Fred F. Wilson In Memoriam
January 13, 2023
b. 1937 d. 2023
UTFA President (1987 - 1990); CAUT President (1991 - 1992)
Professor Fred F. Wilson joined the University's department of Philosophy in 1965 and he retired in 2003 after 38 years of service. Here he is remembered by former UTFA President Bill Graham:
I knew Fred very closely when we were both members of the Philosophy Dept. We worked together on philosophical issues, many surrounding the work of John Locke and David Hume, and even more concerning the status of faculty members at the University of Toronto and across Canada. I served on Fred’s Executive Committee at U of T (UTFA) and also on his Executive at the CAUT, and Fred served on my Executive at UTFA too when I was its President. We both cooperated smoothly to further the lives and careers of our fellow faculty both at U of T and nationally across Canada. Fred was an excellent friend and colleague in these endeavors. Although I have not been able to be with him in some recent years since I moved to BC, I will miss Fred’s friendship, his brilliance, and his collegial assistance. Please pass along my thoughts, with condolences, to his family on my behalf.
We extend our condolences to Fred’s family and all who knew and worked with him in his department, at UTFA, and RALUT. The Association appreciates Fred’s many years of dedicated service on behalf of our membership.
Fred’s family has placed an obituary and guestbook here. A service took place on January 15, 2023 at Benjamin’s Park Memorial Chapel.
Statement on Ukraine
March 14, 2022
The University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) decries Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and stands with the Ukrainian people and our colleagues in higher education in Ukraine. We endorse the principles of the United Nations Charter and its Declaration on the Principles of International Law, which recalls “the duty of States to refrain in their international relations from military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any State.” We declare our solidarity with the Ukrainian people in their resistance to this unprovoked and egregious act of war.
COVID LOU Extension—New Town Hall; Health & Safety Update
February 28, 2022
We write to provide you with three important updates:
A. You are invited to a new Town Hall;
B. The COVID LOU has been extended in some significant areas, including PTR; and,
C. The Administration has recently indicated that it intends to continue to require certain key health and safety measures for at least the remainder of this term.
UTFA Reaches Three-Year Agreement with Administration
February 2, 2022
On January 25, 2022, the UTFA Negotiating Team for Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload (SBPW) and the University Administration reached an agreement regarding the three-year period July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023. This agreement has now been ratified by UTFA Council and the U of T Administration.
Under the terms of the deal, salary and benefits improvements for the first two years, ending June 30, 2022, have been settled. Terms for the third year, ending June 30, 2023, are subject to arbitration.
Updates on Bargaining, the COVID LOU, and Health and Safety
January 28, 2022
Below are three brief updates: on salaries, benefits, and workload bargaining; the COVID LOU; and Health and Safety. Several important meetings on each of these items are scheduled in the coming days and we will write you more detailed communiqués by the end of next week.
Salary, Benefits, Pension, and Workload Bargaining Update
We are pleased to announce that UTFA has reached a tentative Memorandum of Settlement with the University Administration on Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload matters. This agreement is subject to ratification both by UTFA Council and by the University Administration. As per UTFA’s governance structure, the tentative agreement will be presented for ratification to UTFA Council at a special meeting on Wednesday, February 2, 2022. We anticipate that the Administration will also confirm their ratification next week. If ratified by both parties, the full agreement accompanied by a summary will immediately be made available to the whole UTFA membership.
Statement by the University of Toronto Faculty Association on the United Nations International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
January 27, 2022
The University of Toronto Faculty Association recognizes the critical importance of acknowledging today, January 27, 2022, as the United Nations International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. Moreover, UTFA calls for actions across all levels of Canadian society to eliminate antisemitism in all its forms and manifestations whether that be through acts of religious intolerance, vandalism, harassment, incitement to violence or acts of violence against persons or communities and condemns any attempts to deny or minimize the catastrophic impact of the Holocaust. UTFA also recognizes that acts of antisemitism and Holocaust denial have occurred within the University of Toronto community and condemns these actions and events unequivocally. UTFA supports the efforts of the University of Toronto administration to address antisemitism within the University of Toronto community and supports the recommendations contained within the Report of the University of Toronto Anti-Semitism Working Group.
Omicron Update/End of Year Best Wishes
December 23, 2021
When we wrote to you last week we shared a series of health and safety questions and concerns we had been raising with the University Administration in light of the significant threat posed by Omicron. This email provides a brief update, including some positive developments, based on the Administration’s responses to us in the last several days.
COVID/Omicron Variant: Questions for the Administration
December 14, 2021
Considering the rapidly rising COVID case numbers in Ontario—including Toronto and Peel—and the very serious threat posed by the Omicron variant, last week UTFA wrote to the University’s senior Administration. We pressed, once again, for greater transparency and the sharing of key health and safety information with UTFA, the public health scientists with whom we are working closely, and the broader University community.
Course credit / CERF / COVID LOU survey
November 2, 2021
We are writing to make sure you are accessing 2 of the key entitlements UTFA negotiated on your behalf in the COVID Letter of Understanding (the “COVID LOU”).
Course Credit/Workload Relief (see 3.5 of the LOU)
As a minimum standard, and if you have not already received at least a half course of workload relief for 2020-2021, “Any faculty member who was assigned and taught:
(a) six or more unique half course equivalents [in the 2020-2021 academic year], in each case requiring the development of a new online or dual delivery/hy-flex, [‘dual delivery/hy-flex’ here refers to the activity of presenting course material concurrently in two different modes], or,
(b) an aggregate enrolment of 1000 or more students in the 2020-21 academic year,
shall receive or shall have received, a one half-course release, or credit to be taken within the next three academic years.”
Statement of Solidarity with Teachers, Librarians and Archivists in Afghanistan from UTFA Members
November 2, 2021
We, members of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA), stand in solidarity with colleagues working in schools, academia, cultural organizations, archives, and the libraries in Afghanistan. We are deeply concerned about the threats to the safety and security of our colleagues, with particular concern for girls, women, and ethnic, religious, and sectarian minorities.
Statement of Apology
October 28, 2021
I apologize for using a phrase that evoked a negative trope at the What the hell happened at the University of Toronto Law School? event. I now better recognize how such tropes can tap into and reinforce harmful stereotypes about the Jewish community. Although it was not my intention, I acknowledge that the words I used caused pain and distress to many of my colleagues, who experienced them as insults. For that as well I am truly sorry.
As someone who has devoted decades of her life to the work of challenging discrimination in its many forms, I am humbled. I am reminded of my responsibility to foster more listening, more respectful dialogue, and a greater willingness to learn from each other so that we may pursue our shared goals as an Association.
Terezia Zorić, UTFA President
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation
September 30, 2021
September 30th marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, one of 94 calls to action identified in Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action. It asked that the federal government collaborate with Aboriginal peoples to establish a day to “honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.” UTFA stands with Indigenous members of the University of Toronto community in recognizing the particular role and responsibility that we in the post-secondary sector have to reflect on and learn Indigenous histories, cultures, and rights, as well as our own roles in the historic process of colonization.
Petition Calling for a Safe University of Toronto Re-opening
September 24, 2021
We are asking for your help in addressing serious problems with the University of Toronto Administration’s approach to campus reopening.
According to a recent expert panel titled Is it safe to return to campus? featuring Canada’s leading public health scientists, U of T’s reopening plan fails in important ways to keep students, staff, faculty, and librarians on campus safe enough.
Every day we hear from UTFA members, staff, colleagues, and students who are deeply troubled by serious flaws in the U of T plan, but these concerns remain unacknowledged and unaddressed by U of T’s president and senior leadership. That must change.
Please read, sign, and share widely the following Petition Calling for a Safe University of Toronto Re-opening.
Video: "Is it safe enough to return to campus? What do public health scientists say?"
September 16, 2021
On September 9th UTFA co-sponsored an expert panel titled “Is it safe enough to return to campus? What do public health scientists say?”
Panelists answered representative questions received from attendees ahead of time and via Zoom Q&A.
This expert panel was organized by the Toronto Inter-University Coalition, which is comprised of faculty associations and unions from Toronto’s four universities and with the technical assistance of OCUFA.
To view the video of the event: https://youtu.be/hsx_UZCweDY
Expert Panel: 'Is it safe enough to return to campus? What do public health scientists say?' Thurs. Sept. 9, 7-9 PM
September 8, 2021
You are invited to join us for an interactive panel discussion with leading health and safety experts in epidemiology, indoor air quality, bioaerosols, bioethics, population health equity, and more.
Following brief presentations by the panelists, there will be an extended Q & A. Click here to register.
A coalition of Toronto university faculty associations and unions have endorsed a Checklist for a Safe Campus Reopening developed by experts at U of T’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, but are our university administrations listening to the experts? Are our university administrations doing enough to safeguard the health of our campus communities? Where are the strict classroom occupancy limits? How will campus vaccination and indoor masking policies be enforced, and who will enforce them? What are the trends in Ontario, and why does it look like a grim fall? We’ll examine these questions among others.
UTFA Information session on the COVID LOU and Updates from Central Health and Safety Committee, August 31, 2021
September 1, 2021
Open Letter to President Gertler on COU Lobbying on Occupancy Limits
August 31, 2021
Dear President Gertler:
The Council of Ontario Universities (COU), at which you represent the University of Toronto, is lobbying the Ford government to exempt universities from the indoor occupancy limits that protect against overcrowding and mitigate the risk of COVID. There is no good scientific rationale for this political move.
The COU’s call for “greater flexibility for capacity limits and physical distancing” amounts to the opposite of “provincial support for a safe in-person re-opening.” Our members are worried, upset, and angered about being required to teach in crowded classrooms scheduled at full occupancy, greatly exceeding the province’s step 3 limits (which are themselves far from stringent).
UTFA All Members’ Meeting on the COVID Letter of Understanding (LOU) & Health and Safety Tuesday, August 31, 2021, 5:00-7:00 pm
August 28, 2021
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
5:00 to 7:00 pm
Please join us to learn more about how the recently-negotiated COVID LOU between UTFA and the Administration affects you, including:
- Your right not to be required to teach hybrid or dual-delivery courses;
- How the special PTR process works;
- Workload relief provisions;
- Your right to choose not to use Student Course Evaluations in some circumstances;
- Which of your expenses qualify under the special COVID Expense Reimbursement Fund (the “CERF”); and,
- Detailed accommodation guidelines, including whom to contact, for those facing medical circumstances, childcare responsibilities, or eldercare responsibilities.
Administration updates vaccination policy to require proof
August 19, 2021
Together we have achieved a significant victory toward protecting the health and safety of our members, students, staff, and the broader University community. The U of T Administration has just released a major update to its previous vaccination policy and announced that “[t]his September, all members of the university community – including students, staff, faculty, and librarians – will be required to provide proof of full vaccination or register in the University’s rapid screening program...”
We congratulate the University Administration on taking this important step.
At the same time, it is important to acknowledge that while vaccines are essential tools in the fight against COVID, vaccinations alone are insufficient to prevent the spread of the Delta variant. UTFA continues to have serious concerns about the University’s reopening plans, as I explain below.
Open Letter to President Gertler
August 13, 2021
Dear President Gertler,
I am writing to express the University of Toronto Faculty Association’s disappointment in last night’s announcement by the University of Toronto Administration concerning a safe return to campus. The communication was nothing more than a repackaging of the same policy that the Administration acknowledged, as late as last week, does not constitute a vaccine mandate. Yesterday’s announcement was misleading and inadequate and does little to ensure a safe return to the University. UTFA has several concerns.
First, the Administration’s assertion that everyone on campus will be required to be vaccinated or tested does not bear scrutiny. With very few exceptions, the overwhelming majority of those on campus are still only required to self-declare their vaccination status without any obligation to show proof. This is especially vexing because there is already a mechanism in place for U of T students living in residence to upload proof of vaccination.
UTFA Council Ratifies COVID LOU (Agreement Reached with Administration)
August 11, 2021
On Monday, UTFA Council unanimously ratified a special COVID Letter of Understanding (the “COVID LOU”) the UTFA bargaining team had negotiated with the Administration.
As we explained in our last bargaining update, UTFA had been seeking to reach agreement on the most pressing COVID issues with the U of T Administration since the spring of 2020 and we had been negotiating the LOU since January 2021. Issues that are not COVID-specific, and that are part of regular salary, benefits, and workload negotiations—including annual across-the-board salary increases, benefit enhancements, and Workload Policy (WLPP) improvements—remain unresolved (See Appendix B of the LOU). Our last Memorandum of Settlement expired on June 30, 2020, and is subject to ongoing negotiations.
Bargaining Update: Still seeking agreement with the Administration on ‘urgent’ issues
July 31, 2021
We are writing to update you on salary, benefits, and workload negotiations. UTFA’s bargaining team has been working on your behalf since the spring of 2020. Last week we spent four full days in mediation with Kevin Burkett, a highly respected mediator-arbitrator, who sought to assist the UofT Administration and UTFA in reaching an agreement on a range of pressing issues that would mitigate some of the impacts of COVID-19 on our working lives. (Recall that UTFA’s request to engage Mr. Burkett as both a mediator and arbitrator was rejected by the Administration.)
Request for Joint Meeting on Vaccinations, Jul 29, 2021
July 30, 2021
Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat
Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity and Culture
University of Toronto
In the wake of plans to expand in-person work in September, CUPE 3902, USW 1998, and UTFA are receiving a great many questions about the Administration’s approach to vaccinations. Faculty, librarians, and other staff are all expressing significant fear and uncertainty. Recent communications from the Administration have created additional questions and contributed to the confusion.
The science is clear – vaccinations are a critical line of defence against COVID-19. Yet vaccination rates in Canada are leveling off; the rate at which people are getting their first shots is currently so low that it is anticipated that less than 75% of the population will have received their first dose by the end of August. Additionally, it is clear that a single dose provides insufficient protection against the Delta variant.
Coalition of Toronto-area university staff call on Administrations to commit to transparency to accelerate a safe return to in-person learning
July 21, 2021
As the Government of Ontario plans for campuses to fully open for in-person learning, a coalition representing faculty, librarians, counsellors, and staff across four Toronto-area universities (OCADU, Ryerson/X University, York University, University of Toronto) is calling on their Administrations to provide greater detail and transparency to allow for a confident and safe return to in-class learning this fall. The four campuses collectively teach 193,000 university students in Toronto.
“We strongly prefer in-person teaching and learning and we want to return to campus as soon as it is safe enough to do so,” said Terezia Zorić, President of the University of Toronto Faculty Association and a spokesperson for the coalition. “It is still not safe enough to return to campus and good intentions voiced by our Administrations are no substitute for concrete actions.”
Health and Safety Checklist for University Re-opening
July 16, 2021
If the University of Toronto Administration wishes to schedule significant in-person activities while COVID-19 remains a public health concern, a number of conditions must be met before faculty, librarians, staff, and students can have confidence that our campus is safe enough for in-person teaching, learning, and other work.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of steps that a University Administration must take, at a minimum, to reduce the risks associated with university re-openings. These steps, once implemented, will make universities safer for students, staff, and the broader community over the long term.
Kaplan Ruling on Association Grievance on Discrimination in Salary
July 14, 2021
Joint Statement to University Administration re: Faculty of Music
July 2, 2021
Dear Provost Regehr, Vice-Provost Boon, Professor Hannah-Moffat,
Open Letter Regarding the University of Toronto Faculty of Music
We write on behalf of faculty, librarians, instructors, and staff working in or closely with the Faculty of Music to demand that our members be provided with a safe workplace, free of harassment (sexual or otherwise), intimidation, discrimination, abuse of power, censorship, and fear. Students must equally be provided with a safe learning environment.
UTFA Statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day
June 21, 2021
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day on Turtle Island, a day of celebration, recognition, and respect for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis cultures.
This year’s National Indigenous Peoples Day is especially poignant in light of the recent discoveries of the remains of children at former residential schools across Canada.
UTFA recognizes the particular role and responsibility that we in the post-secondary sector have to reflect and learn Indigenous histories, cultures, and rights, as well as our own roles in the historic process of colonization.
Open Letter to President Gertler re: CAUT Censure
June 10, 2021
Open Letter to President Gertler
Re: Town Hall on the CAUT Censure of the University of Toronto Administration
In the wake of the CAUT censure, UTFA has hosted two all-member events. Our first information session, on May 6, answered our members’ questions about the CAUT censure process and what the censure entails. The second, on May 27, examined the events that led the U of T Administration to be censured by CAUT. Both events were well attended, interactive, and informative.
UTFA Bargaining Update and Move to Mediation
June 9, 2021
We are writing to update you on our efforts to negotiate salary, benefits, pensions, and workload (SBPW) improvements on your behalf.
As we previously reported, UTFA entered into the current round of SBPW negotiations with the U of T Administration in the Fall of 2019. Our proposals arose from a series of surveys and constituency-based consultations with faculty and librarians.
UTFA statement on hate crime in London, Ontario
June 9, 2021
UTFA denounces the hate crime that led to the murder of four Muslim family members in London, Ontario this weekend.
We mourn the loss of three generations of the Afzaal family. We share our condolences with the youngest member of the family who survived and is recovering from this racist attack.
UTFA stands with Muslims today across our University campus and the broader community. Anti-Muslim rhetoric is dangerous. Like all forms of hate and xenophobia, Islamophobia must be addressed and rejected. There is no place for this in our society.
UTFA mourns the loss of Indigenous children in mass grave at residential school site
June 3, 2021
UTFA grieves the loss of 215 Indigenous children following the discovery of remains found at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. We mourn the deaths of these children in solidarity with their families and Indigenous communities.
The legacy of colonialism and racism in Canada is painful and ongoing. UTFA recognizes the reality that this tragic discovery is further evidence of Canada’s genocide of Indigenous peoples. We must acknowledge not just Canada’s history of systemic racism against Indigenous people but the current systemic barriers that disproportionately impact Indigenous communities.
We believe that faculty, librarians, and post-secondary institutions have an important role in advancing the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
Update on CAUT censure
May 14, 2021
As you know, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) recently issued a rare censure against UofT’s Administration in response to the hiring controversy at the Faculty of Law. Following that decision, UTFA organized an information session on May 6, 2021 with CAUT’s Executive Director, David Robinson, to explain the censure process.
UTFA is a member of CAUT. CAUT is a highly valued, democratic organization that speaks as a respected national voice for faculty, librarians, and other academic staff across Canada’s post-secondary sector. It is clear that CAUT Council came to its censure decision by way of an informed process.
The well-attended session addressed more than two dozen questions from our members. Following on the questions from this session, UTFA is preparing an FAQ document on the censure that we plan to have up on our website soon. We are also encouraging our members to learn more about the issues at stake and to participate in the many conversations about the censure that are taking place across the University and beyond.
OPEN LETTER to the President of OCADU on the decision to eliminate six librarian positions
May 13, 2021
On behalf of the members of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) Executive and the UTFA Librarians Committee, we are writing to urge you and senior OCADU Administration to re-consider the decision to eliminate six librarian positions. We call on you to adopt and respect a collegial process that involves librarians, faculty, students, and the broader community.
We have serious concerns about the radical elimination of six professional librarian positions under the guise of a structural re-organization that has occurred without a collegial process of consultation with faculty, students, or the librarians who have lost their jobs. We are disappointed that the University Librarian, Tony White, and the OCADU Administration have decided to terminate the employment of four academic librarians. Combined, the four librarians have more than six decades of expertise and knowledge – a loss that is irreplaceable. Despite years of exceptional service, they were given their layoff notices on May 5, 2021 and will officially lose their jobs as of June 1, 2021. We are also concerned about the decision to eliminate two unfilled librarian positions at OCADU.
UTFA Statement on the National Day of Mourning
April 28, 2021
Today, on the 30th anniversary of the National Day of Mourning, we recognize the workers who have died, were injured, or became ill from their job.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to prioritize occupational health and safety. All workplaces should be safe and workers should be protected from risk of injury or death.
UTFA Statement on CAUT Censure
April 22, 2021
Today, we are writing to inform you that the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has passed a motion to censure the University of Toronto Administration for breaches of academic freedom. The action was taken following an investigation by the CAUT’s Academic Freedom and Tenure Committee into the decision by the Dean of the Faculty of Law to terminate the hiring of a preferred candidate for the directorship of the International Human Rights Program (IHRP). This hiring process is also the subject of an Association grievance under the Memorandum of Agreement between UTFA and the UofT Administration.
Although UTFA respects CAUT’s censure process, UTFA abstained from voting on the motion to avoid any prejudice either to the outcome of the vote at CAUT or UTFA’s involvement in our own grievance process. Aside from UTFA’s abstention, the vote was unanimous. We understand that this outcome will disappoint some of our members.
Legionella on U of T campus emerging as a serious public health issue
April 9, 2021
We are writing to alert you about a potential health and safety concern. We have learned that Legionella has emerged as a serious public health issue on campus, in part due to the reduced occupancy of university buildings and resulting reduction in water usage.
What is Legionella?
“Legionella are bacteria found in natural water environments and can grow in human-made water systems, such as plumbing [including faucets, toilets, water fountains], cooling towers, hot tubs, showers and decorative fountains.” (Public Health Ontario)
If sufficient levels of Legionella bacteria are inhaled, they can cause a variety of symptoms ranging from mild flu-like symptoms to a more serious illness called Legionnaires’ disease.
UTFA statement condemning anti-Asian racism and discrimination
March 26, 2021
UTFA strongly condemns all instances of anti-Asian racism, hate crimes, and acts of harassment and discrimination. Although anti-Asian discrimination has surged over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic it has too often gone unchallenged in the media and by government leaders.
The University of Toronto community and the greater Toronto area of which it is a part has been significantly harmed by anti-Asian racism. Reports by community-based agencies serving Asian Canadian communities and government agencies have documented an alarming increase in discriminatory incidents and targeted attacks against Asian Canadians, as has a recent study on anti-Asian discrimination by U of T researchers.
Open Letter to the Laurentian University Faculty Association
March 22, 2021
Greetings to President Fabrice Colin and all our colleagues at the Laurentian University Faculty Association!
We, the Executive Committee of the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA), express our solidarity and support for our colleagues at Laurentian University during these challenging times. We wish to make explicit our deep concerns over the recent decision by the Administration of Laurentian University to declare financial insolvency and to move toward financial restructuring by filing for court protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. This departure from the principles of collegial governance and collective bargaining must be condemned. We urge the Administration of Laurentian University to re-commit to negotiations with the Laurentian University Faculty Association, and other representatives of staff and students, to address their fiscal challenges as a community of scholars, rather than rely on court rulings.
UTFA members and possible CUPE 3902 Unit 1 work stoppage
March 9, 2021
CUPE 3902, Unit 1 is currently bargaining on behalf of some 8,000 Teaching Assistants, Course Instructors, Exam Invigilators, and other students and postdoctoral fellows who perform teaching work on contract at the University of Toronto. Their bargaining priorities include overwork protections, employment equity and inclusion, mental health supports, health and safety, and job security. Notably, many of these priorities overlap with UTFA’s own bargaining priorities.
CUPE 3902 and the University of Toronto Administration have spent over 130 hours at the bargaining table. CUPE 3902 has indicated they have made meaningful, but slow, progress. They have also advised UTFA that their priorities continue to be shaped by a series of meetings with their members and other student groups. To focus the attention of the negotiators, CUPE 3902 has taken the steps to trigger a legal strike or lockout as soon as March 22nd, should they and the Administration be unable to reach a timely agreement. The parties have five more days of negotiations scheduled. While a labour disruption is not a certainty, CUPE 3902, Unit 1 has indicated that they are prepared to take job action if a new and timely Collective Agreement is not achieved.
UTFA President advocates at TTC meeting for better Scarborough transit options and service
February 10, 2021
On February 10th, 2021 UTFA President Terezia Zoric spoke at a meeting of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) alongside Scarborough Campus Students’ Union and Scarborough based transit advocacy groups. SEE VIDEO BELOW. She addressed the need for more frequent bus service and rapid transit options for UTFA members travelling to the Scarborough campus from all directions.
Scarborough campus faculty, and their 13,000 students, rely on the TTC to get to campus. They need improved transit from our campus to their homes and other destinations across Scarborough. While a replacement for the SRT is important, it is not all that’s important. Students and faculty come to campus from every direction - not only Kennedy station.
Lawsuit against wage restraint legislation advances
February 9, 2021
A Coalition of over 40 advocacy organizations, including the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), have formally filed evidence in a lawsuit to repeal Ontario Bill 124. The University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA), a member of OCUFA, strongly opposes Bill 124 because it severely limits wage and benefit increases for public sector workers, a move the Coalition says violates bargaining rights enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The legislation would limit increases to 1% for three-year periods—well below the rate of inflation.
“Bill 124, puts downward pressure on faculty association bargaining and is a transparent attack on the Charter-protected right to bargain,” said UTFA President Terezia Zorić. “UTFA stands with the Ontario labour movement in challenging the Ontario government’s ongoing efforts to infringe on the bargaining rights of public sector workers, including university professors, academic librarians, and other staff in the post-secondary education sector.”
High work loads, unclear accommodations: COVID-19 leaves U of T instructors isolated and exhausted
February 5, 2021
On the first day of June 2020, Romila Verma’s daughter was very sick. Verma, a sessional lecturer in the Department of Geography, sat on her daughter’s bed with her computer — she had a remote quiz to administer. In the pit of her stomach, she had an unsettling sense that something was going to go wrong.
At 1:00 pm, the quiz went live to 200 students. For the first five minutes, everything looked normal. Then, all at once, Verma’s email inbox was flooded with notifications. She had accidentally given her students the correct answers.
Working together, we took action and we won
February 4, 2021
Thank you. Three weeks ago, following protracted negotiations and an unsuccessful arbitration, we found ourselves facing an Administration that continued to withhold our July 1, 2020 PTR increases—despite the extraordinary efforts UTFA members have been making during the pandemic.
In response, we launched an online petition and you immediately responded by signing the petition and writing to the Administration.
Thanks to you, within hours of our petition going live the Administration reached out to UTFA to negotiate a settlement to the PTR impasse. After UTFA obtained clarification on a key provision of the proposal, they ultimately provided everything we asked for in the petition.
Tax deductions, T2200S forms, and PERA
January 25, 2021
The federal government has made some changes to simplify the process of filing for tax deductions associated with home office expenses. In the event that eligible expenses exceed $400, a form T2200S signed by your employer is required.
For months we have been sharing with the Administration our members’ concerns about the significant out-of-pocket expenses they have been incurring while working from home. UTFA is pleased that the Administration has now agreed to furnish these forms, a process that has been automated via the HR Service Centre.
Key win on PTR
January 15, 2021
Good news! Yesterday we wrote to you about the ongoing decision by U of T’s Senior Administration to withhold your July 1, 2020 PTR (Progress Through the Ranks) increase. The response from our membership was immediate and overwhelmingly supportive of UTFA’s position as expressed in our PTR petition.
Last night, following UTFA’s email and petition, we received an offer from the Administration that remained silent on two key features of how PTR will be calculated. Earlier today we wrote to the Administration for clarification and just received a response confirming that 2019-2020 PTR breakpoints and increments will be calculated using breakpoints and increments increased by 2% from those used in the June 30, 2019 PTR exercise.
Where is your July 1, 2020 PTR?
January 14, 2021
This is an update on UTFA’s efforts to challenge the Administration’s withholding of your 2019-2020 PTR (Progress Through the Ranks). As we previously communicated, UTFA recently took the Administration to arbitration to challenge their decision to withhold last year’s PTR increase. Unfortunately, the arbitrator ruled that although “there is substantial evidence that PTR has previously been regularly and routinely implemented prior to the conclusion of Article 6 [of our Memorandum] negotiations” the Administration is not required to provide faculty and librarians at U of T with PTR on July 1st on an annual basis. Rather, PTR must be negotiated in every round of bargaining.
UTFA year-end update
December 23, 2020
As this strange and difficult year comes to a close, I’m writing to offer a brief reflection on the work our Association has been doing.
Since March, the pandemic has affected every aspect of our working lives. A series of UTFA member surveys have documented how the rapid shift to remote work has exacerbated the widespread problem of excessive workloads and pre-pandemic systemic inequities. On very short notice and under challenging circumstances, faculty and librarians on all 3 campuses have more than risen to the occasion—routinely sacrificing care for themselves in order to fulfill their commitments to their students, their scholarly and professional communities, and the broader purposes of the University as a whole.
Update on July 1, 2020 PTR and Update on Current Round of SBPW Negotiations
November 25, 2020
UTFA is continuing to receive a large and increasing number of inquiries from faculty members and librarians who are concerned about the status of the PTR payment that members expected to receive on July 1, 2020. This PTR increase was earned during the 2019-2020 academic year and reflects the outcome of last year’s (June 30, 2020) PTR process.
The Administration is asserting that it is not obliged to implement 2019-2020 PTR increases because Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload (SBPW) negotiations for 2020-2021 are ongoing. This is both inconsistent with what UTFA previously negotiated and a clear departure from the practice that has been consistently followed for at least a decade. For example, despite the fact that SBPW negotiations were ongoing on each of the following dates, PTR payments were made on July 1, 2011, July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2017. Notably, the withholding of your July 1, 2020 PTR is neither necessary nor inevitable. Rather, it is a choice that is being made by the University’s Senior Administration.
COVID-19 outbreak declared in University of Windsor student residence
November 11, 2020
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has informed the University of Windsor that an unauthorized Halloween party in a student residence has led to what is now being declared an outbreak.
The health unit has confirmed five students have tested positive for COVID-19, while an additional 13 are self-isolating.
UTFA attends service of remembrance
November 11, 2020
Together in spirit at Soldiers’ Tower, we honoured those alumni, students, faculty and staff who fell in the First and Second World Wars, as well as other conflicts. The virtual laying of the wreaths was a moving ritual for the times.
UTFA President Terezia Zorić attended U of T’s annual Service of Remembrance on UTFA’s behalf.
UTFA Updates: AGM; Part-time Policy; Matthew Shenoda lecture
November 3, 2020
1. Thank you for making UTFA’s AGM last Thursday such an enormous success! We had more than 250 people in attendance over the course of the event. Attendees made it clear that they wanted to delve further into the featured panel topic, Creating the University We Want During and After the Pandemic, and to hear more about Salary, Benefits, and Workload Negotiations with the Administration as they unfold. UTFA is planning to host related events throughout the academic year.
2. I’m pleased to announce that the revised Part-time Policy negotiated between UTFA and the Administration was passed by Governing Council on October 29th. Some highlights of the new policy include:
Join us for UTFA’s AGM this Thursday!
October 27, 2020
I’m writing to encourage you to attend this Thursday’s Annual General Meeting, and also to provide you with a brief update on UTFA’s Salary, Benefits, and Workload Negotiations.
1. UTFA’s AGM is Thursday, October 29, 2020, 4-6 p.m.
We hope you will join us in an important conversation about Creating the University We Want During and After the Pandemic. To register, and or to offer a brief question or comment for our panel, email firstname.lastname@example.org. This event will also feature a more detailed update and Q & A on UTFA’s Salary, Benefits, and Workload Negotiations; Reports on UTFA’s work of behalf of Faculty and Librarians; and a tribute to Past President Cynthia Messenger. (Click here to see a detailed agenda and minutes from previous years’ meetings.)
The Virus Moved Female Faculty to the Brink. Will Universities Help?
October 6, 2020
The pandemic is a new setback for women in academia who already faced obstacles on the path to advancing their research and careers.
Whatever big plans Lisa Warner had for the year, the pandemic scrambled them. It forced online the biochemistry classes she taught as an assistant professor at Boise State University in Idaho, and it temporarily shut down her laboratory. Her 4-year-old son’s day care closed, and Dr. Warner felt her productivity wane. She feared for her chances of receiving tenure, the long-term job security that most early-career academics ardently pursue, by the 2024 deadline in her contract.
University of Toronto Mississauga confirms two cases of COVID-19
September 19, 2020
The University of Toronto Mississauga’s student union (UTMSU) announced on Friday that two people diagnosed with COVID-19 had entered the student centre.
The student centre, as well as several other facilities, will be closed for the next two weeks, wrote the student union in a release.
University of Toronto Mississauga confirms two cases of COVID-19
September 19, 2020
The University of Toronto Mississauga’s student union (UTMSU) announced on Friday that two people diagnosed with COVID-19 had entered the student centre.
The student centre, as well as several other facilities, will be closed for the next two weeks, wrote the student union in a release.
Message from UTFA President Terezia Zorić
September 2, 2020
Joint Toronto Universities Faculty Associations’ Statement
OCADFA, YUFA, and the Executives of UTFA and the RFA condemn racist policing and related forms of institutionalized violence. We stand in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities in Toronto and across North America on Turtle Island. We hear the demands for justice from the families of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Rodney Levi, Ejaz Choudry, Chantel Moore, Andrew Loku, Abdirahman Abdi, and D’Andre Campbell. We also extend our heartfelt sympathies to all who are facing trauma and loss.
We acknowledge that our own Black, Indigenous, and racialized faculty, librarians, staff, and students are bearing the burden of the current moment. Many of the conditions that allow institutionalized violence to disproportionately affect racialized communities have now been exacerbated in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
VIDEO: Not Safe Enough -- Listening to the Science on the Reopening of U of T
August 31, 2020
Online panel discussion with leading experts in epidemiology and health and safety. Organized by a campus coalition of UTFA, USW Local 1998, and CUPE Locals 3902, 3261, 1230, and 3907. Held on Monday August 24, 2020 from 5-7 pm.
Campus coalition urging U of T to 'listen to its own scientists' in back-to-school plans
August 26, 2020
A campus coalition at Canada's largest university is urging the school to listen to its own expert research on COVID-19 and roll back its plan to reopen doors to students and staff in the fall.
In an online panel held earlier this week, the University of Toronto Faculty Association discussed what it described as the administration's refusal to address health and safety concerns raised by staff and students despite the school's high-profile health-care advocacy work during the global pandemic.
University of Toronto receives D grade on reopening plan from one of its leading scientists
August 25, 2020
The University of Toronto received a "D" grade on its current reopening plan from one of its top epidemiologists at a virtual union meeting Monday night.
More than 350 participants joined the online event put on by the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA) and other major campus unions to discuss the university's current plan to reopen. The event featured a panel of several of the university's scientists and professors.
Dr. David Fisman, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health and one of the panel speakers, gave the university's back-to-school plan the almost-failing grade.
Update on Health and Safety
August 24, 2020
Since I last wrote you with concerns about the U of T’s plan for a return to in-person work for the Fall 2020 semester, UTFA and the coalition of employee groups advocating for improved health and safety measures have achieved some real gains
Our petition calling on the Administration to take a pause on most in-person teaching and other academic work where possible, and to consult meaningfully with faculty, staff, and student leaders received thousands of signatures (over 6500) and drew a widespread and sympathetic response from prominent media.
Update: 826 students under quarantine in Cherokee after possible COVID-19 exposures
August 21, 2020
In the six days that Cherokee County schools have been in session, the North Georgia district has had to direct 826 students to quarantine due to possible exposure to COVID-19, along with 42 teachers.
In following health guidelines, districts inform parents when a student has had close contract with — including sitting nearby — someone who tests positive for COVID-19 and advises 14-day quarantines at home. Most of the exposures to students have come from classmates, although a few cases involve teachers and staff who tested positive.
What will living in a university dorm look like this fall? Health experts warn about possible COVID-19 outbreaks
August 21, 2020
While some Canadian universities, like McMaster and Concordia, have closed their residences due to COVID-19 concerns, others are gearing up to welcome students to dormitories this fall.
U of T, University of British Columbia, McGill University, Dalhousie University, and more are all accepting students into residence halls, albeit in far fewer numbers than usual. Occupancy levels at Ryerson and the University of Calgary are at 30 per cent, according to spokespeople at those schools. Meanwhile, occupancy at Queen’s University and Simon Fraser University is expected to be around 50 per cent.
U.S. universities have been trying to prepare for months, but outbreaks are forcing last-minute changes.
August 21, 2020
As college students return to U.S. campuses, some schools are already hastily rewriting their plans for the fall. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Michigan State and Drexel University will now hold most fall classes online, and Notre Dame and the University of Pittsburgh are among several that have abruptly suspended in-person classes for the coming weeks.
Some of these schools have already had sizable coronavirus outbreaks. The New York Times has identified more than 17,000 cases at more than 650 American colleges and universities over the months.
The Student-Blaming Has Begun
August 21, 2020
Is it fair to fault college students for COVID-19 outbreaks?
At the same time that blame and responsibility were piling on, critics were questioning whether it was fair to fault college students for doing what students naturally do, especially when they’ve been cooped up with their parents for months, away from their friends and eager for a “real” college experience.
And should college administrators shoulder much of the blame for bringing students back in the midst of a pandemic and expecting radical changes in their behavior?
UNC-Chapel Hill pivots to remote teaching after coronavirus spreads among students during first week of class
August 19, 2020
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, one of the largest schools in the country to bring students to campus for in-person teaching, said Monday that it will pivot to all-remote instruction for undergraduates after testing showed a pattern of rapid spread of the novel coronavirus.
The shift signaled enormous challenges ahead for those in higher education who are pushing for professors and students to be able to meet on campus. Officials announced the abrupt change just a week after classes began at the 30,000-student state flagship university.
With students heading back to campus dorms, experts have serious COVID-19 concerns
August 19, 2020
As universities and colleges across Ontario prepare for tens of thousands of students to move back into dorms next week, some health experts are concerned safety protocols the schools have put in place may not be enough to stop the spread of COVID-19.
That's not just because residences pose similar challenges to other congregate living situations, according to Ashleigh Tuite, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto.
"As much as universities are going to have rules, there's going to be an element of wanting to socialize and interact with people," she said.
MSU moves undergrad classes online, tells dorm residents to stay home
August 19, 2020
Michigan State University has told undergrad students preparing to live on campus to stay home this fall, as fear grows that stringent health protocols won’t be enough to stop the spread of the coronavirus among students and staff.
The announcement, sent to students and parents after 5 p.m. Tuesday, said all undergraduate classes were being moved online, and that students who’d signed leases to live in dorms should instead take their classes remotely from home if possible. MSU becomes the first public university in the state to take such aggressive measures to limit the number of students on campus this fall.
“Effective immediately, we are asking undergraduate students who planned to live in our residence halls this fall to stay home and continue their education with MSU remotely,” MSU President Samuel Stanley wrote to students. “While a vast majority of our classes already were offered in remote formats, we will work the next two weeks to transition those that were in-person or hybrid to remote formats.”
New York governor wants schools to look at reopening plans after Notre Dame Covid-19 outbreak CNN
August 19, 2020
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants all New York state school districts to look at their reopening plans to see how they would handle a coronavirus outbreak similar to the one currently seen at Notre Dame.
“Look at that, and then look at your school reopening plan and how would you make sure that you don’t wind up in that situation. What was your testing procedure? Could it have gotten that big that fast?” Cuomo said.
Cuomo wants to know if school reopening plans would be able to catch the spread before an outbreak can get as big as the one currently seen at Notre Dame.
“if you can’t answer yes then there is a problem,” Cuomo said.
Stop UofT From Contracting Out Caretaking Services
August 19, 2020
The University of Toronto recently informed us that they will begin contracting out caretaking services in 16 buildings across the St. George Campus, including Robarts, Rotman, OISE, Innis, and others. Many caretakers have already been updated of the situation by their supervisors. The union has been aware for a few days now, and is updating you now after waiting for more details to roll in.
In order to facilitate this process, U of T will be transferring many of our caretakers to new buildings to be replaced by contract workers as of Monday, August 17th.
As some of you may already know, this move is permitted under our collective agreement. The language has existed for years, and the employer has insisted on maintaining this right despite the union’s attempt to prohibit it during every round of negotiations.
Chapel Hill and Notre Dame Are Just the Beginning
August 19, 2020
On Monday, after just one week of in-person classes, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reported 135 new coronavirus cases among students and staff over seven days, and announced it would go all-online for undergraduate instruction. The next day, the University of Notre Dame took instruction online for at least two weeks, after tallying 147 positive cases since the beginning of the month (that number has since increased to 222).
These early experiences suggest that learning in person this fall may be harder to pull off than some college leaders anticipated. Should other colleges take the experiences of UNC and Notre Dame, which started their semesters relatively early, as a warning?
Notre Dame cancels classes for 2 weeks after COVID-19 spike
August 18, 2020
Notre Dame University on Tuesday cancelled in-person undergraduate classes for two weeks after a spike of coronavirus cases that occurred since the semester began Aug. 10.
University president the Rev. John Jenkins says he decided against sending students home after consulting with health care experts. Instead, the university is imposing restrictions on student activity, including limiting access to dormitories to residents and barring students from major gathering places on campus.
Jenkins said there have been 147 confirmed cases of coronavirus on campus since the start of classes.
“It is very serious and we must take serious actions,” Jenkins said in an address to students and staff.
‘Hybrid’ school plans sound safe, but they’re the riskiest option we have
August 14, 2020
It seems intuitive that the best approach to reopening is to compromise: If we meet the virus halfway, then surely we can have more normal lives and avoid widespread community transmission. This intuition is part of the fuel behind the enthusiasm for “hybrid” plans for school reopening, in which groups of children alternate periods of in-person instruction with remote learning. But unless they are prepared very carefully indeed, hybrid plans can be among the most risky of all — especially if the main goal is to prevent the virus getting into schools. The reason is the networks the virus uses to transmit itself.
School ventilation could spread COVID-19. Why aren’t we talking about it?
August 13, 2020
Students go back to school in less than a month. While many boards have been focusing on reduced class sizes, personal protective equipment and hand-washing, one source of COVID-19 threat has been overlooked: the air.
There is growing concern that the virus can be transmitted through air over longer distances. This could have huge implications for how buildings – including schools – function. And to address the risk demands checking and upgrading ventilation systems. That’s a complex and expensive exercise in building science, made worse by the run-down state of many Canadian public schools.
It’s time to get started.
Terezia Zorić, UTFA President on Metro Morning
July 29, 2020
Unions, students raise concern over UofT's Fall 2020 in-person learning
July 29, 2020
Canada’s largest university is defending its decision to hold some of its fall course offerings in person this September, despite mounting pushback from faculty members and students.
A petition launched by the union representing faculty members at the University of Toronto is calling on the school to “pause” plans for on-campus classes, arguing the move will not guarantee a safe return for students and staff.
Academic workers, library staff, graduate assistants and administrative employees are among the more than 2,600 people who had signed the petition since it went live late last week.
6 University of Toronto unions launch petition against school's reopening plan
July 29, 2020
Six University of Toronto faculty and staff unions have launched a petition to protest against the school's reopening plan because they say it fails to guarantee a safe return to work this fall.
"Until the safety of students and workers can be guaranteed, in-person learning, teaching, librarianship, and other academic work should be paused," the petition reads.
The petition, signed by more than 2,800 people, calls on the school to follow the lead of other Canadian universities and pause most "in-person teaching" in favour of online learning. It notes that some activities, such as lab work, music instruction and most service work, can happen only in person.
But it adds: "...those of us who can work remotely should stay home to protect the entire campus community."
U Of T Professors Don’t Want To Return To Campus & They’re Petitioning Against It
July 28, 2020
It looks like some students aren’t the only ones who don’t want to go back to school. Six staff and faculty unions have signed a petition to the University of Torontodisputing the decision to host in-person classes this fall. They have already beaten their initial 1,500-signature goal.
The petition claims that the university hasn’t considered key questions on the matter of student health and safety.
They also ask why U of T is out of line with other Ontario universities that are hosting their fall semesters online and how they will possibly be expected to avoid close contact with students.
Terezia Zorić, president of the University of Toronto Faculty Association, told Narcity that she “urges the University of Toronto administration to adhere to the precautionary principle.
Petition argues University of Toronto not safe to reopen for in-person classes this fall
July 28, 2020
Thousands have signed a petition asking the University of Toronto [U of T] to pause in-person learning, teaching, librarianship, and other academic work until the safety of students and workers can be guaranteed.
The petition, which has over 2,000 signatures as of publishing, has been signed by six U of T staff and faculty unions representing education workers, faculty, administrative and technical workers, service workers, and library workers employed in the University’s central library system.
Faculty, staff protest University of Toronto’s plan for fall
July 27, 2020
University of Toronto staff unions and the U of T Faculty Association (UTFA) are protesting the university’s plans for in-person classes in the fall, which contrast with other Ontario institutions that have chosen to teach the semester online. The groups fear U of T’s plans could compromise student, faculty and staff health and safety, and are calling for greater adoption of online education.
Five U of T unions and the UTFA launched a petition called “U of T’s Reopening Plan is NOT Safe Enough. We Need to Take Fall 2020 Online.” As of Monday, its third day online, it had garnered more than 1,000 signatures.
U of T unions protest fall return to in-person classes
July 27, 2020
Six of the University of Toronto’s staff and faculty unions are petitioning against the school’s fall reopening plan saying it “does not guarantee a safe return to in-person work.”
The petition, which has garnered over 1,200 supporters, has been signed by the unions representing U of T contract academic workers, faculty and librarians, administrative and technical workers, library workers, service workers and OISE graduate assistants.
“Until the safety of students and workers can be guaranteed, in-person learning, teaching, librarianship, and other academic work should be paused,” the petition reads.
UPDATE: Two rounds of Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload (SBPW) negotiations between UTFA and U of T
July 27, 2020
Updates on two rounds of Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload (SBPW) negotiations between UTFA and the Administration: one recently concluded, the other ongoing.
2018–2020 SBPW Negotiations
In the last round of bargaining UTFA brought forward a number of monetary proposals (for salary and benefits) as well as policy proposals to remedy long-standing concerns related to the Workload Policy and Procedures (WLPP) and the PTR process. It is our view that workload and PTR policies, in their current form, are inadequate to address the serious and persistent problems of overwork and inequitable distribution of work affecting faculty and librarians.
A settlement of UTFA's financial proposals, in which UTFA made modest gains consistent with sector norms, was achieved on April 25, 2018. Following the settlement, mediated discussions continued on UTFA's proposals to amend the WLPP and the PTR process.
UTFA Detailed Report on SBPW Negotiations, July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2020
July 27, 2020
In this long and complex round of bargaining UTFA brought forward a number of monetary proposals (for salary and benefits) as well as policy proposals to remedy long-standing concerns related to the Workload Policy and Procedures (WLPP) and the PTR process. It has long been UTFA’s view that workload and PTR policies, in their current form, are inadequate to ensure fair, reasonable, and equitable distributions of workload for faculty and librarians at U of T.
A settlement of UTFA's financial proposals, in which UTFA made modest gains consistent with sectoral norms, was achieved on April 25, 2018. However, a discussion continued with the assistance of Mr. William Kaplan on UTFA's proposals to amend the WLPP and aspects of the Academic Administrative Procedures Manual relating to the PTR process.
SBPW 2020 Arbitration Award UTFA and U of T
July 26, 2020
IN THE MATTER OF AN INTEREST ARBITRATION BETWEEN: The University of Toronto and The University of Toronto Faculty Association
Before: William Kaplan, Sole Arbitrator
For the University: John Brooks, Hicks Morley, Barristers & Solicitors
For UTFA: Emma Phillips, Goldblatt Partners Barristers & Solicitors
The matters in dispute proceeded by written submissions.
This is an interest arbitration to settle certain outstanding issues in dispute between the University of Toronto (hereafter “the University”) and the University of Toronto Faculty Association (hereafter “the Association”). The Association represents full- time tenured and tenure-track faculty members, full- and part-time teaching stream faculty members, non-teaching stream faculty, CLTA’s and librarians. Under Article 6 of the Memorandum of Agreement between the University and the Association (hereafter “The MOA”), the parties negotiate salary, benefits and workload. The MOA provides for interest arbitration absent agreement. This has been the process for more than four decades.
UTFA SBPW Interest Arbitration Brief
July 26, 2020
The University of Toronto Faculty Association makes two proposals to amend the Workload Policy and Procedures (the “WLPP”) and two proposals to amend the aspects of the Academic Administrative Procedures Manual (the “AAPM”) relating to Progress Through the Ranks (the “PTR Policy”).1 These proposals, set out below, are driven by the fact that the WLPP and PTR Policy, in their current form, are inadequate to address the significant and concrete problems of over-work and inequitable distribution of work affecting UTFA members.
July 1, 2020 Terezia Zorić became UTFA President for a two-year term. Terezia brings with her extensive bargaining experience, deep knowledge of University policy and practice, and a firm commitment to principled advocacy on behalf of all faculty and librarians, both active and retired.
Terezia is UTFA’s Chief Negotiator on matters of compensation, Workload Policy (WLPP), Progress through the Ranks/Merit Pay (PTR), and other key policy areas. She was previously UTFA’s Vice-President, Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload (SBPW), and served for three years as UTFA’s Vice-President, Grievances, in addition to Chairing UTFA’s Equity and Teaching Stream committees.
Over the last decade, Terezia has served on numerous Salary, Benefits, Pensions, and Workload (SBPW) bargaining teams as well as the University Pension Plan (UPP) bargaining and education/outreach teams that secured the defined benefit pension plan and a supplementary pension; the 2014-2016 Special Joint Advisory Committee (SJAC) negotiations that secured the rank of Full Professor for the teaching stream; and the ongoing Sexual Violence Policy Letter of Understanding negotiations (Lead negotiator). She led on negotiating comprehensive improvements to UTFA members’ health and safety protections in the context of a complex Asbestos Group Grievance, including explicit guarantees that faculty and librarians can report concerns about their workspace, that those concerns will be assessed promptly, and that the findings will be shared with the member; that the Administration will retain external asbestos consultants to provide a written assessment of the design of the most high-risk asbestos abatement projects; that UTFA can appoint its members onto Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC); and the establishment of a joint University-wide JHSC with UTFA to “monitor, assist and provide direction” to the University’s other JHSCs.
Terezia is now leading an historic Association grievance on discrimination in compensation. After working for more than three years to redress the salary discrimination experienced by our faculty and librarians on the basis of gender, racialization, Indigeneity, LGBTQ2S, and disability, Terezia helped UTFA achieve measurable success for female-identified librarians and tenure-stream faculty. To-date, this initiative has resulted in a remedial 1.3% salary increase for women in the tenure stream (UTFA has filed a grievance to challenge this low figure) and a 3.9% salary increase for female-identified librarians. UTFA also achieved regular audits of Librarians’ salaries, as well as the establishment of a Joint Administration-Association Working Group to identify and address the impact of systemic biases on librarian compensation. See UTFA’s December 6, 2019, open letter for further details. Terezia is committed to the ongoing work of eradicating the significant, persistent, pervasive, and systemic pay gaps UTFA has identified for all equity-seeking members in all streams, including Indigenous, Black, and other racialized faculty and librarians.
Terezia is a faculty member in OISE’s department of Social Justice Education. She has held an academic appointment at the University since 2004, where her teaching and scholarship focus on challenging class bias in schooling, anti-discrimination education, teacher activism, and education for environmental justice.