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.
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