On April 5, 2016, Cynthia Messenger was elected the 17th President of the Faculty Association. She is the third woman to be elected President. Cynthia has held several leadership roles at UTFA over the approximately twelve years that she has served on UTFA’s Executive Committee and Council. She began her work at UTFA as a representative of the contract faculty. Cynthia went on to chair the Status of Women Committee, the Teaching Stream Committee, and the Appointments Committee. Cynthia organized the first UTFA-sponsored university-wide conference on teaching in 2006. She served as Vice-President, Grievances, for over six years, during which time she represented UTFA members from all three streams. As VP Grievances, Cynthia supervised many files in the grievance mediation process, at the Grievance Review Panel and at the University Tenure Appeal Committee. In various capacities, Cynthia has worked successfully with UTFA’s in-house counsel, external counsel, mediators, and arbitrators. She has used her deep knowledge of U of T’s policies, guidelines, and practices as a team member in four rounds of salaries/benefits/pensions/workload bargaining. She was chief negotiator on the SJAC subcommittee that resulted in landmark changes for the teaching stream in 2014–2015. Cynthia’s considerable experience and her ability to work collegially with others will serve our members well during her tenure as UTFA President. Cynthia’s academic appointment is at Innis College, where she teaches in the Writing and Rhetoric Program, a program she spearheaded in 2003 and for which she served as director until 2016. Her current research focuses on the rhetoric of the English Aesthetic Movement and material culture, especially the decorative arts, in nineteenth-century Britain.
President's Pension Blog
Over the coming weeks and months, in this blog I will focus on pensions: the current defined benefit (DB) pension plan; the proposed University Pension Plan (UPP), a jointly sponsored, multi-employer DB plan; and the Supplementary Account Plan (SAP) that UTFA is negotiating for higher earners. Please watch this space for short pieces on these important topics.