Renewing a Limited-Term Contract

UWOFA members with a limited-term appointment have various options to consider when negotiating the renewal of their contract. While there is probably no single approach that will work in every instance, certain strategies are worth considering.

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

1. a. 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 1.3, 4.5, 5.3.2, 5.3.2.1, 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.

4. If you are, or would like to be, a researcher, ask for a research component in your contract. If you can achieve this, it places you on a better footing to receive research funding both internally and externally.

5. Ask for a seven-year contract, which is the longest you can get.

6. If you will reach 14 years as a limited-term member during your next contract, it is recommended that you contact Lina Rodriguez, UWOFA's Member Services Officer, to discuss the limited-term no end date contract before you settle on the renewal terms you would like to ask for. With a limited-term no end date contract, you may qualify for phased retirement and you will not have to go through the contract renewal process again. 

7. a. Be conscious of the course needs of your department and be willing to offer to fulfill these needs.

    b. Consider supplying your department with a list of courses you have taught or could teach in the field(s) of your expertise.

8. If your ideal contract is denied, request the reasons in writing. Compare these reasons with the Collective Agreement and, if available, with contracts of colleagues in a similar position (similar contracts). Contact Lina Rodriguez, UWOFA's Member Services Officer, if you have any questions.

9. Consider the process as analogous to union contract negotiations. Produce counter-proposals to the chair's suggestions. For example, if a seven-year contract is denied and two years are offered, ask for three or four.

10. If your discussions with your Chair/Director prove unsatisfactory, you have the option of requesting a meeting with your Dean. If you decide to do this, remember to take an Academic Colleague or your UWOFA Faculty Representative to the meeting with the Dean. Be polite and pleasant but firm in negotiations. Past experience demonstrates that taking a UWOFA Colleague with you - someone from outside the unit or faculty - can be a very useful strategy.

Content last updated: September 2017