Tuesday, February 23, 2021

University, FAUW reach faculty salary settlement

A message from the Vice-President, Academic & Provost and the President of the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW).

The University of Waterloo and the Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) are delighted to announce that the University and FAUW have reached an agreement for faculty salaries starting May 1, 2021.

The terms of the memorandum of salary settlement are for three years, until April 30, 2024.

The terms of the agreement regarding scale are: 1.00 percent increase effective May 1, 2021, 1.00 percent increase effective May 1, 2022, and 1.00 percent increase effective May 1, 2023.

Other terms of the agreement include:

  • The University will instruct the Pension & Benefits Committee to provide FAUW members and their eligible dependents with a basic vision care plan that will provide a reimbursement of $85 per participant every two years for eye exams;
  • The University will form a policy drafting committee in accordance with Policy 1 to create a new policy on compassionate care and bereavement leaves that includes a new compassionate care leave (CCL) supplemental benefit plan and enhanced paid bereavement leaves;
  • The University commits to providing raw disaggregated data collection on faculty members’ race and Indigeneity to the Salary Anomaly Working Group, who will use it to update the results of the 2021 Salary Anomaly Review to identify any race-based anomalies, and if any are identified, to resolve them with compensation retroactive to May 1, 2021;
  • The one-time salary adjustment of 2 per cent in exchange for one week (5 days) of vacation as part of the vacation exchange program is extended so that the eligibility date is now April 30, 2030, for retirement on or before May 1, 2033, and the latest eligibility date shall be the member’s 68th birthday, with a retirement date no later than the academic term during which she or he turns 71;
  • During the terms of this agreement, the University and FAUW may agree to review the monetary provisions should Ontario legislation change with respect to annual salary scale and/or annual total compensation limits;
  • Revisions to section 11.2.2 of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) regarding vacation entitlement carry-forward.

The salary settlement memorandum is available on the Vice-President, Academic & Provost's website (PDF).

We are grateful to the members of the negotiating teams: FAUW – Bryan Tolson (Chief Negotiator), Mary Hardy, and Linda Robinson, and the University: Bob Lemieux (Chief Negotiator), Jean Andrey, and Mark Giesbrecht.

FAUW has published a story about the faculty salary settlement and the full terms of the salary settlement agreement on its website.

Storm the court for our Fantastic winners

Fantastic Alumni Day Home Court Edition banner image.

A message from the Office of Advancement.

No one was shooting bricks at this year’s Fantastic Alumni, Faculty, Staff and Retiree Day. Virtual competitors brought their a-game to the annual airplane toss. The folding technique was on-point, the shots were all swishes, and this competition was a nail-biter.

Congrats to our fantastic winners and thanks for balling out with us.

In this year’s winner circle:

  • Yash Gajaria, current student (Family Barbeque Bundle)
  • Loni Ross, alumnus (Healthy Living Collection)
  • Taylor Sim, alumnus (Smart Home Starter Kit)
  • Gregory Litster, alumnus (Staycation Prize Pack)
  • Hannah Blair, current student (Sweet Dreaming Travel Deal)

Winter 2021 Instructor Survey now available

A tablet showing the phrase "online survey" sites on a table next to a phone and a cup of coffee.

A message from the Keep Learning Team.

The Winter 2021 Instructor Survey opened on our campus on Monday, February 22 for all instructors teaching in the Winter 2021 term.

The survey will help Waterloo understand instructors' experience with remote or online teaching and inform our approach to remote teaching.

All instructors in Winter 2021 are invited to participate in the 10-to-15-minute survey. To participate, please visit the Winter 2021 Instructors Survey website and follow the survey link. You will need to log in with your WatIam credentials to access the site. However, your login information will not be linked to your survey response. The survey closes March 5.

In response to instructors’ feedback from the Spring 2020 survey:

  • We designed and shared online learning resources to help students transition to a remote / online learning environment
  • We streamlined and updated online resources on the current student pathway
  • Several Faculties established online teaching task forces in each faculty to adjust courses that are hardest to teach remotely

Visit our Winter 2021 Instructor Survey website for more information on the survey or contact Jana Carson, Senior Manager at Institutional Analysis and Planning (IAP).

Waterloo mourns the death of PhD student

Two hands cup around a candle.

This article was originally published on Waterloo News.

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Sina Ghanbarzadeh, a doctoral student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and co-founder of KA Imaging. Just over a year ago, Sina began his battle with cancer while working towards completing his PhD degree.

He came to Waterloo 10 years ago to begin his master’s research work as part of the Silicon Thin Film Applied Research (STAR) group. During Sina’s graduate studies, he helped transform KA Imaging from a group of three researchers into a vibrant company producing one of the most innovative X-ray solutions in the world. Sina’s ingenuity was instrumental in establishing the unique technology within KA Imaging. 

Representing the best of what it means to be a Waterloo engineer, Sina came to Canada in search of a better future through graduate studies and applied his passion and intelligence to convert his research into an innovative and dynamic business venture. He will be remembered for his Herculean work ethic, resilience and perseverance.

Our thoughts and support are with Saeedeh Ghaffari, Sina’s wife and a graduate of Waterloo Engineering, as well as his family in Iran. The funeral will take place Saturday, February 20, and the University flags will be lowered to half-mast that day as a mark of respect for Sina.

If you are affected by this news and need support, there is help available. Please contact any of the following resources:

Counselling Services - 519-888-4567 ext. 32655
Here 24/7 - 1-844-437-3247
Health Services - Student Medical Clinic - 519-888-4096
Grand River Hospital - 519-749-4300
St. Mary's Hospital - 519-744-3311
Good2Talk - 1-866-925-5454
Crisis Services Canada - 1-833-456-4566 or by text 45645  
Mates - mates@wusa.ca

Campus emergency notification system test today; other notes

The Davis Centre with icicles hanging from it.

Joe Petrik from Computer Science snapped this photo of the Davis Centre, iced over after the recent snap of cold weather.

A screenshot of a smartphone running the WatSafe app.A test of the University’s emergency communication system is scheduled for today at 2:00 p.m. Test activation and deactivation messages will be sent using the following channels:

  • Tweets to @UWaterloo and @WatSAFEapp
  • WatSAFE mobile app
  • The ‘WatSAFE Desktop Notification’ on-screen pop-up for desktops and laptops
  • Portal alerts and push notifications

In the event of a real emergency during this test, please contact Police Services at 519-888-4911, or ext. 22222.

"Be sure to install the WatSAFE app on your device and WatSAFE Desktop Notification tool on your desktop/laptop to receive this test message, and more importantly, to stay informed of campus emergency situations," says a note from IST. "Visit the WatSAFE website for more details. If you have not yet done so, please download the new WatSAFE Desktop Notification client."

The latest Concept Working Session, entitled Customer Discovery, takes place today at 5:30 p.m. "Join us and learn the necessary skills and tools to get valuable information from potential customers so you can set up your idea for success. Find out how to discover if your idea is something people will really go for and the strategies behind asking important questions in the right way."

Marco Pejanovic.The next in the Music Department's Noon Hour Concert at Home series will take place Wednesday, February 24 at 12:30 p.m. The virtual concert will feature Schumann’s Symphonic Etudes Op. 13 performed by up and coming local pianist Marko Pejanovic. 

The online event is free and open to all.

The Office of Research is holding their second event in the Intellectual Property Series this Friday. IP Case Study will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., virtually through WebEx. "A case study which explores aspects of how to use the main forms of Intellectual Property (IP) protection to commercialize technology," says a note from the Office of Research. "This is an interactive case study that allows the participants to experience a realistic situation where they get to see how IP can be applied to protect and commercialize a potentially valuable technology created by a group of university students." Register today.

The Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business has opened registration for the BLND Virtual Conference from March 12 to 14, 2021. "Channelling an optimistic creative mindset, BLND will envision how our world might look in the future, as well as the work needed to shape it," says a note from the conference organizers. "Over the course of three days, BLND will explore the emerging areas at the forefront of design, collaboration, and the future of work. The event will consist of three flexible hours per day engaging in intimate conversations between students and industry. Join us."

Link of the day

Conscious cable uncoupling: Daft Punk calls it quits

When and Where to get support

Students can visit the Student Success Office online for supports including academic development, international student resources, leadership development, exchange and study abroad, and opportunities to get involved.

Instructors can visit the Keep Learning website to get support on adapting their teaching and learning plans for an online environment.

Updated Course templates are now available within your course in LEARN to help you build and edit your content and assignment pages quickly. Support for Winter 2021 is available.

The following workshops, webinars, and events are offered by the KL team (CTE, CEL, ITMS, LIB):

Independent Remote Course Design Essentials. Self-directed, continuous self-enrollment course in LEARN.

Learning from Our Remote Teaching Experiences (CTE7009), Tuesday, February 23, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

Introduction to Assessments in PebblePad (ATLAS) (CTE7512), Monday, March 8, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Employees can access resources to help them work remotely, including managing University records and privacy of personal information. Here are some tips for staying healthy while working from home.

Stay informed about COVID cases on campus by consulting the COVID case tracker.

Whether you’re a student or faculty member, the Writing and Communication Centre has virtual services and programs to help you with all of your academic writing needs. This term we have added evening and weekend one-to-one appointments with our peer tutors, and our NEW one-to-one workshops, where you can learn the content directly from one of our writing advisors.

  • Undergraduates: Work with us to brainstorm, draft, revise, and polish your assignments in one-to-one appointments. Ask questions and learn writing tips at our Instagram Live Q&A sessions, and beat isolation while improving your writing skills at the weekly PJ-friendly writing groups.
  • Graduates: Meet with our advisors in one-to-one appointments. Join the online writing community at the Virtual Writing Cafés, learn how to present your work at Speak Like a Scholar, or get moving on your dissertation at Dissertation Boot Camp.
  • Faculty and Instructors: Request custom workshops for your courses, join the Waterloo writing community at the Virtual Writing Cafés, or make progress on your article, book, or chapter in one-to-one meetings with our faculty specialist.

Co-op students can get help finding a job and find supports to successfully work remotely, develop new skills, access wellness and career information, and contact a co-op or career advisor.

The Centre for Career Action assists undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, staff, faculty, and alumni through navigating career services that are right for them. You can attend a one-on-one appointment or same day drop-in session at the CCA for assistance with cover letter writing, career planning and much more. You can also book an appointment online or visit our Live Chat to connect with our Client Support Team. The CCA is here to help you.

You may need to speak with someone for emotional support. Good2Talk is a post-secondary student helpline based in Ontario, Canada that is available to all students. If you feel overwhelmed or anxious and need to talk to somebody, please contact the University’s Campus Wellness services, either Health Services or  Counselling Services. You can also contact the University's Centre for Mental Health Research and Treatment.

The Library has published a resource guide on how to avoid information overload.

The Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the FAUW blog for more information.

The University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the UWSA blog for more information.

The Indigenous Initiatives Office is a central hub that provides guidance, support, and resources to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous campus community members and oversees the university Indigenization strategy.

The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, based at St. Paul’s University College, provides support and resources for Indigenous students, and educational outreach programs for the broader community, including lectures, and events.

WUSA supports for students:

Peer support (Visit https://wusa.ca/peersupport to book an appointment):

  • MATES – Available Monday to Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (online only)
    • Support sessions available in the following languages: Cantonese, English, Hindi, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, and Urdu.
  • Glow Centre – Available Monday to Friday,  4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (online only)
  • RAISE – Available Monday to Friday – Varied hours (online only)
  • Women’s Centre – Available Monday to Friday, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (online only)

Bike Centre – Will be reopening soon. Check https://wusa.ca/bikecentre for current operating times.

Campus Response Team, ICSN, Off Campus Community and Co-op Connection all available online. Check https://wusa.ca for more details.

Food Support Service food hampers are currently available from the Turnkey Desk on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Student Life Centre. If you have any questions please email us at foodsupport@wusa.ca.

Centre for Academic Policy Support - CAPS is here to assist Waterloo undergraduates throughout their experience in navigating academic policy in the instances of filing petitions, grievances and appeals. Please contact them at caps@wusa.ca. More information at https://wusa.ca/services/centre-academic-policy-support-caps.

WUSA Commissioners who can help in a variety of areas that students may be experiencing during this time:

WUSA Student Legal Protection Program - Seeking legal counsel can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time facing a legal issue. The legal assistance helpline provides quick access to legal advice in any area of law, including criminal. Just call 1-833-202-4571

Empower Me is a confidential mental health and wellness service that connects students with qualified counsellors 24/7. They can be reached at 1-833-628-5589.

When and Where (but mostly when)

Healthy Warriors at Home. Free programming including Online Fitness, Health Webinars, Personalized Nutrition and more from Warriors Athletics and Rec. Open to students, staff, faculty and alumni. Register today.

Livestream Exercises for Waterloo staff: Join us for an energy boosting Bootcamp or a fast and effective Express Home Workout! Open to UW Staff and subsidized by the Staff Excellence Fund.

Renison English Language Institute continues to offer virtual events and workshops to help students practice their English language skills.

Warriors vs. Laurier Blood Donation Battle. Join your fellow Warriors, donate blood and help us win the Blood Battle against Laurier for a second year in a row. Set up a profile or add the PFL code: UNIV960995 to your account if you have a blood.ca account already. Questions? Contact WarriorsInfo@uwaterloo.ca.

Warrior Rec Free Programs for Students, January to February. Wide range of free opportunities available to keep students active and healthy including:Fitness Classes (On-Demand), Health and Mindfulness Webinars, Personalized Nutrition Guides, Personal Training Consultations, Small Group Training and Warrior Reset. Register today.

Drop-in to Warrior Virtual Study Halls on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Come together in this virtual space to set goals and work independently or in groups each week.

WaterLeadership: Write it up: Practical tips for communicating your research, Tuesday, February 23, 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m.

GEDIx: A 30-minute Exchange, Tuesday, February 23, 1:00 p.m.

Concept Working Session: Customer Discovery, Tuesday, February 23, 5:30 p.m., virtual event.

Noon Hour Concert: Schumann’s Symphonic Etudes Op. 13, Wednesday, February 24, 12:30 p.m.

Concept Intro Session: Pitch to Win, Wednesday, February 24, 6:00 p.m., virtual event.

Employee Wellness Session: COVID-19 – Calming Your Mind in Challenging Times, Thursday, February 25, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

WatECS Workshop, Designing Scientific Figures by Felice Frankel, Thursday, February 25, 2:00 p.m.

Black Scientists Seminar Series, Thursday, February 25, 2:30 p.m.

Rooted In History: A Celebration of Black History as Canadian History, Friday, February 26, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

NEW - Intellectual Property Presentation Series – IP Case Study, Friday, February 26, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., virtual event through WebEx, register today.

NEW - Master of Taxation, Virtual Information Session, Saturday, February 27, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. To register, visit www.mtax.ca.