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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Joint UTFA and Administration Communication on Improvements to the Dependent Scholarship Program

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

The University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) and the University Administration are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on an improvement to the Dependent Scholarship Program as part of benefits improvements for the year July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, for both active members and retirees.

Effective immediately the value of the Dependent Scholarship Program for faculty members and librarians will be increased from 50% to 65% of the amount of the academic fees for five full courses in a general Arts & Sciences program at the University of Toronto for a first undergraduate degree for enrolments at eligible institutions.

Applicants should continue to use the current application form for the Dependent Scholarship Program and all applications for the 2022-23 academic year will be processed based on the new value as outlined in this announcement.

For the applications that have already been received, there is no need to submit another application. The student/recipient will receive an email confirming the amount of their scholarship shortly.

Previously, UTFA and the University Administration negotiated a three-year Salaries, Benefits, and Workload (SBW) Agreement covering the period from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2023. The outcome of these negotiations determined salary and benefits improvements for the first two years of the Agreement. The terms for the third year will be determined through interest arbitration commencing on October 1, 2022. To facilitate timely access to the Dependent Scholarship Program improvements for the 2022-23 academic year, the parties reached agreement on this item; other SBW proposals, including other benefit improvements, remain to be determined.

Sincerely,

Terezia Zorić
UTFA President

Jun Nogami PhD, FAAAS, P. Eng.
UTFA VP, Salary, Benefits, Pensions, & Workload

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UTFA’s Response to the Administration’s Suspension of the Mask Mandate

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

Three weeks ago, the senior Administration announced that it would be discontinuing the University’s mask mandate today, June 30, 2022. UTFA has been hearing from many faculty members and librarians who are concerned about this change. We also recognize that some UTFA members support the decision.

As we begin the summer season, it seems probable that we are entering into another dangerous wave associated with Omicron variants. Wastewater signals in the GTA are currently rising, and studies are emerging that show that the impact of repeated COVID-19 infections can be cumulative rather than diminishing. The increasingly well-documented threat of ‘long COVID’ is particularly worrisome.

UTFA’s position on masking continues to be guided by our commitments to, and advocacy for, key principles: respect for science; the precautionary principle; and best practices in health and safety that exceed legislated minimum standards. Based on the advice we have received from leading indoor air quality and public health scientists, UTFA has responded to the Administration’s announcement by calling for an extension of the University’s mask mandate. Specifically, we are advocating that the Administration require all University community members to wear well-fitting, high-quality masks.

We regret that the University Administration does not appear to have taken the advice of its leading scientists into account when making the decision to remove the protection that mask mandates provide. Transforming the decision about whether to wear a mask from a universal requirement into an individual choice is in our view an ineffective public health strategy because we share the air in common—including airborne pathogens.

UTFA is very concerned about the potential health impacts of lifting the mask mandate, including the risk of increased infections and reinfections on campus. UTFA is also concerned that the lifting of the mask requirement will make it more difficult for the more vulnerable amongst us (e.g., those who are immunocompromised) to attend in-person activities on campus.

Moving Forward

UTFA will continue to engage in collegial discussions with the Administration and to advocate in a principled manner.

We call on the Administration to follow in the footsteps of Ontario hospitals, and to extend the University’s mask requirement throughout the summer, and into the fall as appropriate. UTFA believes an extension of universal masking would enable a safer return to in-person work, which is in the interests of the entire University community.

UTFA will continue to provide you with updates as they become available.

Sincerely,

Terezia Zorić
UTFA President

Jun Nogami PhD, FAAAS, P. Eng.
UTFA VP, Salary, Benefits, Pensions, & Workload

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Important Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) Information

Monday, June 6, 2022

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

Any remaining balance in your Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) expires after two years. Unused funds from 2020 will expire on June 30, 2022.

One way to use a remaining HCSA balance is to seek reimbursement for your past extended health care premiums. You can find detailed instructions from UTFA on how to do so here, to supplement the instructions that the Administration sent you on May 31 (see below and here).

Sincerely,

Jun Nogami
UTFA Vice-President, Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload

Terezia Zorić
UTFA President

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Date: May 31, 2022
To: Eligible Faculty & Librarians
From: Ian MacEachern, Director, Benefits, Pension & Payroll Re: Healthcare Spending Account (HCSA)

As you may know, any balance remaining in your Healthcare Spending Account (HCSA) on the last day of the benefit year (June 30) gets carried forward to, but not beyond the end of, the next benefit year.

Since any funds set to expire on June 30, 2022 cannot be carried over, an excellent way to use your HCSA is to submit the health and dental premiums deducted from your pay.

The process, which can be completed by logging in to Green Shield’s plan member online services website, is simple and the step-by-step guide to submitting these expenses is available on the HR Service Centre.

If you need assistance related to Green Shield’s website, please contact Green Shield directly at 1-888-711-1119 or customer.service@greenshield.ca.

 

Provocation Ideas Festival - May/June 2022

Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Provocation Ideas Festival aspires to create a new public square of spirited discussion that is rooted in local communities but informed globally, for which an informed and engaged public is critical.

The festival brings together voices from community, public health, justice, governance, and acclaimed artists whose work challenges our conventional perspectives. 

Provocation is a not-for-profit organization governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who have generously shared their expertise, knowledge, support, and commitment in overseeing the planning and development of the festival.

Please visit here for more details about the Festival. 

www.provocation.ca

 

Workshops: Teaching Stream May 24 & Tenure Stream May 25

Tuesday, May 10, 2022​

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

I am writing to let you know about our annual workshops for our members in the Teaching and Tenure Streams. To facilitate attendance, UTFA will offer the workshops through Zoom video conference. We look forward to seeing you online!

Sincerely,

Terezia Zorić
UTFA President


Continuing Status Review Workshop for the Teaching Stream

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Via Zoom video conference

This workshop helps Teaching Stream members prepare for the interim review and the continuing status review. It is designed to demystify review procedures.

This workshop is open to Teaching Stream members of the Association and includes the following:

  • useful tips from teaching dossier experts
  • an overview of all relevant University review procedures
  • a forum to share and exchange strategies towards compiling a successful file

The workshop will cover the policies and procedures for the review processes as outlined in the Policies and Procedures on Academic Appointments (PPAA). It will be most appropriate for full-time faculty at the Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream rank. The workshop will not focus on issues that are particular to promotion to Professor, Teaching Stream, and it will not cover continuing status reviews for part-time faculty, which follow a different policy.

Speakers: Megan Burnett, Associate Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI), and Helen Nowak, UTFA General Counsel

Host: Sherri Helwig, Chair, UTFA Teaching Stream Committee

To attend, click below to RSVP with your name and department/faculty. Once registered, you will receive a link prior to the event.

 

Tenure Stream Workshop

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Via Zoom video conference

UTFA presents a workshop on the interim review and the tenure review. This workshop is open to all members of the Association and includes the following:

  • an overview of all relevant University review procedures
  • useful tips on compiling a successful dossier

Speaker: Emma Phillips, Lawyer from Goldblatt Partners

Leslie Stewart Rose, Chair, UTFA Appointments Committee, and Helen Nowak, UTFA General Counsel, will also be there to help answer questions.

To attend, click below to RSVP with your name, department/faculty, and which review you are preparing for. Once registered, you will receive a link prior to the event.

 

POSTPONED: Teaching Stream – Continuing Status Review Workshop (May 2)

Thursday, April 28, 2022​

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that the Continuing Status Review Workshop for the Teaching Stream, originally scheduled for May 2, 2022, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., is postponed. UTFA will circulate an email in the coming days advising members of the new date once it has been confirmed.

My sincere apologies for any inconvenience.

Respectfully,

Sherri Helwig
Chair, Teaching Stream Committee

 

Reminder: UTFA members determine whether (some) SETs may be used in their PTR and other academic review processes

Wednesday, April 27, 2022​

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

In response to requests UTFA has received in the past few days regarding student course evaluations and the PTR process, this is a friendly reminder that, pursuant to Article 5 of the COVID LOU that UTFA negotiated with the Administration:

“any faculty member or librarian teaching a course that normally includes in-person classes in the period during which physical distancing measures were in place and in-person classes could not continue… may determine whether or not the student course evaluations for courses taught in that period may be relied on in any academic review process, including the PTR process, and that no adverse consequences will flow from a decision not to consider those course evaluations.” (emphasis added)

If any of your courses in 2021-2022 meet these criteria (i.e., “normally includes in-person classes in the period during which physical distancing measures were in place and in-person classes could not continue”) and you wish to exclude the student course evaluations in respect of any (or all) of those courses from the 2021-2022 PTR assessment (or any other academic review), we encourage you to email your department chair as soon as possible.

If you have any questions or require assistance, please reach out to us at faculty@utfa.org.

Sincerely,
Terezia Zorić
UTFA President
 

Petition to Maintain the University of Toronto’s Mask Mandate

Friday, April 22, 2022​

Dear Colleagues,

UTFA has been hearing from many faculty and librarians who are concerned about U of T’s plan to “pause” the mask mandate May 1st. Members have been asking us about how to express their view that the mask mandate should be maintained. This view is also strongly held by UTFA’s expert public health advisors.

CUPE 3902 and USW 1998 have been receiving similar calls from their members.

Together we created a petition calling on President Gertler to maintain the requirement to be masked in indoor University spaces.

We encourage you to sign the petition and to share it widely!

Sincerely,
Terezia Zorić
UTFA President

Jun Nogami PhD, FAAAS, P. Eng.
VP Salary, Benefits, Pensions, & Workload
UTFA  

 

Teaching Stream – Continuing Status Review Workshop (May 2)


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

I am writing to invite you to our annual Continuing Status Review Workshop for members in the Teaching Stream. UTFA will once again offer the workshop via Zoom.

We look forward to seeing you May 2!

Sincerely,

Sherri Helwig
Chair, UTFA Teaching Stream Committee

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Continuing Status Review Workshop for the Teaching Stream

Monday, May 2, 2022
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Via Zoom

This workshop assists Teaching Stream members in preparing for the interim review and the continuing status review. It is designed to demystify review procedures.

This workshop is open to all Teaching Stream members of the Association and includes the following:

  • useful tips from teaching dossier experts
  • an overview of all relevant university review procedures
  • a forum to share and exchange strategies towards compiling a successful file

Speakers: Megan Burnett, Associate Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI), and Helen Nowak, UTFA General Counsel

Host: Sherri Helwig, Chair, UTFA Teaching Stream Committee

To attend, click below to RSVP with your name and department/faculty. Once registered, you will receive the link to attend the event in the days ahead.

 

UTFA Annual General Meeting


Tuesday, April 19, 2022
4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Register here.

AGENDA

1. Acknowledgement of Traditional Land (Joseph Carens)

2. Review of the Agenda

3. Minutes of 2020–2021 AGM

4. Welcome and President’s Remarks (Terezia Zorić)

5. Featured Q&A-based discussion: Jim Turk, founder of the Centre for Free Expression, with Rinaldo Walcott and Judith Taylor

Jim will discuss the stakes of free expression in society, and what we can do to safeguard and inspire it. On the Centre’s site under Events, you can view and listen to Centre-hosted talks and panels to get a sense of the Centre’s priorities and vision, and you can look at their projects as well. Please send your questions for Jim to faculty@utfa.org

6. Greetings: Susan Wurtele, OCUFA President

7. Presentation of the UTFA Academic Citizenship Awards (Judith Taylor with Terezia Zorić and Jun Nogami)

UTFA’s 2021 Academic Citizenship Award honours faculty members from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health: Professors Arjumand Siddiqi, Ashleigh Tuite, David Fisman, James Scott, Jeffrey Siegel, and Paul Bozek.

8. Reports of the 2021–2022 UTFA Officers and Chairs of Committees

The reports are published in the AGM Newsletter and will not be read at the meeting. However, Officers and Committee Chairs will be available to answer questions. Also, the Past-President will be available to answer any questions on the University Pension Plan (UPP).

9. Presentation of UTFA Student Award Recipients (Roy Gillis)

2022 UTFA Al Miller Memorial Awards
2022 UTFA Undergraduate Tuition Awards

10. Other business and questions from the floor

11. Adjournment

 

Invitation to UTFA AGM: Tuesday, April 19

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Dear UTFA Colleagues,
 
I would like to congratulate all our members who participated in the two presidential campaigns and to express my deep appreciation to all who voted. The election process did what democratic contestation is supposed to do, it compelled candidates to articulate our values and our visions for UTFA as an association. And it engaged the UTFA “citizenry.” That a record high 70% of our membership voted speaks to the health and vitality of our organization. I am honoured to have received a decisive majority and clear mandate to lead UTFA for a second term. As a democratic organization, UTFA gains its strength from having an informed, engaged, and active membership, so let’s continue the momentum. 
 
I am delighted to formally invite you to UTFA’s Annual General Meeting. UTFA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) is on Tuesday, April 19, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.mRegister here

Our 2022 AGM will feature a Q&A-based discussion with Jim Turk, founder of the Centre for Free Expression. Jim will discuss the stakes of free expression in society, and what we can do to safeguard and inspire it. On the site under Events you can view and listen to Centre-hosted talks and panels to get a sense of the Centre’s priorities and vision, and you can look at their projects as well. Please send your questions for Jim to faculty@utfa.org.

More details, including the UTFA AGM Newsletter containing important reports from Executive members, will follow.

Sincerely,

Terezia Zorić, 
UTFA President

 

UTFA Presidential Election Results

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Results
Terezia Zorić: 1669 votes (61.5%)
Renan Levine: 1043 votes (38.5%)

Turnout
2720 (70.3% of electors, including 8 abstentions)

Michael O’Connor
UTFA Chief Returning Officer

 

UTFA President Elected

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you that Terezia Zorić has been elected President of the University of Toronto Faculty Association for the term July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2024.

Congratulations and best wishes to Terezia.

I also wish to thank Renan Levine for his participation in this important democratic process. 

Thank you to Terezia, Renan, and their teams for their commitment to a fair election.

Finally, I would like to thank UTFA staff for their support throughout the election process.

Sincerely,

Michael O’Connor
UTFA Chief Returning Officer

 

Statement by the University of Toronto Faculty Association on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD)

Monday, March 21, 2022 

The United Nations designated March 21 as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) to annually commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre, where South African police murdered 69 women, men, and children (and injured 180 others) as they peacefully protested apartheid “pass laws” in 1960.

UTFA joins the world-wide community to observe this day. Despite a half-century of legal advances in the fight against racism and racial discrimination, UTFA members continue to experience racism in our workplaces and communities, including racial profiling, anti-Black racism, anti-Asian racism, Islamophobia, and antisemitism. These experiences are a result of systems that maintain privileges for some groups of people over others, as well as individual racist acts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, white supremacist groups have exploited a context of deepening socio-economic precarity, racism, and xenophobia to fuel intensified discrimination and violence toward Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities across global societies. In particular, racial harassment and assaults against Asians have increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognizing the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, UTFA reaffirms the importance of full respect for the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and the importance of protecting civic space. We stand in solidarity with individuals and organizations that stand up against racism, racial discrimination, and intolerance in all forms and manifestations. UTFA reaffirms its commitment to fight injustice, and to work tirelessly to ensure a safe, collegial environment for all members of the university community.

On this March 21 day of remembrance, we specifically acknowledge the ongoing labour of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized and allied faculty who have, for some time now, been speaking out ​against ​racism in its myriad forms across all three campuses of the University of Toronto. In solidarity with these colleagues, UTFA resolutely recommits to strengthening its efforts to speak out against racial discrimination and to advance​ equality and social justice in university life.

 

UTFA Presidential Candidates Forums

Thursday, March 17, 2022 [Updated: March 21, 2022]

Dear Colleagues,

Two UTFA Presidential Candidates Forums will be held next week at which presidential candidates Renan Levine and Terezia Zorić will have an opportunity to outline their platforms. The Forums will be moderated by Hamish Russell, the speaker of UTFA Council. In anticipation of the Forums, the candidates have provided platform statements. You can access them directly here: Terezia Zorić’s platform statement Renan Levine’s platform statement

At each forum, candidates will make opening comments, respond to questions, and make closing comments. Questions may be sent in advance to chiefreturningofficer@utfa.org or be raised, time permitting, at each Forum. We encourage questions that are applicable to both candidates.

When:
Tuesday, March 22, 5 to 6 p.m.
Wednesday, March 23, 10 to 11 a.m.

Forums will begin on the hour.

Where: Via Zoom webinar

RSVP: Please click on the appropriate date to register for the Forum you wish to attend:

Tuesday, March 22 https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_I6z5buWnTLivZMUjXP0N5A

Wednesday, March 23 https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SXw5uL1CQIqalS2fvZmHCQ

If you have questions about registration, please write to faculty@utfa.org.

If you have questions about the election, please write to me at chiefreturningofficer@utfa.org.

Sincerely,

Michael O’Connor
UTFA Chief Returning Officer

 

UTFA Election Announcement

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Dear Colleagues, 

The period for nominating candidates for the position of the President of UTFA has now ended. There are two nominees: Renan Levine and Terezia Zorić. As a result, there will be an election.

The President of UTFA is directly elected by the members of the Association. We will be using an online voting system, as we have for past elections. You will be receiving an email early next week with detailed voting instructions. Please note that the voting period will begin on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, and will end on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. Note also that online ballots often roll out rather than appear in all members’ inboxes at the same moment. Reminders will be sent at intervals of three to five days to those who have not yet voted.  

The candidates' statements appear on the Presidential Election web page, for which there is a link from the UTFA home page.

If you have questions about the election, please write to me at chiefreturningofficer@utfa.org.

Sincerely,

Michael O’Connor
UTFA Chief Returning Officer

 

Nomination received for UTFA President

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

We have received a nomination for UTFA President, for Terezia Zorić. Additional information will be available on her candidate page after the nomination period closes.

Further nominations may be submitted until Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

If you have any questions about the nomination or election process, please write to me at chiefreturningofficer@utfa.org.

Sincerely,

Michael O’Connor
UTFA Chief Returning Officer

 

Nomination received for UTFA President

Monday, March 14, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

We have received a nomination for UTFA President, for Renan Levine. Additional information will be available on his candidate page after the nomination period closes.

Further nominations may be submitted until Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

If you have any questions about the nomination or election process, please write to me at chiefreturningofficer@utfa.org.

Sincerely,

Michael O’Connor
UTFA Chief Returning Officer

 

Statement on Ukraine

Monday, March 14, 2022

The University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) decries Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and stands with the Ukrainian people and our colleagues in higher education in Ukraine. We endorse the principles of the United Nations Charter and its Declaration on the Principles of International Law, which recalls “the duty of States to refrain in their international relations from military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any State.” We declare our solidarity with the Ukrainian people in their resistance to this unprovoked and egregious act of war. 

Our thoughts are with those who have connections to the region, including our students, faculty, and staff, who are concerned for their family members, friends, and colleagues there. We further acknowledge the courageous efforts of all who have risen to oppose the actions of the Russian state, including those dissenting in Russia itself. 

Recent reports of the difficulties that some international students are facing in evacuating Ukraine are also of concern. We urge higher education institutions in Ukraine and leaders in higher education around the world to immediately institute programs backed by the needed financial resources to enable all scholars-at-risk to find safe haven.

In the coming weeks UTFA will be reaching out to student groups; U of T faculty, librarians, staff, and the Administration; OCUFA and CAUT to see how we can support solidarity actions already in progress.

 

UPP Member Survey Part Two: Responsible Investment now live

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

LAUNCH SURVEY

The survey is an anonymous way to share your opinions and perspectives with UPP about the role of responsible investing in your pension. Your answers are not linked to any personal identifiers and will be kept completely confidential. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete and will remain open until April 30, 2022.

Stay Connected! Visit MyUPP.ca to subscribe for updates and share with UPP anytime.

 

Nominations for UTFA President now open

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

The nomination period for the 2022 UTFA Presidential election opens today, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. and closes on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

The UTFA President serves for two years, from July 1 immediately following the date of election. A President may serve up to three two-year terms consecutively.

The duties and terms of reference for the President are set out in the UTFA Constitution and Bylaws. The President of UTFA is directly elected by the members of the Association.

Any UTFA member in good standing may be nominated for the position of President. Candidates must be nominated by either two (2) members of Council or ten (10) members of UTFA. Nomination forms are available on the UTFA Presidential Election page along with Guidelines for the Presidential election.

Read more

 

COVID LOU Extension—New Town Hall; Health & Safety Update

Monday, February 28, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

We write to provide you with three important updates: 

A. You are invited to a new Town Hall; 
B. The COVID LOU has been extended in some significant areas, including PTR; and,
C. The Administration has recently indicated that it intends to continue to require certain key health and safety measures for at least the remainder of this term.

Read more

 

Nominations for UTFA President open on Tuesday, March 1

Friday, February 18, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

2022 is a Presidential election year for the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA). I have been appointed by UTFA Council as the Chief Returning Officer (CRO) for this election.

The UTFA President serves for two years, from July 1 immediately following the date of election. A President may serve up to three two-year terms consecutively. The duties and terms of reference for the President are set out in the UTFA Constitution and Bylaws. The President of UTFA is directly elected by the members of the Association.

The Presidential nomination period opens on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. and closes on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at 5:00 p.m.

Read more

 

Invitation to UTFA Town Halls on the 2020–2023 SBPW Agreement

Monday, February 7, 2022

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

As we previously wrote, on January 25, 2022, the UTFA Negotiating Team for Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload (SBPW) and the University Administration reached an agreement regarding the three-year period July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023.

Please join us for an UTFA Town Hall to learn about the agreement and what it means for you. There will be an opportunity to have your questions answered. We encourage you to attend the session that corresponds to your campus; however, you are welcome to attend any session that fits your schedule.

UTFA Town Halls on the 2020–2023 SBPW Agreement

UTFA UTM Town Hall
Thursday, February 10, 2022
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

UTFA UTSC Town Hall
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

UTFA UTSG Town Hall
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Where: Via Zoom

RSVP: Please register for the session you wish to attend by email to Chris Penn at faculty@utfa.org. Questions may be sent in advance to faculty@utfa.org or be raised, time permitting, at each Town Hall.

We hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

Terezia Zorić and Jun Nogami
UTFA Co-Lead Negotiators, SBPW Bargaining

 

You're Invited: UTFA Town Hall for Retirees on the Three-Year Agreement

Friday, February 4, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

On January 25, 2022, the UTFA Negotiating Team for Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload (SBPW) and the University Administration reached an agreement regarding the three-year period July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023.

Please join us for a Town Hall to learn about the agreement, what it means for Retirees, and to have your questions answered.

What:     UTFA Town Hall for Retirees on the 2020 – 2023 Agreement 
Date:      Monday, February 7, 2022
Time:      4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Where:   Via zoom
RSVP:    by email to Chris Penn at Faculty@utfa.org

Questions may be sent in advance to Faculty@utfa.org or be raised, time permitting, at the town hall.

Retirees are also welcome to join the Town Halls  which are being organized for each of the three campuses. Further details will be communicated early next week.   

We hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

Jun and Terezia
Co-Lead Negotiators, SBPW

 

UTFA Reaches Three-Year Agreement with Administration

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

On January 25, 2022, the UTFA Negotiating Team for Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload (SBPW) and the University Administration reached an agreement regarding the three-year period July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023. This agreement has now been ratified by UTFA Council and the U of T Administration.

Under the terms of the deal, salary and benefits improvements for the first two years, ending June 30, 2022, have been settled.  Terms for the third year, ending June 30, 2023, are subject to arbitration.

Bargaining in this round was constrained by Bill 124 (the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019) which restricts salary increases to 1% per year during the three-year period covered by this agreement. Furthermore, the legislation puts a limit of 1% per year on increases to total compensation which also limits benefits improvements.

Highlights of the settlement are listed below.

Salary

  • July 1, 2020: 1.0% across-the-board salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2020.
  • July 1, 2021: 1.0% across-the-board salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2021. 
  • PTR paid on July 1, 2021 will be augmented with an additional payment to reflect a 1% increase in breakpoints and increments.
  • PTR for the 2021-2022 assessment period will be paid on July 1, 2022, and breakpoints and increments will increase by 1%. Pursuant to the COVID Letter of Understanding (LOU), the process to be followed will be subject to a discussion between UTFA and the University Administration regarding whether there should be any modification to the process for determining PTR scores and awards for the 2021-2022.
  • Minimum Per Course Stipend and Overload Rate will increase from $17,895 to $18,255, effective on date of ratification.

Benefits

Year 1 benefits improvements:
An additional $180 will be deposited into each active member’s Health Care Spending Account (HCSA), with an effective deposit date of July 1, 2020. This is a one-time only adjustment that reflects the fact that benefits improvements for 2020-2021 cannot be utilized.

Year 2 benefits improvements:
An additional $50 will be deposited into each active member’s HCSA, with an effective deposit date of July 1, 2021. This is a one-time-only adjustment that reflects the fact that benefits improvements for 2021-2022 will be available for only part of the year.

The following benefits improvements will become effective as expeditiously as is practicable (UTFA is in discussions with the Administration about when that will be):

 

Year 3 – All remaining issues are subject to arbitration

In arbitration for Year 3, UTFA will continue to pursue the salary, benefits, and workload proposals for Year 3 that have been tabled as part of these negotiations.

Notably, UTFA is seeking important policy changes related to workload and an increase to the number of librarian research days.

With respect to benefits, UTFA has tabled benefits improvements for Year 3 (July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023) and will continue to resist all proposals by the University Administration that have the impact of reducing health benefits for retirees as compared to those for active members.

Within the context of Bill 124 and other factors that made this a difficult round of bargaining, including the need to negotiate the COVID LOU, UTFA made progress on the goals UTFA Council mandated us to pursue. That mandate included:

  • PTR for 2020-2021 and future years;
  • Fair and equitable workloads, including increased supports for remote academic work during the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Mental health benefits improvements and stream-lined accommodation processes;
  • Fair compensation and benefits for actives and retirees; and,
  • Health and safety protections.

At the same time, there is still much work to be done via arbitration and in future rounds of UTFA SBPW bargaining on your behalf.

In closing, we would like to express our gratitude for the continuing work of the other members of the UTFA SBPW negotiating team: Roy Gillis, UTFA VP, University & External Affairs; Mary Alice Gutman, Professor Emeritus; David Roberts, Geography Associate Professor, Teaching Stream; Arjumand Siddiqi, Public Health Professor; and, Harriet Sonne de Torrens, Chair, UTFA Librarians Committee.

We also express our thanks for the support of our legal staff at UTFA: Reni Chang, Counsel, and Crystal Doyle, Legal Assistant, as well as our Executive Director, Kathy Johnson. Further, we thank Emma Phillips and Mary-Elizabeth Dill of Goldblatt Partners and Hugh Mackenzie of Mackenzie and Associates for their expertise and assistance.

Sincerely,

Terezia Zorić, UTFA President

Jun Nogami, UTFA Vice-President, Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload

 

Updates on Bargaining, the COVID LOU, and Health and Safety

Friday, January 28, 2022

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

Below are three brief updates: on salaries, benefits, and workload bargaining; the COVID LOU; and Health and Safety. Several important meetings on each of these items are scheduled in the coming days and we will write you more detailed communiqués by the end of next week.

Read full updates

 

Statement by the University of Toronto Faculty Association on the United Nations International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

Thursday, January 27, 2022

The University of Toronto Faculty Association recognizes the critical importance of acknowledging today, January 27, 2022, as the United Nations International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Moreover, UTFA calls for actions across all levels of Canadian society to eliminate antisemitism in all its forms and manifestations whether that be through acts of religious intolerance, vandalism, harassment, incitement to violence or acts of violence against persons or communities and condemns any attempts to deny or minimize the catastrophic impact of the Holocaust. UTFA also recognizes that acts of antisemitism and Holocaust denial have occurred within the University of Toronto community and condemns these actions and events unequivocally. UTFA supports the efforts of the University of Toronto administration to address antisemitism within the University of Toronto community and supports the recommendations contained within the Report of the University of Toronto Anti-Semitism Working Group.

As former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon stated in January 2008, “We must also go beyond remembrance, and make sure that new generations know this history. We must apply the lessons of the Holocaust to today’s world. And we must do our utmost so that all peoples may enjoy the protection and rights for which the United Nations stands.”

 

Update/End of Year Best Wishes

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

When we wrote to you last week we shared a series of health and safety questions and concerns we had been raising with the University Administration in light of the significant threat posed by Omicron. This email provides a brief update, including some positive developments, based on the Administration’s responses to us in the last several days.

At an emergency meeting UTFA requested this Monday, we commended the Acting Provost and other senior Administrators for their December 15 announcement that halted in-person tests and exams and delayed in-person teaching and learning until January 31, 2022. We noted with appreciation their proactive approach to the surging variant of concern; the implicit recognition that a short notice requirement to ‘pivot’ to online exams would be untenable; and the clear acknowledgement that Omicron’s threat to public health now requires serious new measures to reduce the risks to U of T and our broader community.

Read full message

 

COVID/Omicron Variant: Questions for the Administration

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

Considering the rapidly rising COVID case numbers in Ontario—including Toronto and Peel—and the very serious threat posed by the Omicron variant, last week UTFA wrote to the University’s senior Administration. We pressed, once again, for greater transparency and the sharing of key health and safety information with UTFA, the public health scientists with whom we are working closely, and the broader University community.

Read full message

 

Annual Retiree Reception: Engaging with Indigenous Perspectives at U of T

Monday, December 6, 2021

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Update: Professor Dale Turner was guest speaker at this event. Drawing on his research and teaching activities, he proposed a range of answers to the key question How do we listen to Indigenous peoples in and on their own terms?

Professor Turner’s remarks were very well received. Listen to them here.

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Retirement offers many new opportunities. As a retiree, you continue to be an important member of the University of Toronto Faculty/Librarians community. In your first year of retirement you are welcomed, without fees, as a retired member of the University of Toronto Faculty Association. Following this there is an annual $50 fee for all UTFA retired members.

The UTFA Retired Members Committee identifies and addresses concerns that are particularly relevant to retirees, such as retiree health and other benefits, special events, and developments around the new UPP (University Pension Plan).

Read the full announcement

 

University Pension Plan (UPP) Member Engagement Announcement

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Today, University Pension Plan (UPP) kicks off a two-part member dialogue on Member Experience and Responsible Investing. These conversations - beginning this November - provide an avenue for members to share their perspectives and preferences on two important topics.

Fall 2021

On November 9th, UPP will launch Part One of a Member Survey focused on Member Experience, followed by accompanying virtual Townhalls on November 23rd (Morning Session) and November 25th (Afternoon Session). Townhall attendees are invited to submit questions in advance via the event registration page or on MyUPP.ca.

Read full announcement

 

Statement of Solidarity with Teachers, Librarians, and Archivists in Afghanistan from UTFA Members

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

We, members of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA), stand in solidarity with colleagues working in schools, academia, cultural organizations, archives, and the libraries in Afghanistan. We are deeply concerned about the threats to the safety and security of our colleagues, with particular concern for girls, women, and ethnic, religious, and sectarian minorities.

Teachers/instructors/professors, cultural workers, artists, librarians, and archivists in Afghanistan are leaders and role models who facilitate knowledge building and mobilization and engaged citizenship—both locally and globally, and who are integral to the wellbeing of society.

We call on Canadian and world leaders to collaborate globally to promote the professional and human rights of teachers/instructors/professors, cultural workers, artists, librarians, and archivists in Afghanistan. They offer trusted expertise and knowledge and preserve the history and culture of a people. Access to knowledge and information should be a fundamental human right.

 

Course credit / CERF / COVID LOU survey

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Dear UTFA Colleagues,

We are writing to make sure you are accessing 2 of the key entitlements UTFA negotiated on your behalf in the COVID Letter of Understanding (the “COVID LOU”).

Read the full message

 

Statement of Apology

Thursday, October 28, 2021

I apologize for using a phrase that evoked a negative trope at the What the hell happened at the University of Toronto Law School? event. I now better recognize how such tropes can tap into and reinforce harmful stereotypes about the Jewish community. Although it was not my intention, I acknowledge that the words I used caused pain and distress to many of my colleagues, who experienced them as insults. For that as well I am truly sorry.

As someone who has devoted decades of her life to the work of challenging discrimination in its many forms, I am humbled. I am reminded of my responsibility to foster more listening, more respectful dialogue, and a greater willingness to learn from each other so that we may pursue our shared goals as an Association.

Terezia Zorić, UTFA President

 

UTFA Statement – National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Thursday, September 30, 2021

September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, one of 94 calls to action identified in Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. It asked that the federal government collaborate with Aboriginal peoples to establish a day to “honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.” UTFA stands with Indigenous members of the University of Toronto community in recognizing the particular role and responsibility that we in the post-secondary sector have to reflect on and learn Indigenous histories, cultures, and rights, as well as our own roles in the historic process of colonization. We join with the Canadian labour movement in calling for “all levels of government to make concrete commitments and take action on reconciliation by...

Read full statement

 

Petition Calling for a Safe University of Toronto Re-opening

Friday, September 24, 2021

We are asking for your help in addressing serious problems with the University of Toronto Administration’s approach to campus reopening.

According to a recent expert panel titled Is it safe to return to campus? featuring Canada’s leading public health scientists, U of T’s reopening plan fails in important ways to keep students, staff, faculty, and librarians on campus safe enough.

Every day we hear from UTFA members, staff, colleagues, and students who are deeply troubled by serious flaws in the U of T plan, but these concerns remain unacknowledged and unaddressed by U of T’s president and senior leadership. That must change.

Please read, sign, and share widely the following Petition Calling for a Safe University of Toronto Re-opening

Read full statement

 

Video: 'Is it safe enough to return to campus? What do public health scientists say?'

Thursday, September 16, 2021

On September 9th UTFA co-sponsored an expert panel titled “Is it safe enough to return to campus? What do public health scientists say?”

Panelists answered representative questions received from attendees ahead of time and via Zoom Q&A. This expert panel was organized by the Toronto Inter-University Coalition, which is comprised of faculty associations and unions from Toronto’s four universities and with the technical assistance of OCUFA.

To view the video of the event: https://youtu.be/hsx_UZCweDY

Expert Panel: 'Is it safe enough to return to campus? What do public health scientists say?' Thurs. Sept. 9, 7-9 PM

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

You are invited to join us for an interactive panel discussion with leading health and safety experts in epidemiology, indoor air quality, bioaerosols, bioethics, population health equity, and more.

Following brief presentations by the panelists, there will be an extended Q & A. Click here to register

Read full invitation

Open Letter to President Gertler on COU Lobbying on Occupancy Limits

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Dear President Gertler:

The Council of Ontario Universities (COU), at which you represent the University of Toronto, is lobbying the Ford government to exempt universities from the indoor occupancy limits that protect against overcrowding and mitigate the risk of COVID. There is no good scientific rationale for this political move.

Read full statement

UTFA All Members’ Meeting on the COVID Letter of Understanding (LOU) & Health and Safety

Tuesday, August 31, 2021
5:00 to 7:00 pm

Please join us to learn more about how the recently-negotiated COVID LOU between UTFA and the Administration affects you, including:

  • Your right not to be required to teach hybrid or dual-delivery courses;
  • How the special PTR process works;
  • Workload relief provisions;
  • Your right to choose not to use Student Course Evaluations in some circumstances;
  • Which of your expenses qualify under the special COVID Expense Reimbursement Fund (the “CERF”); and,
  • Detailed accommodation guidelines, including whom to contact, for those facing medical circumstances, childcare responsibilities, or eldercare responsibilities.

UTFA’s members of the U of T Central Health and Safety Committee will also provide updates on, answer your questions about, and assess the sufficiency of the University Administration’s fall reopening plans.

Read full invitation

UTFA Council Ratifies COVID LOU (Agreement Reached with Administration)

Wednesday, August 11

On Monday, UTFA Council unanimously ratified a special COVID Letter of Understanding (the “COVID LOU”) the UTFA bargaining team had negotiated with the Administration.

As we explained in our last bargaining update, UTFA had been seeking to reach agreement on the most pressing COVID issues with the U of T Administration since the spring of 2020 and we had been negotiating the LOU since January 2021. Issues that are not COVID-specific, and that are part of regular salary, benefits, and workload negotiations—including annual across-the-board salary increases, benefit enhancements, and Workload Policy (WLPP) improvements—remain unresolved (See Appendix B of the LOU). Our last Memorandum of Settlement expired on June 30, 2020, and is subject to ongoing negotiations.

Read full statement

Health and Safety Checklist for University Re-opening

Friday, July 16

If the University Administration wishes to schedule significant in-person activities while COVID-19 remains a public health concern, a number of conditions must be met before staff and students can have confidence that their campus is safe enough for in-person teaching, learning, and other work. The following is a non-exhaustive list of steps that a University Administration must take, at a minimum, to reduce the risks associated with university re-openings. 

Read full statement

Joint Statement to University Administration re: Faculty of Music

Monday, June 30

Dear Provost Regehr, Vice-Provost Boon, Professor Hannah-Moffat,

Open Letter Regarding the University of Toronto Faculty of Music

Read the letter

UTFA Statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Monday, June 21

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day on Turtle Island, a day of celebration, recognition, and respect for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis cultures. This year’s National Indigenous Peoples Day is especially poignant in light of the recent discoveries of the remains of children at former residential schools across Canada.  

Read the full statement

Open Letter to President Gertler re: CAUT Censure

Thursday, June 10

Re: Town Hall on the CAUT Censure of the University of Toronto Administration

In the wake of the CAUT censure, UTFA has hosted two all-member events. Our first information session, on May 6, answered our members’ questions about the CAUT censure process and what the censure entails. 

Read the letter

UTFA Bargaining Update and Move to Mediation

Wednesday, June 9

We are writing to update you on our efforts to negotiate salary, benefits, pensions, and workload (SBPW) improvements on your behalf. As we previously reported, UTFA entered into the current round of SBPW negotiations with the U of T Administration in the Fall of 2019. Our proposals arose from a series of surveys and constituency-based consultations with faculty and librarians

Read the full update

UTFA statement on hate crime in London, Ontario

Wednesday, June 9

UTFA denounces the hate crime that led to the murder of four Muslim family members in London, Ontario this weekend.

Read the full statement

UTFA mourns the loss of Indigenous children in mass grave at residential school site

Thursday, June 3

UTFA grieves the loss of 215 Indigenous children following the discovery of remains found at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. We mourn the deaths of these children in solidarity with their families and Indigenous communities.

Read the full statement

Op-ed: OCADU’s decision to terminate four librarians reflects a troubling trend in the post-secondary sector

Monday, May 31

On June 1, 2021, OCADU Administration will officially eliminate six library positions. This will result in the loss of four senior librarians who have over seven decades of service and experience. Please read this op-ed by Min Sook Lee (OCADU Faculty Association President), Harriet Sonne de Torrens (UTFA Librarians Committee Chair) & Terezia Zorić (UTFA President) on the loss of the library positions and how it reflects a troubling trend in the post-secondary sector. 

Read the full op-ed

CAUT Censure: Frequently Asked Questions

Wednesday, May 26

The purpose of this FAQ document is to provide responses to questions that our members raised during a special information session on the CAUT censure (held on May 6, 2021) and via email before and after the event. We hope to continue updating this page as new questions emerge.

Read the full statement

Second Membership Meeting on CAUT censure

Friday, May 21

We are inviting you to a second UTFA special meeting about the CAUT censure of the U of T Administration. The meeting will take place on Thursday, May 27 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

Read the full statement

Update on CAUT censure

Friday, May 14

As you know, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) recently issued a rare censure against UofT’s Administration in response to the hiring controversy at the Faculty of Law. Following that decision, UTFA organized an information session on May 6, 2021 with CAUT’s Executive Director, David Robinson, to explain the censure process.

UTFA is a member of CAUT. CAUT is a highly valued, democratic organization that speaks as a respected national voice for faculty, librarians, and other academic staff across Canada’s post-secondary sector. It is clear that CAUT Council came to its censure decision by way of an informed process.

Read the full update

OPEN LETTER to the President of OCADU on the decision to eliminate six librarian positions

Thursday, May 13

On behalf of the members of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) Executive and the UTFA Librarians Committee, we are writing to urge you and senior OCADU Administration to re-consider the decision to eliminate six librarian positions. We call on you to adopt and respect a collegial process that involves librarians, faculty, students, and the broader community.

We have serious concerns about the radical elimination of six professional librarian positions under the guise of a structural re-organization that has occurred without a collegial process of consultation with faculty, students, or the librarians who have lost their jobs. We are disappointed that the University Librarian, Tony White, and the OCADU Administration have decided to terminate the employment of four academic librarians. Combined, the four librarians have more than six decades of expertise and knowledge – a loss that is irreplaceable. Despite years of exceptional service, they were given their layoff notices on May 5, 2021 and will officially lose their jobs as of June 1, 2021. We are also concerned about the decision to eliminate two unfilled librarian positions at OCADU.

Read the full statement

 

UTFA Annual General Meeting (AGM) 

Tuesday, April 27 from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

UTFA’s 2021 AGM will feature two interactive panels who will answer questions posed by the membership.

Panel 1: Health & Safety Experts from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health Panel 2: Bargaining Update

Register

Read the 2021 AGM Newsletter

Further AGM details

Dalla Lana panel image - UTFA AGM

 

Public Statement from Historians at the University of Toronto, April 21, 2021

As faculty of the University of Toronto’s History Department, we join with hundreds of our colleagues in the fields of health and medicine in condemning the Government of Ontario’s refusal, through 13 months of this devastating pandemic, to even consider funding paid sick leave and paid time off for vaccinations for essential workers in this province. While the April 20th announcement extends the hope that a plan is finally coming, it is critical to remember that this government has repeatedly refused to implement these policies despite multiple calls to do so from the members of its own COVID-19 Science Table, leading public health experts, as well as ER and ICU physicians. 

Read the full statement

 

The Laurentian Crisis and the fight to secure funding

Laurentian University's Administration appears intent to file for court protection and proceed with a financial restructuring plan that overrides the principles of collegial governance, collective bargaining rights, and relies on unethical use of research grants to pay off administrative debts. This plan may also jeopardize Laurentian University's important role in having a tricultural mandate to provide English, French, and Indigenous educational programs.

We strongly encourage all UTFA members and the University of Toronto community to join the broader coalition in showing support for our northern colleagues before the April 30th deadline. Please use the links on this page to learn more about the situation at Laurentian and to learn about the many ways to take action in solidarity with LUFA as well as Laurentian's students, staff and the Sudbury community.

UTFA's Laurentian solidarity page with links for information and action

Background articles

UTFA open letter to the Laurentian University Faculty Association

UTFA statement on Laurentian eliminating more than 60 programs

 

 

Working together, we took action and we won

Thank you. Three weeks ago, following protracted negotiations and an unsuccessful arbitration, we found ourselves facing an Administration that continued to withhold our July 1, 2020 PTR increases—despite the extraordinary efforts UTFA members have been making during the pandemic. In response, we launched an online petition and you immediately responded by signing the petition and writing to the Administration.

Thanks to you, within hours of our petition going live the Administration reached out to UTFA to negotiate a settlement to the PTR impasse. After UTFA obtained clarification on a key provision of the proposal, they ultimately provided everything we asked for in the petition.

Read more

Key win on PTR

Good news! Yesterday we wrote to you about the ongoing decision by U of T’s Senior Administration to withhold your July 1, 2020 PTR (Progress Through the Ranks) increase. The response from our membership was immediate and overwhelmingly supportive of UTFA’s position as expressed in our PTR petition.

Read more

 

Where is your July 1, 2020 PTR? 

Please read this update on UTFA’s efforts to challenge the Administration’s withholding of your 2019-2020 PTR (Progress Through the Ranks).

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UTFA year-end update

As this strange and difficult year comes to a close, I’m writing to offer a brief reflection on the work our Association has been doing. 

Since March, the pandemic has affected every aspect of our working lives. A series of UTFA member surveys have documented how the rapid shift to remote work has exacerbated the widespread problem of excessive workloads and pre-pandemic systemic inequities. On very short notice and under challenging circumstances, faculty and librarians on all 3 campuses have more than risen to the occasion—routinely sacrificing care for themselves in order to fulfill their commitments to their students, their scholarly and professional communities, and the broader purposes of the University as a whole.

Read the full update

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U of T’s Reopening Plan is NOT Safe Enough. We Need to Take Fall 2020 Online

The University of Toronto’s reopening plan does not guarantee a safe return to in-person work. Until the safety of students and workers can be guaranteed, in-person learning, teaching, librarianship, and other academic work should be paused.

Update on Health and Safety from UTFA President Terezia Zorić

WATCH: Not Safe Enough — Listening to the Science on the Reopening of U of T Panel Discussion

Below you will find articles on some the latest scientific developments affecting in-person teaching, some of the key challenges facing schools, case studies of schools as they attempt to go back, as well as UTFA media coverage around this issue. It will be updated daily so please check back for the latest developments. As well, please sign and share our petition.

Detailed Report of SBPW Negotiations, July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2020

In this long and complex round of bargaining UTFA brought forward a number of monetary proposals (for salary and benefits) as well as policy proposals to remedy long-standing concerns related to the Workload Policy and Procedures (WLPP) and the PTR process. It has long been UTFA’s view that workload and PTR policies, in their current form, are inadequate to ensure fair, reasonable, and equitable distributions of workload for faculty and librarians at U of T.

A settlement of UTFA's financial proposals, in which UTFA made modest gains consistent with sectoral norms, was achieved on April 25, 2018. However, a discussion continued with the assistance of Mr. William Kaplan on UTFA's proposals to amend the WLPP and aspects of the Academic Administrative Procedures Manual relating to the PTR process.

Read the full report

 

Letter from U of T School of Public Health Faculty to U of T Administration Regarding Work and Health Inequities under COVID-19

Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Dear President Gertler, Vice-President & Provost Regehr, and Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity Hannah-Moffat:

As faculty members at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, we write to express our concerns regarding the University of Toronto’s measures to protect the health and safety of all workers, essential and non-essential, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Urgent action is needed to: (1) ensure adequate workplace health and safety measures by consulting with relevant groups prior to the University’s reopening process; (2) provide employment security to workers currently facing precarity, including highly racialized and feminized low-wage workers; and (3) provide gender-equitable work-at-home policies related to childcare and elder care. The U of T is a world leader in public health with extensive expertise among its faculty. Moreover, the Dalla Lana School of Public Health has one of three Canadian graduate training programs in Occupational Hygiene, and the only one in Ontario. This faculty expertise is contributing to national and international responses to COVID-19, yet it has only scantly been consulted to shape internal U of T COVID-19-related policies. The U of T still has the opportunity to model a justice-informed COVID-19 response, marshaling this expertise, to ensure the health and well-being of U ofT workers.

Many U of T workers, and their unions, have expressed concern that the University has to date not adequately informed, let alone consulted with, the 50 joint health and safety committees (JHSCs) about health and safety protections for on-siteworkers. There is a lack of clarity on how the (shifting) public health recommendations are being implemented on campus, what personal protective equipment is needed and will be provided, and how physical distancing will be enforced, nor has there been a clear message on which positions are eligible to work on-site versus at home. Since the JHSCs were not informed about or involved in these decision making processes, worker representatives were unable to communicate with, or share the concerns of, their members. This is a missed opportunity on the part of University administration to engage those who are most familiar with workplace conditions and the day-to-day operations of the University.

Read the full letter including the list of signatories

 

UTFA Statement on Anti-Black Racism

The University of Toronto Faculty Association strongly condemns anti-Black racism in all of its guises. Like many in the community in which we live and teach, we are outraged by the growing number of violent deaths of Black citizens in both Canada and the United States. COVID and racialized violence are the double tragedy that has wrought untold anguish in families across North America and well beyond. We at UTFA wish to express our solidarity with those in the Black community who have suffered and also our sorrow. For those members who might need help navigating resources at this very painful moment, please reach out to UTFA at advice@utfa.org.

UTFA will hold special meetings of its Executive Committee and Council to discuss and reflect on the cultural shift that is a result of the heinous killing of George Floyd in the United States. Why was the catalyst for Canadian academics an American death at the hands of police—when the Black and Indigenous and Asian communities in Canada have been identifying systemic racism for years? What is UTFA’s role in confronting systemic racism in our community and in our university? What can UTFA do as a labour organization committed to equity both to confront our own lack of diversity and to address practices that are undergirded by racism? How can UTFA use its meeting spaces and its online spaces to give voice to these issues?

The University of Toronto Faculty Association

 

The List statement on anti-Blackness at the University of Toronto

In the wake of the latest episodes of lethal anti-Black police violence - the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Regis Korchinski-Paquet and D’Andre Campbell - The List stands in solidarity with Black faculty, librarians, staff and students, and communities in this city and across Turtle Island. We also mourn the killing of Chantel Moore, and condemn this and other episodes of brutal and systemic colonial state violence.

This is a moment of reckoning – though one that is long overdue. Even as we call for this reckoning today, we ask ourselves why we were not calling more loudly for it every single day before now. Many statements condemning anti-Black and colonial violence are circulating, and we add our voices to this growing chorus. But if these calls are to amount to more than the usual lip service, if they seek to go beyond self- congratulatory performance and the obligatory ‘check in’, and if they will honor and not simply absorb Black people’s long term labour for change, then this needs to be a moment of fulsome structural change in all of our departments and programs, in all our faculties and on all campuses across the University of Toronto.

We must stand beside and behind Black staff, faculty, librarians and students who have been dealing with racism at this institution every single day. As a group of primarily progressive faculty and librarians, we call on our administration to meet the demands and desires of our colleagues in the Black Faculty Group who have been working tirelessly, day in and day out, for change. We call on the U of T administration to commit to rigorous and systemic address of anti-Black racism and white supremacy on campus and beyond. And we demand a major investment of resources to support the flourishing of Black life and Black excellence at every scale of institutional life.

Read the full statement including the list of signatories