UTFA’s purpose is set out in Article 2.1 of its Constitution: “…to promote the welfare of the current and retired faculty, librarians, and research associates of the University of Toronto, the University of St Michael’s College, the University of Trinity College, and Victoria University, and generally to advance the interests of teachers, researchers and librarians in Canadian universities.”
But UTFA’s ‘mission’ is much broader than its purpose. While UTFA’s formal and legal bargaining rights apply only to matters of compensation, and since 2010 to workload, that hasn’t stopped the Association from every effort to ensure faculty and librarians are heard and involved in all matters relating to the conditions under which they do their research and teaching.
Expanding UTFA’s voice and capacity is one of our key pursuits in the Special Joint Advisory Committee (SJAC) deliberations currently underway. The SJAC was agreed to in the 2011 round of negotiations with the administration and is charged with examining the current Memorandum of Agreement, as well as more specific issues such as appointments and tenure policies.
A key part of UTFA’s mission is to be an effective actor in the public sphere, whether it’s on issues relating to post-secondary education, or on broader public policy debates that matter to our members. For example, we’ve has added our voice to those who are alarmed by the implications of federal government decisions on research funding, and the apparent muzzling of federal research scientists, many of whom collaborate with university colleagues. UTFA makes its voice heard where it matters.