It's Awards Season

The final business at the first UWOFA online Annual Member's Meeting was the announcement of the recipient of the Tom Murphy Memorial Award.  The Board was pleased to announce that Nigmendra Narain is the 2020 recipient.

Nigmendra has been at Western University since 2000 and has been an active member of UWOFA since 2014. Nig was a dynamic and effective member of the Strike Action Committee during faculty negotiations in 2018 and he brought that same energy to the librarians and archivists again in 2019. In 2019 he chaired the Information Technology subcommittee of the Strike Services Committee, where his expertise and dedication to the technical aspects of building the infrastructure in the event of a strike were invaluable. His commitment to UWOFA and his expertise made sure UWOFA was ready.

More broadly, Nig’s enthusiasm, experience and support contributed directly to the success of our strike preparation efforts. He sees the big picture and shows strong empathy for individuals. Throughout negotiations he helped the Strike Action Committee stay grounded with his calm, practical advice and offered comic relief with his quirky sense of humour. The committee quickly became accustomed to his cheerful refrain, “Team work makes the dream work,” which was both a motivating message and a constant reminder of the importance of solidarity. In addition, he has served on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee representing Members holding Limited Term appointments. Nig is respected by other Members, exemplifies the values of UWOFA and is a worthy recipient of this prestigious honour.

Recipients of the CAUT Dedicated Service Award (2019-2020)

The Canadian Association of University Teachers named the following UWOFA Members as recipients of the CAUT Dedicated Service Awards.

Kim Clark has served UWOFA for more than a decade. She has served as the UWOFA representative on various university-wide committees and was instrumental in establishing the University Childcare Centre. In 2005 she served as Vice-President of the association and was co-chair of the Grievance Committee. She served as President during faculty bargaining and as interim co-chair of the Joint Committee for the implementation of the first Librarians’ and Archivists’ Collective Agreement. For the last three years she has served as UWOFA Speaker.

David Heap has served UWOFA in several significant ways for more than a decade. He was an active member of UWOFA's certification campaign and was instrumental in gathering the necessary union card signatures. During the early rounds of bargaining he ensured members were kept informed by writing numerous Bargaining Bulletins and he has acted as Chair of the Communications Committee. David has served on the Board of Directors and has been a committed member of the faculty and the librarians and archivists Strike Action Committee serving as picket captain in 2011 and as co-chair in 2014, 2018 and 2019. He has been the UWOFA representative on many Western committees and is the UWOFA observer on the London District Labour Council. More recently he received the United Way Labour Appreciation award for his service to the London community. He is currently a CAUT Defence Fund trustee.

Stephen Pitel has served UWOFA in several key roles. He was Speaker of UWOFA and then served as Vice-President, President and Past President. His knowledge and leadership ensured UWOFA’s corporate reorganization in 2017 was a success. He played a major role in defining the bargaining goals for the last round of faculty negotiations and has represented UWOFA on the Provost’s Ad Hoc Committee on Freedom of Expression and Western’s Scholars at Risk Committee. UWOFA benefits from his attention to detail, accuracy and fairness. He continues to be a member of the Policy and Governance Committee and chair of the Faculty Representatives Council. Stephen is an indispensable member of UWOFA and his dedication to the association makes him a valuable resource

Ben Rubin has provided valuable service to UWOFA over many years. He is member of the Board of Directors and a member of OCUFA’s Committee on Contract Faculty and Faculty Complement. During Fair Employment Week he organized events for part-time and limited-term faculty members and was the driving force behind instituting UWOFA’s Contract Faculty Research and Professional Development Fund. He was a member of UWOFA’s ad-hoc committee to scrutinize and evaluate Western’s finances. He was the co-chair of the Committee for Contract Faculty and is UWOFA’s Faculty Representative in the Biology department.