Upholding academic freedom and excellenceMaking sure our voices are heard

The University of Toronto Faculty Association is the official representative of faculty and librarians on employment matters which include salary, pension, benefit negotiations, and workplace grievances. 

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UPDATE: COVID-19 crisis at U of T

March 19, 2020

Cynthia Messenger, UTFA President

In this unprecedented crisis, I am humbled to witness the Herculean efforts of our members to maintain teaching and learning against the odds. UTFA is finding that, in several departments and faculties, small numbers of people are helping colleagues identify online tutorials, software, and teaching strategies that hold promise. I am aware of successful initiatives in the Department of English, in Economics, at Rotman, at OISE, and in the writing centres, to name only a very few examples. The expertise and dedication of the University’s librarians on all three campuses have been incredibly important, and we are all grateful. And where would we be without U of T’s superb IT staff?

For some of our members, the switch to online forms of teaching (however imperfect) was possible, but for others, many of them brilliant and devoted teachers, the short timeline, the lack of planning runway, and the huge additional workload burden are overwhelming.

Read the full update

 

UPDATE: COVID-19 crisis at U of T

March 17, 2020

Cynthia Messenger, UTFA President

UTFA is asking that U of T libraries be closed. We suggest that librarians be permitted to create work-arounds to assist students and faculty. By keeping public spaces open, the University Administration might well be unwittingly increasing the risk that the virus will spread, including to staff.

UTFA is keeping correspondence to a minimum because we know that members have been receiving a lot of memos and guidelines from the University Administration. See the notes below.

1. See the new FAQs that have just today been posted by the Division of the Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI):

https://research.utoronto.ca/covid-19

2. Writing centres are operating through a variety of means, including phone and video appointments. Some faculty are creating writing assignments to replace cancelled tests. The writing centres are there to help.

Read the full update

 

[COVID-19] Critical Operations to Support University's Core Commitments

March 17, 2020

Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost

As Canada continues to deal with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University remains committed to playing our part in ensuring the health and wellbeing of our community. Equally important is our commitment to three core activities:

  • ensuring that our students can complete their term,
  • providing a place to live for those students in residence who are unable to return home, and
  • supporting the critical COVID-19 and time-sensitive research endeavors of our world-class scholars.

As part of Canada’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Premier of Ontario has today declared a state of emergency and the Prime Minister has encouraged all Canadians to stay home wherever possible. In response to these announcements, we are working to allow more employees to telecommute and to have more flex-time arrangements.

The University remains open but encourages employees who can work from home to do so. For the University to deliver on our commitments to teaching, residences and critical research, some employees will be required to come to our campuses, and we remain committed to their health and safety. Some employees may be assigned to other duties.

Read full update here

 

COVID-19 and Social Distancing

March 13, 2020

Cynthia Messenger, UTFA President

Responses to COVID-19 are evolving rapidly. In light of both federal and provincial government initiatives and directives, UTFA is cancelling meetings, and its staff will work from home for the time being.

We firmly support social distancing and believe that we all have a civic duty to try to slow the progress of the virus. We believe that it is in the best interests of our members, our students, and the wider community for courses to go online. We urge the Administration to consider that many of our members may need extensive assistance moving teaching online, especially members with disabilities. We are not, in advocating the temporary move to online in these exceptional circumstances, endorsing online teaching as a long-term pedagogy nor online services as a long-term replacement for librarians’ work in academic communities.

 

COVID-19 Updates

 

UTFA Presidential Election 2020

 

News from the U of T Admin