Bargaining Wire: Laurier contract faculty vote yes to strong strike mandate; Settlement at Trent promotes scholarship and creates good jobs

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Laurier contract faculty vote yes to strong strike mandate

With 95 per cent support from contract faculty in a recent strike vote, the Wilfrid Laurier Faculty Association (WLUFA) has a strong mandate to strike if a deal is not reached. Pressure is mounting in bargaining to address three key issues: job security, access to benefits and fair compensation for contract faculty.

WLUFA has put forward proposals that would provide their contract members with more job security and improved notice provisions through continuing instructor positions. They are also seeking to close the gap in wage increases relative to other Laurier employee groups. Finally, they are asking the employer to take a modest first step towards benefits for contract faculty by providing them with access to employee-paid benefits.

During Fair Employment Week in late October, faculty at Laurier had the opportunity to further demonstrate their commitment to reaching a fair deal and to build support throughout the campus community for good academic jobs. WLUFA will continue to work to reach an agreement that provides more fairness for contract faculty. On November 7, the employer applied for conciliation.

Settlement at Trent promotes scholarship and creates good jobs

The recently ratified settlement at Trent University makes key advancements towards ensuring there is a scholar in every classroom and creating good jobs.

The Trent University Faculty Association’s new agreement makes improvements to evaluations of teaching to include more robust teaching assessment criteria. To respect the principle of “fairness while rewarding excellence,” 30 merit awards must now be awarded each year and at least 12 awards granted to recognize service and teaching-related work. The new agreement also adds new tools to ensure that graduate teaching, including supervision and committee work, is recognized when teaching duties are allocated, and that roles, responsibilities and compensation are clear for Graduate Directors.

Significant improvements in job security and workload were achieved for long-term appointment (LTA) members including guaranteed 12 month appointments to ensure eligibility for benefits over the summer and capping teaching loads at 150 per cent of the departments normal load. The settlement also creates a new position of Senior Lecturer with permanency, which is capped at 10 per cent of the faculty complement. The Senior Lecturer positions also have a teaching load that is limited to 150 per cent, and must include teaching, research and service among their responsibilities. Fifteen of these new positions will be filled by current LTA members.

The settlement also contemplates changes to the Trent Pension Plan in the event that the parties do not join a jointly sponsored pension plan by the end of this agreement.

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