Members of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Faculty Association have ratified their new, five-year agreement with a 95 per cent vote in favour.
The tentative agreement was reached October 13 and ratified Wednesday of last week. The agreement is retroactive to July 2010.
Though the negotiations were drawn out and often difficult, faculty association negotiators were able to meet the key goal of establishing a salary structure whose sizeable steps (starting at $3,000 in the first year) will ensure the gap between UOIT’s faculty salaries and provincial comparators will close. Faculty negotiators were also able fight off an employer proposal to re-introduce merit as a main component of compensation.
Faculty negotiators also achieved all their objectives with respect to tenure and promotion, winning a much-reduced timeframe, clear criteria, and a one-year, limited term appointment should a candidate’s tenure appeals be unsuccessful. They won improved faculty input into course-delivery modes, areas which have been the sole discretion of the dean, and also negotiated access to a course release in the first year of employment.
The Windsor University Faculty Association will hold a ratification vote November 1 for its tentative agreement, reached October 19 minutes before the strike deadline. Details of the new agreement will be made public after ratification.
Negotiators at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine have scheduled three more days of bargaining, starting October 31. Faculty union members have given their bargaining team a strike mandate, and the union’s job action committee is actively preparing for a possible strike should it be necessary.
At the University of Ottawa, four bargaining days have been scheduled for November 9 through 12. Faculty negotiators hope to table their monetary proposals at these meetings. The major outstanding non-monetary issues are: librarian performance appraisal and promotions; workload assignment transparency; and teaching intensive positions, specifically their workload (the employer is insisting that academic staff with such positions teach not just double a normal course load and but also teach over three semesters). Faculty association negotiators are consulting with faculty association members and will be seeking a mandate.