Board meeting report: January 19, 2023

Here’s what the Board talked about at its last meeting:

  • The Policy 76/77 update and panel discussion, and the policy drafting committee’s process so far. You can watch the P76/77 panel on Microsoft Stream here (UW login required) and read the PDC members’ report on this blog.
  • The CAUT Equity Conference is coming up on February 10. Two or three members of the Equity Committee will be attending, and registration is still open.
  • Policy 3 (Sabbatical and other leaves). The Board agreed to proposed changes to Policy 3 that would allow faculty to transition between sabbatical and sick leave in the event of extended illness. This should be approved at Faculty Relations Committee soon and then sent to the Board of Governors. These changes were prompted by recommendations based on past Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee cases.
  • FAUW leadership transition. As we announced earlier this month, Lori Curtis has stepped down and vice president Mary Hardy has now assumed the role of president. The Board voted to have president-elect David Porreca begin his term in May this year, instead of July, and to have David join the board in a non-voting capacity until his term as president begins, to facilitate a smoother transition. David is a past president of FAUW (2012–2015) and will bring experience and institutional memory that will be very useful at this time.
  • Salary Anomaly Working Group. The Board appointed Rashmee Singh, Kate Rybczynski, and Michael Wallace as the FAUW representatives on the working group.
  • The salary negotiation team. Salary negotiations begin late this year, and will be issuing a call for interested team members in the coming weeks. Please send us any recommendations you have! We need a strong leader for the team, and at least one accountant.
  • The University’s mask policy. We’ve heard from several members who do not feel safe in small, crowded classrooms without asking students to mask. FAUW is considering asking for the data on which the University is basing its masking decisions.
  • CUPE sessional unionization. President Mary Hardy met with CUPE representatives and expressed support for their organizing efforts. She notes that there’s no disagreement about who represents whom.
  • Mary also met with the Staff Association to discuss common issues, including snow days and pension & benefits.

Policy 76/77 progress report as we head into mediation

Su-Yin Tan, Paul Wehr, and Mary Hardy (FAUW representatives on the 2022–23 Policy 76/77 drafting committee)

In late 2022, a new “path forward” for updating policies 76 (Faculty Appointments) and 77 (Tenure and Promotion of Faculty Members) was agreed with the university administration at the Faculty Relations Committee (FRC), in an attempt to bring to a conclusion the prolonged efforts to improve and regularize terms and conditions of employment for Lecturers, through the creation of a Teaching Stream professoriate.

The “path forward” outlined a four-step path, summarized here:

  1. The administration and FAUW will exchange policy drafts at the Faculty Relations Committee (FRC), beginning October 20, 2022.
  2. A Policy Drafting Committee (PDC) will convene for four meetings, co-chaired by representatives from the administration and FAUW.
  3. If there are outstanding matters that cannot be expeditiously addressed at FRC, an external mediator will assist in reaching an agreement at the PDC.
  4. Any matters still without agreement will be sent to interest arbitration with the mediator.

The FAUW PDC reps are Su-Yin Tan (Continuing Lecturer, and Chair of the Lecturers Committee since 2019), Paul Wehr (Continuing Lecturer, Chair of the Lecturers Committee Chair 2017–2019), and Mary Hardy (Professor, FAUW President). All three are elected members of the FAUW Board of Directors.

Policy drafts were exchanged in October, and the PDC completed its meetings in early January. The FRC has now agreed to proceed to step #3, in which an external mediator will assist both parties in reaching an agreement. As a result, we are now able to report back to the FAUW membership the results of steps #1 and #2, as we proceed into mediation sessions.

Continue reading “Policy 76/77 progress report as we head into mediation”

Bleak, but… (GM and board meeting reports: December 2022)

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

What do you want to make happen, and how? Let us know in the comments, or contact Mary Hardy, acting president, or David Porreca, president-elect.

2023 negotiation priorities

We asked for ideas for goals in our next round of negotiations, which start in late 2023. Here are the most common suggestions:

Continue reading “Bleak, but… (GM and board meeting reports: December 2022)”

Board meeting report: November 2022

Here’s what the Board of Directors has discussed at recent meetings:

The 2022 Hagey Lecture. The recording of this year’s lecture, delivered by the Stratford Festival’s Antoni Cimolino, is now available.

Council of Representatives: The Board discussed (and supported) suggestions from Council members for FAUW to conduct more surveys and discussions with members. Be sure to ask your representative for more information from the latest Council meeting and FAUW’s new mask posters. We are still looking for representatives from the School of Architecture and the Stratford School.

Meeting tips: FAUW Parliamentarian Katy Fulfer shared a Robert’s Rules tip that unanimous or general consent can be a quick way to dispense of “routine business” or “questions of little importance.” The chair would say something along the lines of “If there is no objection, can be minutes be approved by unanimous consent?” If so, great! No need to deal with Teams lag when looking for virtual hands in getting a seconder. If anyone objects, then the usual process ensues.

Our 2021-22 audit. Our auditor presented the results of the audit for fiscal year 2021-22. The audited financial statements will be presented at the fall general meeting on December 7.

MoA changes. The Board approved minor changes to our Memorandum of Agreement with the University that were necessitated by Tri-Agency funding requirements. The changes still need to be approved by the University President and will be sent to faculty once they’re finalized.

The FAUW governance review. The Board voted to proceed with having Canadian Association of University Teachers lead the governance review. We still need to sort out the details and structure of the review but expect it to get underway soon, so get your input and ideas ready!

Policies 76 and 77. The path forward for resolving these policies was endorsed by lecturers and approved at Senate. We have now exchanged policy drafts with the administration and are determining which items we agree on, and which items the policy drafting committee will work on.

Compensation negotiations. We will soon need to put together a three-person negotiating team to start preparing for our 2023-24 negotiations. We’re also interested in hearing suggestions for negotiating priorities from members—drop them in the comments!

Committee and other appointments. Zelalem Negeri from Statistics and Actuarial Science has joined the FAUW Equity Committee, and Kaishu Wu is now our representative on the OCUFA Contract Faculty Committee, to keep us up-to-date with what’s happening with contract faculty across the province.

Board meeting report: September 15, 2022

The FAUW Board of Directors met for the first time in the 2022–23 academic year on September 15. For those new to the blog, we (try to) provide updates after (most) board meetings, to keep members up to date on what we’re working on.

At this meeting:

The board welcomed new directors and FAUW’s new executive manager, Matthew Root. If you missed it in our latest newsletter, Matt’s background is in labour relations, specifically in the broader public sector and post-secondary education fields, and he started in August. New directors this year are Nancy Worth (Geography), Shannon Majowicz (School of Public Health Sciences), and Paul Wehr (Psychology). See the full list of directors here.

Parliamentarian Katy Fulfer gave a refresher on what a parliamentarian is:

A parliamentarian is an advisor to an organization, including but not limited to the president, a meeting chair, officers, committees, and members, on rules of order (47:46). Their advice is non-binding. The president or (in a meeting) the meeting chair gets to make the final decision about procedure.

I imagine the parliamentarian like an angel on your shoulder, whispering advice. In the lingo of the fantasy role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons, this angel is lawful neutral. The lawful part is probably obvious. The neutrality speaks to the parliamentarian’s role as a consultant. They do not participate in debate, and Robert’s Rules of Order goes as far to say they should abstain from voting unless ballots are used, where their vote will not be seen by members (47.55). 

Policy updates

FAUW President Lori Curtis expanded on some updates delivered at the August general meeting about the status of some policy issues. While we hear a lot about Policy 76/77, Policy 57 (Accommodations), Policy 12 (Compassionate Care Leave), and Policy 33 (Ethical behaviour) also remain incomplete. Our FAUW reps are pushing for movement on P57 and P12 at their PDCs. It is our understanding that Policy 33 is with the Secretariat. Lori also noted that FAUW brought up the Salary Anomaly Review again at the last Faculty Relations Committee meeting. While administration states they are fully supportive of the process beginning, we will keep pushing for this to actually move it forward. We also reminded the administration about the letters from the Equity and Lecturers committees with recommendations for improving the review process.

Continue reading “Board meeting report: September 15, 2022”

Fact Check: How to Fix Policy 76 in 19 minutes

—FAUW Lecturers Committee, August 19, 2022

A recent guest post on this blog outlined, in a video, a potential solution to Policy 76. Using the 2021 Lecturers Survey, the FAUW Lecturers Committee would like to add data points that are relevant to this discussion. The survey achieved an 80% response rate (192/240) lecturers.

Assumptions in the video

The proposed solution in the guest blog was based on several key assumptions:

Assumption 1:  A “common rule of thumb” that one teaching task = 10% of workload.

Response: Such a rule of thumb is not written in any policy or document that we are aware of. A clear definition of a “teaching task” does not currently exist for either Lecturers or tenure-track faculty. Such a definition would fall under the purview of a workload policy, which UW does not have. Other institutions, such as the University of Toronto have workload policies.

Assumption 2:  The majority of Lecturers have an 80% teaching, 20% service load.

Response: Based on the 2021 Lecturers Survey results only 43% of respondents actually have an 80% teaching/20% service load. Although 80/20 is the most popular type of lecturer contract, it does not apply to the majority of lecturers. The table below shows which contract types exist among survey respondents and how many lecturers fall into each contract type:

Continue reading Fact Check: How to Fix Policy 76 in 19 minutes

What are Pedagogical and Professional Development activities?

We have heard concerns from some current lecturers about what we are calling “Pedagogical and Professional Development activities,” or “PPD.” They are worried that, in the Policy 76/77 revision process, FAUW is pushing for research to be a required part of the job for lecturers who move into the new professorial teaching-stream ranks.

This is not the case.

What are Pedagogical and Professional Development activities?

FAUW and the administration have not agreed to specific lists of activities yet. Here is just a sample of some activities that FAUW believes should count as PPD:*

Pedagogical development activities:

  • Exploring, developing, and/or implementing new teaching practices;
  • Designing or redesigning a course;
  • Participating in curriculum development or review;
  • Participating in teaching initiatives in your department or faculty; at the university; or at other universities;
  • Attending or participating in workshops and conferences on pedagogy;
  • Taking on internal or external educational leadership roles (e.g. teaching fellowships or invited teaching at other universities);
  • Performing disciplinary or pedagogical research/scholarly work (see “Where traditional research fits in” below).

Professional development activities:

  • If applicable, maintaining professional licences or accreditations (e.g. in engineering, pharmacy, accounting);
  • Other activities required to maintain professional standing in a field.

Where traditional research fits in

Policy 77 currently states about both professors and lecturers:

University teaching is informed and enriched by the research and scholarship of the professoriate. The University expects its regular faculty members to be active participants in the evolution of their disciplines and professions, to keep academic programs and courses current with developments in their fields, and to communicate both their discoveries and their commitment to scholarship and research.

FAUW believes that, to be “active participants in the evolution” of their fields, teaching-stream faculty should be encouraged to, for example, attend disciplinary conferences. And, if teaching-stream faculty want to engage in traditional forms of dissemination of research/scholarly work—either in their discipline or in the scholarship of teaching and learning—it too should “count” as pedagogical development.

But, to be clear, FAUW is not advocating that teaching-stream faculty must do research.

Continue reading “What are Pedagogical and Professional Development activities?”

Board meeting report: February 17 & March 3, 2022

Here’s the non-confidential stuff from the last couple of Board meetings:

Appointments

The Board formally signed off on a new Equity Committee member. Committee appointments are typically approved all at once in the spring, at the recommendation of the committees, but Clive Forrester joined the committee recently to fill a gap.

The Board also appointed its first Parliamentarian (Katy Fulfer), a chair for the 2022 Spring General Meeting (Moira Glerum), three new members of the Nominating and Elections Committee (Mary Hardy, Narveen Jandu, and Dorothy Hadfield), and Ada Hurst as this year’s FAUW rep on the Online Teaching Awards Evaluation Committee. We received a lot of interest in that last one in particular and it’s very exciting to see so many people eager to offer their expertise in service of FAUW members.

Resources for instructors

WUSA wants to know what investments/resources would be necessary for instructors to be positioned to better accommodate students and disincentivize those who are sick from attending in-person classes, both in the current situation and in the future. If you have any suggestions, please comment below or send them to fauw@uwaterloo.ca.

Policy 76/77

FRC is not making as much progress as we expected this term and we will have a more fulsome update about that (hopefully very) soon.

Election procedures

The Board approved updated election procedures, which you can find on the FAUW website. There were only minor changes this year to clarify a few things and better account for submitting nominations online. The Board voted to prioritize Black faculty, Indigenous faculty, and faculty with disabilities in the tie-breaking procedure until such time as it is appropriate to revisit those priorities.

Board meeting report for October 28, 2021

Here’s what was on the latest Board meeting agenda:

  1. Nominating Committee. We are still looking for people to help create this committee! Read about what the Nominating Committee will do and how to get involved on our website.
  2. Audited financial statements. Our auditor went over the draft audited financial statements for the year ending April 30, 2021, noting that we were under budget on a number of items, mostly due to cancelled events and travel. The Board approved the statements, which will be presented for approval by the membership at the Fall General Meeting on December 8.
  3. Policy 76/77 progress. At Faculty Relations Committee, we and the administration representatives shared our respective visions for teaching-intensive faculty, to see if they are close enough to continue discussions. Based on these statements, the Board has supported continuing discussions at FRC with an update expected at the next Board meeting. Two essential items for us are creating teaching-stream professorial ranks with defined progression through these ranks, and time to do the work required to progress through these ranks, in a pedagogical/professional development (PPD) term, one in every six terms. Importantly, this PPD time cannot be achieved by redistributing courses and causing overload teaching in other terms, as this would result in an overall higher workload than lecturers currently have. A PPD term must be achieved through a commensurate reduction in teaching load and/or service duties. Let us know if you agree in the comments below!
  4. Council of Representatives. We had great turnout at the October 18 Council meeting, where we talked about the AODA Education Standard recommendations, returning to campus, how the Academic Freedom & Tenure Committee works. At this Board meeting, we discussed ways to increase communication between the Board and Council, and between Council and other members. Let us know if you have suggestions about the Council of Representatives!

And here are some highlights from the written reports:

  • Equity Committee activities. The Equity Committee (EC) is planning to run a workshop on unconscious bias in recommendation letter writing in November and host a town hall to understand faculty concerns about equity in January 2022. Aimee Morrison attended the feedback session hosted by OCUFA on the provincial government guidelines on accessibility on October 20. Interested members can reach out to her directly for her report. The EC hosted soup lunch at Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre on October 28. Members of colour on the EC and beyond participated in offering feedback to facilitators Aimee Morrison and Frankie Condon to the HREI Equity Faculty Recruitment and Retention Workshop on October 22, in preparation for November workshops for the Black and Indigenous cluster hiring committees.
  • Compassionate Care and Bereavement Leave policy. Aimée Morrison and Lori Curtis will be the FAUW reps on the drafting committee for the new policy on compassionate care and bereavement leave benefits. Don’t worry: we won’t be waiting years for these. The minimum benefits are already guaranteed in our latest salary settlement and will be effective May 1, 2022, no matter what. The committee could write a policy that further clarifies and/or adds to those benefits.
  • Pension & Benefits committee. Most meetings of the Pension and Benefits Committee are open to the public and we encourage members to attend, especially when major (read: contentious) decisions are being made. We’ll keep you updated about when those are happening.

October 14 FAUW Board of Directors meeting report

And we’re back! Here’s what we’ve been working on lately – please comment below or contact us to let us know what you think!

  1. The AODA Education Standard recommendations. There are 179 initial recommendations that would inform accessibility standards (regulations) for postsecondary education across Ontario, under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. FAUW’s representative on the University’s Accessibility Committee, Zara Rafferty, visited this meeting to discuss how the recommended standards might affect faculty, and to gather concerns to inform the University’s submission to the ministry. A thread throughout the discussion and the feedback Zara has received is that instructors will need significant support in order to meet the proposed requirements. The deadline to send feedback to Zara has passed, but you can submit comments individually until November 1. Your Council member has more information about this.
  2. Proposed changes to pension plan investment documents. The Pension Investment Committee has drafted changes to the Statement of Investment Policies and Procedures and introduced new Fund Implementation Procedures and a Responsible Investment Policy. The drafts are available in the agenda for the October 22 Pension & Benefits Committee meeting. We are concerned that the proposed changes introduce unnecessary risk, may be ineffective in implementing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) criteria, and could reduce accountability to plan members. In addition, the administration at times appears to treat pension funds as university assets, which is inappropriate.
  3. Policies 76 and 77. After the latest drafting committee failed to submit substantial revisions for the Faculty Appointments and Tenure & Promotion policies, the Board directed your Faculty Relations Committee representatives to request mediation as a way to move forward. The Board also identified things we absolutely must achieve for our teaching-intensive members (there’s a longer list on our website), including:
    • Teaching-stream professorial ranks with defined progression through these ranks.
    • Time to do the work required to progress through the ranks, in a pedagogical/professional development term (one in every six terms).
  4. Our grievance related to Policy 14 – Pregnancy & Parental Leaves (including Adoption) and the Return to Work. Members who were already on pregnancy leave when the new policy passed (on April 6) were informed by the University that when their parental leave started (after April 6), they would not qualify for expanded benefits under the new policy because it’s all “one leave” that started before the policy came into effect, even though individuals who did not give birth and went on parental leave at the same time did qualify. We believe this is inequitable treatment and that these are two separate leaves in policy, and have filed an association grievance. We know of at least five members affected by this; please contact Lori Curtis if it affects you as well.
Continue reading “October 14 FAUW Board of Directors meeting report”