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UWOFA Contract Faculty Research and Professional Development Fund

Contract faculty members are invited to apply for UWOFA’s Contract Faculty Research and Professional Development Fund.

The purpose of this funding is to support the participation of UWOFA Contract Faculty Members in professional development activities, academic conferences and research.

The total amount to be distributed is $10,000. UWOFA and Research Western will each provide $5,000.

Deadline for submission is Monday, June 6, 2022 at 4:00pm.

Please reach out to uwofa@uwo.ca for any questions or concerns.

Your Collective Bargaining Roundup – Vol. 8, No. 1

UWOFA has been working for several months on preparations to negotiate a new faculty collective agreement. The current agreement expires on June 30th, 2022.

UWOFA’s role at the bargaining table is to represent the interests of our membership and we will continue to consult you in various ways in the coming months as we prepare to negotiate.

APRIL SURVEY

We were very pleased with the high level of participation in the short survey on bargaining priorities we asked members to complete by April 06, 2022. The results of that survey helped inform the early stages of our goal development by letting us know what issues were important to you.

INTRODUCING THE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING COMMITTEE (CBC)

The CBC, which includes all members of the Negotiating Committee plus five additional members, is responsible for developing bargaining goals in consultation with the membership, drafting proposed contract language, supporting the Negotiating Committee during bargaining and, after an agreement is reached, final drafting and checking of contract language.

Committee Members of both the 2022 Negotiating Committee and the CBC:

·  Jeff Tennant – Chief Negotiator (French Studies)

·  Johanna Weststar – Deputy Chief Negotiator (DAN Management & Organizational Studies)

·  Cindy Cossar-Jones (UWOFA Professional Officer)

·  Kristin Hoffmann (Western Libraries)

·  Jamie Johnston (English and Writing Studies)

·  Steve Lupker (Psychology)

·  Nina Zitani (Biology)

·  Warren Steele (Information & Media Studies)

·  Nigmendra Narain (Political Science)

Additional committee members of the CBC:

·  Steve Laviolette (Anatomy & Cell Biology)

·  Laura Stephenson (Political Science)

·  Spy Dénommé-Welch (Education)

·  Aleksandra Zecevic (Health Studies)

UWOFA advocates for faculty autonomy and PPE in return to campus plans


UWOFA Members,

On Friday, Jan. 14 the employer sent a notice about its return to campus plan.

UWOFA acknowledges the stress and hard work of all our members and continues to advocate strongly on your behalf.

Many of you have expressed concern about a safe return to campus and about the disruption to pedagogy and additional workload involved in switching back to in-person instruction. Accordingly, UWOFA continues to argue that course instructors should be involved in decisions about the timing of their return to in-person instruction, and that those decisions should be based on a combination of pedagogical considerations, students’ learning outcomes, and personal circumstances. UWOFA is also strenuously advocating for proper Personal Protective Equipment, including an adequate supply of N95 respirators, for our members and all members of the Western community who must be on campus.

Rest assured, we will continue to vigorously advocate for the rights of our members to healthy and safe working conditions.

Please stay tuned for more information in the days and weeks ahead.

In solidarity,

Nigmendra Narain
UWOFA President

Bargaining Bulletins- Faculty

Tentative agreement ratified – Vol. 7 No. 16

November 26, 2018

The UWOFA membership has voted to ratify the tentative faculty collective agreement reached with the university administration. Members of the faculty bargaining unit voted 90 per cent in favour of the deal in a vote that closed Friday, November 23.

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Ratification vote scheduled – Vol. 7 No. 15

November 16, 2018

The UWOFA Board of Directors has recommended that the tentative faculty collective agreement reached with the administration on Friday November 9 be brought to the membership for ratification.

Tentative Agreement Reached

November 9, 2018

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association (UWOFA) is pleased to announce that a tentative faculty collective agreement has been reached with the university administration.

November 7 Bargaining Update – Vol. 7 No. 14

November 7, 2018

Yesterday, at this late stage in bargaining, the employer asked your negotiating team for concessions in our existing health benefits package – concessions that had not been proposed in their previous offers at the table.

It’s Time to Reinvest in Western’s Core Mission: A Bargaining Issues Update – Vol. 7 No. 8

November 6, 2018

Western’s financial position is extremely strong, and yet the Board of Governors and administration consistently choose not to reinvest in the core mission of quality education, teaching and research. As our examination of the university’s budget reveals, the university has accumulated close to $700 million in surplus over the past 9 years. It recently completed a fund-raising campaign that raised over $800 million. Student tuition has been rising steadily over the past 5 years. In February of 2018, Standard and Poor’s affirmed Western’s AA credit rating, noting the university’s “high levels of cash and available financial resources.” According to the rating agency, Western’s “financial assets are sufficient such that it would likely not default on its obligations under a provincial stress scenario in which all government funding was temporarily disrupted”.

Strike FAQ for students

November 2, 2018

No one wants a strike at Western. UWOFA is working as hard as we can to avoid one. We know talk of a strike causes students a lot of anxiety, so we’ve prepared a set of answers to frequently asked questions here.

UWOFA heads back to the bargaining table in advance of strike deadline – Vol. 7 No. 13

October 29, 2018

A “No Board” Report has been filed with the Ontario Ministry of Labour by provincially appointed conciliator Greg Long. The UWOFA faculty bargaining unit will be in a legal strike position on Friday November 9 at 12:01 a.m., and UWOFA’s Executive Committee has established this date as our firm strike deadline.

Strike FAQ for members

October 28, 2018

These guidelines represent policy adopted by the UWOFA Board of Directors; they represent what your Board is expecting of all Bargaining Unit members. The decision to honour or break a strike is the individual’s own. This is something that neither the Association nor the Administration can decide for you.

Conciliation to Begin Thursday in Faculty Contract Negotiations- Vol.7 No. 11

October 9, 2018

A provincially appointed conciliator, Greg Long, will join your negotiating team and the employer at the bargaining table beginning this Thursday, October 11. Additional conciliation dates have been scheduled for October 12 and 15.

Faculty Mandate 94% in Favour of Strike Mandate- Vol.7 No.10

September 27, 2018

The UWOFA membership has voted 94 per cent in favour of strike action to strengthen bargaining goals during faculty negotiations. Thank you for your overwhelming support. Your strong expression of support for your negotiating team will empower them to work toward the best contract possible as we enter conciliation in October.

UWOFA Strike Vote: Frequently Asked Questions – Vol. 7 No. 9

September 19, 2018

Last week, UWOFA announced that a strike vote will be held for members of the faculty Bargaining Unit. Please see below for some frequently asked questions about the strike vote process. For more details about the process and, most importantly, the issues that remain on the table, please plan to attend a Bargaining Unit meeting on Thursday, September 20 at 9:30 a.m. in the Law Building, Room 52.

UWOFA and the Employer Jointly File For Conciliation – Vol. 7 No. 6

September 6, 2018

As you know, UWOFA and the employer jointly filed a request to appoint a conciliation officer with the Ministry of Labour on Friday, August 30 in an attempt to bridge remaining differences at the table in negotiations for a new collective agreement for the faculty bargaining unit.

Negotiations Pause for Summer Break- Vol.7, No. 5

July 20, 2018

Negotiations with the administration to reach a new faculty collective agreement have continued to move forward since we last updated you in June.

Discontinuing the Inappropriate Use of Student Questionnaires on Courses and Teaching- Vol.7, No.4

July 11, 2018

Discontinuing the use of student questionnaires on courses and teaching for personnel decisions such as promotion, tenure, annual review and hiring is one of UWOFA’s goals during this round of faculty collective bargaining.

Faculty Collective Bargaining Begins- Vol.7, No. 3

June 8, 2018

Faculty collective bargaining began on Wednesday, June 6, with your UWOFA negotiating committee meeting with the Administration’s representatives for several hours to exchange initial proposals.

What to Expect During Collective Bargaining- Vol.7, No.2

June 1, 2018

In anticipation of faculty bargaining beginning on June 6, the following is a collective bargaining primer for UWOFA members.

Your Collective Bargaining Roundup – Vol. 7, No. 1

January 16, 2018

UWOFA has been working for several months on preparations to negotiate a new faculty collective agreement. The current agreement expires on June 30, 2018.

Faculty Vote 94% in Favour of Strike Mandate – Vol. 7 No. 10

September 27, 2018

The UWOFA membership has voted 94 per cent in favour of strike action to strengthen bargaining goals during faculty negotiations. Thank you for your overwhelming support. Your strong expression of support for your negotiating team will empower them to work toward the best contract possible as we enter conciliation in October.

UWOFA accepting nominations for Tom Murphy Memorial Award

UWOFA is accepting nominations for the Tom Murphy Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to UWOFA.

This award was established in honour of the late Tom Murphy. Tom was a long-standing contract faculty member in the Department of Sociology who was involved in UWOFA since certification in 1998, serving as a director for four terms, as a member of the executive committee, and as a member of the Policy and Governance Committee. Tom also served UWOFA in other ways, notably as UWOFA’s representative on the Parking Appeals Committee. Perhaps most importantly, Tom was a long-standing member and co-chair of the Committee for Contract Faculty. Tom died on July 18, 2015. This award was established by UWOFA as a lasting tribute to his accomplishments and dedication to UWOFA.All contract faculty members of UWOFA are eligible for this award. Contract faculty includes full-time members with a limited-term appointment, and part-time members with a limited-duties appointment, standing appointment or preferred status.All members of UWOFA are eligible to nominate contract faculty members for this award. Members must use this form for their nominations.Recipients will be selected by the executive committee based on outstanding contributions to UWOFA either through a single project or activity or the accumulation of efforts over a longer period of time. Recipients may choose to receive the award of $1,000 in the form of a cash or a fund that can be used to advance the academic career of the recipient by supporting research, travel, equipment or professional development.The deadline for nominations has been extended to March 4, 2022. Questions should be directed to Jane Laforge at uwofa@uwo.ca

Upcoming deadline for librarians, archivists to submit request for promotion and continuing appointment extension

Academic librarians and archivists are reminded that the deadline for submitting a request for an extension to their promotion and continuing appointment clocks is December 31, 2021.

UWOFA and the employer have recognized that COVID-19 may have an adverse effect on members’ performance. This impact may be especially challenging to librarians and archivists on a probationary appointment. As a result, an agreement was reached last year to grant all probationary members, upon request, one one-year extension to their promotion and continuing appointment clocks. Second requests for an extension will be considered on an exceptional basis only. All requests should be directed in writing to Catherine Steeves, vice-provost and chief librarian.

If, in the future, members who have received an extension no longer feel they need the extra time to meet the criteria for promotion or continuing appointment, the Collective Agreement has language (Clause 8 of the Promotion and Continuing Appointment article) governing early submission to the P/CA process.

Deadline for librarians’ and archivists’ Annual Report submission extended

On October 29, UWOFA and the Office for Faculty Relations held training for the UWOFA-LA Annual Report and Review evaluators (i.e., supervisors, Western Libraries Senior Leadership Team, and the Dean of FIMS) as recommended by the Joint Working Group on ARR (2021). During this session, the attendees discussed an extension of the November 15, 2021, deadline for Members’ ARR Submissions to December 3, 2021, to permit supervisors greater time to meet with Members who report to them and formulate their comments based on insights gained in the training session. Both the Employer and UWOFA have approved this proposed change of date.

Therefore, the deadline for Members to send their ARR submissions to the Chief Librarian or Dean or designate, with copy to the immediate supervisor, is now Friday, December 3, 2021 (ARR article, 10). We encourage all Members to work with their supervisors to meet this new deadline. Earlier submissions are always welcome!

As a result of this agreement (and acknowledging the winter holiday closure), the new date for the Chief Librarian or Dean or designate to sign the final written Annual Review Reports and send them to Members will be Friday, January 14, 2022 (ARR article, 11.2). Furthermore, the Chief Librarian, Dean or designate will report to the Members on the distribution of the performance categorizations for all Members (e.g., the number of Members assigned each performance categorization as outlined in Clause 11 for each of Professional Practice, Academic Activity and Service), by January 31, 2022 (ARR article, 11.3).

UWOFA calls on Western to adhere to Step 3 regulations in the interest of public safety

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(London, Ont.) – As the Delta variant surges and thousands of students, staff, and faculty prepare to return to campus, UWOFA calls on Western to take the following steps in order to ensure the health and safety of the Western community.

1) Rigorously adhere to Ontario’s Step 3 regulations for indoor capacity and physical distance limitations.

2) Delay in-person learning for courses which cannot comply with Step 3 regulations to October 12 when Western’s vaccine mandate comes into full force.

3) Develop robust measures to ensure that only those who comply with Western’s COVID-19 vaccination policy are permitted inside buildings.

4) Provide more transparency to the Western community about ventilation enhancements and mask enforcement policies.

“UWOFA continues to advocate for a safe return to campus for its members and the entire Western community,” said Nigmendra Narain, UWOFA president.

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association is a union representing about 1,500 faculty members and 50 librarians and archivists at the University of Western Ontario in London.

Contact
Vanessa Frank, Communications Officer
vbrown5@uwo.ca
519-859-4630

UWO Faculty Association calls on Western to adopt Covid-19 vaccine requirement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(London, Ont.) – In light of the announcement Monday by the provincial government about a normal return to campus in September, UWOFA calls on Western university administration to require all eligible students, staff, faculty, librarians and archivists to be fully vaccinated before coming to campus, acknowledging that some may be exempt for medical or religious reasons.

“Everyone has a right to a safe work and learning environment, and this can only be achieved if the vast majority of individuals on campus are fully vaccinated and strict health and safety measures are in place such as proper indoor ventilation,” said UWOFA president Nigmendra Narain. “UWOFA is concerned about the rise of the Delta variant and the potential for a fourth wave in the coming months.”

UWOFA continues to advocate for a safe and healthy return to campus for its members and all of the Western community.

The University of Western Ontario Faculty Association is a union representing about 1,500 faculty members and 50 librarians and archivists at the University of Western Ontario in London.

Contact
Vanessa Frank, Communications Officer
vbrown5@uwo.ca
519-859-4630

UWOFA condemns program, job cuts at Laurentian University

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(London, Ont.) – The union representing faculty members at Western University (UWOFA) condemns unprecedented academic program and job cuts announced at Laurentian University this week.

Nearly 70 academic programs have been cut, including core academic subjects throughout the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, and health sciences, as well as professional programs. About 100 faculty members, including tenured professors and Canada Research Chairs, had their employment terminated without severance.

UWOFA stands in solidarity with students, staff, and faculty at Laurentian. The Association is calling on Western’s administration to speak out as well, reaffirming the importance of proper funding for education province-wide, and emphasizing the important cultural, intellectual and financial roles of universities in their communities: both in general and specific to Laurentian’s unique mandate in the North.

“This assault on northern, bilingual, and Indigenous education represents a failure of leadership by Laurentian’s administration, and by the provincial government that oversaw the erosion of funding to public universities,” said Beth MacDougall-Shackleton. “This should never have happened, and should never be permitted to happen again.”

Contact
Vanessa Frank, Communications Officer
vbrown5@uwo.ca
519-859-4630