Early in November, members of the Huron University College Faculty Association (HUCFA) ratified a new four-year collective agreement containing significant gains on members’ priorities related to improved terms and conditions for Program Sessional (teaching intensive) members, job security for contract faculty, and protections in case of financial exigency or program restructuring.
On compensation, Tenure-stream/Limited-Term Appointment (LTA) and Per Course members received salary scale increases of two percent, 2.5 percent, 3.75 percent, and 3.25 percent over the four years of the agreement. Program Sessional members received significantly greater increases of 7.5 percent, 3.25, 4.5 percent, and five percent. Other monetary gains were made in the areas of health spending and professional development, and pensions.
In workload gains, pre-tenure or LTA members who fulfill the duty of Chair/Director/Coordinator will get extra course release, while pre-tenure members have gained service load protections for committee work. Coordinators will receive an enhanced faculty allowance in recognition of workload, and Chairs/Directors/Coordinators heading up an external review will receive additional administrative and clerical supports in the review year.
Contract faculty saw a significant enhancement of job security, with current practice now enshrined in the collective agreement. New Per Course contracts for which no member already holds Right of First Refusal will be filled from within the academic unit, or then the broader bargaining unit, before being posted externally. New Program Sessional contracts will follow a similar order. When a Program Sessional or LTA position is replaced by a Tenure-stream position, the Program Sessional or LTA member will be considered for a Direct Appointment. An improvement has also been made in how the research and service experience of Per Course members is counted toward their tenure and promotion requirements should they receive a tenure-stream position. The Collective Agreement includes language that outlines more advantageous counting of previous teaching, postdoctoral, or professional experience for the purposes of placement on members’ relevant salary grids.
Of particular note is the inclusion of two new articles on financial exigency and program restructuring. The articles include consultation obligations (both collegial consultation and with the union); recall rights for tenure-stream members who are laid off; severance pay entitlements; and a commitment to redeployment of tenure-stream members.