OCUFA News « WLUFA

OCUFA response to the Report of the Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee

August 30th, 2016

Dear Colleagues;

 

On August 25, 2016 the Ontario Government’s Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee released its final report and recommendations to government on how to close the gender wage gap in the province. The recommendations target three root causes of the gender wage gap: women’s disproportionate responsibility for caregiving work and the absence of adequate public supports, systematic undervaluing of and lower rates of pay in sectors and jobs that are dominated by women, and gender bias and discrimination in business practices that disadvantage women. OCUFA staff has prepared the following brief analysis of the report, which is also available on the OCUFA website.

 

The first set of recommendations focus on the need for a more balanced distribution of caregiving responsibilities. These recommendations call for the establishment of a childcare system that provides high quality, affordable, accessible, and publicly funded childcare within a defined period of time and calls on government to address gaps in the existing system right away. It also calls for changes to the pregnancy and parental leave provisions in the Employment Standards Act (ESA) that will encourage both parents to use parental leave and normalize the practice of men taking parental leave.

 

The second set of recommendations focus on measures that will support the greater valuation of work in female dominated sectors of employment through assessment of the Pay Equity Act and further consultations with workplace parties.

 

The third set of recommendations focus on workplace practices and calls on government to encourage employers to put in place pay transparency policies, to develop a gender workplace analysis tool, and to increase the number of women on Boards.

 

The fourth set of recommendations focus on raising public awareness around the gender wage gap and its impacts through a social awareness campaign and through the education system.

 

The fifth and final set of recommendations call on government to adopt policy, budget making, and operational processes that are attentive to gender based differences and discrimination.

 

Assessment of report

The report includes two clearly action-oriented recommendations: the call for the establishment of a more accessible, high quality, affordable childcare system in Ontario and the call for changes to parental leave provisions that will encourage more men to take parental leave. These recommendations are consistent with measures that OCUFA laid out in its submission to the Steering Committee and address one of the root causes of the gender wage gap.

 

The recommendation that the government develop a gender workplace analysis tool that would help employers to understand whether and to what extent a gender wage gap exists within their workforce suggests some parallels with OCUFA’s call for the expansion of the salary review process. Universities and faculty associations have demonstrated leadership on this front, with many institutions across the province undertaking salary anomaly reviews and in some cases applying remedies when a systematic gender wage gap is found (McMaster and Waterloo are notable recent examples).

 

The report, however, was silent on many of the other measures that were highlighted in the OCUFA submission, including improving access to collective bargaining and improving terms and conditions for precariously employed workers. Moreover, many of the recommendations were relatively weak – calling for further examinations and assessments, and merely encouraging employers to take certain corrective actions rather than making such actions mandatory – for example, merely encouraging rather than requiring employers to develop of pay transparency policies.

 

Where government plans to move

In response to the release of the report, the provincial government has signaled only that it will take action on four of the report’s recommendations:

  • Make salary data in the Ontario Public Service publicly available by gender in order to increase income transparency
  • Require gender based analysis in government policy making
  • Appoint an Associate Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care to build a childcare system in Ontario
  • Provide employers with materials on anti-discrimination and other educational materials related to the gender wage gap

The government has indicated that they will establish a working group that will be tasked with moving forward with recommendations from the report that call for further consultation. No further details regarding the composition of this working group or the scope of its work have been announced.

Most of the report’s recommendations – including the action-oriented proposed changes to the pregnancy and parental leave under the ESA – are not addressed in the government’s response.

 

Assessment of government action

The appointment of Indira Naidoo-Harris to the role of Associate Minister of Education, Responsible for Early Years and Child Care and the government’s commitment to build an affordable, accessible, and high-quality child care system in Ontario signals a significant policy undertaking on the part of the provincial government and an important step toward addressing one of the root causes of the gender wage gap. However, establishing a comprehensive childcare system on its own will not close the gender wage gap in Ontario and the remaining government actions in response to the report do not represent a comprehensive government strategy for addressing the issue. The Government of Ontario can and must do more to move forward with the recommendations of the steering committee and to eliminate the gender wage gap in Ontario.

 

If you have any questions about the report, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

All the best,

Graeme

 

 

Graeme Stewart

Director of Communications

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

17 Isabella Street | Toronto, ON | M4Y 1M7
416 979 2117 x232 | gstewart@ocufa.on.ca
www.ocufa.on.ca | @OCUFA | www.facebook.com/OCUFA

 

Subscribe to the OCUFA Report

OCUFA update on the Changing Workplaces Review

August 24th, 2016

Sent on behalf of Mark Rosenfeld

 OCUFA Update on the Changing Workplaces Review Interim Report for Faculty Associations FINAL

Dear Colleagues:

 

Last year, OCUFA was actively engaged in the provincial government’s Changing Workplaces Review — a comprehensive review of employment and labour law aiming to address the rise of precarious work. OCUFA made a submission and thirteen faculty association representatives presented at public consultations across the province. The recommendations put forward included changes to legislation to support equal pay for equal work and access to benefits, promote job security, ensure reasonable notice of work, allow merging of existing bargaining units, and protect the right to collective representation.

 

On July 27, the long-awaited Interim Report of the Changing Workplaces Review was released. The report summarizes the recommendations that were heard to date and lays out options for ways forward on each issue. The Interim Report confirms that faculty voices were heard. All of our recommendations are included as options and this statement is included on one of our key issues:

“University faculty associations have raised the issue of providing the same wages and benefits to part-time, contract faculty as full-time faculty in order to address growing concerns regarding precarious work in the sector” (p. 227).

 

OCUFA’s initial response to the report was posted on our website and an update for faculty associations on the Interim Report is attached.

 

The Interim Report will be followed by a short period for further consultation. All feedback is due no later than October 14. Several issues of concern to faculty have been identified as areas for further comment, including wages and benefits for part-time and contract workers and scheduling. Any faculty association that would like to send a letter providing further feedback on these or other issues, should contact Brynne (bsinclair-waters@ocufa.on.ca).

 

After this next period of consultation wraps up, the Special Advisors who have been leading this process will prepare a final report that includes recommendations for the provincial government to consider. At that point, a political decision will be made about which recommendations to include in proposed legislation and our MPPs will be deciding what to support. This means that the next couple of months are important for advocating that the government take advantage of this opportunity to improve laws to make work more fair for contract faculty and all workers in precarious jobs.

 

We have some upcoming opportunities to get the word out and make our voice heard on these issues:

–          OCUFA will be supporting faculty associations to do outreach on their campus this fall about Fairness for Contract Faculty. We will continue to grow our support by asking faculty, students and community members to sign our pledge at weteachontario.ca. This will take place during CAUT’s Fair Employment Week from October 24 to 28.

–          Faculty associations are encouraged to participate in a province-wide Rally for Decent Work on October 1 at Queen’s Park in Toronto. Supporters of the Fight for $15 & Fairness will be travelling from across Ontario to attend. Please be in touch with Brynne (bsinclair-waters@ocufa.on.ca) to confirm how many members from your faculty association are planning to participate and to coordinate so that all faculty can take part together.

–          Send the above notice to your members or include it in your next newsletter.

 

If you have any questions about the Changing Workplaces Review or Fairness for Contract Faculty campaign, please be in touch with Brynne (bsinclair-waters@ocufa.on.ca), Graeme (gstewart@ocufa.on.ca) or Andrea (acalver@ocufa.on.ca) in the OCUFA office.

 

Best regards,

Mark

 

Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D
Executive Director
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
17 Isabella Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1M7
Tel: 416-979-2117 x229
Fax: 416-593-5607
E-mail: mrosenfeld@ocufa.on.ca
Web: www.ocufa.on.ca
www.academicmatters.ca
www.weteachontario.ca

 

OCUFA support for CUPE 926, Wilfrid Laurier University

July 13th, 2016
Dear Faculty Association Presidents and OCUFA Board Directors:
 
At Wilfrid Laurier University, members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 926 are facing a strike or lockout deadline this Sunday, July 10. The employer has threatened to impose terms and conditions if a deal has not been reached by then.
 
CUPE Local 926 represents custodians, groundskeepers and tradespeople at Wilfrid Laurier University. The dispute is centered around the employer’s attempts to remove contracting out language from their agreement, and contract out custodial work making them lower paid, less secure positions. The other key issue has been the claw back of post-retirement benefits.
 
The imposition of terms and conditions is an unacceptable, aggressive approach to bargaining. Contracts have been imposed only twice in faculty association bargaining in Ontario. In both cases, it resulted in irreparable damage to labour relations. We are hoping that your faculty association can write to Wilfrid Laurier University urging them to uphold a higher standard of fair and respectful bargaining, which we expect across the university sector in Ontario.
 
This issue is of great importance to our contract faculty colleagues at Wilfrid Laurier University who are in ongoing negotiations. The imposition of terms and conditions would set a troubling precedent on their campus as they try to reach a fair agreement for their members.
 
This is also an opportunity to call on Wilfrid Laurier University, and universities across the province, to be model employers. In a time of growing precarious work, this means supporting more good jobs on campus, not fewer.
 
OUCFA President Judy Bates has sent a letter to President and Vice Chancellor Max Blouw expressing our concerns, and urging Wilfrid Laurier University to return to the bargaining table in good faith and reach a fair deal with CUPE 926. A copy of that letter is attached. Please feel free to use the text in a letter from your own association.
 
Best regards,
Mark
 
——————————————————–
Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D

Executive Director

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

17 Isabella Street

Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1M7

Tel: 416-979-2117 x229

Fax: 416-593-5607

E-mail:
mrosenfeld@ocufa.on.ca
Web:
www.ocufa.on.ca
www.academicmatters.ca
www.weteachontario.ca

New Ontario Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development and new Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development

June 21st, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

 

As many of you will be aware, on June 13, 2016 (yesterday) there was a cabinet shuffle in the Ontario government.  As part of that shuffle, Deb Mathews was appointed the new Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development.  The new Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development replaces the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).  It will encompass the current mandate of MTCU while additionally employment and training programs in other ministries will be coordinated through the new ministry.

 

Minister Mathews also remains Deputy Premier and Chair of Cabinet, and as well as being in charge of initiatives promoting greater digitization of government services.  She is a key Minister in the Wynne government, and holds a a Ph.D in social demography from Western University.  Her bio can be found here: https://news.ontario.ca/profiles/en/deb-matthews

 

Reza Moridi, the previous Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, remains Minister of Research, Innovation and Science.

 

In the media release announcing the new Ministry, it noted that the government intends to focus particularly on skills development for the labour market and the economy:

… [M]ore must be done to ensure that all Ontarians have the education and training they need to succeed in a modern economy. The ministry will work with the panel on a Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy to bring forward a comprehensive plan to develop a more innovative and skilled workforce. Working with the private sector and postsecondary education institutions, the ministry will help ensure Ontario has the skilled workforce it needs to compete in the global economy.

 

While the government has spoken about the need to promote an “innovative and skilled workforce” for many years, what a “comprehensive plan” noted in the media release will mean in practice and its impact on universities is not yet known.

OCUFA plans to meet with the new Minister to discuss this issue and many others this summer, and will provide an update and analysis of the Ministry’s initiatives at the October 29-30, 2016 Board meeting.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please let me know.

Best regards,
Mark
——————————————————–
Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D
Executive Director
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
17 Isabella Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1M7
Tel: 416-979-2117 x229
Fax: 416-593-5607
E-mail: mrosenfeld@ocufa.on.ca

Summary article of the 149th OCUFA Board of Directors Meeting

May 13th, 2016

Dear Colleagues;

 

Attached, please find an article detailing the 149th OCUFA Board of Directors Meeting, held May 8 in Toronto. Please feel free to post to your website, use in your newsletters, or otherwise distribute to your members.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

All the best,

Graeme

 

Graeme Stewart

Director of Communications

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

17 Isabella Street | Toronto, ON | M4Y 1M7
416 979 2117 x232 | gstewart@ocufa.on.ca
www.ocufa.on.ca | @OCUFA | www.facebook.com/OCUFA

 

Subscribe to the OCUFA Report

 

Ontario faculty throw weight behind day of action for $15 & Fairness

April 15th, 2016

Dear colleagues;

OCUFA is supporting today’s day of action for the $15 and Fairness campaign, a multi-organization initiative to improve pay and working conditions for precarious workers across the economy. This is part of OCUFA’s ongoing work to build greater job security, fair pay, and access to benefits into contract academic positions at Ontario universities.

Please feel free to share with your colleagues, post to your websites, or share on social media. The links is: http://ocufa.on.ca/blog-posts/contract-faculty/ontario-faculty-throw-weight-behind-day-action-15-fairness/

We also prepared a shareable social graphic, which can be found at: https://twitter.com/WeTeachOntario/status/720971437083856897

If you have any questions, please let me know.

All the best,

Graeme

Graeme Stewart

Director of Communications

Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations

17 Isabella Street | Toronto, ON | M4Y 1M7
416 979 2117 x232 | gstewart@ocufa.on.ca
www.ocufa.on.ca | @OCUFA | www.facebook.com/OCUFA

 

Subscribe to the OCUFA Report

 

Ontario faculty throw weight behind day of action for $15 & Fairness

University professors and academic librarians are joining in a day of action for $15 & Fairness across Ontario today. Workers from a range of workplaces and sectors will be taking part – all of whom are facing common challenges such as unpredictable scheduling, job insecurity, poor access to benefits, and unfair pay.

“The idea that a PhD is a golden ticket to a good job is increasingly inaccurate,” said Fran Cachon a contract professor at the University of Windsor. “Today, young scholars – who are increasingly women and people of colour – are struggling to find footing in the academy. It is our frustration with this reality motivating us to demand fairness alongside other workers in our communities.”

Contract professors must struggle with unfair pay, poor access to benefits, and must often string together multiple contracts at different universities just to make a living. The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) estimates the number of courses taught by contract faculty teaching at Ontario universities has doubled since 2000. But a recent poll showed that Ontarians believe universities should be moving in the other direction, with 94 per cent saying that universities should be model employers and support good jobs in their communities.

With the Ontario government currently reviewing employment and labour law to address the rise of precarious work, the timing is right to consider change. OCUFA has made recommendations to the Changing Workplaces Review on how to raise standards for contract faculty and to update labour law to ensure all workers can organize collectively in a union. The proposals include requiring equal pay for work of equal value and equal access to benefits for contract workers, and requiring that all workers receive reasonable notice of their schedules.

“We’re standing up today to say contract workers in all sectors deserve better,” said OCUFA President Judy Bates. “Faculty working conditions are the learning conditions in our classrooms, labs, and libraries. When we ensure that every academic job is a good job, we create a quality learning experience for students.”

OCUFA is one of over 50 community and labour organizations that is part of the Fight for $15 & Fairness across Ontario. Supporters of fairness for contract faculty can sign a pledge that was launched by OCUFA’s We Teach Ontario campaign.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 28 faculty associations across Ontario.  For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at http://www.ocufa.on.ca.

 

Invitation to OCUFA SWC Listserv

April 6th, 2016

Sent on behalf of Helene Cummins

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

One of the OCUFA Status of Women Committee’s goals for this year has been to seek out ways to engage more with the status of women and equity committees within OCUFA member associations. To this end, based on discussion with representatives from member association status of women and equity committees, a status of women and equity committees listserv has been created.

 

The purpose and scope of the listserv will be as a forum for the following:

  • Working out gender and other equity issues as they emerge in university service and/or faculty association roles
  • Discussion about progressive processes undertaken to advance gender and equity issues
  • Discussion and identification of solutions for current gender and equity problems and support for working through them

 

I would encourage you to share the information about this listserv with colleagues in your association who you think would be interested in these issues. They can sign up for the listserv by entering their email address here.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Erica Rayment in the OCUFA office at erayment@ocufa.on.ca or 416-306-6032.

 

Sincerely,

Helene Cummins

Chair of the OCUFA Status of Women Committee

Nominations for the 2015-16 OCUFA Service Award – due April 4, 2016 –Third Notice

March 11th, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

The OCUFA Service Award was established five years ago to honour individuals who have done, or continue to do, exceptional work on behalf of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and its Members.

Up to six awards may be given each year and are presented during OCUFA’s Annual General Meeting,  which will be held this year on May 7, 2016.

The deadline for 2015-16 nominations is April 4, 2016.

For more information about the award and the nomination form — in English or French — please visit:

http://ocufa.on.ca/awards/ocufa-service-award/

or

http://ocufa.on.ca/ocufa-awards/le-prix-du-service-de-locufa/    [French version]

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

Best regards,

Mark

——————————————————–
Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D
Executive Director
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
17 Isabella Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1M7
Tel: 416-979-2117 x229
Fax: 416-593-5607
E-mail: mrosenfeld@ocufa.on.ca
Web: www.ocufa.on.ca
www.academicmatters.ca
www.weteachontario.ca

 

2016 Worldviews Annual Lecture on Media and Higher Education — “Beyond the Competition Fetish” — April 13, 2016, OISE Library, University of Toronto

March 8th, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

 

This is a reminder that second annual Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education will feature Rajani Naidoo, Chair in Higher Education Management and Director of the International Centre for Higher Education Management at the University of Bath. Professor Naidoo will deliver a lecture titled, “Beyond the Competition Fetish: Higher Education for Global Wellbeing.”

 

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m in the Ground Floor of the OISE Library, University of Toronto.

 

There is no cost to attend, but registration is limited. The lecture will also be webcast live.

 

Information about the lecture, registration and accessing the webcast can be found at:  http://worldviewsconference.com/

 

The Worldviews annual lecture is a spinoff of the popular Worldviews Conferences on Media and Higher Education, which have been organized by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, OISE/University of Toronto, the Washington-based Inside Higher Ed and the London-based University World News. It is also now sponsored by the Academica Group.

 

I hope you will be able to attend the Worldviews lecture on April 13, 2016, or view the live webcast.

 

Best regards,
Mark
——————————————————–
Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D
Executive Director
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
17 Isabella Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1M7
Tel: 416-979-2117 x229
Fax: 416-593-5607
E-mail: mrosenfeld@ocufa.on.ca
Web: www.ocufa.on.ca
www.academicmatters.ca
www.weteachontario.ca

 

2016 Ontario Budget

February 26th, 2016

Dear Colleagues;

As you know, the 2016 Ontario Budget was released today. The big item for higher education is a new grant program targeted towards low-income students, replacing the 30% Tuition Grant and Ontario Tuition Tax Credits. We have not fully run the figures yet, but this budget continues the downward trend in per-student funding.

Attached, please find OCUFA’s press release. We plan to distribute a more detailed analysis of the financial implications in the coming days.

In the meantime, please let me know if you have any questions.

Best Regards,
Graeme

Graeme Stewart
Director of Communications
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
17 Isabella Street | Toronto, ON | M4Y 1M7
416 979 2117 x232 | gstewart@ocufa.on.ca
www.ocufa.on.ca | @OCUFA | www.facebook.com/OCUFA

Subscribe to the OCUFA Report

 

Professors welcome investments in student access, caution that Ontario still needs to invest in universities

TORONTO – Professors and academic librarians across Ontario are welcoming changes to the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to make higher education more accessible to low-income students, announced in today’s Budget. At the same time, they are reminding the government that new investment in universities is urgently needed to ensure that that every student has access to a high-quality learning experience.

“The new Ontario Student Grant (OSG) is an important step in helping students from low-income backgrounds access the many individual, social, and economic benefits of a university education,” said Judy Bates, President of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). “Access is critically important, but we also need to ask: Access to what? Universities need adequate public resources to provide quality education for every student who walks through the door.”

Ontario currently provides the lowest level of per-student public funding to universities in Canada. Under projections released in the 2016 Ontario Budget, this situation will only get worse. When inflation is taken into account, funding for universities will actually decrease over the next three years, threatening educational quality.

Conversely, renewed public investment in quality would allow universities to hire more full-time professors and offer small, interactive classes, while creating cutting-edge classrooms, laboratories, and libraries. In addition, precarious employment is on the rise at Ontario’s campuses, and more financial resources would help promote good jobs for all. New investment is also needed to stop the unsustainable rise in Ontario’s tuition fees – already the highest in Canada – and make sure the financial aid reforms launched today are effective.

“It is encouraging to see the Government of Ontario invest in students,” added Bates. “Now we need to invest in universities to make sure those students – and every citizen of Ontario – continues to benefit from world-class higher education institutions. The Budget reiterated the government’s plan to reform the university funding model, and this is an ideal opportunity to address chronic underfunding.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 28 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at http://www.ocufa.on.ca.