Good riddance to 2021, right? Just when we thought we could put the pandemic behind us, it came roaring back to disrupt our time with friends and family over the holiday break. Although 2021 may not have been everything you hoped, this pandemic has allowed for some myth-busting and self-growth. It is clearer than ever that complete separation of the personal from the professional is not possible. In 2022, let’s welcome and honor whole human beings working at UWaterloo, and help create a work environment where people are supported to engage their hearts and minds.

Reflecting on 2021, I've had the honor of serving as your President since November 1st. It was a busy two months, with some significant changes taking place within your Association. 

Much time has been spent implementing the new UWSA by-law passed at the Annual General Meeting in October.  The by-law changes the governance model, making the three-President suite part of the Operations Team reporting to the Board of Directors. This seemed like a great opportunity to re-evaluate the job duties of the Operations Team.  I’ve begun by creating an overview of the needs of the Team and of UWSA to ensure the important parts of our work are included and job descriptions are up to date.  One of our goals is to boost support for our volunteers by increasing resources to recruitment, training, development, and succession planning with the potential for adding a staff position.

Governance changes gave us the opportunity to re-access all UWSA committees, which now fall under Operations:  to look at their validity to today’s needs, to re-write Terms of References and to consider if there are committees we no longer need. This work is underway.  

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) consultation work is continuing.  The ad hoc committee has been working on a plan to bring to Board with a suggestion on how we should now move forward.

There have been a lot of wins over the last couple of months.  Here are a few projects we have been focused on:

  • We have been working with Parking Services and Director of Safety, Kate Windsor to see if the shuttle van to Parking Lot X can is able to begin again.
  • We are working with Michelle Hollis, Director of HR Client Services to possibly overhaul how the Staff Relations Committee handles Job Re-evaluations. 
  • We have established a more strategic method for ensuring we get the most out of PACSC and SRC by holding pre-meetings to discuss our strategy, and post-meetings to measure our success and to start thinking of topics for the next meeting.
  • We have created an onboarding session for new SRC members.
  • We have onboarded five Directors who will serve on the UWSA Board of Directors.
  • We have onboarded our new President-elect as part of the Operations team.
  • We have created a video to welcome and educate new employees about UWSA and to encourage them to join.

We are here to serve you and all our members and would love to hear what you think our goals for 2022 should include.  Please let us know by emailing me at

Your voice starts here

Dave McDougall


President, University of Waterloo Staff Association