As most of you know, FAUW has been attempting for a number of years to negotiate revisions to the University's policies on Faculty Appointments (Policy 76) and Tenure and Promotion of Faculty Members (Policy 77). If you haven’t been keeping up with the developments, this is your chance to catch up.
- The FAUW Board of Directors used this spring’s survey responses to formulate a new proposal to the administration for moving policy 76/77 revisions forward.
- The administration hasn’t agreed to it yet, but we’re sharing it with you now.
- The proposal includes mediation, and arbitration if necessary, for any items we can’t agree on at the Policy Drafting Committee.
- We’re planning to hold an information session in the fall.
- We appreciate the ongoing support from all members for this incredibly important issue.
The path so far
A multi-year effort to revise policies 76 and 77 ended in 2020 without a new draft policy. In 2021, the University administration agreed to focus renewed efforts specifically on improving teaching-stream appointments. Following steady discussions throughout the fall, in December 2021, we had what we believed were firm agreements that would be the basis for subsequent policy language. In March 2022, the administration said it would no longer support one crucial aspect of this agreement—workload and the pedagogical and professional development term—and in April, we asked members to help the FAUW Board of Directors decide how to respond to this change.
In May, the Board used your survey responses (particularly those from lecturers) and proposed a new path forward to the administration, including provisions for mediation and arbitration. We are still working to reach agreement with the administration on this, but we want to share our proposal with you before any more time passes.
We’re not giving up
We are all frustrated that this process is taking so unbelievably long, but we are committed to seeing it through. FAUW’s fundamental purpose is to ensure that we all have fair, equitable, and sustainable working conditions. And at this point, this is also about how we negotiate working conditions at Waterloo in general; taking steps toward a more consistent and fair approach to workload for all faculty; and protecting good, secure academic jobs in the face of increasing precarity across the sector.
What we’ve seen from faculty associations across the country is that we can succeed, if we work together to fight for these goals. We appreciate—and continue to need—the support we’ve seen from so many of you, across all appointment types, for updating Waterloo’s teaching-stream appointments.
The proposed “path forward” now
Again, we haven’t quite reached agreement with the administration, but our “path forward” proposal is, broadly:
- FAUW and the administration will exchange policy drafts at Faculty Relations Committee (FRC), probably in the early fall.
- A Policy Drafting Committee (PDC) will meet regularly for one month and regularly present updated policy drafts to FRC.
- If there are any points on which FAUW and the administration can’t reach agreement, an external mediator will assist in further discussions at the PDC.
- Any issues that are not agreed to in mediation will be sent to arbitration.
This process—negotiation, mediation, arbitration—roughly follows the long-established process for compensation negotiations outlined in our Memorandum of Agreement with the University. This “path forward” is intended to lead to a resolution of all outstanding issues.
While FAUW is pushing for an aggressive timeline to finally complete these much-needed updates to Policies 76 and 77, we have indicated that we are willing to show some flexibility if discussions at steps 2 and 3 above are productive. We are also aware that mediators/arbitrators have full schedules.
We are still planning for an information session to explain the process more fully, but this is waiting until we have agreement with the administration. Recognizing that late summer is an essential time for lecturers and other faculty to take much-needed vacation and prepare for the fall term, we anticipate this will be approximately mid-September.
FAUW’s goals for policies 76 and 77
The policy changes FAUW is trying to achieve have not changed. Our goals, set by the Board of Directors, are based on recommendations from our Lecturers Committee and its chair (who also served on the most recent Policy Drafting Committee), which in turn are based on surveys, extensive consultations with lecturers, and research into teaching-stream appointments at comparator institutions (Toronto, McMaster, and UBC).
We are fighting for professorial titles, job security, fair workload, and resources for teaching-intensive faculty to conduct essential pedagogical and professional development, as well as for recognition for scholarship, consistency across campus, and a fair transition for current lecturers.
What you can do
Again, support for this work from all faculty members is important. Please share this information and talk to your colleagues – and administrators! – about the changes we need to these policies and how valuable teaching faculty are to the educational mission of the University of Waterloo.