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Advice & Support

The list below contains some of the resources available to members. If you would like information on any of these topics or have a suggestion for other topics please contact Lina Rodriguez, UWOFA’s Member Services Officer, at

If you become ill or injured and need to take a leave from work, a number of provisions outline the process in the article Income Security of the Faculty Collective Agreement.

Read the FAQ

Part-time Faculty Members

According to the Collective Agreement (Appointments, clause 1.4.2), if you are a part-time faculty member who has taught at least a half university course in two of the last three fiscal years (May 1 – April 30) you are a Member of UWOFA.

Full-time Faculty Members

According to the Collective Agreement (Recognition, clause 2), if you have a full-time academic appointment, you are a Member of UWOFA. However, there are some exceptions (Recognition, clause 3).

Librarians and Archivists

Western’s Librarians and Archivists are also Members of UWOFA, but they are in a separate Bargaining Unit from Faculty Members. They have a separate Collective Agreement.

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Received, or hope to receive, an offer of a probationary contract at Western?  

The purpose of this section is to alert you to things you should consider in negotiating your appointment. First and foremost, probationary and tenured faculty at Western are unionized and so have a Collective Agreement that will structure the conditions of your employment. A copy of that Collective Agreement can be found at the UWOFA web page ( See in particular the Article Compensation and Benefits and the Article Promotion, Tenure and Continuing Status.  

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  • Find one or more mentors, to guide your career but also to specifically assist you in getting tenure. Press your mentor for candid feedback as to whether you are on track for tenure.
  • Understand that the focus for your probationary period is research and teaching—you can’t get tenure by having a great service record. You must establish a sufficiently strong record in both teaching and research.
  • Keep the normal 40-40-20 workload split. Having a higher percentage for research is an acceptable variation.
  • Taking on overload teaching or service may hurt you as you may not be able to devote the necessary energy to establishing the required research and teaching record.

Learn more. 

UWOFA members with a limited-term appointment have various options to consider when negotiating the renewal of their contract.

The following are suggestions from others who have been through this process:

1a. Be proactive. Make an appointment with your Chair/Director/Dean six months to a year before the end of your current contract to discuss your future.

b. UWOFA recommends you bring a trusted Academic Colleague or UWOFA Faculty Representative when meeting with your Chair/Director/Dean. As a courtesy, you should let your Chair/Director/Dean know you are bringing a colleague.

2. Before you talk to your Chair, read the articles in the Collective Agreement which deal with limited-term members, and be sure that you are aware of exactly what the Collective Agreement says. See the Appointments Article, Clauses 1.6, 4.5, 5.3.2, 8 (all sections). Read all of the Compensation and Benefits article to ensure that you are properly compensated. Contact Lina Rodriguez, UWOFA’s Member Services Officer, if you have any questions. Be conscious that not every Chair has studied this carefully, which may result in their misinterpretation of the contract.

3. Be prepared to ask for the perfect contract that you would ideally like to sign. Just as in union negotiations, you cannot expect to get everything you wish, so start negotiating at the high end.

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When you need help, one question to consider is whether to contact a UWOFA representative or to rely on an Academic Colleague. The answer depends on the situation.

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A sabbatical is an employer-approved paid leave from teaching and service activities. In addition to scholarly activities the workload of an academic staff member includes service to the academic and broader community. Periodic sabbatical leaves are an opportunity for faculty to pursue research, scholarly activities and other professional projects.

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There may be a time in your career when you are asked to prove that your research is actually your work.

For example:

  • The Promotion & Tenure (P&T) Committee that is adjudicating your tenure application may want to know what percentage of an article you contributed.
  • The P&T Committee may want to know how much work your work study student contributed.
  • You may need to protect yourself against reprimand if ever accused of committing academic fraud and misconduct.

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Several entities, such as One Class, have established websites on which notes and materials from courses taught at Western are posted. These postings may violate the instructor’s rights.

UWOFA has developed a template for a letter to such an entity, asserting the instructor’s rights and demanding that the notes and materials be removed from the website.

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