Labour Relations Concerns for YUFA in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies

by Gerard Naddaf and Sheila Embleton, YUFA Chief Stewards

15 Feb 12 –  The two Chief Stewards (Gerard Naddaf and Sheila Embleton) and the YUFA staff are experiencing a very high volume of complaints, requests for advice, and expressions of concern coming from YUFA members in LA&PS. Many of these concerns centre around either the intrusion of the Dean’s Office into collegial procedures or around workload issues. Some of these have evolved into policy grievances, individual grievances, or simply meetings with administrators in which the faculty member has been accompanied by a YUFA representative.

A brief summary of some current issues in LA&PS:

  • We are in arbitration concerning the outcome of two tenure-track hiring processes last year, in which the Dean chose not to appoint the candidate recommended as a result of the collegial search process.

  • We have had several cases this year in which the shortlists of candidates to be interviewed for tenure-track positions, as proposed to the Dean’s office as a result of the collegial search process, has not been approved. Although some cases have been resolved (in favour of the collegial proposal), others remain outstanding.

  • The Dean has made significant changes to tenure-track hiring processes; this is subject to a policy grievance.

  • The Dean has proposed significant changes to the rules governing cross-appointments and to policies and procedures with respect to full-time faculty teaching. Relevant documents were tabled for discussion at the Joint Committee on the Administration of the Agreement (JCOAA). Those discussions have now concluded. On the former, YUFA secured agreement that any changes to existing cross-appointments would be on a voluntary basis only. On the latter, this is subject to a policy grievance.

  • The sheer volume of Contractually Limited Appointments (CLAs; these are full-time but for a limited term) proposed to be hired for 2012-13, in addition to the CLAs already hired 2009-12, may violate the contractual reasons for hiring CLAs as opposed to tenure-stream faculty members. An additional issue is that these CLAs are all required to have both an active research agenda (the precise wording varies in different ads) and a teaching load of 3.0, which is higher than in past practice.

  • In December 2011, the Dean finally responded to the proposed unit teaching load documents. As a result, not one unit currently has an approved teaching load document. Further, the requirement that each unit must include a normal teaching load of 3.0 for CLAs is subject to a policy grievance. YUFA representatives have proposed a meeting with Chairs to provide assistance and to respond to additional issues, such as teaching load for members of the Alternate Stream.

  • The Dean’s office appears far more intrusive in the tenure process than previously, with judgments significantly different from those of colleagues and external referees significantly often. Some of the issues involve process but others involve the letter of transmittal to the Senate Review Committee (SRC). The issue of timeliness in the previous two cycles appears to have been corrected.

The Chief Stewards and staff are of course also involved in issues in other Faculties, but we thought that members should be apprised of the situation in LA&PS.

As always – and no matter what your Faculty – if you have concerns about which you would like to consult YUFA, or you wish to discuss an issue which you believe may be of relevance to your working conditions, please feel free to contact the steward for your area, one of the Chief Stewards (Gerard Naddaf  or Sheila Embleton), or staff in the YUFA office.