Nov 152018
 

Recently, research employees and out-of-scope employees in the College of Arts and Science received an email regarding contingency planning “in the event of an emergency or if relief work is needed during a CUPE 1975 strike.” The message requested recipients to complete a “confidential” skills inventory form itemizing their credentials or experience in the trades, […]

Nov 132018
 

Labour relations are in a poor state at Canadian Universities and we are not immune here at the UofS. In July, some 3,000 contract faculty and graduate teaching and research assistants at York University were legislated back to work after 143 days on the picket line (the longest strike in the post-secondary sector in Canadian […]

Oct 022018
 

During the busy summer season, the USFA published an e-Letter about the Ryerson Arbitration on teaching evaluations, where the arbitrator ordered that student-based evaluations of teaching not be used to measure teaching effectiveness in tenure and promotion cases, effective immediately. The decision stated that the evaluations “are imperfect at best and downright biased and unreliable […]

Sep 212018
 

Recently, questions have arisen about CV formats for collegial processes. Should the 29 point version (current) or the 24 point version (revised) be used? The website for the Vice-Provost Faculty Relations includes the statement: “The university is transitioning to a new Standardized CV format. It is anticipated that the transition of received CVs to UnivRS […]

Aug 212018
 

We invite you to a Free Pancake Breakfast: Thursday, September 6 7:30 – 10:00 a.m. (or until food runs out) in The Bowl   Everyone welcome! Gluten free pancakes will be available.   Sponsored by: USFA ASPA CUPE 1975 CUPE 3287 St. Thomas More Faculty Union PSAC Local 40004

Aug 212018
 

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 […]

Aug 012018
 

The recent arbitration award at Ryerson University directed that Faculty Course Survey results are not to be used to “measure teaching effectiveness for promotion or tenure.” After USFA reported on this, members requested further details. The reports of expert witnesses R.L. Freishtat and P.B. Stark have been published by The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty […]

Jul 232018
 

Following the publication of a recent CBC News article that described the working atmosphere at GIFS (the Global Institute for Food Security) with strong language – “horror story”, “bizarre”, “complete disintegration”, “toxic environment” – several members wrote to USFA relating similar experiences in their own units. USFA cannot comment on the specifics of this or […]

Jul 192018
 

The following USFA table officers were elected at a meeting held June 22, 2018. Chair: Douglas Chivers, Department of Biology Vice-Chair: Susan Fowler-Kerry, College of Nursing Secretary/Treasurer: Mark Meyers, Department of History Senior Grievance Officer: Patricia Farnese, College of Law The terms of these officers began July 1, 2018, along with those of newly-elected members […]

Jul 112018
 

There will be a reduction applied to the cost of premiums for Sun Life Optional Life Insurance for the month of July only.  The University is making the adjustment to refund to members the provincial sales tax (PST) paid on the  premiums.  The Saskatchewan Government retroactively abolished the PST on life insurance premiums necessitating the […]

Jul 112018
 

An arbitrator’s decision at Ryerson University released July 6, 2018 has ordered that student-based evaluations of teaching not  be used in tenure and promotion cases, effective immediately. The decision stated that the evaluations “are imperfect at best and downright biased and unreliable at worst”. With respect to the evidence provided Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET) […]

May 282018
 

It has been a challenging two years for many Canadian faculty at the bargaining table. You may be interested in the following outcomes. Most recently, Carleton faculty have reached an agreement after hundreds of hours and one year of collective bargaining, with the assistance of a mediator. Details will be reported soon. Earlier this month, […]

May 082018
 

Several faculty members were surprised to receive letters at their homes from Connection Point advising them of benefit packages that will expire as they approach “normal retirement age”. The first round of letters contained references to a normal retirement age of 65; the subsequent letters changed this number to 67. The language of “normal retirement […]

May 042018
 

Two recent events in Eastern Canada suggest that University Employers are taking a cynical attitude towards collective bargaining. At Carleton University, the faculty association negotiating team found out just a day ahead of their May 3 regular bargaining session that the Employer had unilaterally filed for conciliation, then advised faculty how mutually beneficial this would […]

May 032018
 

Recently, members of CUPE 1975 set up information tables across campus on the theme “PAWS off our Pensions”. CUPE’s Employer, the University of Saskatchewan, went to arbitration to determine whether it had the power to unilaterally change the terms of the CUPE pension plan. The arbitrator ruled in favour of the Employer. Though it is […]

Apr 232018
 

The Collective Agreement offers significant protection for collegial governance, and resolutions to recent grievances help to illustrate these various protections. The Collective Agreement is clear that the collegial committees established pursuant to the Collective Agreement (renewal and tenure committees, promotion committees for example) are required to determine their own operating procedures provided they are consistent […]

Apr 172018
 

Online applications for the USFA Scholarship will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Friday, June 1, 2018. 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 2017-18 USFA […]

Apr 092018
 

Please be advised that the upcoming USFA Academic Freedom event has been cancelled because the CAUT representative is no longer able to participate. The position of the USFA Executive is that CAUT participation was essential to provide an informed understanding of the complexities of defending Academic Freedom on Canadian campuses.