Frequently-Asked Questions about YUFA
What is 'YUFA'?
The York University Faculty Association (YUFA) is the Association and certified bargaining agent (union) for all academic staff with continuing / CLA appointments at York University. YUFA also represents those who retire from such positions. YUFA has some 1400 members and over 500 retirees.
When did it become a union?
YUFA was formed in 1962, shortly after the foundation of York University. From 1962 to 1976, YUFA was a voluntary association that promoted the interests of tenure-track / tenured teaching staff at York.
In late 1975, a group of faculty and librarians began an organizing drive to form a trade union. The drive was a success, and in May 1976, YUFA entered into negotiations for the 1st Collective Agreement with the Board of Governors.
While bargaining, the proposed bargaining unit was the subject of several hearings before the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB). A few individuals unsuccessfully attempted to nullify the democratic vote of the faculty and librarians. Faculty at Osgoode, however, applied for and were granted exclusion from the new unit.
The hearings went on for so long that in mid-1976, the OLRB had to grant the union an interim certificate so that it could enter into a contract with the Employer. The 1st Agreement was concluded by the end of 1976 and took effect 1 July 1976.
Finally all disputes about the scope and legitimacy of the union were settled, and on 18 October 1977, the OLRB issued its ruling certifying YUFA as the sole bargaining agent for York faculty and librarians with continuing appointments.
How many Collective Agreements has YUFA bargained?
Eighteen - most recently the 2012-2015 Collective Agreement.
What have some of the big bargaining issues been lately?
For a summary of gains made In 2012, click here.
For a summary of gains made In 2009, click here.
In 2006, YUFA won: improved salaries, including increases in the Progress-through-the-Ranks increments; lower teaching loads in many units with a 'normal teaching load' of 3.0 FCEs, and improved graduate supervision credit, e.g., for MRP supervisors and retirees; benefits improvements, e.g., vision, hearing aids, orthodontics, and extending retiree benefits to SRCs; and bringing new librarians' entitlements to sabbatical credit in line with new faculty members'.
Management sought another 3-year contract and reduced entitlements to post-retirement work.
In 2003, YUFA's bargaining goals included: salaries, including bringing Alternate Stream pay floors to parity with librarians' floors; increasing the Professional Expense Reimbursement (PER) for the 1st time since 1991; retiree benefits' sustainability; improving parental leaves; addressing complement issues; and setting maxima for hours per day and days per week of teaching. Management aims included: getting a 3-year contract; allowing overload rates for faculty in deregulated programs to far exceed those for other instructors; capping tuition waivers; and increasing merit bonuses.
In 2001, YUFA focused on graduate supervision credit, increased stipends for academic administrators, retiree benefits' sustainability, librarians' research time, fair procedures for dealing with harassment & discrimination complaints, and of course salaries. Management emphasised increasing its discretion over pay raises.
In 1999, YUFA improved affirmative action, leaves for parents, librarians' workload, retiree benefits, raises for promotions, and salaries. Management won greater discretion over pay through 'marketability raises' and a merit bonus system.
In 1996/97, YUFA bargained for over a year about salaries (including pay equity for women and anomalously low salaries), workload, intellectual property, technological change, and mandatory retirement, which the Employer sought to impose at all costs. A 55-day strike was necessary to reach an agreement.
How do YUFA and the Employer resolve day-to-day issues?
There's a Joint Committee on the Administration of the Agreement (JCOAA), with representation from the Employer and YUFA. JCOAA implements and administers Collective Agreements, once ratified. Also reporting to JCOAA is the Joint Affirmative Action Committee.
How is YUFA structured?
YUFA is governed by its members, who meet at least twice a year in General Meetings, including the Annual General Meeting at which the new year's budget is approved and Officers report on their recent activities.
Administrative and leadership functions fall to the Executive Committee, comprised of the ten elected Officers, the past President, two reps from the Stewards' Council, a rep from the Association of Retired Faculty & Librarians, and the union's professional staff.
Stewards’ Council is comprised of representatives of departments, Faculties, and four caucuses (DisAbility, First Nations, Queer, and Race Equity), plus Executive Officers. This Council reviews the Executive Committee’s work plan and progress, ratifies appointments made by Executive, approves negotiating positions to be taken to the membership for ratification, and is a forum for discussion.
The Executive Committee is assisted by various subcommittees, most importantly, the Equity and Grievance subcommittees and the collective bargaining team.
Finally, two Trustees review YUFA's activities and operations, reporting annually to the membership.
What do YUFA's Officers do?
YUFA's Officers serve two-year terms. They are members of and report to the Executive Committee and Stewards' Council, receiving teaching-load reductions and, in some instances, additional compensation. Click here for Officers' job descriptions and annual compensation.
So, what are Work Plans?
They're the Executive Committee's annual statements of Officers' responsibilities, projects and priorities, as required by the By-laws. They form the basis of Officers' accountability, as Stewards' Council and membership receive regular progress reports. Click here to read Executive work plans.
Who are the current YUFA people?
How much are my union dues and what do I get for them?
Your dues are 1.1% of your pay. They are tax deductible. For them you get:
YUFA needs many members to be involved, and there are many levels of involvement possible - from the full-time commitment of being the President to attending a membership meeting or filling in a survey about bargaining priorities.
For example, you could:
Watch for calls that go out or are posted on email / Website. Or if you have a specific interest or task in mind, contact the YUFA Office.
Is involvement in YUFA counted as service?
How do I contact or find YUFA?
Version: October 2012