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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UTFA President's Messages on COVID Crisis

Workload, Intellectual Property, Academic Integrity

May 8, 2020

Cynthia Messenger, UTFA President

UTFA is taking a three-pronged approach to the array of COVID-related workload complaints that we have received since the middle of March. Judging from member emails, the number one complaint is that workload during the crisis has been excessive. Those with children have been very negatively affected. Preparing an online course that one can be proud of is an enormous amount of work, and the learning curve is steep. There is too much work; there is not enough support. Academic freedom and academic integrity are being sacrificed.

Three-pronged approach to COVID-related workload concerns:

1. UTFA will launch an Association grievance, the details of which we will publish in the coming days.
2. UTFA will bring the matter to the bargaining table this month.
3. UTFA is urging members to use section 4.2 of the Workload Policy and Procedures (WLPP) to address their individual workload issues and/or those of their unit with their chairs and deans—as soon as possible. See the green font below.

What can you ask your unit to do?

1. Course loads for fall need to be reduced.
2. Course credit (banking) must be in play to address overwork.
3. Enrolment caps need to be lowered.
4. IT support must be increased so that instructors receive the assistance they need.
5. TA support must also match the greater need of the fall.
6. Overload stipends must be presented as an option where appropriate.

Read the full update


Workload, Intellectual Property, Academic Integrity

April 22, 2020

Cynthia Messenger, UTFA President

Workload: UTFA is deeply concerned about the sharply increased workload that our members reported during March and April, while they struggled to teach online. Because our members are devoted academics and professionals, they of course rose to the challenge. This increased workload is not, however, sustainable. UTFA will press the Administration to address this issue in concrete ways.

Intellectual Property Rights: As outlined in the University of Toronto’s Copyright Policy and Inventions Policy, members retain the usual intellectual property rights to all of their research and to all course materials, whether or not those course materials were developed and delivered using information technology (for example, online). These course materials include lectures, whether or not they are captured by audio or video recording.

All protections afforded by the University’s Copyright Policy and Inventions Policy remain in place during the COVID crisis.

Read the full update


AGM Postponed; UTFA and Senior Admin Agree on Key Issues; Other Matters

April 14, 2020

Cynthia Messenger, UTFA President

Please note the following:

1. The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is postponed. A new date, probably in the fall, will be announced within the next few weeks.

2. UTFA has asked the senior administration to agree to have unit heads sign an income tax form called a T2200 so that our members may claim the expense of a home office in the 2020 tax year, for the period during which members could not work at their university offices. We will keep you posted on this matter.

3. UTFA and the senior administration have come to agreement on some important issues:

Read the full update



COVID-19 Updates


UTFA Presidential Election 2020


News from the U of T Admin