Late Summer Update from UTFA

August 21, 2023
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Dear colleagues,

We hope you are well and enjoying at least some of summer’s pleasures as we also prepare for the busy fall term. 

Thanks to all of you who responded to our June 29 communication survey. Nearly 1,000 of you responded and we learned a great deal from what you shared about our members’ preferred forms of engagement. We heard your clearly expressed desire to receive regular bargaining and other updates from us, and we look forward to hearing your input to shape the important work ahead.  

In our latest bargaining/arbitration update (from June 19), we told you about the arbitration that took place on May 31 and wrote that we expected to receive Arbitrator Eli Gedalof’s decision (which will include issues related to salary increases and rulings on important policy items such as workload) within a few weeks. Unfortunately, we have not yet received the arbitrator’s decision. Once we receive the decision, we will, of course, send you another update.  

Nearly four years have passed since UTFA commenced negotiations with the University Administration. That we do not yet have either a negotiated settlement or an arbitration award in hand serves as a stark reminder of why our current bargaining framework must be overhauled. As this exceptionally long and frustrating round of bargaining draws to a close, our need for more effective and efficient tools to bargain on your behalf has never been more evident.

Meanwhile, we are already preparing for a new round of bargaining in the fall. This year, in addition to addressing routine salary, benefits, and workload issues, we are planning to begin discussions with the Administration about the need to make substantive changes to the bargaining and dispute resolution frameworks contained within our Memorandum of Agreement. 

To better prepare for these negotiations, and in keeping with your responses to the communications survey, we will communicate with you in a variety ways (e.g. via town hall meetings, surveys, and so on). While the vast majority of you who responded appreciated the content of our email updates, many also wanted the frequency of our written communications to increase. Being mindful of your time, we intend to ensure our communications are efficient, organised, and more regular. 

To begin, we will invite you to participate in a series of focused surveys, the first of which will be distributed in the coming days. Two other surveys, one about research and another about your experiences with ableism/disability-based discrimination in your workplace, will be distributed in the coming weeks. 

We look forward to hearing from you soon! 


Deborah Cowen
Chair, Membership Committee, UTFA

Ariel Katz
UTFA Vice-President, Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload

Terezia Zorić
UTFA President