Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Post-SJAC Options

April 7, 2014
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Presented to University of Toronto Faculty Association Council 

Executive Summary

This document reports on the findings of an ad hoc committee convened by UTFA Council and tasked with identifying and assessing options for action following the termination of the SJAC process. The committee draws on the mandate from the UTFA membership that Council should seek to reform the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) in order to make all terms and conditions of employment for faculty and librarians subject to negotiation.

The committee consulted with 11 faculty associations across Canada and with the leadership of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), and the Ontario Confederation of Faculty Associations.

The report contextualizes a discussion of options by situating University of Toronto faculty in relation to other faculty associations across the country. Of 85 faculty associations in Canada, UTFA is one of six that are not unionized.

The report identifies and discusses 6 options:

  • Retain the Status Quo
  • Accept the Outcome of the SJAC Process
  • Establish an Ongoing Dialogue with Administration
  • Re-establish an Academic Senate
  • Voluntary Recognition of UTFA as a Faculty Union
  • Certification of UTFA

While these are all options for structuring relations with administration following the SJAC process, not all satisfy the expectation of a ‘modernized’ MoA that provides the capacity to negotiate all terms and conditions of employment. The only two options that clearly meet this objective are voluntary recognition and certification, particularly given the current repudiation clause that allows Governing Council to veto any agreement reached between UTFA and the University administration.

The report also addresses the effect of these options on distinct UTFA constituencies, particularly retirees, concluding that certification would have minimal effect on the status of retirees as UTFA members. It also examines the cost of certification and concludes that these would be minor and largely offset by a CAUT policy that largely reimburses the legal costs of certification for member associations. 

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