Windsor University Faculty Association agreement makes significant equity gains

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Faculty at the Windsor University have ratified a new collective agreement that includes improvements for equity, Indigenization, and workload. A new LOU will allow for the reduction of Black, Indigenous, and racialized members’ workloads in recognition of their ongoing service contributions. Political leaves for members elected to public positions in Indigenous governance bodies will now be treated equally to political leaves for other public bodies. New funds worth $50,000 per year have been established for the explicit advancement of scholarship supporting anti-oppression and anti-Black racism and for the advancement of scholarship supporting Indigeneity and decolonization. In addition, Indigenous Knowledge Systems will now be appropriately recognized and Indigenous members may be accompanied by an Indigenous Elder or Traditional Knowledge Carrier/Keeper in promotion and tenure processes.

The faculty association will have full participation in an equity, diversity, and inclusion review on campus. Further, all members of departmental committees and renewal, promotion, and tenure committees must now have a comprehensive understanding of the principles and values that strengthen equity, diversity, and inclusion. Additionally, equal employment protections have been expanded to include those who identify with sexual orientations and/or gender identities that do not conform to heteronormative and cisgendered binary representations.

A new teaching intensive faculty stream has been created where members have 80 per cent teaching and 20 per cent service workloads and will enjoy all the rights, privileges, and compensation benefits of the existing faculty complement. The complement for this stream shall not exceed 20 per cent of the faculty complement in any individual faculty. As a result of the creation of this new stream, workload for regular faculty positions will be standardized as 40 per cent teaching, 40 per cent research, and 20 per cent service across campus by 2024, with a four-course load across all faculties. Sessional lecturer contracts have been increased from eight to nine months to allow for additional preparation time, and an affordance now exists for lecturers to convert to a twelve-month appointment at their discretion. Meanwhile, sessional instructors will have rights to teaching intensive positions prior to an external search.

Members of the faculty association elected to the Board of Governors by Senate will now retain all association membership rights for the duration of their term, and their service to the association will be recognized as warranting additional workload release.

Mental healthcare benefits now cover 100 per cent of up to 24 visits to a registered mental health professional (up from 50 per cent for up to 20 visits). In-home nursing and supportive care improvements will allow for more service providers and an increase in benefits to $40,000 per year. Medically-related hair replacement (e.g. wigs and similar supports) and medically-necessary prosthesis coverage has also increased. The four-year agreement will see across-the-board salary increases of one per cent for the first three years and two per cent in the fourth. Finally, professional development funds will increase by 20 per cent by 2024 with funds for sessional instructors increasing by 25 per cent.

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