2011 « WLUFA

WLUFA BARGAINING ADVISORY December 5, 2011 CONCILIATION

December 6th, 2011

Why Do We Need Conciliation? A Strategic Analysis

As pointed out in a previous newsletter, requesting conciliation has been a common practice for WLUFA negotiating teams in many negotiations in the past and, historically, conciliation has been necessary in order to reach a tentative agreement. Conciliation may be requested at any time during negotiations by either WLUFA or the Administration. Conciliation is a necessary step to preserve your rights and must be done at the appropriate time to be effective. Filing for conciliation puts pressure on both parties to bargain in a more focused fashion to achieve a settlement, and starts the clock ticking toward putting the parties in a strike or lock-out position. As we have reported to the membership, the Administration has been reluctant to put its monetary proposals on the table, in part because of their regressive agenda on compensation, pensions, and benefits. Even though the parties are far apart, WLUFA remains committed to negotiating the best possible settlement in conciliation. Nonetheless, we also need to prepare for the possibility that a settlement may not be reached. After all, it takes two parties negotiating in good faith and bargaining effectively to make a deal. Your WLUFA negotiating team and WLUFA Executive have been carefully planning our course of action in these negotiations since the initial planning process began last February. Filing for conciliation is just a part of that careful planning process.

WLUFA informed the Administration on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 of our intention to file for conciliation by the end of November, 2011. On November 30, 2011 WLUFA filed for conciliation with the Minister of Labour.

Why Do We Need Conciliation? A Bargaining Analysis:

Conciliation should be seen to be a necessary step that we must take in order to expedite the progress of negotiations. WLUFA considers this a positive development since we have been taking the lead in pushing the Administration to bargain with us more seriously and to move forward at a faster pace.

In July, in a protocol meeting with Administration, we discussed the possibilities of when we might exchange proposals. At that point, both WLUFA and the Administration knew that we would need to be fully prepared and expect to exchange proposals at any time. Subsequently, we agreed to exchange proposals in September. It was WLUFA’s understanding that all proposals, including monetary proposals would be tabled at that time.

WLUFA tabled all of our proposals, including all of those related to monetary issues. The Administration, however, tabled only non-monetary items and indicated that they were not yet prepared to table their proposals related to monetary issues. After some delay and pressing by WLUFA, the Administration did turn over their monetary proposals, as well as the data related to the University’s financial statements that WLUFA had repeatedly requested. Yet, the Administration continued to indicate that they were not ready to formally present their monetary proposals.

As our bargaining has continued, WLUFA formally presented all of our proposals for the articles that we opened. Our presentations included all monetary proposals, both for compensation and for funding support, so that WLUFA’s full package was presented and ready for discussion. This included handing over the research about the status of our salaries relative to other universities in Ontario. Upon receipt of our research, the Administration indicated that they needed to do more research before responding to us.

WLUFA has continually encouraged the University to formally present their remaining proposals (all of which are related to compensation issues). In the meantime, WLUFA took the opportunity to present the reports we have received from our actuary and benefits consultant. Once presented, WLUFA had no other items, proposals or research results to bring to the table, and so there could be little forward motion for the negotiations until the Administration presented their monetary proposals.

At the time of going to press on December 5, the Administration has yet to present their monetary proposals despite their assurance that they would do so on December 1.

Your WLUFA bargaining team has worked hard and diligently to meet the deadlines agreed to by both the Administration and WLUFA in July. In contrast to the Administration, WLUFA has met those deadlines every step of the way. Conciliation will help expedite the negotiation process toward an agreement.

The Process of Moving Forward:

As mentioned, either the Administration or WLUFA can formally ask the Ministry of Labour to appoint a conciliation officer. Conciliation can be requested at any time during negotiations. If the request is in order, the Ministry usually appoints a conciliation officer to contact the parties and arrange a meeting. The conciliator acts as a facilitator for the bargaining process but it is up to the two parties to negotiate a settlement. If the parties fail to reach a settlement in conciliation, the union is in a position to strike or to be locked out by the employer. If a tentative agreement cannot be reached, the conciliator reports to the Ministry of Labour that an agreement is not possible at this time. The Minister then issues a notice informing the union and the employer that he or she “does not consider it advisable to appoint a conciliation board.” Colloquially, this is called a “no-board report.” At that point the dispute is left in the hands of the parties. Either party can request mediation/arbitration, but only with the agreement of both parties. After a waiting period WLUFA would be in a legal strike position. When conciliation ends, WLUFA must be prepared for a strike. At that point WLUFA must have a solid strike vote and demonstrate that all preparations are in place for a strike. The Administration may try to save some money and management rights by waiting till the last possible moment, and table its last proposals only when the threat of job action is real and imminent. This has been a very common strategy used in the past two years by University Administrations all across Canada. We need to be prepared for the Administration to implement the same strategy. As previously mentioned, at this time WLUFA does not see that a strike is needed or necessary. We are confident that a settlement can be reached . But, we must preserve our rights and prepare for any eventuality.

SUPPORT YOUR WLUFA BARGAINING TEAM.

DID YOU KNOW:
WLUFA has requested conciliation in most negotiations in the past because it has been very helpful in arriving at an agreement?

The Budget “Crisis”

December 1st, 2011

Budgets are like weather forecasts: both are just estimates or guesses about what may happen in the future. In contrast, financial statements are like actual observed weather, the real experienced weather of the day. Keeping in mind, the analogy to budgets and financial statements, let’s take a look at the following weather forecasts and actual weather observations.

Time Period Weather Forecast Actual Observed Weather – Reality
(Forecast: Budgets) (Reality: Financial Statements)
Week 1 Freezing Rain Clear and Sunny – Mild
Week 2 Freezing Rain Clear and Sunny – Mild
Week 3 Freezing Rain Clear and Sunny – Mild

The weather forecast predicts a real crisis each week because of freezing rain. The actual observed weather is excellent, no crisis at all; this is the weather that actually occurs.

This is very similar to what has happened in the last three years at Laurier. Every year the budgets show a financial “crisis.” But, the real financial outcomes in the financial statements show a tremendously positive financial result, with over $43 million in surplus generated in the general fund. Plus, the surpluses generated in the last two years are record positive surpluses for Laurier. Thus, no financial “crisis” exists at Laurier. In fact, the opposite is true. Laurier has experienced fantastic financial success.

How can it be that no financial “crisis” exists at Laurier if the Administration’s budgets consistently show a “crisis” year after year? To understand this it is necessary to know something about budgets. Budgets are a forecast; unlike financial statements, they do not reflect actual financial outcomes. Budgets are a financial tool of the Administration to guide the allocation of resources in the University. They reflect the Administration’s goals and aspirations. Budgets do not reflect financial outcomes. Budgets are used by the Administration to direct the actions of all employees, including faculty and staff. Budgets are designed to get you to do what the Administration wants you to do.

The Administration has complete discretion in preparing budgets. This means that, unlike weather forecasts, budgets are biased. The Administration has complete discretion in estimating, preparing and presenting the budget. It is very useful to show a financial “crisis” in the budget to control employees. A manufactured “crisis” is a means to get employees to do more with less.

In contrast to budgets, which are prepared at the complete discretion of the Administration, financial statements are prepared according to very strict accounting standards. These standards exist so that financial statements show the accurate financial reality and economic activity of an organization. Thus, financial statements show the real economic results, not the budgeted discretionary estimates of the Administration. If a financial “crisis” existed at Laurier it would be seen very clearly in the financial statements. We might observe massive increases in debt-to-assets, negative cash flows from operations and massive deficits in the general fund. We actually observe just the opposite in the financial statements: decreases in debt-to-assets, positive cash flows and record breaking positive surpluses in the general fund. This is a strong indication that a structural surplus has been created that will continue into the future. In other words, we observe the diametric opposite of a financial “crisis.”

Financial statements are prepared according to strict rules and show economic reality because they are used by third parties to evaluate the financial management of managers of organizations, including Universities. For example, Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) examines the financial statements of Laurier along with other information to determine the risk of Laurier’s bonds. Their rating of Laurier bonds has been high and stable for the past 5 years. In the current international economic environment, if any hint of a financial “crisis” existed at Laurier the bond rating would have declined. No such decline in bond rating has been observed because no financial “crisis” exists at Laurier. Thus, the financial reality at Laurier is fantastic financial success. No financial “crisis” exists.

SUPPORT YOUR WLUFA NEGOTIATING TEAM.

“Creating a useful crisis is part of what this will be about. So the first communications that the public might hear might be more negative than would be inclined to talk about (otherwise). . . Yeah, we need to invent a crisis and that’s not an act of courage, there’s some skill involved.” (John Snobelen, Minister for Education and Training, Toronto Star, 13 September, 1997, p. A3)

DID YOU KNOW…
that budgets are a tool used by the Administration to get you to do more with less?

CAUT PowerPoint presentations

November 30th, 2011

Greetings,

As promised at CAUT Council, I am sending the first of several PowerPoint presentations that we hope will be helpful in discussions with your members.

The attached presentation presents key concerns with Google contracts to take over the university or college’s email service. The essential elements of all Google contracts are the same, regardless of university or college. This presentation highlights our concerns and why we encourage all associations to do everything in their power  to stop academic staff email from being contract to Google or Microsoft.  Steps include (1) determining if your administration is considering contracting out email services to Google, Microsoft or another cloud provider; (2) if so, insisting that there be a broad consultation with academic staff arranged jointly between the administration and your association, (3) bringing the concerns we discussed at Council to the attention of your membership.   We hope the attached PowerPoint will be useful in #3 and would be pleased to provide more extensive assistance to your association.

2011.11 Google Apps for CAUT Council

Please let me know if you have any questions or if CAUT can help in any way on this matter.

Sincerely,

Jim

—————————————————————————————————————-

Canadian Association of University Teachers / Association canadienne des professeures et professeurs d’université / 2705 promenade Queensview Drive, Ottawa, (Ontario) K2B 8K2

James L. Turk, Executive Director / Directeur Général

tel: (613) 726-5176

fax/téléc: (613) 820-7244

mobile (613) 277-0488

turk@caut.ca

http://twitter.com/jameslturk

The Pension “Crisis”

November 29th, 2011

The Administration has put on quite a show in the past two years about the serious deficit in our pension plan. A deficit is when assets in the pension plan are less than the pension liabilities. Another way of saying this is that the pension plan is underfunded. Yet, with all the talk of pension “crisis,” the Administration has deemphasized how this deficit originated.

Technical issues will be addressed below. But first let us look at the origins of the deficit in the Laurier pension fund by providing an analogy. Suppose that you buy a home (an asset) with a mortgage loan (a liability). One day the bank says that you cannot make payments on the mortgage loan for the next five years. During this five year time period the mortgage loan balance grows at an increasing rate because interest is charged on the unpaid interest. At the end of the five years the bank allows the homeowner to again make payments on the mortgage loan including all past payments not yet made.

What should the homeowner do? A prudent and careful homeowner would realize that the mortgage loan will continue to grow and must be paid eventually. So, the homeowner sets cash aside each month equal to the amount of the mortgage payment during the five year period. When the five year period has elapsed, the homeowner can resume paying the mortgage loan and also has the cash to cover the mortgage payments not made to the mortgage loan and the accumulated interest on those mortgage payments. Thus, the homeowner never falls behind on the payments that must be made to successfully pay off the mortgage loan.

Alternatively, suppose the homeowner decides not to set money aside and decides to spend the money instead. In five years they face a much larger mortgage loan. This is because of compound interest, where interest is accrued not only on the original mortgage loan, but also on all of the payments that were not made. In the worst case scenario, the mortgage loan (liability) could grow to more than the value of the house (the asset). In which case the homeowner would be in a deficit position, where the amount of the mortgage loan (liability) is greater than the value of the home (asset). In effect, the homeowner has not only borrowed using the mortgage loan, but has borrowed an amount equal to all of the payments that should have been made, with interest, over the last five years.

The Laurier Administration has acted much like the homeowner who did not set money aside for mortgage payments and decided to spend the money. Just like that homeowner, the Administration borrowed from the pension plan and has not paid the pension plan for the loan. This is the origin of the deficit in the pension plan where liabilities are greater than assets. If this loan were paid, there would be no pension “crisis.” To understand how the Administration borrowed from the pension plan a brief description of the actuarial design of the Laurier is needed. The actuarial design of the pension plan rests with three key components: (1) a seven percent of salary contribution to the pension plan by employees, (2) a matching seven percent contribution to the pension plan by the employer and (3) payouts to retirees made in accordance to the formula in the pension plan document. All of these components must be in place in every year and must be adhered to every year for the Laurier pension plan to be actuarially sound and sustainable. Otherwise, the Laurier pension plan will not perform as it is designed.

The deficits in the Laurier pension plan started with the Administration taking what is called pension contribution holidays in 1994. A pension contribution holiday is a suspension of the actuarially defined cash contributions to the pension plan. This continued until 2002. The employees kept contributing seven percent of wages to the pension plan, but the Administration did not contribute a matching amount. This is no different from the Administration taking a loan from the pension plan. As with all loans, the funds must be paid back with interest. The amount of this loan explains the deficit in the pension fund that we see today. In short, the actuarial design of the Laurier pension plan was not adhered to and therefore a deficit occurred.

To be fair, it must also be mentioned that employees at Laurier also took partial pension contribution holidays from 2000 to 2001. So, employees also partially suspended cash contributions to the pension plan and have also taken a loan from the pension plan. This loan must also be paid back to the pension plan.

At the end of 2010, our actuary calculated the Administration’s loan to be $59.27 million and the employee’s loan to be $4.94 million, both resulting from the pension contribution holidays.

If these loans were paid as of 2010, our actuary has determined that the Laurier pension plan would be properly funded. There would be no pension “crisis.”

SUPPORT YOUR WLUFA BARGAINING TEAM

“Creating a useful crisis is part of what this will be about. So the first communications that the public might hear might be more negative than would be inclined to talk about (otherwise). . . Yeah, we need to invent a crisis and that’s not an act of courage, there’s some skill involved.” (John Snobelen, Minister for Education, Toronto Star, 13 September, 1997. P. A3)

DID YOU KNOW…
Over the last three years the Administration has talked many times of serious budget issues, but the audited financial statements have showed a cumulative surplus of over $43 million over that same period?

Fall 2011 ON Economic Statement

November 25th, 2011

Dear OCUFA Board members, Faculty Association Presidents and Executive Assistants,

As you are aware, yesterday Ontario Finance Minister Dwight Duncan delivered his Fall 2011 ON Economic Statement – summary Please find attached a summary of what he said which may bear on financing for post-secondary education in Ontario.

Regards,
Russell

Russell Janzen, Senior Research Analyst
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
83 Yonge St., Suite 300
Toronto, ON M5C 1S8

WLUFA BARGAINING ADVISORY November 23, 2011

November 23rd, 2011

BARGAINING PROGRESS: Since the last bargaining update, your WLUFA bargaining team for the renewal of the Collective Agreement for Full-time Faculty and Professional Librarians has presented all of our proposals for the articles that we determined to open for these negotiations. Our presentations have also included all monetary proposals, both for Compensation (Article 30) and for Funding Support (Article 38) so that WLUFA’s entire proposal was on the table and ready for discussion. In addition, and in order to keep our negotiations moving forward, we have also shared research and reports prepared for WLUFA with the Administration and have encouraged the University to present their remaining proposals (all of which are related to compensation issues). They have not yet done so, but indicate that they will do so in December. At this point, however, WLUFA has no other items to bring to the table and so there can be little (or no) forward motion for the negotiations until the University has presented those monetary proposals in December.

This is not surprising to your bargaining team. The presentation of monetary proposals has seemed to be a problem for the Administration since we began meeting in September. At that time, we tabled all of our proposals, including those dealing with monetary issues, in our initial exchange of proposals with the Administration. The University, however, tabled only non-monetary items and indicated that they were not yet prepared to table their proposals related to compensation issues. After some pressing by WLUFA, the Administration did – eventually – turn over their monetary proposals, as well as the data related to the university budget that WLUFA repeatedly requested. These delays are very curious to us, as both teams have known since June that they would be exchanging proposals in September. Your WLUFA bargaining team has worked very hard and very diligently to meet the deadlines agreed to and expected at the table. We don’t understand why delays by the Administration are necessary at this late date.

PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS: Your WLUFA bargaining team has responded to a teaching-intensive proposal tabled by the Administration. We have proposed a special type of full-time faculty classification that we are calling a Professional Appointment. Our proposed position is a true full-time tenure-track or tenured position where faculty are appointed at the rank of Assistant, Associate or Professor. Faculty hired under the Professional Appointment classification will have all of the rights and responsibilities of a full-time tenure-track or full-time tenured faculty position. For example, their rights to serve on any committee, their compensation, their promotion and tenure, their eligibility to obtain course reductions and access to sabbaticals etc. are the same as any other full-time faculty member. The qualifications for a Professional Appointment position include a post-graduate degree and/or a professional designation and extensive professional experience. In disciplines where there is no recognized professional designation, professional experience may substitute for a professional designation.

In recognition of the expected scholarly contribution of Professional Appointees, the proposed definitions of scholarship have been expanded to publications and/or presentations in credible professional forums, scholarship in teaching, and development of curriculum and programs of study.

Since the principal scholarly contributions of faculty appointed to Professional Appointments will be based on their professional experience and not on original research, they will be assigned a teaching load that is greater than the current full-time faculty teaching load. WLUFA’s proposed increased load, however, also recognizes that Professional Appointees are to be fully-engaged members of their departments and programs, and of the university community as a whole.

Our proposal has limited these appointments to the Department of Business, Faculty of Social Work and Laurier Brantford programs in Business Technology Management, Journalism and Organizational Leadership.

We believe that this proposal will address the Administration’s concern for extra teaching capacity and the interests of our members who have been teaching for many years under Limited Term Appointments in these areas.

CONCILIATION: Requesting conciliation has been a common practice for WLUFA negotiating teams in many negotiations in the past and, historically, it has been necessary in order to reach a tentative agreement. Conciliation may be requested at any time during negotiations by either WLUFA or the Administration. Your WLUFA negotiating team and WLUFA Executive have been carefully planning our course of action in these negotiations since the initial planning process began last February.

With this in mind, your WLUFA team has decided to file for conciliation sometime near the end of November. This is seen to be a necessary step that we must take in order to expedite the progress of these negotiations. As of Tuesday, November 22, the WLUFA team has also informed the University of this decision.

SUPPORT YOUR WLUFA BARGAINING TEAM

DID YOU KNOW…

OUR PENSIONS AND HEALTH BENEFITS

ARE UNDER ATTACK?

OCUFA Update

November 23rd, 2011

Dear colleagues:

A number of faculty associations are hearing from university administrators that the Ontario government is set to embark on a significant “reform” of the higher education sector – therefore institutions need to be pro-active and position themselves to take advantage of anticipated government directions. And it would appear that some administrations are using these assumptions to re-orient their institutions into directions they would like to pursue. While it is assumed that the Ontario government has a fully-developed plan for a “more cost-effective model for delivering university education” ready to be implemented, this is simply not the case.

We do know, from the government’s past initiatives, the Liberal Party election platform, and the November 22, 2011 Throne Speech, that it would like to pursue certain initiatives — greater credit transfer between colleges and universities, more joint programming between colleges and universities, enhancements to online programs, more “accountability”. It has also committed to establishing three new satellite campuses in the Greater Toronto Area, which it would like to see as undergraduate institutions with a focus on teaching (as opposed to research). What this means in practice is still unknown.

The government will also be implementing an annual tuition grant of $1600 for up to 4 years of full-time undergraduate study for students from households earning $160,000 or less. The grant for colleges students will be $730. The cost of this program is estimated at $423 million starting in 2012-13, and rising to $486 million in four years.

In addition, the government has committed funding for 60,000 new spaces at Ontario’s universities and colleges by 2015-16, with $309 million in additional funding committed by 2013-14.
As well, the government states it is committed to following through on the Drummond Commission on the Reform of Ontario’s Public Service, led by former TD Bank economist Don Drummond. The Commission is expected to report in January 2012, and its recommendations incorporated into the 2012 Ontario Budget. The recommendations will have implications for the broader public sector, including universities. To date, the government has stated that ” it will protect health care and education as the most important public services. Reforms will not compromise quality”. Of course what this means in practice is yet to be seen. It has been reported that in light of the government goal of balancing the budget by 2017-18, education funding will only be allowed to increase by 1% a year. Again, the devil will be in the details. What is clear is that funding for the higher education sector will focus on “affordabiliity” (i.e. the tuition grant) and accessibility (i.e. the 60,000 new spaces). There will be little funding available for needed quality improvements.

What is also clear is that various constituencies — for example, the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO), Ian Clark, David Trick and Richard Van Loon in their new book Academic Reform, Colleges Ontario — are lobbying the government to accept and implement their policy prescriptions for the “reform” of the higher education system. Those policy prescriptions are not the same, nor necessarily consistent with one another.

One policy prescription advocated particularly by HEQCO and in Academic Reform is the need for more “differentiated” universities — to which some university administrations are also responding. “Differentiation” is an abstract term meaning different things to different people.

There is currently no government policy on “differentiation”, and university administrators, although sometimes jumping on the bandwagon, have different ideas of what this ill-defined term means and how “differentiation” would be implemented. To date, no policy work has been done on encouraging “areas of strength” for universities on a system-wide basis, nor detailing what new accountability agreements will look like. In fact, when we speak to policy staff in the Ministry (i.e. not in the Minister’s office, where staff have just been hired) they have no clear idea where the government will be going in these areas, especially regarding the issue of university missions and “areas of strength”. Furthermore, there has been no policy work done on changing the funding formula to encourage “differentiation”.

Will the government undertake a fully-fledged restructuring of the higher education system? It is hard to crystal-ball gaze but it should be remembered that we are currently in a minority government, and it is more likely the attention of the government will be focussed on the health-care system. System-wide “reforms” can be hugely disruptive and politically perilous, especially in a minority-government situation. Where change does occur, it is safer for a government to do it incrementally.

Faculty associations will no doubt hear more about the need for greater “differentiation”, for faculty to do more teaching and for teaching-focussed institutions. OCUFA has responded, and will continue to respond, to those proposed policy “solutions” and will be running a campaign in the winter/spring on faculty concerns — which was noted at the October Board meeting, and will be discussed again at the February 2012 Board meeting. We are (and also will be) meeting regularly with government and the opposition parties to highlight our concerns, and will keep you informed about those discussions.

As well, at the December 2, 2011 OCUFA Collective Bargaining Committee meeting, David Trick will be making a presentation based on the book, Academic Reform which argues for more “teaching-focussed” undergraduate institutions, and for faculty to do more teaching. We will be providing a critique of that argument for those at the meeting. Their previous book, Academic Transformations by Ian Clark, Greg Moran, Michael Skolnik and David Trick, (2009) also argued for the creation of “teaching-only” universities in Ontario and “more learning per dollar”, as a form of differentiation, and the resulting cost savings, which we have also critiqued.

And as you may be aware, HEQCO put out a report on differentiation which OCUFA vigorously critiqued.

For the HEQCO paper:

http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/DifferentiationENG.pdf

For OCUFA’s response (and other critiques of relevance):

http://realacademicplanning.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/ocufa-response-to-the-heqco-differentiation-report-26-october-2010/

For a critique of Academic Transformations, please see the article by Ken Snowdon in Academic Matters:

http://www.academicmatters.ca/2010/10/is-the-teacher-researcher-faculty-model-just-too-expensive/

OCUFA will continue to update you about Ontario government directions for higher education.

Best regards,

Mark

——————————————————–
Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D
Executive Director
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
83 Yonge Street, Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5C 1S8
Tel: 416-979-2117 x229
Fax: 416-593-5607
E-mail: mrosenfeld@ocufa.on.ca
Web: www.ocufa.on.ca
www.academicmatters.ca

CAS Agreement

November 18th, 2011

The following is a copy of the CAS agreement: Collective Agreement between Wilfrid Laurier University and Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty Association for Part-time Contract Academic Staff and Part-time Librarians – September 1, 2010 to August 31, 2013

Our campaign to stop Bill 18

November 18th, 2011

Greetings All:

Our campaign to stop Bill 18 has received tremendous support over the last two days.  By 10:00 am today our Facebook campaign has sent over 1,000 letters to Minister Yamamoto urging her not to pass the offensive legislation that her government has tabled.  Bill 18 will restrict the rights of local faculty association reps to stand for elected faculty positions on university and college Boards.  This is an impressive level of support and one that FPSE is extremely grateful to all CAUT affiliates for showing their support.  I have been contacted by many faculty association representatives from across Canada expressing their solidarity for our campaign, a message that I find extremely heartening to hear from so many of you.  We know that despite plans to have the Bill go forward to 2nd reading yesterday, that never happened.  As well, we know plans to have it discussed today have also been shelved.  Those delays no doubt reflect the level of support generated by this campaign and I’m appealing to all CAUT affiliates to continue their individual efforts to spread the word about our campaign to their members.  I have included the link to the Facebook campaign in this alert and urge you to once again rally your members to send a message to Minister Yamamoto.

Cindy

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Stop-Bill-18/187806901302857

Cindy Oliver, President

Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC

400- 550 West 6th Avenue

Vancouver, BC  V5Z 1A1

604-873-8988

How We Compare

November 15th, 2011

Unlike the last time we were in negotiations in 2008, when Laurier faculty salaries were 16th out of 16 reporting universities, we are no longer “running in last place” (WLUFA Newsletter 6 October 2008). Today we stand at 14 out of 16. We are above Nipissing and UOIT. We are above two universities with which we simply do not compare given our size or our program offerings.

Now the bad news…

While this marks a marginal improvement, faculty salaries are still well below where Laurier stands in terms of its reputation, achievements, and contributions to the knowledge economy. According to Felice Martinello, a labour economist whom WLUFA has again commissioned to provide an analysis of salary data provided to OCUFA by Statistics Canada, we lag behind those institutions that are commensurate with us in terms of our size and status as a comprehensive university. You might well be asking yourselves, after the success of our last Collective Agreement, with its Ontario System adjustment, Salary Anomalies Fund and increases in Career Development Increment, how is it that Laurier still lags behind? The answer is that the whole Ontario university salary structure moved upward at about the same upward rate as Laurier. Thus, relative to faculty salaries at other Ontario Universities, Laurier faculty salaries are still some of the lowest salaries in Ontario.

Yet, in our last Collective Agreement we have corrected something of the gap between our own ranks within Laurier, most notably between full professors and the lower ranks, but not the gap between us and other universities in the Ontario system, especially those universities with which we are now competing. In some cases, the gap has widened.

The situation at Brantford is more dire. Brantford members earn an estimated $9,594 to $11,294 less than other WLUFA faculty after adjusting for sex, rank, type of appointment, number of years since highest degree and age group. These numbers represent about a 10% difference in comparison with the average Laurier faculty salary.

The salaries of Professional librarians at Laurier are lower than those at comparable institutions. As Martinello demonstrates, Laurier’s professional librarians earn on average $3,451 or 6.12% less than their colleagues at other Ontario Universities (based on 2009/2011 CAUT data). This difference is more significant than might otherwise first appear given the fact that, on average, Laurier’s professional librarians have significantly more experience than other librarians in Ontario universities.

To help you figure out how much you are underpaid we have reproduced some of the data from Martinello’s report. Table A provides the data related to the average salary difference between Laurier and the Ontario University system, expressed as a percentage. Table B addresses the same set of differences, but provides them in dollar amounts. In both Tables, a positive number means that the Laurier salary is higher than the average salary of the Ontario University system while negative number means that the Laurier salary is lower than the Ontario University system.

As you can see from both Tables, all age groups, all ranks and all ages within ranks are underpaid relative to the Ontario University system except for 60-64 year old associate professors. Thus, the pain of low salaries at Laurier is shared across all faculty members. The WLUFA bargaining team will be addressing these issues at the table.

Table A: Differences between WLU and Ontario System Average Salaries 2009/10 as a percentage

Age Group


Rank

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

60-64

65-69
All Ages
Professor -9.15% -9.13% -5.86% -8.25% -7.34% -6.35% -7.18%
Associate -9.27% -10.66% -12.06% -8.08% -1.43% +0.33% -8.30%
Assistant -13.43% -6.99% -10.96% -8.85% -12.86% -27.00% -10.84%
Lecturer -27.06% -18.08%
All Ranks -13.62% -9.63% -10.80% -13.20% -14.59% -6.97% -4.44% -2.35% -11.82%

Table B: Differences between WLU and Ontario System Average Salaries 2009/10 in dollars

Age Group


Rank

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

50-54

55-59

60-64

65-69
All Ages
Professor -11,615 -11,965 -7,991 -11,374 -10,589 -9,461 -9,992
Associate -9,393 -11,081 -12,575 -8,972 -1,777 +430 -9,139
Assistant -10,951 -6,111 -9,481 -7,799 -11,001 -21,810 -9,308
Lecturer -19,888 -13,921
All Ranks -11,120 -8,762 -10,670 -13,785 -15,984 -8,669 -5,983 -3,443 -12,656