Jan 152018

In November 2017, USFA received notice of the drafting of Living our Values, described as a code of conduct. In subsequent weeks, representatives of the Employer met with our grievance officer, and our professional officer to discuss a more detailed draft.

We subsequently heard rumours to the effect that the Association had approved the document; this is not the case. The Executive will meet with the Employer to discuss Living our Values at its regular meeting on February 16, 2018. We will subsequently ensure that it is consistent with the Collective Agreement, and respond accordingly. We will keep you informed. In the meantime, interested members may wish to read CAUT’s take on respectful workplace documents and codes of conduct.

Jan 112018

USFA members are invited to submit an application to the Executive Committee for reimbursement of attendance at a conference/workshop/meeting related to the USFA including, but not limited to, labour relations, academic freedom, employment equity, and workplace health and safety.

The USFA Conference/Workshop/Meeting Attendance Policy was instituted as a way to ensure that there is an annual budget allocation to support training and development for USFA committee members and representatives to fulfill their duties and responsibilities, and to support the USFA’s active participation regionally and nationally in organizations important to its work.

Criteria for approval of requests includes:

  • Relevance to the mandate and activities of the USFA
  • The anticipated cost to the USFA of the request for reimbursement given the budget allocation for these activities and the actual and anticipated expenditures on these activities
  • Equity among members requesting USFA reimbursement
  • Capacity-building and succession planning
  • The applicant’s participation in USFA activities

Successful applicants are required to submit a written report within 30 days of their return.

Submit applications to usfa@usaskfaculty.ca referencing “Conference Fund Application” in the subject line.

Some upcoming eligible events:

Saskatoon & District Labour Council Annual General Meeting

February 8 and 9, 2018

Heritage Inn, Saskatoon

CAUT Francophones Conference

Francophones at colleges & universities confronting austerity measures

February 23 and 24, 2018

Sheraton Ottawa Hotel

CAUT Equity Conference

Mobilizing Intersections

April 6 and 7, 2018

Marriott Ottawa Hotel

SFL Pension Conference: Does your future have a pension? Does your pension have a future?

May 2 and 3, 2018

Regina, SK

SFL/CLC Spring School 2018

May 7 – 11, 2018

Elkridge Resort & Conference Centre

Prairie School for Union Women

June 10 – 14, 2018

Waskesiu, SK

CAUT Forum for Aboriginal Academic Staff

October 19 and 20, 2018

Sheraton Ottawa Hotel

2017 Saskatchewan Federation of Labour Convention

October 24 – 27, 2018

Regina, SK

CAUT New Activists Workshop

November 22, 2018

The Westin Ottawa Hotel

Dec 112017

Details about the recently-signed tentative agreement reached by faculty and administration at Acadia University will not be publicized after ratification. The Acadia University Faculty Association (AUFA) had been dealing for months with snail’s pace ‘negotiations’, and little interest from the employer in addressing concerns of frontline academics. As ‘talks’ dragged on, AUFA leadership sought and […]

Dec 112017

2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the 1997 UNESCO recommendation concerning the status of higher education teaching personnel which expressed concern about the vulnerability of the academic community to untoward political pressures that could undermine academic freedom, and declared member states to have an obligation to protect higher education institutions from threats to their autonomy. […]

Nov 202017

University of Manitoba One year ago today, members of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association ratified an agreement after being on strike for three weeks. Seeking provisions on performance indicators, workload, and powers of Deans, UMFA members had voted 86% in favour of strike action. A further issue of deep concern was that the Pallister […]

Nov 162017

The university is moving to semi-monthly pay for all faculty and staff starting January 1, 2018. This move is for compliance with provincial labour legislation. Every month will be divided into two pay periods. First period will be from the 1st – 15th with salary payment on the 15th for salaried employees and on the […]

Nov 142017

At the recent AGM, after Senior Grievance Office Patricia Farnese reported despite unprecedented numbers of arbitrations, some members asked whether this is an attempt to strain the resources of the Association. Secretary-Treasurer Susan Fowler-Kerry reported that USFA remains in a good financial decision. Almost thirty years ago, the membership of USFA voted to establish a […]

Nov 102017

At our Annual General Meeting, Senior Grievance Office Patricia Farnese reporting on behalf of the Association Grievance Committee (AGC) said that the number of grievances the Association is dealing with has been unprecedented. Some highlights from her report: For the second time, a member of Senior Administration was found to have discriminated or retaliated against […]

Nov 012017

If you are required to maintain a certification or license in order to perform your academic duties, you may be eligible for reimbursement of some or all of your licensing or certification fees (Article 22.12.2). Claims for reimbursement must be submitted between November 1 and December 1, 2017. What you need to know: Claim forms […]

Oct 302017

The Association has filed a grievance with respect to the recommendation for tenure and rank after a decanal level appointment. This is not a personal attack on the qualifications of the unit leader, but a matter of upholding the integrity of the collegial processes defined in our Collective Agreement and protecting the jurisdiction of the […]

Oct 262017

An Arbitrator recently ruled that the actions of a Dean in removing the responsibility for a University exchange program from a faculty member’s assigned duties for the 2015-2016 academic year was a violation of the collective agreement, and that the Dean’s action was discriminatory and retaliatory in nature because the member had expressed her intention […]

Oct 242017

Some time ago, as part of the UnivRS project, the University undertook to convert curricula vitae of faculty members to a standard format. The process of conversion has not proceeded as quickly as anticipated, and many faculty members have shared concerns with us about errors in the data entry process, limitations with the software, and […]

Oct 192017

Your Benefits Committee and the Grievance Committee raised serious concerns  about the issues associated with members gaining access to and possible privacy of information violations on the Total Rewards Website. On September 14, 2017, we sent out an e-Letter explaining our concerns about the scope of rights you were being asked to waive to gain […]

Oct 162017

Members of the Executive of the Faculty Association, including our Senior Grievance Officer, Patricia Farnese, had an opportunity to discuss forthcoming changes to computer security with senior ICT staff, including Associate Vice-President of Information and Communication Technology, Shari Baraniuk. The plan includes increasing the security around sensitive institutional information, but also requirements for more security […]

Oct 122017

The issue of excessive workload assignments has been raised by members in at least one unit who feel the burden of the institution’s financial concerns are being shifted onto the backs of members. More than a decade ago, USFA negotiated an article entitled Guidelines for Assignment of Duties (article 11.5 in the Collective Agreement). The […]

Oct 052017

Those reading Academica’s Top Ten, especially in combination with local messaging, may have noticed mixed messages as regards attitudes towards faculty compensation. Recently, Academica’s Top Ten cited a Star-Phoenix report that “Despite its recent fiscal challenges and what a recent report described as the erosion of Canada’s research competitiveness, the University of Saskatchewan is ‘punching […]

Sep 142017

The University has contracted with a third party to communicate information about benefits with faculty without notice or explanation to the USFA.  Access to the “My Total Rewards” program is available through the employee tab on PAWS. The Association is concerned about the scope of rights members are being asked to waive to gain access […]

Jun 212017

The memo that went out to USFA members from Human Resources yesterday about the MRARP contains several errors. The Detailed Plan Information page linked from the memo references an “Application Process” and provides a link to an “Application” form, which specifies that “your Dean will provide decisions (approvals and deferrals) to you no later than Sept. 30, 2018.” In […]

May 192017

The USFA Scholarship Program is open to students who are immediate family members of USFA members. Immediate family includes spouse/partner, sons, daughters or children whom USFA members have served as legal guardians. The application form for the 2016-2017 USFA Scholarship Fund Program is now available exclusively online at: paws.usask.ca/go/awards. Students can apply online through their […]