Oct 182011

For close to a decade now the USFA has hosted events for faculty in the first few years of their appointment at the U of S. Getting to meet new members and hear from them about their views on our workplace is an enriching experience. Each year, while the information we provide can seem quite […]

Oct 012011

Many USFA members have thought provoking perspectives on issues that affect day to day academic life at the U of S and elsewhere. Some of these issues are widely known, but seldom discussed while others are only just emerging. What's affecting you? Is there a workplace issue you'd like to get off your chest or […]

Sep 292011

Changes to the salary review procedures that were negotiated in the last round of bargaining are in place for the process just getting under way. Soon information about the total sum of money available to Departments and Colleges will come from the President’s Review Committee, if it hasn’t already. The changes, aimed at improving both […]

Sep 292011

The USFA has been in ongoing discussions with the employer regarding SEEQ comments. We have been informed that as of September 2009 all comments can be linked to the person making the comments. While the comments remain confidential, the ability to link comments to the person making them ensures that natural justice can take place […]

Sep 282011

The USFA Executive Committee is once again hosting lunches for USFA members in the first few years of their appointment at the U of S. The purpose of these lunches is to put a face on the Association, to talk about the roles of the USFA and the importance of the Collective Agreement. It’s an […]

Sep 282011

The 2011-12 academic year is well underway. The usual bumps are being negotiated and some new challenges, like the recent changes respecting copyright, are presenting themselves. As you’re maneuvering your way through these and other matters, know that the USFA is here to assist you. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns. […]

Sep 202011

So you’re all set to teach your courses… course syllabus complete, lecture notes in place and posted on PAWS/Blackboard, reading lists done, and assignments prepared. But have you thought about copyright?   Much information has been circulated recently about changes to copyright policy on campus. Out of concern for implications for our members, USFA is alerting […]

Jul 042011

Sorry, no substitutions! Something to be aware of during your qualifying period for tenure or promotion is that no special arrangements can be made regarding meeting the standards. As a hypothetical example, suppose a Dean asks you to become a Department Head and offers to champion your promotion/tenure case if your research suffers as a […]

Jul 042011

Practice of professional skills remains a troublesome category for members in many units, particularly the professional colleges. When the university standards for tenure and promotion were last revised, there was a wish to distinguish recognize practice of professional skills, but still require practitioners to show ability in research, consistent with the teacher/scholar model. Unfortunately, the […]

Jun 092011

Discussing the teachers' job action, a local columnist commented that the arguments of the teachers' union for "sharing the wealth" is flawed. The author writes that "fair share" "implies someone has contributed directly to creating what is they want to share" and that such reasoning "smacks of an entitlement mentality". (Star-Phoenix, "Sharing the wealth not […]

Jun 072011

It is surprising how often we evaluate a colleague's research career by metrics like publication counts, page counts, or order of authorship, which border on numerology, rather than considering the actual contribution. Although time is the true test of research, the reason we do this is that the practicalities of our processes force us to […]

Jun 012011

Today is the best day to start thinking about your promotion/tenure case. You have a lot of resources to help you in the preparation of your case file. By May 31, your Department Head or Dean should have met with you to discuss your progress in meeting the approved standards, which you should make yourself […]

Mar 182011

Article 17 of the 2010-13 Collective Agreement contains significant changes to Article 17 with respect to salary review procedures and the awarding of merit. In this issue we summarize these important changes and provide some guidance for their implementation. These changes are aimed at improving the process, the reasons for the award of special increases, […]

Jan 282011

A Participatory Process This is the time of year when the process for the assignment of duties begins. Article 11 of the Collective Agreement covers this process. It is an open and transparent process that requires your participation. It is through your participation that transparency and fairness are ensured in the same manner as other […]

Jan 282011

Recently the Faculty Association communicated a series of e-mails about the merit-based part of our salary system.   This multi-part communication generated a lot of faculty responses. We want to summarize and share with you some of these responses which express views both in favour and against the concept of merit pay. The Pros and Cons […]

Jan 142011

Shortly before the end of 2010, the USFA sent out a series of e-letters regarding SEEQ. These e-letters touched on three concerns about SEEQ repeatedly raised by USFA members – the privacy of results and how they should not be used to compare units, statistical issues related to using the questionnaire in small classes, and […]