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In new article, OCUFA President writes about need for faculty renewal and fairness for contract faculty

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This year’s Educated Solutions, the annual magazine published by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, features a thought-provoking article by OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips on the need to invest in faculty renewal at Ontario’s universities.

The article explains how Ontario’s universities are underfunded, and the dangers associated with increasing student tuition fees, even when they are being subsidized by the provincial government. It describes the faculty hiring gap, the need to prioritize tenure-stream faculty renewal, and the importance of delivering fairness for contract faculty.

Ontario’s universities are at a vital crossroads, and additional investment will be needed to maintain the high quality of education the province’s students and parents have come to expect.

You can read the article and the rest of Educated Solutions for free on the OUSA website.

Introducing Chris Glover, the NDP Critic for Training, Colleges and Universities

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MPP Chris Glover was appointed the NDP Critic for Training, Colleges and Universities on August 23, 2018. In this role, he will be the voice of the Official Opposition on postsecondary issues.

MPP Chris Glover is one of 74 new MPPs elected to the Legislative Assembly of Ontario in June 2018 and represents the riding of Spadina-Fort York. He became politically active as a parent fighting cuts to schools during the provincial governments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves.

Chris is an educator and has taught at Ryerson Public School, East York Collegiate, Centennial College, and the University of Toronto. Most recently, he was an Adjunct Professor at York University where he taught a course on the history and economics of Ontario through an equity lens. He has a PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto and published a thesis focused on the impact of student debt.

Prior to his election to the legislature, Chris was a two term Trustee for the Toronto District School Board and served on the Toronto Board of Health. As a Trustee Chris is best known for his work advocating for employment opportunities for students with disabilities.

Faculty at University of Sudbury narrow pay gap with Laurentian colleagues

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The Laurentian University Faculty Association (LUFA) has reached a collective agreement with the University of Sudbury on behalf of the university’s tenure-stream and sessional faculty. LUFA achieved competitive across-the-board salary increases and adjustments to compensation that have narrowed the pay gap between faculty at the University of Sudbury and Laurentian University’s other federated institutions. Significantly, LUFA established language that further enshrines collegial governance in the collective agreement. The agreement also provides improved teaching assistant support and better equipped offices for the sessional faculty.

On October 15: Speak out for decent work across Ontario

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People across Ontario are planning to show their support for a $15 minimum wage and decent work on October 15. On university and college campuses, all faculty, students, and staff are encouraged to join in.

In recent announcements, the Conservative government has indicated their intention to freeze the minimum wage at $14 an hour and consider repealing recent decent work reforms, including paid sick days, fair scheduling measures, and equal pay protections for contract, part-time, and temporary workers.

This is a position on which the current government can me moved. They are facing a lot of pressure from constituents because 66 per cent of Ontarians and 42 per cent of Conservative voters support a $15 minimum wage.

For faculty at Ontario universities, the repeal of Bill 148 would represent a major step back at just the time we need to be making leaps forward to deliver fairness for contract faculty. Too many contract faculty are working contract-to-contract without job security and doing the same work as their full-time colleagues for lower pay. At Ontario colleges, new equal pay measures have already delivered a substantive pay bump for non-unionized contract faculty.

To learn more about how you can join others to support the Fight for $15 & Fairness on October 15th, visit www.15andFairness.org and email Brynne at .

Job posting: Policy Analyst, Community and Government Relations (contract position)

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The Policy Analyst is part of a dynamic team of staff who work collaboratively to deliver the services required to meet OCUFA’s mandate.

Main Duties

  • Providing analysis of and advice related to legislation, regulations, programs, and policy directions that impact OCUFA and its member associations
  • Researching and writing policy papers and submissions to the provincial government
  • Implementing, and assisting in the development of, advocacy initiatives and campaigns
  • Coordinating with other sector stakeholders, including student groups and trade unions, on advocacy and communications
  • Preparing regular advocacy-related content for OCUFA communications, including website, social media and newsletters
  • Developing and maintaining contacts in the Ontario government, opposition parties, and relevant government agencies, including arranging, preparing for and attending meetings
  • Preparing speaking notes, correspondence, reports, and briefing notes for OCUFA’s President, Executive Director, Executive members, Board of Directors, and relevant committees
  • Providing staff support to OCUFA’s Board and Executive, as well as other committees, workshops, and conferences as assigned
  • Representing OCUFA at meetings, where appropriate
  • Other duties may be assigned from time to time as the needs of OCUFA, or its circumstances, change. Such duties shall be discussed prior to assignment to ensure compatibility with workload and area of expertise

Skills and experience

  • Excellent communication, writing, and analytical skills
  • Experience in research and critical policy analysis
  • Ability to synthesize and filter a large amount of information in a succinct and accessible manner
  • Experience in strategic advocacy and campaigns
  • Experience in communications, including writing for a variety of formats and channels would be an asset
  • Knowledge of the postsecondary sector would be an asset
  • Strong coordination and organizing skills
  • High level of computer literacy, graphic design and layout skills would be an asset
  • A minimum of a graduate degree, and 5 years experience with advocacy organizations, labour unions, provincial government, public sector agencies, or professional associations (or the equivalent combination of education and work experience)
  • Bilingualism would be an asset
  • Ability to work on projects individually and in collaboration with other staff members independent of supervision 

Staffing Structure

  • All staff act under the direction and authority of the Executive Director

This is a 21 month contract position at the Policy Officer 2 level. The salary range for this position is $82,500 – $86,400 plus a benefits plan fully paid for by OCUFA and a generous pension plan.

OCUFA is committed to the principle of employment equity, is a unionized and equal opportunity employer, and welcomes diversity in the workplace.

Please submit your application with resume and the names of three references by Thursday, October 18, 2018 to:

Mark Rosenfeld, Ph.D
Executive Director
OCUFA
17 Isabella Street
Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1M7

Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition:
Statement on government-mandated free speech policies

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Ontario’s universities and colleges are vital spaces where a culture of rich academic debate and free expression should be fostered. Core to the mandate of our postsecondary institutions is the advancement of knowledge, and that requires our campuses to be places where all community members have the right to speak their minds and respectfully challenge each other intellectually. Faculty associations, labour unions, and student unions deeply believe in these rights, and will continue our collective work to uphold them.

There is no free speech crisis on Ontario campuses. This is an ideological fiction advanced by the government to justify interference in the academic governance and autonomy of Ontario’s universities and colleges. It is telling that the government did not consult with any sector stakeholders before announcing the new requirement for campus “free speech” policies and disciplinary measures tied to possible cuts to university and college funding.

This intervention is not just unnecessary, it is harmful. These policies will actually limit the rights of faculty, staff, and students to express themselves and will jeopardize the quality of student education and research:

  • Threatening to discipline students, staff, and faculty actually limits expression rights on campus, especially for systemically marginalized groups. Members of the campus community may be discouraged from speaking up for fear of being disciplined.
  • Threatening to withhold financial support or recognition from campus student groups suppresses student voices and denies students their right to freedom of association.
  • Threatening budget cuts for already underfunded universities and colleges undermines their academic integrity and jeopardizes education and research quality.
  • Requiring universities and colleges to develop free speech policies undermines institutional autonomy and overrides important protections that allow our postsecondary institutions to operate free of political interference from government.

Given these many real dangers, we encourage the Ontario Government to reconsider this directive, withdraw their prescribed disciplinary measures, withdraw their threatened funding cuts, respect the autonomy of Ontario’s universities and colleges, and support the speech rights of students, staff, and faculty.

Ontario’s universities and colleges already have policies in place that govern campus speech, and it does not make sense to require them to be arbitrarily rewritten just to conform to a set of principles developed by a private university in the United States.

There are improvements that could be made to foster stronger speech freedoms on our campuses. The rise of precarious academic work means that a majority of university and college faculty cannot depend on the academic freedom protections afforded to tenure-stream faculty and, although university faculty and students are represented on institutional decision-making bodies, representative collegial governance bodies are lacking at Ontario’s colleges.

However, the government’s new free speech policy requirement will do nothing to address these issues or foster better speech on campus. It will only create a more polarized and litigious environment that risks suppressing speech.

Meaningfully addressing the real challenges our campuses face will require postsecondary institutions to embrace collegial governance by adopting more transparent and accountable decision-making bodies that represent all members of the campus community. It is through more democratic campuses that we will ensure freedom of expression and the continued vitality of Ontario’s postsecondary institutions.

 

Nour Alideeb, Chairperson, Canadian Federation of Students–Ontario
Janice Folk-Dawson, Chair, CUPE Ontario University Sector
Gyllian Phillips, President, Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
Chris Buckley, President, Ontario Federation of Labour
RM Kennedy, Chair, OPSEU College Faculty
Janice Hagan, Chair, OPSEU College Support Staff
Kella Loschiavo, Chair, OPSEU University Sector 9
Harvey Bischof, President, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
Sharon DeSousa, Regional Executive Vice-President, PSAC Ontario
Marty Warren, Director, United Steelworkers–District 6

 

 

For media inquiries, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead
Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations
| 416-306-6033

OCUFA announces winners of the 2017-2018 Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards

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TORONTO – The Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) is pleased to announce the winners of its prestigious Teaching and Academic Librarianship Awards. Since 1973, these awards have recognized the exceptional contributions made by professors and librarians to the quality of higher education in Ontario.

“Professors and academic librarians are at the heart of our universities. Through their hard work, they challenge and encourage their students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips. “This year’s distinguished winners are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

The 2017-2018 Teaching Award recipients are:

  • Michelle Craig, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto
  • Robert Fleisig, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Practice and Technology at McMaster University
  • David Hutchison, Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at Brock University
  • Fiona Rawle, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Frankie Stewart, Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University

The 45th annual awards ceremony, hosted by CBC’s Nana aba Duncan, will take place at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto on October 20, 2018.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 professors and academic librarians in 29 faculty associations across Ontario. It is committed to enhancing the quality of higher education in Ontario and recognizing the outstanding contributions of its members towards creating a world-class university system. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.

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For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or
OR Mark Rosenfeld, Executive Director at 416-306-6030 or

University of Toronto’s Michelle Craig wins prestigious OCUFA teaching award

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TORONTO – Michelle Craig, an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, has been named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). She will receive a 2017-2018 OCUFA Teaching Award at an October 20 ceremony in Toronto, hosted by CBC’s Nana Ada Duncan.

“Michelle Craig has a long and distinguished teaching record and demonstrates contagious enthusiasm for her work,” said Professor Judy Bornais, Chair of OCUFA’s Award Committee. “Her impact extends well beyond her classes, with both students and fellow faculty members viewing her as a mentor.”

The other recipients of a 2017-2018 OCUFA Teaching Award are:

  • Robert Fleisig, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Practice and Technology at McMaster University
  • David Hutchison, Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at Brock University
  • Fiona Rawle, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Frankie Stewart, Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University

“Professors and academic librarians are at the heart of our universities. Through their hard work, they challenge and encourage their students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips. “This year’s distinguished winners are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 29 faculty associations across Ontario.

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For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or
OR Mark Rosenfeld, Executive Director at 416-306-6030 or

McMaster University’s Robert Fleisig wins prestigious OCUFA teaching award

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TORONTO – Robert Fleisig, an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Practice and Technology at McMaster University, has been named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). He will receive a 2017-2018 OCUFA Teaching Award at an October 20 ceremony in Toronto, hosted by the CBC’s Nana Ada Duncan.

“Robert Fleisig believes that being a good engineer means understanding and empathizing with others,” said Professor Judy Bornais, Chair of OCUFA’s Award Committee. “Through his teaching, Fleisig encourages his students to engage in the community, and become more creative and compassionate engineers.”

The other recipients of a 2017-2018 OCUFA Teaching Award are:

  • Michelle Craig, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto
  • David Hutchison, Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at Brock University
  • Fiona Rawle, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Frankie Stewart, Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University

“Professors and academic librarians are at the heart of our universities. Through their hard work, they challenge and encourage their students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips. “This year’s distinguished winners are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 29 faculty associations across Ontario.

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For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or
OR Mark Rosenfeld, Executive Director at 416-306-6030 or

Brock University’s David Hutchison wins prestigious OCUFA teaching award

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TORONTO – David Hutchison, a Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at Brock University, has been named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). He will receive a 2017-2018 OCUFA Teaching Award at an October 20 ceremony in Toronto, hosted by the CBC’s Nana Ada Duncan.

“David Hutchison challenges his students to test those perceptions of the world they might take for granted by comparing them against the diverse experiences of others,” said Professor Judy Bornais, Chair of OCUFA’s Award Committee. “Through his teaching and the experiential learning opportunities he incorporates into his courses he empowers students to feel like their work matters and that they can affect change.”

The other recipients of a 2017-2018 OCUFA Teaching Award are:

  • Michelle Craig, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto
  • Robert Fleisig, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Practice and Technology at McMaster University
  • Fiona Rawle, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga
  • Frankie Stewart, Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University

“Professors and academic librarians are at the heart of our universities. Through their hard work, they challenge and encourage their students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips. “This year’s distinguished winners are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 29 faculty associations across Ontario.

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For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or
OR Mark Rosenfeld, Executive Director at 416-306-6030 or

University of Toronto Mississauga’s Fiona Rawle wins prestigious OCUFA teaching award

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TORONTO – Fiona Rawle, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga, has been named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). She will receive a 2017-2018 OCUFA Teaching Award at an October 20 ceremony in Toronto, hosted by CBC’s Nana Ada Duncan.

“Fiona Rawle is a passionate teacher whose enthusiasm for the field of biology excites her students and encourages them to dive deeper,” said Professor Judy Bornais, Chair of OCUFA’s Award Committee. “She believes in fostering critical thinking and using active engagement to help students improve their understanding of the subject matter.”

The other recipients of a 2017-2018 OCUFA Teaching Award are:

  • Michelle Craig, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto
  • Robert Fleisig, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Practice and Technology at McMaster University
  • David Hutchison, Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at Brock University
  • Frankie Stewart, Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University

“Professors and academic librarians are at the heart of our universities. Through their hard work, they challenge and encourage their students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips. “This year’s distinguished winners are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 29 faculty associations across Ontario.

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For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or
OR Mark Rosenfeld, Executive Director at 416-306-6030 or

Ryerson University’s Frankie Stewart wins prestigious OCUFA teaching award

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TORONTO – Frankie Stewart, a Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Ryerson University, has been named one of Ontario’s most outstanding university teachers by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA). She will receive a 2017-2018 OCUFA Teaching Award at an October 20 ceremony in Toronto, hosted by CBC’s Nana Ada Duncan.

“Frankie Stewart has been a tremendous role model within the female engineering community,” said Professor Judy Bornais, Chair of OCUFA’s Award Committee. “She has helped countless students discover their voices and leverage the knowledge they have learned at university to make change in the world around them.”

The other recipients of a 2017-2018 OCUFA Teaching Award are:

  • Michelle Craig, Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto
  • Robert Fleisig, Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Practice and Technology at McMaster University
  • David Hutchison, Professor in the Department of Educational Studies and Director of the Centre for Digital Humanities at Brock University
  • Fiona Rawle, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Toronto Mississauga

“Professors and academic librarians are at the heart of our universities. Through their hard work, they challenge and encourage their students to embrace new ideas and build a brighter future,” said OCUFA President Gyllian Phillips. “This year’s distinguished winners are all dedicated and passionate teachers and mentors. OCUFA is honoured to recognize them with teaching and librarianship awards.”

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 29 faculty associations across Ontario.

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For more information, contact:
Ben Lewis, Communications Lead at 416-306-6033 or
OR Mark Rosenfeld, Executive Director at 416-306-6030 or

OPSEU launches Charter challenge over cancellation of Colleges Task Force

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The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) has launched a Charter challenge to contest the government’s cancellation of the Colleges Task Force. Following five weeks of picket lines, the task force was established as part the arbitration award that ended last fall’s college faculty strike.

The task force was meant to address many of the major outstanding issues in bargaining, including faculty complement, precarious work, college funding, student success, and collegial governance.

Despite the previous government’s commitment to consider the task force’s recommendations, Premier Ford cancelled the task force on his first day in office – even though it had nearly completed its work.

Because the task force was established through the collective bargaining process, its cancellation is a violation of collective bargaining rights protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Read more about OPSEU’s legal challenge here.

CAUT releases results of first national survey of contract academic staff

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A new survey by the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has found that most academic staff working on contract at Canadian universities aren’t employed that way by choice.

According to the survey:

  • Over half of respondents want a tenure-track university or full-time, permanent college job.
  • Women and racialized contract academic staff work more hours per course, per week than their colleagues and are more likely to be in low-income households.
  • Two-thirds of respondents said their mental health has been negatively impacted by the contingent nature of their employment, and just 19 per cent think the institutions where they work are model employers and supporters of good jobs.
  • The number of university teachers working part-time, part-year expanded by 79 per cent from 2005 to 2015. In contrast, regular professors increased by only 14 per cent and in the same period, the number of students grew by 28 per cent.

The study shows that many contract academic staff are underpaid, overworked, and under-resourced, and often feel trapped in a ‘gig lifestyle’ of part-time or insecure work.

Read the CAUT release and study here.

Send an email and show your support for decent work laws

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Last year saw the biggest reforms to labour laws for workers in forty years. Working with the Fight for $15 & Fairness, faculty are part of the movement that won these gains in Ontario. Now, employers and the big business community are pressuring Ford’s government to roll back decent work laws.

Send an email to your MPP and Premier Doug Ford today to show your support for decent work laws.

Faculty associations are already putting the new decent work laws into action by securing two per cent additional vacation pay for contract faculty members and by consolidating bargaining units to promote more effective collective bargaining. Across Ontario, other workers are counting on recently won paid sick days, equal pay for equal work measures, and the planned $15 minimum wage.

However, any day after the legislature reopens, the government could take steps to roll back these important measures. Until then, we can make our voices heard by sending an email to the Premier and attending events in our communities. This will help show newly elected MPPs that Ontarians support a $15 minimum wage and decent work.