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:
Continue reading “So far in 2021”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Peter Johnson (Elections Committee chair) at email@example.com.
Here’s what we discussed:
Continue reading “Report from the November 26 Board meeting”
- Salary negotiations. We held a confidential session on our priorities, which include some of the typical items around salary and benefits, a couple of key equity-oriented items, and a few things that we believe will make life easier for our members and your families, particularly during difficult times. The negotiating team is optimistic and assures us they will be “tough and fair” as they head into bargaining next week. We will report back when we have news we can share, probably in the new year. Good luck, team!
- Redistribution of unspent professional expense (FPER) funds. Members will receive two-thirds of this money on December 4 and can use it as part of this year’s FPER; the remaining third will be added to the 2021-2022 FPER amount. There is also a new chart from Finance that explains which work-from-home expenses are eligible for FPER, a tax deduction, or both.
- Policy 14 (Pregnancy and Parental Leaves). The Policy 14 consultation website is now live. Please share your feedback, both positive and negative. We’re very excited about the changes in this policy and need your help to make sure it’s approved.
- Our 2020-21 budget. We passed a ‘business as usual’ budget at our April general meeting and business has not proceeded as usual. Some of our committees have submitted proposals to repurpose some of their funds in light of not having in-person events. We also have a couple of new, unexpected expenses, and a lot of event money that isn’t going to be used this year. We’ll have a more detailed update for voting members at our general meeting on December 8.
- A framework for teaching statements for 2020 performance reviews. Ian VanderBurgh created a document to help members contextualize and describe what their teaching has looked like over the last year. Teaching statements aren’t required; good ones take substantial time to write, and you can opt out of being evaluated on your teaching for 2020 altogether, but we think this is a useful guide for those who do choose to submit a statement.
- Policy 76 (Faculty Appointments). We discussed candidate key changes that we want to see in this policy with regard to teaching faculty. This is essentially a list of bargaining priorities, so we won’t be sharing it publicly. We also discussed a tentative plan for moving forward with the policy 76 revision process, and we hope to have an announcement about this at the general meeting.
- Winter and spring term dates. We haven’t heard anything about spring term starting late or having a reading week, but for the record, we aren’t in support of any such changes to spring term dates. Among other things, pushing back the end of spring term would limit the time available for faculty teaching in both spring and fall (let along all three terms) to take any time off next year. We have heard that the deadline for submitting your winter term grades is not changing. More on the changes to winter term in Dan’s president’s report below.
In absolutely no particular order, here are some of the things we’ve been working on or talking about this month. As always, feel free to comment below or otherwise get in touch with a Board member to share your input.
Continue reading “Notes from our June Board meetings”
- The library begins pickup service starting June 26!
- Major win: The Registrar’s Office (RO) will schedule synchronous course activities on request this fall (as usual). We also got confirmation that for the RO to not provide this service would require a decision at Senate. Thank you to everyone who helped advocate for this at Senate and through other channels. We’ve since released a statement to all members about the decision by three Faculties (Arts, Math, and Engineering) to not use RO scheduling services for fall term.
- There are new remote teaching guidelines regarding privacy and intellectual property—give them a read if you haven’t yet. We were not consulted about these guidelines and don’t have official opinions on them yet.
- HR has been prorating merit increases for faculty on paid sick leave. We believe this contravenes the Memorandum of Agreement (while there are provisions in the MoA for prorating merit, they are for unpaid leaves) and we are discussing this at Faculty Relations Committee.
- The end is in sight: The Policy 76 drafting committee has sent a draft to FRC. FRC is advising on next steps for consultation.
- We are sorting out what we will do in place of our usual new faculty social events in July and August. The University’s new faculty orientation (in which we play a supporting role) will be fully online.
- The Equity Office postponed its Pride celebrations in light of the Black Lives Matter protests and the vast increase in disclosures of racism from members of the UW community. The Gender and Sexual Diversity Working Group, on which FAUW is represented, has issued a statement in support of this decision.
Here’s what happened at our last Board meeting:
- We tried out Microsoft Teams’ new ‘raise hand’ feature. It added some efficiency to the meeting—just remember to put your hand down after you speak. 😉
- We heard about the updates Bryan (Tolson, FAUW president) is getting about the Integrated Co-ordination and Planning Committee (pandemic response) discussions. It’s not quite the regular communication that UW President Feridun Hamdullahpur suggested at Senate or in his virtual town hall last week, but it’s helping keep us in the loop.
- We talked about some of our major pandemic-related concerns (now itemized on our website), including the role of Senate in deciding things like whether the Registrar’s Office will schedule meet times for the fall term or not (spoiler alert: we think this should be a Senate decision).
- The CEPT2 and CTAPT motions both passed at Senate. Bryan voted against the CEPT2 update. We’re very happy about the support for CTAPT at Senate and that Waterloo now has a strong, public mandate to use means other than student surveys in evaluating teaching quality.
- We discussed our recent member survey about preparing for spring and fall teaching. The results of that are on our website now: 2020 teaching survey results. We are particularly concerned that, at the time of the survey (May 8–13), 71% of respondents teaching in the fall said it was not clear to them how decisions were being made about how their courses should be delivered.
Another important finding is that 74% of respondents teaching in spring felt more unprepared than usual at the start of term and only 53% felt that they received adequate support for spring term overall. Which is why…
- We formally adopted the position that student course perception surveys for spring 2020 should be used only at the discretion of instructors, as was the case for winter 2020. We’ll be advocating for that position with the administration. We’re also starting to talk about how to address 2020 performance reviews, overall. That’s with our Equity Committee now.
- We talked about the various challenges the library is having in responding to the needs of researchers and students while buildings are closed and books are not circulating. FAUW is grateful to our colleagues in the library for all the difficult work they are doing in enabling our members’ work.
- We got an update about T2200 tax forms and claiming home-office expenses. The update is that there will be an update from the University at the end of this week. We have some interim info about T2200s on our website. (Keep in mind that this is for next year’s taxes. On a related note: we don’t have an answer yet about claiming these same expenses (i.e. your home energy bill) on your FPER, but that also won’t be relevant until next year, as this year’s FPER still only applies to expenses incurred up to March 31. Many connectivity and equipment expenses are already eligible for FPER, so keep your receipts.
- We are picking up our faculty teaching workload survey that got sidelined in March. We gathered data from the Council of Representatives in the fall and presented preliminary findings at the February Council Meeting, but still have gaps. We will soon be sharing everything we have so far and crowd-sourcing corrections from members.
A post from the FAUW Lecturers Committee.
FAUW first started holding events specifically for Waterloo lecturers in 2014, but there have been lecturers on campus since at least the early ‘90s. With a distinct uptick in lecturer hiring over the last decade or two, there are now lecturers in every one of the University’s six faculties and they make up 18% of the FAUW membership. For many chairs, directors, deans—or just faculty colleagues—who are new to dealing with lecturer-rank faculty, there may be some uncertainty about who these people are and how they fit into their departments and schools. To help explain what lecturer faculty are—and aren’t—here are (in no particular order) eight myths about lecturers at Waterloo.
Myth #1: A lecturer is a lecturer is a lecturer
Fact: The term “lecturer” is often indiscriminately applied to everyone from sessional instructors hired by the course or term to permanent teaching faculty. At Waterloo, “lecturer” is one of the four faculty hiring ranks (the others are assistant professor, associate professor, and professor; see Policy 76 – Faculty Appointments). While sessional instructors are also hired at the rank of lecturer, they’re more correctly called adjunct or special lecturers and are administratively very different from the lecturer-rank regular faculty members (just “lecturers” from here on) that we’re talking about in this post.
Lecturers can have “definite term” or “continuing” appointments. Most lecturer-rank faculty are initially hired on definite-term contracts, which can be repeatedly renewed when they expire, although there is never any guarantee of renewal (see myth #7). Continuing lecturers have permanent, ongoing appointments that don’t have expiry dates. FAUW represents both definite-term and continuing lecturers (but not sessional instructors). About 40% of UW’s lecturers have continuing appointments.
Getting the terminology straight is just half the battle. The specifics of lecturer positions—how teaching loads are defined, what kinds of service and administrative tasks they do—can vary widely between faculties, and even between departments in the same faculty. According to our 2015 lecturers survey, about half of UW’s lecturers have an 80/20 teaching/service ratio; the other half reported a broad variety of teaching/research/service weightings.
Continue reading “8 myths about UW lecturers”
A draft of Policy 33 (Ethical Behaviour) is out for consultation. Since this is the first policy that’s made its way to Faculty Relations Committee (FRC) for approval in a while, let’s review how this will work:
- Policy 33 is an “FS” policy, meaning that it affects both faculty and staff working conditions. FRC (that’s the group of FAUW Board members and admin that meets every two weeks to hash out working conditions, fix problems, and approve policies) and the Staff Relations Committee (SRC) jointly strike drafting committees for and then approve FS policies.
- FRC and SRC will send the draft policy out for consultation to other groups. They will review all the feedback and tell the drafting committee what changes to make.
- The updated draft policy then goes back to FRC and SRC for approval. Approval at FRC requires a double majority, which means both FAUW and admin have a veto.
- After FRC and SRC approve the policy, it goes on to be approved by the Board of Governors.
In the case of Policy 33, faculty and staff members will get a draft of the policy soon. We encourage you to provide feedback through the soon-to-be-announced process set up by the Secretariat. If necessary, we will also collect anonymous input through our FRC reps and Lori Curtis, AF&T Committee chair.
What else is going on right now?
- The Holistic Benefits Review is moving along—you’ll get a survey soon, asking for your input about University employee benefits.
- As we reported last time, Finance (incorrectly) used a new Consumer Price Index (CPI) source for indexing the 2018-2019 Faculty Professional Expense Reimbursement (FPER) amount, which led to each member getting $8.00 less than you should have last year. We’ve worked collegially with Finance to find a solution: reverting back to the previous CPI source moving forward and also making a one-time addition of $8.00 to your 2019-2020 FPER. This was the Board’s preferred solution. Special thanks to the member who investigated this thoroughly and brought it to our attention!
- We gave feedback on draft conflict of interest guidelines that FRC is working on. These apply to faculty hiring, performance review, tenure and promotion, and chair search committees. You can expect to see those later this term.
- We had a quick debrief about the New Faculty and Family Dinner that we co-hosted with the University on September 20. (The gist: it was great; everyone had fun; we’re looking forward to next year.)
- The Lecturers Committee held its first meeting of the year and is working on setting goals for the next few months. Let them know if you have suggestions.
- The Board approved FAUW’s audited financial statements for the fiscal year 2018–19.
We’ll be talking about the progress made so far by the Complementary Teaching Assessment Project Team (CTAPT) (see the “Documents” sidebar) at an upcoming Board meeting. If you have input you’d like us to consider, let us know!
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FAUW’s priorities for 2019-2020
These are the key items we’re aiming to get through this year, in addition to preparing for negotiations at the end of 2020 and inevitably weighing in on more proposals from the provincial government.
- Policy development: Improvements and clarity around the policy drafting process, better supporting our representatives on policy drafting committees, and getting a few policies into (if not through) the approval process. Candidates are the policies on ethical behaviour (33), parental leave (14), accommodations (57, new), and faculty appointments (76).
- Conflict of interest guidelines: See item #3 from the September 12 Board meeting below.
- Workload: We want to see clear and consistent definitions (and monitoring) of how teaching and other faculty work is counted across campus.
- Representation: We plan to issue position statements on our relationship with research professors and sessional instructors.
September 12 Board of Directors meeting
Here’s what was on the agenda on September 12, the first meeting of the 2019–20 academic year. We welcome your input on any of these topics!
Continue reading “What’s on the FAUW agenda for 2019-20”