I hope this report finds you well on your way to productively wrapping up your Winter 2019 term. Below I will touch upon the negotiations and work I have contributed to or undertaken this year on your behalf.
Mediation, Working Groups, and Negotiations
As I mentioned in my report in the December 2018 newsletter, the monetary aspects (ATB, PTR, benefits, etc.) of the 2018–2020 agreement were settled last spring. This year we have engaged in several mediation sessions with the Administration to resolve the remaining issues on the table, relating to the Workload Policies and Procedures and PTR Guidelines (see the report of the Vice-President, Grievances on both topics), as well as the salary anomaly process. We currently have another mediation date scheduled and will proceed to arbitra-tion if any issues remain outstanding.
Housing and Loan Program
In our 2018–2020 settlement, UTFA and the Administration agreed that once the mediation/arbitration process is complete, we would meet as a small group to discuss the Faculty and Staff Housing and Loan Program. We expect this to happen in the near future.
Child Care Subsidy Forms
As part of the 2018–2020 agreement, Louis Florence and I, along with UTFA counsel, met with the Administration to streamline the documents and forms required to claim the child care subsidy. I hope you found this year’s process easier and/or clearer. If you have further suggestions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In our last round UTFA tabled privacy language to strengthen Article 10 of the MOA. Rather than involving the main SBPW bargaining team, Cynthia Messenger, Terezia Zoric, and I, along with our counsel, are in the process of setting up short table meetings to discuss this proposal with the Administration.
UTFA continues to engage in bilateral negotiations with the Administration on Policy and Procedures on Employment Conditions of Part-Time Academic Staff (see the report of the President), Letter of Understanding regarding the Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (see the report of the Vice-President, Grievances), and the Policies for Librarians (see below). If UTFA and the Administration cannot reach agreement on any of these policies, they will go to facilitation/ fact finding (see Memorandum of Agreement), Article 6, Facilitation/Fact Finding, Sections 29–39).
As the chief negotiator on the UTFA Policies for Librarians bargaining team I am pleased to report that we have met regularly with the Administration to modernize the current iteration of the Policies for Librarians. We currently have two more meetings secured this term with the Administration. While we have found a bit of common ground in the process thus far, UTFA remains committed to seeking gains relating to the security, transparency, equity, collegiality, and consistency in the hiring, appointment, and promotion of U of T librarians.
Health Care Spending Account
You may recall that one of the benefits introduced in the 2014–2017 settlement was a $650/year Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) (pro-rated for part-time members and those who commence employment during the benefit year). HCSA amounts can be used for a range of health expenses not covered by our benefit plan and/or the premiums we pay for our benefit plan. The first HCSA lump sum was added to accounts on July 1, 2017. Balances may be carried forward from the end of one benefit year (June 30) to the end of the next benefit year only. This means that the HCSA lump sums deposited on July 1, 2017, will be forfeited on June 30, 2019, if not claimed. More information on the HCSA, including how to submit claims, is available here. You can find the form to send to Green Shield here.
Over the past year, I have been a proud member of the OCUFA Collective Bargaining Committee. Through the Committee, chaired by Jeff Tennant of Western University, I have built and strengthened relationships with Ontario faculty association colleagues, and gained a fuller understanding of recent Ontario university sector gains, priorities, issues, and strategies in bargaining.
This academic year I began my three-year term on the CAUT Librarians’ and Archivists’ Committee, which was approved by CAUT Council in April 2018. The Committee, chaired by Tim Ribaric of Brock University, has afforded me the opportunity to learn from and work with a group of folks from across the country who are dedicated to academic freedom, transparency, equity, inclusivity, and excellence within Canadian universities and colleges. In this role I have aided the Chair with revisions to the Privacy of Personal Information CAUT Policy Statement that will be presented for approval by CAUT Council in April. I am also involved in the organization of a CAUT Librarians’ and Archivists’ conference in October 2019 titled “Navigating the Reorg.” Look for details from CAUT this summer.
Additional UTFA Contributions
I have served as a contributor to the gender salary project and the pay equity effort, both headed by Terezia Zoric. This year, I also joined the UPP and SAP pension negotiating teams in their efforts, led by Cynthia Messenger.
I have served as well on the following UTFA committees: Equity; Membership; Retired Members; University and External Affairs; Teaching Stream; Librarians; Grievance; Office Staff Relations; and Executive Director Search Committee, as well as the U of T–UTFA Joint Committee.
Change in Vice-President, Salary, Benefits, Pensions and Workload
Unfortunately, personal circumstances require that I step away from the second year of my two-year term as Vice-President, SBPW. However, I have agreed to continue to serve as the Policies for Librarians chief negotiator for as long as those negotiations continue.
It is a privilege to be surrounded by so many talented, wise, and inspiring folks at UTFA! I am grateful to the members of the SBPW negotiating team: Cynthia Messenger, Terezia Zoric, Ken MacDonald, Linda Kohn, and Katharine Rankin; the members of the Policies for Librarians team: Dan D’Agostino and Ken MacDonald; the Policies for Librarians advisors: Harriet Sonne de Torrens and Whitney Kemble; my colleague on the child care subsidy forms team: Louis Florence; the UTFA Executive; the UTFA Council; and my predecessor in the role of Vice-President, SBPW: Ken MacDonald. I am also indebted to the staff and expert consultants employed by UTFA: Emma Phillips and Steven Barrett at Goldblatt Partners; Hugh Mackenzie at Mackenzie and Associates; and Heather Diggle, Helen Nowak, Reni Chang, Samantha Olexson, Chris Penn, Rucsandra Schmelzer, Marta Horban, Dave Campanella, Aylwin Lo, Darren Puscas and Andrew Pina. Last but certainly not least, thank you to the many SBPW Committee members. Best wishes to all for a productive and enjoyable summer!
Vice-President, Salary, Benefits, Pensions and Workload