Update on the Current Round of Bargaining Salary, Benefits, Workload, and Other Matters

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February 6, 2024

1. Update on the Current Round of Bargaining Salary, Benefits, Workload, and Other Matters 

Over the last several months, your Negotiating Team has presented a slate of detailed proposals and items for discussion to the senior Administration that address the issues that you have told us are shared priorities. We’re currently bargaining for the July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024, period, but an Agreement may be reached for a longer term. Our proposals were shaped by our in-depth consultation with our membership and informed by the bargaining survey that over 1200 UTFA members completed last Fall. We have also shared these priorities with you at Town Halls over the last few months. 

Within the context of a University that “continues to be in a strong financial position" (and reporting an annual net revenue of $551 million), our bargaining proposals include:

A. Compensation

  • Build on our recent Across the Board (ATB) increase and negotiate increases that are fair and reasonable in light of the unparalleled professional expectations we face, our worldwide recognized excellence, the high cost of housing, trends in the sector, and the need to catch up to and surpass inflation. 
  • Automatically increase Progress Through the Ranks (PTR) breakpoints and per-person increments by the previous year’s ATB for each year of the Agreement and thereafter.
  • Restore the value of the total pool of PTR funds to address the historical decline in PTR amounts relative to UTFA’s salary mass, and reversing U of T’s decline in PTR funding relative to our peer institutions. 
  • Develop criteria for the current 5% Super Merit Award (Dean’s or Chief Librarian’s merit award) pool to reward extraordinary academic or professional achievement, including non-traditional accomplishments, e.g., extraordinary community-based research and Indigenous community building.
  • Revise the PTR system to provide 50% of available PTR funds based on merit, and the remaining 50% of PTR funds to be based on career progress/experience.
  • Reform the Salary Anomaly Policy by obtaining salary disclosure information from the Administration so that salary anomalies can be addressed transparently and equitably, allowing all qualified members timely access to anomaly adjustments.  
  • Increase the Research & Study Leave pay rate for part-time members and increase librarian minimum salaries.

B. Benefits

  • Develop a joint comprehensive, multi-year, faculty and librarian housing strategy to address affordability requirements, access to family-sized units, and ensure that funds are transparently and equitably distributed. 
  • Improve terms and/or funding of the Child Care Benefit, Tuition Waiver, Librarian Research Days, and other benefits.
  • Improve health benefits for active and retired members while maintaining equal access to improvements for both groups.
  • Provide retirees access to Microsoft 365, Zoom, and other computer programs on the same terms as active members.  
  • Negotiate all PERA changes with UTFA, establishing PERA parity between full-time and part-time members.
  • Fund leaves, including Elder Care, Compassionate Care (including Bereavement), Maternity, Parental, and Adoption leaves, centrally rather than at the unit level.

C. Workload

  • Tackle the significant, growing, systemic, and persistent workload challenges we face via major reforms. 
  • Propose a workload case study that invites a collaborative investigation of the workload problem through a genuinely collegial approach between UTFA and the Administration, with the goal of jointly producing knowledge and action.
  • Seek acknowledgement from the Administration that there is a substantial gap between principles that are supposed to guide the assignment of workload in the Workload Policy and Procedures (WLPP) and the realities of the way in which workload is actually assigned at the local level. Demonstrate that the MoA and the WLPP, in their current form, are ill-equipped to meaningfully address overwork and workload inequities, as Eli Gedalof noted in his recent arbitration award, and implement significant reforms.

D. Members’ Rights 

  • Increase grievance rights and job security for part-time members, providing a path to full-time continuing status (instead of the current continuing appointment which lacks job security).
  • Ensure members have full and sole control over the results of any Student Evaluation of Teaching/Student Course Evaluations (SETs/SCEs), and full discretion to decide whether to use the results in Administration evaluation processes (e.g., PTR, promotion). 
  • Recognize the Central Health and Safety Committee fulfils the legislative requirements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and has the powers of a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) under the law.
  • Streamline central Accommodation Guidelines to establish common and simplified processes for members to request accommodations, for the approval of accommodations, and to ensure confidentiality throughout the accommodation process.

E. Bargaining and dispute resolution

  • Improve our bargaining framework and labour relations with the Administration where the parties voluntarily agree to act in a manner enjoyed by the vast majority of other Faculty Associations in the sector. This includes: the parties agreeing to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement; proceeding to expedited mediation/arbitration to settle major grievance and bargaining disputes before professional arbitrators; freezing all terms and conditions of employment until a renewal agreement is reached between the parties; and the Administration voluntarily repudiating their right in the MoA to unilaterally overturn the decision of a Dispute Resolution Panel (DRP). 

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