In mid-November, members of the Nipissing University Faculty Association, Full-Time Academic Staff Bargaining Unit (FASBU) ratified a new four-year collective agreement. In addition to gains on compensation and benefits, and workload, the new collective agreement contains significant language toward Indigenization.
On compensation, members received Across-The-Board (ATB) increases of three percent, 2.25 percent, 2.25 percent and 2.75 percent over the four years, Progress-Through-the-Ranks (PTR) increases in each year, an increase to compensation for supervision at various levels in year one, and annual increases to the overload stipend.
Other monetary gains were made in the areas of health spending, professional development, and pensions. On workload, Librarian and Archivist workload may be adjusted to include research, scholarly, and creative activity. Faculty members who are Principal Investigators and meet certain criteria may receive an additional course release for each year of the grant.
Of particular note is the inclusion of Indigenization language in several areas of the agreement. In terms of rights and responsibilities of members, the teachings of Indigenous Elders and/or Traditional Knowledge Carriers/Keepers must be acknowledged through proper references and where possible, authorship. Indigenous members may demonstrate service through relationships and commitments to communities as well as through mentoring relationships (this latter also applies to members of equity-deserving groups). Indigenous members also now have greater protections in the areas of service and tenure and promotion. Indigenous Elder or Knowledge Carrier/Keepers, for example, may be an external referee for tenure and promotion. Any member can also be accompanied by a support person, who can be an Indigenous Elder and/or Traditional Knowledge Carrier/Keeper, at any stage of the grievance process.