New agreement at Renison University College

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The Renison Association of Academic Staff (RAAS) recently ratified a new three-year collective agreement containing significant monetary and non-monetary gains. The settlement was arrived at during mediation, following several months of negotiations that included strong member communication and engagement.

Significant on the monetary front was the negotiation of a Bill 124 re-opener increase based on the principle of salary parity with the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo. For the current agreement, members received annual salary scale increases of three per cent, three per cent, and 2.5 per cent in each year of the agreement, which will also be applied to progress through the ranks (PTR) increments. Stipends for Academic Unit Leads have also been increased. Other significant gains include job security improvements for Definite Term Lecturers, increased funds for teaching assistant support and professional development, and greater collegiality in the tenure and promotion process.

Effective April 30, 2023, members employed at Renison on or before May 1, 2021, received a two per cent increase to scale, plus $2,500, while members employed at Renison since May 1, 2021, received a one per cent increase to scale, plus $1,500. This increase is not part of the collective agreement, but of the Memorandum of Settlement, with the note that this resolved all claims related to Bill 124 compensation losses.

Definite Term Lecturers (DTLs) have seen major gains in job security and career progression. The six-year limit on consecutive contracts has been removed, a right of first refusal instituted, and the process for consecutive contracts streamlined.  DTLs may now be considered for a permanent position after five consecutive years. The 20 per cent cap on DTLs as a proportion of permanent faculty complement has been softened, with a process for over-riding the cap through negotiation with the faculty association executive.

On teaching supports, the budget for TA support has been increased. Academic Unit Leads can now manage a plan, with new criteria, for the distribution of these funds, and have the flexibility to top up an instructor’s funds under certain conditions. Support for online teaching has been increased, with major course redevelopment (and not just new course development) being eligible for a course release, and a half online course now being eligible for a full course stipend depending on the amount of work involved. Members retain the right to refuse to create or redevelop an online course.

Members have also seen improvements in professional support, with an increase in professional expense reimbursements (PER) as well as in the research grants fund. DTLs are now eligible for PER, and Continuing Lecturers are now eligible to apply for research grants.

Other notable changes in the new agreement include the introduction of a department-level tenure and promotion committee and clarification of the processes for review and termination of Academic Unit Leads.

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