pandemic progress on representing research professors. To recap: There are significant gaps in the working conditions of research professors compared to faculty and staff groups who have formal representation, and the FAUW membership voted at its 2019 fall general meeting to move forward with representing research professors. We were very close to formal agreement at Faculty Relations Committee about the next steps by March 2020, but discussions were disrupted by the pandemic, and then by work on policies 76 and 77. The Board has agreed to resume work on this now to support this particularly precarious group of faculty.
Pay frequency survey. The Board reviewed the results from our recent poll about bimonthly vs monthly pay frequency. As with the Staff Association’s similar results, this is likely not a strong enough argument to convince the administration to change the pay schedule, but we will keep a watching brief, alongside the Staff Association.
Sessional unionization. A member raised concerns about changes that could come about as a result of the unionization of sessional instructors. We will keep a watchful eye on this issue.
Bookkeeping. The Board endorsed a plan to hire professional bookkeepers, which will come with the ability to do electronic funds transfers and save on some other costs including the cost of our audit.